Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage will be challenged on the Nov. 5 ballot by Grove City Council President Steve Robinette.

Stage of Woodgrove Drive is seeking election to his sixth nonconsecutive term as mayor. Robinette of Pinnacle Club Drive was appointed in February 2017 to fill a vacant at-large seat on council and ran unopposed for election to the full two-year at-large term in November 2017.

Robinette, 58, served for 31 years in the Grove City Division of Police, including four years as chief, before he retired in 2015.

"Through my years of service, I have cultivated a vast and intimate knowledge of the workings of all aspects of Grove City's government," he said. "As a result, I have developed plans that improve current communication and cooperation between our residents, employees and government officials. My administration's aim will be to provide improved, consistent services to our citizens."

Since his retirement, Robinette and his wife, Marie, have owned and operated Pinnacle Pets Play & Stay in Grove City.

"While growing our business, I have discovered many missed opportunities for the city's administration to help support our local business community and create new jobs," he said.

"I will actively pursue the creation of a liaison position to recruit, assist and support new business development and higher-paying jobs for our residents."

Robinette said this would help generate more revenue for the city to maintain its infrastructure and add amenities for its residents.

"Building a thriving Town Center that increases employment, enhances dining experiences and creates usable greenspace will be a top priority," he said.

Robinette is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the Police Executive Leadership College. He studied law-enforcement management at Franklin University.

Robinette has been married to Marie for 17 years. He is the father to five children, Jackie, Alex, Sean, Justin and Zoe, and has two grandchildren.

He is past president of the Grove City Rotary Club and a member of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Rails to Trails Conservancy and the National Eagle Scout Association.

Stage first served as mayor from April 1988 through December 1995. He was appointed city administrator in January 2000 and served in that position through November 2003.

He was elected to council in 2005 and served a single two-year at-large term before being elected mayor again in 2007.

Stage, 74, said he is running for another term "to complete the vision of staying the course."

"It's a path that has resulted in attracting high-paying, professional positions and continues to foster an environment that has led to Grove City twice being named a 'Best Hometown,' " he said.

One of his priorities is to expand services to senior citizens, "including more assistance in preventing crimes against seniors, enhanced transportation and better facilities for seniors," Stage said.

"We will work to continue to enhance our Town Center and pursue an institution of higher learning, all while keeping the city safe and fiscally strong," he said.

Stage previously worked as executive vice president of Huntington National Bank. He studied at Franklin University in Columbus and Ashland University in Ashland and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Retail Banking and the University of Wisconsin School of Commercial Banking.

He and his wife, Shelah, have two children and four grandchildren.

Stage is a charter member and served as the second president of the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce; he also is a charter member of the board of trustees for the South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation.

He served twice as president of the congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church and is a 30-year member and past president of the Grove City Lions Club.

Stage is a member of American Legion Post 164 and serves on the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission board and the Franklin County Convention Authority, representing the mayors of central Ohio.

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