Rocky Fork Enterprise

Gahanna council race

Voters to choose one to four new members

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Gahanna residents will elect at least one new council ward representative and as many as four new members total on Nov. 5.

Early and absentee voting began Oct. 1.

Because Ward 4 council member Beryl Anderson withdrew from the race to pursue other opportunities, her seat will be filled by either Joseph Gergley or Jamie Leeseberg.

Gergley works in distributor relations for Boar's Head.

"I believe City Council is in desperate need of a fiscal conservative and feel like I would bring a balance to City Council that it is currently lacking," he said. "If elected, I'll be a champion of the taxpayer and continue to push for capital improvements that will continue to make Gahanna a great place to live."

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

He 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 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," Leeseberg said.

Gahanna residents will have the option between an incumbent and challenger in the city's other three wards.

In Ward 1, incumbent Stephen Renner is being challenged by Ray Kautz.

Renner, current council president, is director for the department of sanitary engineering in Franklin County.

"I decided to run for re-election because I wanted to continue progress made in three main areas: to ensure funds are dedicated to improving Ward 1 infrastructure, such as streets and signs; encourage appropriate development; and ensure we have a sustainable city for the long term," he said.

Kautz is employed at ToolTex Inc. in Grove City as a financial analyst/project manager.

"I'm running to appropriate city expenditures sustainably and work within the current city tax code," he said. "Preparing a budget is an essential part of my position at ToolTex, and ongoing tracking of job progress is key."

He said he would promote the most efficient use of taxpayer funds.

Ward 2 residents face a rematch between incumbent Brandon Wright and challenger Michael Schnetzer. The two faced off in 2011, when Wright won by a handful of votes.

Wright is a commercial loan analyst.

"I am running for re-election to see the completion of all the projects and efficiencies that we have put in place to move Gahanna forward to make it a great place to live," he said.

Wright said he has worked hard to ensure that citizens' concerns are researched and resolved.

Schnetzer is a director/municipal analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.

"I firmly believe my extensive professional experience as a municipal financial analyst would be an invaluable asset as the city is determining how to maximize Gahanna's financial resources.

"Furthermore, should the voters not support the income-tax proposal, it will be of paramount importance to have someone on council who has analyzed how other cities have navigated the current economic malaise."

In Ward 3, incumbent Brian Larick is being challenged by Ryan Patrick Demro.

Larick works in financial services/technology as an engineer for JPMorgan Chase.

He said he brings a vested interest in the success of the community as a longtime resident of Ward 3, with a background in financial performance, as a small-business owner vested in the community and as a proud parent whose children are active in Gahanna-Jefferson schools and multiple community groups.

Demro is an inner-city high school teacher at Academy for Urban Scholars and captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.

"As a teacher, veteran and former (Lakewood) City Councilman, I bring unique experiences that can help lift the city out of its financial mess and ensure that critical services are maintained at appropriate levels," he said.

 

 

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