Having determined that he's attended about 300 Liberty Township board of trustees and Powell City Council meetings in his 35 years as a resident, it seems it was only a matter of time before Vince Margello decided to make a run for a seat on the other side of the meeting table.
The commercial and residential developer said if voters elect him to fill one of two open Liberty Township board seats Nov. 5, he'll continue to attend Powell's council meetings to keep updated on local matters and to build a stronger relationship with its members.
"We need to understand that whatever we do in Liberty Township affects Powell and whatever is done in Powell affects Liberty Township," he said. "Instead of working against each other, we need to work with each other."
Margello is one of five candidates running for the two available seats. Also on the ballot are Shyra Eichhorn, Peggy Guzzo, John Hartman and Tom Mitchell. Trustees Curt Sybert and Mary Carducci are not running for re-election.
If elected, Margello said he would get rid of the Cooperative Economic Development Agreement, the contract between Powell and Liberty Township that spells out the annexation process.
"It makes no sense to me to have attorneys draw up something so the township and the city get along," he said. "Just figure it out. Don't waste money on needless attorney fees."
Although Margello's goal of mending the relationship between the two entities is a top priority, he said his first action as trustee would be to "fix" the fire department's tight budget -- something that, as a businessman, he said he has the experience to do.
He said he'd meet with the department and union leaders to build a strategy to bring back the pride and tradition he remembers the fire department having prior to the November 2012 levy failure.
"A good businessman says, 'OK, this is what we have to work with; now how do we make the best with that $6 million that the taxpayers have given us?' and I believe I can do that with this group of people," Margello said.
"I'm really good at fixing things -- I do it all the time and that's one of my best attributes. I've shown that with buildings I've bought in the area that basically went into foreclosure and I've turned them around time and time again, and so I know I can fix this fire department and EMS."
Margello has developed and owns and operates multiple shopping centers in Powell and Liberty Township, including Sawmill Powell Plaza, Village Pointe Shopping Center, Presidential Pointe, the Metro Building, Greystone Shopping Center, Executive Storage Units, Margello Plaza, the Mean Bean Coffee & Wine Shoppe and Nicole's for Children.
In 1991, Margello helped to form the Powell Area Chamber of Commerce and became its first president.
He also developed the Lakes of Powell, Lakes at Silver Leaf, Woods of Sawmill and Estates of River Run, and said he donated more than 19 acres of land so the Olentangy Local School District could build Tyler Run Elementary School.
Margello, 63, and his wife, Belinda, have two daughters: one a junior at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, the other a freshman at Wittenberg University.
To learn more about Margello and his campaign, visit MargelloForLiberty.com.