Gahanna mayoral candidate Joseph Gergley, 26, said he would be a mayor who would promote and fight for policies that would result in economic growth and property-value increases.

Gahanna mayoral candidate Joseph Gergley, 26, said he would be a mayor who would promote and fight for policies that would result in economic growth and property-value increases.

Gergley, who works in distributor relations for Boar's Head, said Gahanna hungers for an economic revival, for a re-established sense of pride and for a mayor who will restore the trust of the community.

"Gahanna has five candidates, but only two choices," he said, referring to the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election in November. "Unlike each of my opponents who have supported the failed liberal policies of the past, I've proposed common-sense conservative alternatives by advocating for specifically allocated funding for capital improvements, proposing a comprehensive school-impact study for any new developments and offering a plan to transition City Hall from a bureaucratic structure to a business-based model."

Gergley said only three communities in central Ohio -- Gahanna, Whitehall and Reynoldsburg -- don't have a city manager.

He told ThisWeek he proudly endorses Gahanna transitioning from a mayor-led government to a city-manager form of government.

"It's clear cities with a city manager are performing significantly better than those without," he said. "I've proposed a more conservative model that would structure our government similarly to that of a business. The mayor will remain the spokesman for our city, set the tone/vision and focus on business outreach and citizen engagement. Our city manager would run the day-to-day. Under my plan, we would retain all three branches of government, increase efficiency and accountability."

Gergley said Gahanna has seen increases in its population but has failed to attract new businesses.

"When my opponents advocate for population density, they fail to realize this results in increases in traffic, crime and becomes a burden on our school system," he said. "Gahanna needs more permanent, high-paying jobs in our business park, not more apartment complexes.

"I would require a comprehensive school-impact study for any new development and aggressively incentive new businesses to come to our city," he said. "By revitalizing neglected areas, increasing jobs and keeping housing supply low, we'll both increase revenue and property values."

Gergley said Creekside still could be an asset and showcase for the community.

"The Creekside project took a wrong turn when it abandoned its original concept to extend Old Gahanna," he said. "A downturn in the economy shined a spotlight on our leaders' lack of foresight. I believe in incentivizing businesses, not subsidizing them."

Gergley said he offers residents a candidate who cannot be mistaken for "more of the same."

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com