Three candidates are vying to fill the Ward 2 Grove City Council seat in the Nov. 5 election.

Ward 2 Councilman Jeff Davis is not running for reelection.

The candidates are Melissa J. Anderson of Kingston Avenue, Jeffrey E. Buskirk of Clayburn Drive West and Randy L. Holt of Marthas Wood.

Anderson, 42, is manager, global marketing creative services traffic and production at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. and owns a small business, Moonlit Cabins.

"As a working mom with kids, who is deeply rooted in the community, I believe I understand the needs of our residents," Anderson said. "Grove City has had tremendous development for the past number of years and continues to approve (projects), including the plan for Beulah Park, the Browns Farm project and others. We need to take a holistic look at how the current development projects will impact our infrastructure.

"Residents have expressed concerns over traffic, flooding in our streets and homes and other infrastructure issues and we need to make sure we have those needs met," she said.

Small business is an important part of Grove City and helps create its "small-town charm," Anderson said.

"I want to make sure we are fostering and supporting our small businesses so they can continue to thrive and remain in our community," she said.

"I am an experienced budget manager ready to oversee taxpayers' valuable dollars," Anderson said. "Our tax millage in Grove City has not been raised for years and we need to continue to be fiscally responsible and honor the taxpayers' dollars by utilizing the funds we have to accomplish the goals within our community."

Anderson, a 16-year Grove City resident, earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Ohio State University. She is married and a mother of four children.

Anderson said she is a board member and volunteer with a nonprofit organization and a PTA member.

Buskirk, 62, is a self-employed lawyer with an office in Grove City.

He said his priorities as a councilman would include helping to provide safe places for children to play and improving public spaces.

"It does not make sense to create a playground without shade for children," Buskirk said. "Playgrounds should be away from ponds and other hazards."

"More natural areas in the parks would create a better park and reduce the cost of mowing," he said. "The city has 274 acres of parkland and spends more than $100,000 a year on mowing. The only activity on a good portion of this land is the lawn mower."

As the city grows, more public space is needed near the Town Center "to maintain its desirability as a destination as the city grows south and west," Buskirk said. "I believe the best use of the old library site (on Park Street) is a park."

The city should encourage the use of solar panels on all new construction, he said.

"Solar panels will improve property values, reduce expenses for residents and reduce our carbon footprint," Buskirk said.

Grove City officials should use caution as it manages the city's growth, he said.

"The traffic on Broadway and Stringtown Road has increased significantly," Buskirk said. "The Town Center is often called the heart of Grove City. We must be careful not to clog its arteries with poorly designed growth."

Buskirk has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio University and a law degree from Capital University.

Holt, 61, is executive director of global technology with JPMorgan Chase & Co.

He said he is running for council in part to "follow in the footsteps" of his father, Marvin C. Holt, who served more than 25 years on the city planning commission.

"I believe you should give back to your community as my father did," Holt said.

"With my education and business experience, I can represent and lead the city forward with organized growth, excellent city services and creating living-wage jobs in the community," he said.

Holt earned a masters of business administration degree from Franklin University.

He has been married for 40 years to his wife, Cindy. They have two sons, Jason, 35, and Kris, 26, and two granddaughters, Pixie, 8 and Lucy, 6.

Holt said his activities include golf, tennis, landscaping and technology.

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