Andrew Brush, the youngest person ever to sit on Delaware City Council, was the first to make motions to approve legislation on Monday’s agenda. While that was nothing new, Monday’s was Brush’s final council meeting.
“During Mr. Brush’s two terms, the city undertook important initiatives related to public safety, transportation, utilities, economic and community development,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle. “He remains a strong believer of conservative financial management policies that support long-term stability.”
Brush said he was 19 when he was elected in 2007. City officials believe he is the youngest person ever elected to council in Delaware’s history. He served two terms. Now at 27, an age when many start their political careers, Brush decided not to seek re-election.
“It has been one of the singular privileges and joys of my life to be able to serve on the City Council of my hometown,” Brush said. “When I took office eight years ago, one of my goals was to leave the city a little bit better than when I found it. I’m proud to have had some role in shaping Delaware’s history and future.”
Brush said he felt the city has achieved high marks for its finances (seven consecutive balanced budgets) and quality of services despite a growing population. He also praised council and staff, saying, “Our hearts are all in the right place, and we all want what’s best for the city.”
He cited the city’s agreement with the county to extend Sawmill Parkway as a way “to keep Delaware vibrant for a long time.”
In his eight years on council, Brush was chair of the finance committee, and served on the Sister City advisory board and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s policy committee.
Brush recommended that a council member take his place on the MORPC board.
“You don’t have to go to every single meeting, but I think it’s good to get some face time and not only advocate for our city and our interests, but also to interface with other elected municipal leaders in the central Ohio region,” he said. “We have a lot of benefit by our membership.”
Brush was praised by his colleagues for his service and friendship at the meeting Monday.
“He has established himself as a leader,” said council member Joe DiGenova. “He’s done an admirable job, and he’s a remarkable individual.”
“You’re going to be missed,” said council member George Hellinger.
“We’ve really enjoyed working with you,” said City Manager Tom Homan. “You’ve been a very important part of this legislative body, and I’ve enjoyed your vision and intellect.”
“What I really appreciate about Andy is that he’s very informed about the issues that come before council, he’s very articulate and sometimes he states the things that we’re all a little reluctant to say, and gets things moving,” said council member Kent Shafer.
“I challenge anyone in Delaware who knows the charter as well as Andrew Brush,” said council member Chris Jones. “He’s probably one of the best critical thinkers I’ve ever encountered in my life. You’re also a good listener, which often don’t go together; and totally respectful of other people’s opinions. My gut tells me you’ll be on the ballot sometime in the future.”
Kyle Rohrer was elected to represent the 4th Ward in the November election and will replace Brush. He will be sworn in at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, at City Hall.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.