Residents in three of four Dublin City Council wards will be voting on contested races in the Nov. 7 general election.

Incumbents are being challenged in wards 1 and 4, and in ward 2, longtime Councilwoman Amy Salay chose not to seek re-election, so a new representative for that area will be elected.

Dublin Vice Mayor John Reiner, who represents ward 3, is running unopposed for re-election.

Here is a look at who is running in the contested races:

Ward 1

Incumbent Dublin Mayor Gregory Peterson is running against challenger Mark Koogler.

Peterson, a 24-year Dublin resident is an attorney and has his own law firm, PetersonConners LLP.

He previously represented ward 2 on City Council from 1997-2001. He has served ward 1 since 2013, and the last two of those years he has been elected by fellow councilman to serve as Dublin's mayor.

Peterson also previously served on the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau's board of directors and the Coventry Woods Homeowners Association board of directors.

"It has really been an honor to serve this community, and I would greatly look forward to continuing to do it," Peterson said.

Among key issues Peterson identified were maintaining the corporate tax base, maintaining the city's character and preserving the city's historic core.

The city also needs to pay attention to the development along Hyland-Croy Road and Sawmill Road, Peterson said. He said he favors commercial development instead of residential development.

The city should also be sensitive to how new architectural and building designs -- such as the pedestrian bridge across the Scioto River and the new Dublin Branch Library -- coexist with the existing historic core.

Koogler, a Dublin resident of nearly 21 years, is an attorney.

He said he understands the importance of informing residents and treating them with care and loyalty. Koogler said he would work with constituents and collaborate with them to make decisions that are in everyone's best interests.

"I'm running for City Council because I could bring positive change to City Council," he said.

Along with retaining the city's corporate tax base, other important issues for the city include treating the east and west sides of Dublin fairly and being cognizant of development, Koogler said.

Regarding development, Koogler said the city is allowing development in certain parts of Dublin that should not have been allowed to happen.

Specifically, he referenced a 55-plus retirement community built just east of the Wyandot subdivision and zoning on Summitview Road that would permit apartments and office buildings.

Ward 2

Running for the ward 2 council seat are Victoria Newell and Jane Fox.

Newell, a 26-year Dublin residents, is an architect. She is chairwoman of the Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission, which she joined in 2012.

Newell served on the Dublin Board of Zoning Appeals from 2008 to 2012, and in the mid-1990s served on the Dublin Construction Appeals Board for about two years.

One of the biggest issues Dublin faces is planning for future development, Newell said.

Whereas the city has taken steps in planning to improve some of its declining office parks, officials should prioritize the concerns of nearby residents when planning improvements, she said.

And, although the Mall at Tuttle Crossing is outside of the city's corporation limits, Dublin needs to prepare for the future to avoid similar decline, she said.

"We need to have the foresight to look ahead at that potential," she said.

Fox is a 28-year Dublin resident who served on the Dublin Architecture Review Board from 2015 through mid-2017, leaving the position so she could run for council. She is retired, having served most recently as executive director of the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce.

Among the key issues Dublin faces are the preservation of Dublin's historic district and its green spaces, Fox said. Together they help form the city's character, she said.

Fox said she is also concerned about the city's use of tax-increment finance districts as incentives for developers, because they can take away property tax funds that go toward fire service, school districts and other public entities.

"I really want to look at how we use our TIFs," Fox said.

A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue increases to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.

Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, library districts and fire departments.

Lastly, Fox said she wants to ensure Dublin's development vision isn't just a mandate created by a few, but a product of discussion within the community.

"We need to engage our residents and our small businesses early on in planning so that we have a team approach to how we grow," she said.

Ward 4

In Ward 3, incumbent Tim Lecklider is running against Cathy DeRosa and J.D. Kaplan.

Lecklider has lived in Dublin for 25 years and is an attorney in the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office.

He has served on City Council since 2002, including two two-year terms as vice mayor and two two-year terms as mayor.

Lecklider also served five years on the Planning & Zoning Commission and held the role of chairman, and one year on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Lecklider was also a founding trustee for the Wyndham Village Homeowners Association.

He is City Council's representative to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and the Northwest U.S. 33 Innovation Corridor group.

He cited his experience serving on council as something not only valuable to ward 4 residents, but to the larger Dublin community.

"I have it," Lecklider said, "And my challengers don't."

Regarding ward 4, Lecklider said the development pressure on the city's western border is a key issue for residents.

His involvement with the Northwest U.S. 33 Innovation Corridor group gives him an opportunity to share ideas regarding land use, infrastructure and economic development, he said.

Striking a balance between residential and commercial growth in the city as a whole will be the key to providing a sustainable and successful Dublin, he said.

Kaplan, an 11-year Dublin resident, is a graphic designer.

He said the city's key issues include the high number of TIFs in the Bridge Street corridor, because of the resulting decrease in funding for schools and the Washington Township Fire Department's fire district.

TIFs should be used in blighted areas, instead of prosperous ones such as the Bridge Street corridor, he said.

Kaplan also said he wants to improve relationships with neighboring Jerome Township regarding the development along Highland Croy Road.

"We're going to have meetings, and we're going to get this conversation open again," he said.

An important issue specific to his ward, Kaplan said, is the speeding along Earlington Parkway.

He said police could patrol there weekly to mitigate the problem, or the city could install a flashing sign that notifies drivers of their speed.

DeRosa, a 24-year Dublin resident, serves as a consultant working with community colleges throughout the country.

She is in her third year on the Planning & Zoning Commission, and she has served for six years on the Dublin City School District's Business Advisory Council.

DeRosa said Dublin's population growth brings challenges, such as traffic congestion, increased competition for businesses, more demands on city tax dollars and increased tension along city borders.

"I think it's very important that City Council work hard so that we don't have to trade growth for what makes Dublin special," she said.

The city needs to rethink its approach to traffic planning and management and ensure its economic base stays strong, she said.

DeRosa also said the city needs to rebuild its relationship with Jerome Township regarding development along Hyland Croy.

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