Upper Arlington News

City council races

Greenhill hoping to move from school to city post

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

A longtime Upper Arlington High School principal now hopes to steer decisions citywide.

Francis "Kip" Greenhill, 62, spent 17 years as principal at UAHS before retiring prior to the 2012-13 school year. He's hoping to win earn his first four-year term on Upper Arlington City Council Nov. 5.

He is among five candidates -- along with incumbents John Adams, David DeCapua and Debbie Johnson, as well as fellow newcomer Carolyn Casper -- vying for four council seats.

A 12-year resident of the city, Greenhill has six children. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Baldwin Wallace College and a master of education administration degree from Kent State University.

Currently, Greenhill is interim principal of a middle school in the New Albany Plain-Local School District.

He said he's attempting the foray into public office because he believes he can engage more members of the community to identify and address city needs.

"Upper Arlington has a wealth of talented citizens whose knowledge and expertise has not been sufficiently utilized over the years," Greenhill said. "During my 17 years as principal of Upper Arlington High School, twice a month I had breakfasts and lunches with parents and students to hear their concerns.

"After hearing from parents, students and teachers, I often formed blue-ribbon panels for them to collaboratively develop innovative practices to support our students' learning.

"The collaborative work of these groups resulted in UAHS being recognized as the top high school in central Ohio by Columbus Monthly and one of the top schools in the country by Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report," he said.

"As a council member, I will personally invite 30 to 40 residents to have breakfast with me at least once a month to hear firsthand how things are going in the city and to hear their ideas about city services, economic development, sidewalks and any other issues of interest or concern."

Greenhill said if he is elected, he'd also push for the creation of "blue-ribbon citizens' panels" to research and develop proposals for the city, including partnerships with businesses to reduce costs and increase municipal revenues, and to examine maintenance and repair of aging infrastructure, economic development or the consolidation of city services with other government entities.

"By better listening to our residents and more actively engaging them in creating innovative solutions to our emerging issues, I believe the best days for Upper Arlington are ahead of us," he said. "My proven record of collaborating with stakeholders will help keep UA a great and attractive community."

Greenhill said dropoffs in city revenue due to reductions in the state's local government funding and the elimination of the estate tax as a foremost issue for council.

Declining revenues, he said, will present significant challenges to city policymakers as they attempt to fund city services, including high-quality street lighting and repairs and maintenance to city parks and infrastructure.

"We cannot make short-term, politically popular, financial decisions which in the long term may reduce the city's financial viability and ability to provide quality services," he said.

"The first step in resolving Upper Arlington's financial challenges is for our city government to go out into the community and have face-to-face conversations with residents about their priorities for a quality community.

"After developing our city's priorities, city government needs to involve the many talented members of our community to explore and make recommendations on ways to increase revenues through such ventures as business partnerships," Greenhill said.

"Our residents also should be involved in making recommendations to realistically control costs by consolidating services with other government entities such as the schools and adjacent communities."

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