Three seats are up for election on the seven member council.
The incumbents are Steve Gladman, Ed Hastie and Tim Galvin. Their CV and position statements are in the October 15th TVN.
I don’t have any big issues with any of the incumbents, they did seem to be overdoing the smoking issue when they voted to criminalize 18 year olds use of tobacco (Hastie was the only no vote on the entire issue). I understand where that push to keep tobacco away from kids comes from, but I don’t like using cops as enforcers for every problem.
A problematic issue is the conflict of interest that have kept council members from voting on issues. Hastie and Panzara had to step out of the room for some discussion and voting on properties issues which were up before the council because they either were part owners or realtors. Hastie again couldn’t speak for the council when I brought an issue up about the Ohio Taproom’s parking problem in Grandview. I understand some conflict is expected in a small town, but when realtors and lawyers who represent local businesses are constantly causing conflicts, we should make the choice simple for these people and vote them out of office.
The slate of potential new members
A voting slate, in which three people combine all election campaigning into one, and run as a unit, is new to Grandview Heights, as far as I know. It has potential to save money for the candidates, and it certainly helps with yard signs, anyone who wants to help a single person on the slate must defacto endorse all three (Emily Keeler, Ryan Longbrake and Brandon Lynaugh). The TVN story on these candidates showed no particular surprises, standard “low taxes and good services” sort of stuff. The slate approach to campaigning requires them to be bland, they don’t want to say anything that might cause the entire team to lose votes.
Steve Reynolds is attempting to return to the council by himself. He served for seven years as council president, and although he didn’t give much reason to stop beyond “time to move on”, he apparently can’t move on. I like his position on pushing back on the Grandview Yard project, the city already has been arm twisted by the mammoth corporation into bad deals, and it is refreshing to hear somebody say we need to stand up to NRI.
If you want to vote for Reynolds, and the slate, which member do you pick to leave out? That would be a good question to send to the slate members – “which fellow candidate should be dropped from the slate vote?”
Mayor DeGraw is running unopposed for a fourth term.
Three candidates for School board
Current board president Brannan is running for re-election. I have a few problems with her time in office. I’m hoping that the roomful of parents who attended the band director board meeting and read Brannan’s “Keep Calm and March On” letter will be marching down to the voting booth to give Brannan her marching orders.
Melissa Palmisciano is almost an exact replacement for Adam Miller, the JAG attorney who is leaving after one term. I had hopes for Miller shaking things up on the board, but with a single vote he didn’t have much leverage. There are also problems with the attorney mindset, they are conditioned to keep their mouth closed about any issues with their clients, and when a lawyer is on a board, they consider the other members their clients. The community is supposed to be the client, and when there are bad actors on the board, members should speak up (before the voting).
Melanie Mueller is a candidate who was recruited by the same group that made Grandview into a Policy Governance board. Expect her to sit silently and provide the fifth vote. However, if you don’t vote for her, you may allow Brannan to return to office, so a certain amount of holding your nose while voting may be needed.
Reynolds won the highest number of votes for city council, he apparently still has voter mojo. Keeler in second place was the surprise of the evening, nothing in her background story in the TVN hinted she would have this much support. Gladman is the only current council member to be re-elected. Ed Hastie’s last place finish might be a result of the conflicts he had with part ownership of the Grandview and First building, the apartments he tried to build on this property encountered much opposition.
Palmisciano had a surprisingly strong first place finish for the school board. Brannan will get to keep her spot.
(Later) I was told the reason Keeler won with such a high number of votes was because she is the only women to run for the office in this election, and women vote for her to offset the (nearly) all male council as it used to be.