Former gun-range owner, daughter drop challenge of residency against Ebersole, but say fight isn't over

A mother and daughter have promised to keep up the fight against a candidate for Powell City Council after dropping a challenge to his residency this week.

The Delaware County Board of Elections met Sept. 5 to discuss a protest filed by Gertrude Trowbridge that challenged David Ebersole’s eligibility to run for council. Trowbridge withdrew the protest after Ebersole provided the board with copies of leases, tax forms and other documents listing his address within city limits.

Pat Kijewski, who spoke on behalf of her mother at the hearing, said after the meeting that she and Trowbridge were convinced Ebersole resides in Powell.

“He provided evidence to dispute the things we believed to be true,” she said.

While Ebersole called the challenge “obvious fraud” during the hearing, he said afterward he was looking forward to moving on.

“I’m just excited to focus on the campaign and what’s best for Powell,” he said.

Ebersole is one of eight candidates seeking four seats on Powell City Council on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Trowbridge, the former owner of the Powder Room shooting range property near downtown Powell, said she filed the challenge after hearing “rumors” about Ebersole’s residency.

Kijewski said her mother heard Ebersole had another residence in Columbus and did not live in Powell throughout the week.

Ebersole said he submitted ample documentation – including receipts from a moving company, utility bills and vehicle registration – to prove he resides in an apartment on Penny Lane in Powell.

“There’s no question that my permanent residence and domicile is in Powell,” he said.

Ebersole said he and Trowbridge had never met before the meeting, so she could have no personal knowledge about his residency.

While Trowbridge and Ebersole may not have met before the hearing, their families have been involved in a long struggle over the Powder Room site, located between Beech Ridge and Grace drives north of Olentangy Street.

Ebersole’s brother, Brian Ebersole, has helped to mount legal and political campaigns against the development of the property.

At the hearing, Trowbridge said she was not happy after reading in ThisWeek Olentangy Valley News that David Ebersole was running for council.

“My blood pressure raised about 10 degrees,” she said.

Brian Ebersole helped lead a successful referendum effort to reverse Powell City Council’s vote to approve the development of 47 detached condos on the Powder Room site in 2015.

In June, council approved the construction of a similar 47-house neighborhood on the site. Brian Ebersole and fellow resident Tom Happensack have filed suit against the city in another attempt to block developer Len Pivar from building a neighborhood on the 9-acre site.

David Ebersole said he shares his brother’s view that council has been ignoring the will of city voters when it comes to development projects.

“We’ve been disappointed with the (path) the city’s been taking,” he said.

After the protest hearing, Kijewski said her family and friends would continue to oppose Ebersole’s candidacy.

“We are going to fight his election as strongly as possible,” she said.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com
@twgallick