Gahanna: 5 top stories of 2020

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group

2020 began in Gahanna with the beginning of a new administration in City Hall and the end of a years-long tax-credit lawsuit. 

When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hit in March, residents found creative ways to come together – while staying apart – through social media, teddy-bear scavenger hunts and even a local runner who dressed as the striped-shirt-wearing star of the “Where’s Waldo?” book series.

5 Top Stories of 2020

The last quarter of the year found the Creekside District Alliance and some local business establishments toasting to the launch of a new Creekside Outdoor Refreshment Area. 

Gahanna-Jefferson School District's Issue 22 supporters also found reason to cheer when certified results showed the issue passed by 76 votes Nov. 18.

Here's a look at five of the top stories in 2020:

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Laurie Jadwin took the rein as mayor in January, succeeding Tom Kneeland, who decided against reelection after one term. 

Jadwin’s successful run for mayor marked the return of a female mayor to the city. Becky Stinchcomb won her third full term as mayor in November 2011 over challenger Jim McGregor. She decided not seek reelection in 2015.

Jadwin previously worked as the head promoter of the city as director of the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

THE CHECK IS IN THE MAIL: Gahanna residents who were part of a class-action lawsuit against the city of Gahanna and the Regional Income Tax Agency received their share of a settlement by early February. 

Affected residents were expected to receive anywhere from more than $100,000 to less than a $1, depending on how much tax credit the resident was shorted.

More than 17,000 residents were part of the class-action lawsuit that stemmed from Gahanna residents Douglas and Karla LaBorde, who in a 2012 lawsuit said the city and RITA had improperly applied Gahanna City Tax Code Section 161.18 and in doing so failed to refund money rightfully owed to them based upon the full tax credit they were entitled to for income taxes paid to another municipality.

FREE TP: Gahanna residents found various ways to help their neighbors cope with the coronavirus. Ridenour Road resident Kyle Seymour even set up a table of free single rolls of toilet paper in front of his home. Other residents provided free nonperishable food and displayed teddy bears for children to find, and Theori Avenue resident John Romot dressed in costume on his runs for the neighborhood kids to enjoy.

CHEERS! After a great deal of planning and discussion, Gahanna City Council approved a Creekside Outdoor Refreshment Area on Aug. 17.

It went into effect Oct 21, allowing individuals to walk with an alcoholic beverage purchased from a participating establishment with a liquor permit.

The boundaries are from Big Walnut Creek to the west, High Street to the east, Granville Street to the south and North Street to the north.

PASS, FAIL, PASS, PASS BY MORE: Issue 22, a three-part tax issue for the Gahanna-Jefferson schools, was ahead most of Nov. 3, but the Franklin County Board of Elections showed it failing at 1:07 a.m. Nov. 4. All that changed a few hours later, when unofficial results showed the issue up by two votes. Certified election results Nov. 18 found the issue passed by 76 votes. The issue will provide funds for a new high school, additions to other district school buildings and operating funds for the district.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla