Just one race will be contested on the fall ballot in the Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff community.
Six candidates are running for four open seats on Grandview Heights City Council.
Incumbents Greta Kearns, Anthony Panzera and Chris Smith will campaign along with former council member Dan Headapohl and first-time candidates Melanie Houston and Nicholas Pavlik.
Council member Steve Papineau will not run for re-election.
Headapohl, 61, previously served on council from 2004-06, with one year as council president. He is the chairman of the city’s parks advisory board.
“I enjoy serving the community,” Headapohl said. “I think my previous experience on council and on the parks board and my overall experience and background would be helpful at this time. There’s so much going on in the city.
“I think the elephant in the room the city has to address is the need for a new city hall. We at least have to get that conversation started,” he said. “The fire and police departments – really, all of the city’s staff – deserve better facilities.”
Headapohl is a real-estate agent and auctioneer with Sorrell & Company. He and his wife, Mary, have a daughter.
Houston, 35, is a first-time candidate for public office. She works in the public sector as director of oil and gas for the Grandview-based Ohio Environmental Council.
“I think I can bring a fresh perspective to City Council, as a woman, as a mom and as a public-interest advocate,” Houston said. “ I believe in being involved in public service, which is why I’m involved in the kind of work I do.
“I’ve had the opportunity in my work at the environmental council to help in the effort to pass legislation to improve drinking water and reduce lead contamination,” she said. “It was really exciting to see an environmental problem addressed through legislation.”
One issue she wants to focus on if elected to council is looking for ways “to grow and improve our Grandview farmers market,” Houston said.
“I’d like to see our farmers market expand the number of vendors and the number of people who attend each week,” she said. “I think we can come up with some solutions to make it an even more viable market.
“Grandview is such a walkable community and I’d like to see more people come to the market and support our local farmers,” Houston said.
Houston has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
She and her husband, Michael, have a 3-year-old daughter.
Kearns, 46, is completing her first term on council and has served as council president since January 2016.
She said she believes she delivers “professional leadership, strategic thinking and a fiscally responsible mindset” as a council member.
“I am committed to uniting the community as we move forward to a new phase,” Kearns said. “I recognize that quality of life is valued by our residents and I will do my best to maintain and improve the high level of municipal services and amenities that define Grandview Heights.’’
The city’s assets include a high quality of life, prime location, healthy commercial sector and balanced tax base, she said.
“Our community has dramatically changed,” Kearns said. “It is time to begin a community process to engage and unite the public in long-term strategic planning for our future.
“To support that long-term vision, we need to formalize and update our community plan” and make the transition from upgrading parks facilities to focusing on “our aging municipal buildings,” she said.
Kearns is an attorney and opened her own practice after previously serving as an assistant attorney general representing the state of Ohio and working more than a decade at the Squire Sanders law firm. She and her spouse, Jeff Shirazi, have lived in Grandview since 2004 and have three children.
Panzera, 48, is running for his fifth term. He previously served two terms as council president.
“I made the decision to run again based on the excellent progress we’ve made to ensure that Grandview Heights will continue to be a leading presence in central Ohio. I simply believe it’s the best community in which to be,” he said.
It’s a privilege to serve with council and the administration who are “truly there for the right reason,” Panzera said.
“I’m distinctly proud for what the community has accomplished over the past 16 years, having survived some very difficult and lean years in the early 2000s to break through to a future that will continue to provide the same lifestyle I hope generations to come will love when they call Grandview Heights home,” he said.
Infrastructure likely will be a major part of the city’s agenda for the next four years, Panzera said.
Over the last decade, the city has invested tens of millions of dollars to build infrastructure in Grandview Yard, to improve parks and to build a new pool, and to complete street improvements, water/sewer replacements, sidewalks and smart-signal traffic controls, he said.
“The next large-scale project will be to replace our century-old city facilities,” Panzera said. “I’m dedicated to completing and executing the plans that we’ve started to build a new service facility and an administration/police/fire complex.”
Panzera is a real-estate agent. He and his wife, Julie, have two sons.
Pavlik, 32, said he decided to run for council to give something back to the community he and his wife, Lindsey, chose as their home.
“We decided to move here four years ago because this is the kind of community we want to raise our children in,” he said.
“Right now, I’m in listening mode, talking to people in the community and finding out what our neighbors want for their city,” Pavlik said. “I’m not running for council with any preconceived agenda. I want to find out what our neighbors’ concerns are and help address those on council.”
Pavlik works as vice president of corporate communications for consumer banking at Huntington National Bank.
Smith, 48, is completing his first term on council. He serves as vice president and is chairman of the planning and administration committee and member of the safety and finance committees.
“I want to continue the progress I and my colleagues have made on accomplishing economic growth while maintaining the sense of community for which Grandview Heights is known,” he said. “We have renegotiated the Grandview Yard Development Agreement, providing at least 3,500 new jobs and accompanying revenue to the city as well as millions of dollars in infrastructure while maintaining and enhancing safety and public services.
“Economic growth while maintaining the city’s core attributes and values, continued investment while using fiscal discipline and working hard on constituent services is what I value and want to continue for four more years,” Smith said.
Smith is an attorney and serves as an administration hearing officer for the Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency. He previously worked in the Ohio Senate and also served as an assistant attorney general in the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office and minority caucus legal counsel in the Ohio House of Representatives.
He is married to Gina Mazzei-Smith.
Also on the ballot, three candidates are running for the three open seats on the school board.
The candidates are incumbent Jesse Truett and first-time candidates Eric R. Bode and Molly Wassmuth.
Grant Douglass and Stephanie Evans will not run for re-election.
The candidates in the uncontested race for Marble Cliff Village Council are incumbents Matt Cincione and Dow Voelker as well as Marnie Hoag and Matt Jolson, who are running for council for the first time.
The filing deadline for the Nov. 7 election was 4 p.m. Aug. 9. The Franklin County Board of Elections has 30 days to certify candidates.