Rocky Fork Enterprise

Ward 4 council race

Leeseberg supports measure to maintain infrastructure

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Jamie Leeseberg faces Joseph Gergley in the race for the Ward 4 Gahanna City Council seat.

Incumbent Beryl Anderson withdrew her name from the race in early September, saying she wanted to explore other opportunities to utilize her leadership skills.

Leeseberg, 43, works as the engineering manager for CESO Inc. in the Columbus office.

He said he supports the city's tax measure on the Nov. 5 ballot.

"I support the proposed income-tax measure because it is necessary to keep Gahanna the same community we all love," Leeseberg said. "Recent cuts from the state, lower returns on investments and a slow economy have reduced revenue coming in to the city."

He said Gahanna has one of the lowest income-tax rates in the area, and that rate has been in place since 1977.

"The reality is, things cost more now than they did back then due to regulatory requirements, maintenance costs and higher expectations of the community," Leeseberg said. "With many more people working in Gahanna and living elsewhere than in the past, we are losing money by not taxing them at a higher rate like their home cities do."

Although he doesn't agree with all of the decisions regarding cuts following May's income-tax levy defeat, Leeseberg said, reductions needed to be made.

"I am concerned about the proposed cuts to capital improvement projects," he said. "We cannot continue to balance the budget at the expense of our roads and sewers. Our infrastructure requires proper maintenance and repair in order to avoid more costly replacement in the future."

Leeseberg said the proposed cancellation of community events and the closure of the senior center provide relatively small savings compared to the services provided, so he doesn't think those are the types of cuts that should be made.

Leeseberg, an Ohio resident since 1996 and Gahanna resident since 2007, is a licensed engineer and surveyor. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in civil engineering.

"As a civil engineer with more than 20 years of experience, I am familiar with the design, funding and maintenance of roadway, sewer and development projects," he said. "I have managed and presented projects before city councils throughout central Ohio."

Leeseberg said residents should vote for him because his experience in working with private developers and governmental entities would help him make the right decisions for Gahanna.

"My wife and I chose Gahanna for the great schools, wonderful parks, festivals and small-town feel," he said. "My family has enjoyed all that Gahanna has to offer, and I will work with council and members of our community to ensure Gahanna continues to be a great place to live, work and play."

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