The past two Grandview Heights City Council elections were uncontested.
The past two Grandview Heights City Council elections were uncontested.
Not so much this year: Seven candidates are running for three seats in the Nov. 3 election.
Incumbents Tim Galvin, Steve Gladman and Ed Hastie will try to fend off challenges from former council member Steve Reynolds and first-time candidates Emily Keeler, Ryan Longbrake and Brandon Lynaugh. (Profiles of the challengers will run in the Oct. 22 edition of ThisWeek Tri-Village News.)Tim Galvin
Galvin, 60, was appointed in June 2014 to fill the vacancy on council after Milt Lewis moved out of the city. The term for that seat ends this year.
It's an exciting time in Grandview with the continued development of Grandview Yard, including the move of Nationwide Insurance's headquarters over the next three years, Galvin said.
The insurance company will bring 3,000 jobs to the Yard.
While some residents have been concerned about the increased traffic that will result from Nationwide's move to Grandview, Galvin said as a lifelong resident of the community, he has some perspective newer residents may not have.
"I lived on Northwest Boulevard in 1974 and back then, there was no 315 and no 670," he said. "If you were coming from Worthington or anywhere north heading to downtown Columbus, a lot of that traffic ended up on Northwest Boulevard and Third Avenue."
In addition, nearly 2,000 people were working at the Big Bear warehouse off Goodale Boulevard in what is now a portion of the Yard, Galvin said.
"When Big Bear left, we had an abrupt loss of those jobs," he said. "Now we're getting those jobs back and then some. There will be increased traffic, but the difference is that we have 315 and 670 now to handle a lot of it."
Another help will be the infrastructure and road improvements planned to help address the increased traffic the Yard is bringing to the community, Galvin said.
With council recently discussing the possibility of granting residents who live in Grandview but work elsewhere a full income-tax credit, Galvin said he believes "we should have a more-global view" and consider a comprehensive review of whether relief could be given to both income- and property-tax payers in the city.
"I'm all for cutting taxes," but the issue is not as simple as it might seem, said Galvin.
He and a majority of Grandview residents voted to allow the city to collect the additional 0.25 percent income tax to help pay for improvements to the city's infrastructure, some of which is nearly 100 years old, he said.
"The upside is that there have already been a lot of jobs coming to Grandview Yard and Nationwide Insurance's move here will bring another 3,000 jobs over the next 36 months. There will be a lot of income-tax revenue coming from those jobs," Galvin said.
Much of that revenue, however, will be used to pay off the bonds used to fund infrastructure and other projects to support the Yard, he said.
The best way for the city to determine how to move forward with addressing its facility needs is to conduct a master planning process, he said.
"We need to include the input of all our residents to determine what our future facility needs are," Galvin said.
"There are a lot of needs in the community that relate to infrastructure as well as facilities," he said. "Trying to balance all that will be the key while remaining fiscally prudent."
Galvin owns Brexton, a commercial real-estate development company. He attended Marion Technical College, Columbus State Community College, Hondros College and Ohio State University.
He and hiss wife, Tess, have three grown children.Steve Gladman
Gladman, 66, is completing his second term on council.
Improving infrastructure is the most-important need facing the city, Gladman said.
"My biggest priority is not a new municipal building," he said. "It needs to be replaced, but first we need to improve our streets, sewers and water lines."
It's a good time to move forward to infrastructure projects, because the city's AAA bond rating will allow it to take advantage of low interest rates in financing the work, Gladman said.
"Before we build a municipal facility, we need to have a conversation with the community to talk about and assess our programming needs," he said.
The dialogue should lead to a comprehensive plan that includes the needs of the school district and library, Gladman said.
The city should explore shared service opportunities with the schools and library, he said.
The addition of 3,000 employees over the next three years as Nationwide Insurance moves its corporate center to the development will bring additional traffic to the community, but also will mean an increase in revenue for the city from the influx of well-paying jobs, he said.
"It's important to remember that Big Bear once had a couple thousand employees and they were a 24-hour-a-day warehouse operation," Gladman said. "That was much less compatible with the residential character of the community than an upscale office/residential development like Grandview Yard."
The Yard has been designed with roadways, bike paths, walkways and a park that connects it to the rest of the community, he said.
Earlier this year, Gladman introduced legislation to restore a full credit to residents who live in Grandview and work and pay income taxes in another community.
"It is a question of being fair and equitable," Gladman said.
The city offered a full income-tax credit until about a decade ago, "when we were in such dire economic straits that 0.25 percent was needed so we would have a break-even budget," he said.
Now, because of increased jobs in the community and an improved economy, Grandview is in a position in which the $330,000 brought in by the increased tax paid by residents who work outside the city could be removed without affecting city services, Gladman said.
Council will consider whether a reduced property-tax measure could be put on the March ballot, but any reduction must benefit residential property owners and not commercial properties, Gladman said.
Gladman is the president of the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County.
He has a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in adult education from Ohio State University.
Gladman and his wife, Patricia, have lived in Grandview 32 years. They have four sons and three granddaughters.Ed Hastie
Hastie, 37, is also completing his second term on council.
"Having grown up here, this is my form of public service to my hometown," he said. "I really do enjoy serving on council.
"We've seen a lot of change and success and that's due to the vision" of Mayor Ray DeGraw, Council President Anthony Panzera and the city's administrative team, Hastie said.
"Eight years ago, we were battling to stay financially solvent. Now we're in a position to move from fiscal solvency to fiscal safety. I want to continue to serve and help make sure those gains are realized," he said.
The Grandview Yard development has been essential to improving the city's financial situation, Hastie said.
"When people talk about the character of Grandview, I think a lot of what defines us is that we are a small, independent, full-service community," he said. "We believe we are the smallest full-service community in Ohio. If we wanted to maintain our autonomy, which I think is important to everybody, we had to have a viable project" in the Yard area.
Hastie said he is not sure a new municipal building is needed at this time.
The city likely would have to go to voters to secure revenue for such a project, he said.
"I have to be convinced that there is a need for it," Hastie said. "You can always patch up an older building, which is what many of our residents do with the older homes we have in Grandview."
The city will continue to study its municipal-facility needs, he said.
"I don't think there's been enough research to make the case for a building project yet," Hastie said.
Regarding the proposal to give full income-tax credit to residents who work in other communities, Hastie said he supports "developing a holistic, comprehensive plan.
"I don't think there was support on giving the full credit (in 2016). I think we want to wait until 2017 at least," he said. "In general, I'm in favor of giving residents the full tax credit, but I'd want to see a comprehensive plan before I'd consider it."
Council should wait to make a decision until after voters decide on approving a renewal or reduction of the property-tax levy, Hastie said.
The city needs to have more concrete financial projections based on the results of the levy vote and more information from the finance department before granting a full credit is considered, he said.
Hastie is a partner with the Brennan Manna and Diamond law firm. He previously operated his own law practice for eight years.
He holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Ohio University and a law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.
Hastie and his wife, Marissa, have been married for seven years. They have two sons: Edward IV, 5, and Henry, months.