Seven people have submitted applications for the City of Delaware’s vacant 3rd Ward City Council seat.
City Council will interview the seven at a public meeting May 15, beginning at 5:30 pm, in City Hall council chambers. The new member will replace former member Joe DiGenova, who died March 19 after being ill.
Once City Council has selected DiGenova’s replacement, that person will serve until the next municipal election, which is November 2017. At that time, the member can seek election to the seat and, if successful, would serve the remainder of the full term expiring November 2019.
The deadline was extended by one week after two applications were submitted. Applicants were required to complete an application attached with resume, cover letter and references. The city said preference would be given to candidates who obtain 25 signatures and express an interest in running in November for the remainder of the unexpired term, which is in 2019.
The seven are:
• George Mantzoros is a broker for Pagam Properties Realty. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Durham in England. He now serves on the city’s Planning Commission. Mantzoros gathered 36 petition signatures.
“The opportunity to be appointed to the seat of former 3rd Ward Councilman, Joe DiGenova, is a very humbling one,” he said in his cover letter. “…. Much of the growth the city of Delaware is experiencing through the development south of the city, where I currently reside. This growth includes the incredible amount of new homes projected along the Cheshire Road and Glenn Parkway corridor as well as the recent development of (Coughlin’s) Crossing. I will commit to support and strive to promote continued and sustainable growth like this throughout the city of Delaware.”
• Benjamin Kelly is a senior bioinformatics scientist for the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital with a master’s degree in computer science at Wright State University. Kelly said he offer’s a “unique perspective” of a “non-unique situation” in the 3rd Ward.
“We work in Columbus, frequent Polaris more than downtown Delaware, and have kids who attend Olentangy,” he said. “Many don’t feel like they are a part of Delaware until tax time rolls around, and most just want to see one of their own represent them. I feel that my enthusiasm for the wonderful city our great neighborhoods reside in, combined with our common situation, make me an ideal representative for the rapidly growing 3rd Ward.”
“Joe DiGenova’s shoes are impossible to fill after his service to this country, her veterans, and the City of Delaware,” he added. “I can only aspire to accomplish a fraction of what Joe did in his 25 years serving the city and to touch the lives of a portion of the residents he impacted.”
• Cory Hoffman is an enforcement attorney for the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities with a law degree from Cleveland State University. “I knew I could never fill [DiGenova’s] shoes but figured — why not offer to serve and try and give back a little bit if the council thinks I might have something to offer,” he said.
• Stephanie Gregory is an elementary art instructor at River Valley schools in Caledonia, Ohio, with bachelor’s’s degree in fine arts. Her local roots go back to when her family settled in Delaware in 1897. Gregory, a member of Sustainable Delaware, obtained 28 petition signatures.
“I wish to contribute to the continued prosperity of the city,” she said.
• Timothy Adams is a senior technical specialist for ICF International Inc. with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Ohio University. He is now entering his third year as board president of the Cheshire Crossing Home Owners Association. He obtained 26 petition signatures.
“My wife and I enjoy living in Delaware City and I believe this is an opportunity for me to continue to use my ideas and skills to benefit the place where I work and live for my family and everyone else,” he said.
• Jim Browning is a financial adviser for Voya Financial Advisors Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. He served as co-chairman of the political action committee that supported the city’s income tax levy for road maintenance and infrastructure improvements. More than 60 percent of residents voted against the levy last year.
“Working on the roads levy this past year allowed me insight into the City and its operations,” he said. “I also met some tremendous people that work for and represent our City and I’d like to continue working alongside them for the betterment of Delaware.”
“It is with [DiGenova’s] spirit and thoughtfulness in mind, that I will serve our City,” he said.
• George McNab is a legislative liaison for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. He is now working on a master’s degree in business administration at Ohio Dominican.
“While I could never replace Mr. DiGenova, I would be honored to represent the people living in the 3rd Ward on the City Council,” he said. “… I see the community as growing and trying balance new residents’ needs while respecting long-time citizen wants, farmers with business and economic development, and urban verses rural culture.”
McNab obtained 36 signatures on an unofficial copy of his petition.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.