Mayor-elect Laurie A. Jadwin, 57, said she is assembling a team to assist in preparing for 2020 to move Gahanna forward.
"There is much to be excited about in Gahanna," she said. "Thanks to the support of Gahanna residents, our financial picture is much more stable than it has been in years."
As a result of voters approving an income tax-rate increase from 1.5% to 2.5% in May, Jadwin said, Gahanna has the opportunity to make strategic and thoughtful plans for the city, both with immediate and long-term effects.
"There is no shortage of work to be done," she said. "I look forward to working with Mayor (Tom) Kneeland and his current administration to build upon the foundation that has been laid and to ensure a smooth and successful transition in leadership and operations as we work together to move Gahanna forward."
According to final unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections, Jadwin led Ryan P. Jolley with 5,197 votes (60%) to 3,431 (40%) with all 30 precincts reporting.
Jolley congratulated Jadwin, who will be sworn in Jan. 2, according to the city's charter.
"She ran a strong campaign, and it was an honor to be in the arena with her," he said.
Jolley said he entered the race because he knew Gahanna needed new leadership, new ideas and a new vision.
"Fortunately, Laurie's and my visions have more in common than not, and I am confident that Gahanna will be well-served under her guidance," he said. "I look forward to continuing to serve Gahanna in this new administration, and I thank the residents for allowing me the opportunity to run for mayor."
Jadwin thanked Jolley for a hard-fought campaign.
She said the past eight months have been an amazing experience.
"It was an incredible opportunity to meet and talk directly with thousands of Gahanna residents, to hear their ideas for our city, and to gain an even better understanding of their priorities for our future," she said. "I'm truly honored to have received broad-based support from fellow residents and to have received their vote of confidence."
With her transition to city hall, Jadwin will be required by the city’s charter to leave her position as executive director of Visit Gahanna, a position she has held since 2013.
Since Jadwin is the president of the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus this year, she said, it has been widely known in the industry that there was a possibility for her position to become available, and several highly-qualified candidates with extensive tourism marketing experience have expressed interest.
Jadwin said those interested in applying for the position will be asked to submit resumes to the Visit Gahanna board, which will conduct interviews with qualified applicants.
Mularski set to become city attorney
In addition to Jadwin, a new official at City Hall come January will be Raymond Mularski, who defeated Tricia Sprankle for the office of Gahanna city attorney by 4,354 votes (55%) to 3,500 (45%), respectively.
Mularski, 60, is a resident of Creekside Green Drive who has served as Gahanna's prosecutor for more than 30 years.
Shane Ewald, who was elected city attorney in 2011, decided not to seek reelection.
"I am so grateful to my volunteers who helped me get my message out to the people," Mularski said. "Those who heard it, I think responded well. I have never run for office before and while I was trying to manage a full-time job and run a campaign, I was extremely fortunate that my wife, Carol, stepped in and helped make this happen. If it wasn't for the faith that she and my volunteers showed in me, I may not have been able to get over the hump. I thank everyone who believed in me."
Mularski said he will need to find out what the needs of the city are before he can prioritize them.
"I would not be presumptuous enough to put forth that I know everything and how to fix what's broken," he said. "What I can say, is that I will come in with an open mind, and open ears, and use every resource I have, to keep Gahanna a great place to live and work."
Bowers to join City Council
In the Gahanna City Council race, Merisa Bowers, Nancy R. McGregor and Karen J. Angelou led the field with 4,906 votes (23%), 4,751 (22%) and 4,714 (22%), respectively, for the three available seats, with all precincts reporting.
John M. Hicks and Mike Hroncich lost their bids for a seat with 4,136 votes (19%) and 3,256 (15%), respectively.
Council member Brian Metzbower didn't seek reelection.
School board incumbents prevail
Incumbents Daphne Moehring and Beryl Brown Piccolantonio led the race to return to their seats on the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education over challenger Jon Handler with 7,157 votes (41%); 6,441 (37%) and 3,825 (22%), respectively, with all 51 precincts reporting.