The race for Fourth Ward representative on Delaware City Council is down to two candidates. Sarah JanTausch and Drew Farrell, both Ohio Wesleyan University graduates, are battling it out ahead of Election Day on Nov. 5.
To better know the candidates, here is a preview of what each candidate hopes to achieve should they be elected to serve on city council.
JanTausch grew up in the Fourth Ward and still lives there, as do her parents. She graduated with honors from Delaware Christian before heading to OWU, where she played golf and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics and government.
After graduating, JanTausch began a career in state government. In particular, she said she worked on a couple of different policy areas with her favorite being the Common Sense Initiative (CSI).
“The Common Sense Initiative is an office that specifically looks at business-impacting regulations on the state of Ohio,” JanTausch said. “That ranges everything from jobs and family services, Environmental Protection Agency to development policy. All of the state agencies are under their purview.”
JanTausch said one of the things she is most proud of during her time with that office is being able to review more than 90 business-impacting regulations that impacted more than nine state agencies. In doing so, JanTausch said she was able to do her part in making Ohio more business-friendly, which she said is one of the things she is most passionate about and wants to bring to city council.
“I think my experience in regulatory policy at the state level is actually really good for city council, because I understand policy. I know how to read legislation, as well as the law, although I’m not a lawyer,” JanTausch said.
She went on to say, “Our city council has a great opportunity coming up here. Many of the state routes run right through Delaware. Delaware County, as a whole, has grown at a rate of 92% since 2000, while the state of Ohio has grown at a rate of 2.8%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s data.
“It’s a huge growth that the county has had and you see a lot of that in the city of Delaware. So, I think between the intersections of transportation that are here, the industry that is coming to the whole Columbus region, and the people that are coming here, you’re seeing a huge growth in population, which brings with it both challenges and opportunities.”
While she feels there is a lot of interest in that growth, JanTausch said the history and tradition of Delaware is most important to her.
“I think that while there is opportunity, I want to keep some of those pieces of history and tradition here and keep it the town we still love, while taking advantage of some of those things,” she said, pointing to economic development as one of those opportunities.
Farrell, who originally hails from Toledo, has been a member of the Delaware community since 2006 when he was attending Ohio Wesleyan University. He graduated with a degree in education and went on to earn his master’s degree in Education Psychology from Miami University (Ohio).
Both he and his wife teach in central Ohio; He in Westerville and his wife, Whitney, here in Delaware at both Smith and Woodward elementary schools.
Farrell said running for city council is something he has long wanted to do, dating back to his high school days. He also said being around both his parents and grandparents, who weren’t politically involved but knew how to ask the right questions to seek change in their community, contributed to his goal of sitting on council.
“I’ve always enjoyed being involved in the community where I live, and now seemed like a good time to see if I can take the next step,” he said.
In addition to running for city council, Farrell said he has been an active volunteer and committee chair for Main Street Delaware and has worked in several businesses downtown.
“I think the city is changing, growing, and becoming a little younger. There are a lot of younger families moving in,” he said. “So, I want to make sure the city maintains the historical aspect that gives it so much character. I also think the growth needs to be managed in a way that contributes to the city, instead of making it a big sprawl like some of the other suburbs are.”
He added, “A lot of what makes Delaware a great place to live is that it has that small (town) feel. It’s walkable, it’s easy to get to grocery stores and things of that nature. I don’t want to see that go away because that just adds so much to the feeling of community we have here in Delaware.”
Farrell said he has no higher political ambitions past serving on city council. He said his aim is to be responsive to residents and listen to their needs. Among the issues he has identified as important to residents are traffic and infrastructure management, maintaining the unique and historic features of the city, and ensuring that city services are being delivered and expanded, including bike paths, parks, recreation, and other city services that contribute to a higher quality of life.