Incoming Grove City Council members Melissa Albright and Steve Bennett both said that although they are politicians now, they intend to stress communication and integrity.

Incoming Grove City Council members Melissa Albright and Steve Bennett both said that although they are politicians now, they intend to stress communication and integrity.

"I'm not a traditional politician that tells (constituents) what they want to hear; I tell them what they need to know," Bennett said. "It's not fluff; it's real."

He served a two-year term as the at-large councilman from 1996 to 1998, and a four-year ward 3 term from 1998 to 2002. His newest two-year term as the at-large councilman will start Jan. 1.

Albright will begin a four-year ward 3 term Jan. 1. She said she intends to display integrity.

"What you see is what you get," she said. "I won't play games."

According to results from the Franklin County Board of Elections, Albright received 57 percent, or 2,440 votes, and Michael Uhrin received 43 percent, or 1,841 votes. Albright defeated Uhrin Nov. 3 by 599 votes.

Bennett received 7,448 votes (72 percent) to defeat Warren Gard, who had 2,881 votes (28 percent).

Bennett said he thinks he was elected because of the work he did as a councilman years ago.

"(Voters) know the experience and the things I've gotten accomplished last time," he said. "People believe in what I've accomplished in the past, and they believe in what I can do in the future."

He added he has begun speaking with constituents, "plotting the course" for his coming stint on council.

"I'm very concerned with the (Interstate 71, state Route 665) interchange project," he said. "We need to tweak the entrance ramps for safety. It's an easy fix. Somebody just needs to point it out."

Bennett said he was criticized for saying he ran for council to install restrooms and more playground equipment at Fryer Park. Now that he has been elected, he intends to do just that.

"After 10 or 12 years, I think it's time to put (restrooms) in there," he added.

Albright said she was advised not to speak about the importance of passing a South-Western school levy as part of her campaign. She did anyway.

"I told them, to me, this community's going to fail if this levy isn't going to pass. At least it's going to be on the decline," she said. "In a perfect world, the school levy wouldn't be happening in November."

She said the schools affect the city and she felt her stance should be a part of her campaign. She chose not to hide her support.

"I needed to look at myself in the mirror the day after the election," she said.

Albright acknowledged her experience with city operations is limited, but she said she plans to meet with city officials to "shorten the learning curve."

She wants to work to develop the old Grovebrook Golf Course site and improve the perception of Grove City to outsiders, as well as improve communication between the city and its residents.

Both candidates said they think construction will start on the lumberyard redevelopment project before the end of their terms.

But "it always seems to be in a state of flux," Bennett said. "There's a lot of room for discussion on the project. For me to give it my blessing, I've got to figure out what our tax commitment is going to be like. So far, what I've seen leaves a lot to be desired."

They both want to see the lumberyard project fit into the rest of the town center.

"Precision counts for everything on this," Bennett said. "(The town center) is the heartbeat of the town, and it needs to be strong."

Bennett said he thinks he "can work well together" with Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage, and said the mayor has the city's interests at heart.

Albright said state Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City), who formerly was the mayor, supported her campaign from the beginning, while Stage supported her by the end.

"I don't have any problems with the mayor," Albright said. "I don't know him very well. He comes across as a straight shooter."

She said she and Stage have met once to agree to trust each other.

"But at the same time, I'm not going to let anybody dominate my opinion," she added.