Some well-known names in Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff will be missing from the Nov. 5 ballot.
The filing deadline with the Franklin County Board of Elections for the general election was 4 p.m. Aug. 7. The deadline for write-in candidates is Aug. 26.
Both Grandview and Marble Cliff will have new mayors next year. Grandview Heights Mayor Ray DeGraw is not seeking a fifth term; Marble Cliff Mayor Kent Studebaker will step down after serving two full terms.
Neither of the incumbent Grandview Heights school board members whose seats are up for election filed as candidates. Debbie Brannan has served two terms on the board and Melissa Palmisciano is completing her first term.
All candidates and issues must be certified by the elections board by Aug. 27.
Military and overseas voting begins Sept. 20; early in-person and absentee voting for others begins Oct. 8.
The following local candidates will be on the Nov. 5 ballot in Grandview and Marble Cliff:
• Grandview Heights mayor
Challengers: Greta Kearns and Steve Reynolds, both Grandview Heights City Council members
Incumbent not running: Ray DeGraw
DeGraw announced in July he would not run for mayor this year after serving 18 years as mayor in addition to a combined 19 years on City Council, the planning commission and other city boards. He had delayed his announcement even after City Council President Greta Kearns and Councilman Steve Reynolds announced they were running for mayor.
After confirming he was not running, DeGraw said he had known for some time this would be his last year and that Kearns, Reynolds and other city officials were aware of his intentions.
“We are probably going to have a number of people in the city retiring at the end of the year and (a) new mayor should have the chance to make the appointments to fill those roles,” he said.
“It’s time for a new direction in my life,” DeGraw said. “I want to have more time to spend with family. A lot of family events and family time have had to be rescheduled or put aside because of city business.”
• Marble Cliff mayor
Challenger: Matthew Cincione, Marble Cliff Village Council president
Incumbent not running: Kent Studebaker
Studebaker has served as mayor since November 2009. As council president that year, he stepped into the mayoral position after Rich Murray resigned because of the time commitments of a new job. He had served on council since 1995.
Studebaker ran and won election as mayor in 2011 and 2015.
“I felt it was time for me to step aside and let someone else take the reins,” he said.
Family considerations also were key in his decision against running again, Studebaker said.
“We have two adult sons who live out of state with their families, including our grandchildren, and I wanted to have more time to travel and to spend time with them,” he said.
As he prepares to leave office, Marble Cliff “is moving in a new direction as a 21st-century community,” Studebaker said. “We need to keep up with what’s happening and yet do what we can to maintain ourselves as the kind of neighborhood village that our residents were seeking when they first moved here.”
With the current village staff staying in place and current Council President Matt Cincione running unopposed for mayor in November, “we’re in a good position to meet that challenge,” he said.
• Grandview school board (two seats)
Challengers: Emily Gephart, Kevin Guse
Incumbents not running: Debbie Brannan and Melissa Palmisciano
Both Debbie Brannan and Melissa Palmisciano will leave the Grandview Heights school board at the end of the year.
Brannan said with her three children now “out of the nest,” she decided it was a good time to move on.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the school board these past eight years,” Brannan said. “The leadership we have in place is second to none and has brought our district leaps and bounds ahead in terms of curriculum (alignment, expanded offerings, rigor and staff professional development) as well as student supports and services.
“We are in good hands.”
Palmisciano said there are many reasons she decided not to run for a second term but pointed to the time commitment the role requires.
Serving on the board “requires substantial time, commitment to service and emotional bandwidth,” she said. “I invested these resources over the last four years with the support and sacrifice of my family and could not be more proud of the tangible results.”
Grandview Heights Schools may have achieved more in the last four years than during any other comparable period in its history, Palmisciano said.
The district’s achievements include “unprecedented” academic progress demonstrated by Grandview’s moving to a national ranking of 446th, and 18th in Ohio, on the U.S. News & World Report high school rankings while staying focused on our core mission to maximize and personalize every student’s learning,” she said.
Voters approved the district’s bond issue for its facilities project and the planning process has moved into the construction-document phase, Palmisciano said.
One of her priorities as a board member was to help improve the collaboration between the city and the school board, she said.
“That relationship has blossomed in a way that is providing tangible benefits to our entire community,” Palmisciano said, including a 50% reduction in the amount of taxes the community will pay toward the school-facilities project and a renegotiation of the Grandview Yard school compensation agreement.
• Grandview Heights City Council (three seats)
Incumbents: Emily Keeler
Challengers: Ryan E. Edwards, Rebekah Hatzifotinos
Incumbents not running: Steve Reynolds and Greta Kearns (both running for mayor)
• Marble Cliff Village Council (two seats)
Incumbents: Joanne Taylor, Kendy Troiano
Challenger: Jeff Smith