In response to The Columbus Dispatch’s 2015 Voter Guide:
What are the top three concerns facing Gahanna right now?
The three most important issues facing Gahanna are business retention, business retention and business retention. Today, it is becoming easier and easier to relocate your business. While proximity and face-to-face communication used to be the standard, we now use electronic communications. Many businesses can handle much of their operations from any part of the region, state, or even, country. Tax incentives continue to be an important tool to draw and retain businesses, but there comes a price-point at which their feasibility wanes. Another thing we can offer is our sense of community pride and support for our local businesses. It is more difficult to relocate your business if you have an identity that is ingrained in the community and you have a government that works with you, arm-in-arm, to help you succeed.
What is your position on unpopular cost-saving measures the city has implemented or considered, including canceling fireworks and closing pools?
From time to time most municipalities will be forced to acknowledge the realities of the overall economy and austerity measures may need to be put in place. Care should be taken in what areas get cut. There should be an overall measure of how vital the service is, as well as how those cuts may affect the morale of the community.
Do you believe that Gahanna needs to change its form of government?
As a member Gahanna’s Governance Commission, where we are tasked with looking at this very issue, it is my duty to look objectively at all sides. I can honestly say that I see pluses and minuses for each system. Our current mayoral system allows for more checks and balances: in many cities, it is council who appoints the city manager, and the mayor’s seat tends more towards a ceremonial role. On the other hand, a city manager form of government can allow elected officials to focus more on big-picture city planning, since the day-to-day operations are taken care of by the city manager. The system that has intrigued me the most, throughout my time on the Governance Commission, has been a city administrator model in which the mayor, not just council, would be responsible for appointing the administrator. In theory, this system maintains balance of power while allowing for greater efficiency. I encourage anyone with thoughts or opinions on this issue reach out to the Commission.
What is your plan to improve the city’s infrastructure, including its often complained about streets?
Street maintenance is an issue I hear about often going door to door throughout Gahanna. Care for our streets is one of the fundamental roles upon which local government should be focused. If elected to council I will work to gather some of central Ohio’s experienced and knowledgeable minds on subjects such as this. With a major university, state government and an active array of developers throughout the area, we should fully utilize the minds and resources available to us.
How do you propose attracting new businesses to the city?
The first thing we should do is make sure we are doing everything in our power to keep the businesses that currently call Gahanna home. Tax incentives will always be an important tool for businesses, but we need to go beyond that by making Gahanna a city that quickly responds to the needs of the businesses. Treat them as our customers, which they are, and make sure they know that we will work with them, arm-in-arm, to help them succeed.
What else would you like to say to voters?
I ask for the support of Gahanna’s voters because I have new energy and big ideas to help move our City forward. As the son of a small business owner, I have a unique understanding of the important role these businesses serve to our community. I believe we can make Gahanna the premier, model city here in central Ohio.