Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

City of Powell Member of Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Powell City Council, Vote for not more than 3
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Candidate picture

    Frank Bertone Trust Officer / Product Consultant / City Councilman

  • Tom Counts

  • Candidate picture

    Christina Drummond Management Consultant

  • Candidate picture

    David Ebersole Attorney

  • Candidate picture

    Jeff Gardiner Portfolio Manager at J.P. Morgan Chase

  • Candidate picture

    Brian Lorenz Mayor, City of Powell; Urban Planner

  • Candidate picture

    Melissa Riggins Attorney

  • Candidate picture

    Sharon Valvona Information Technology Sr. Analyst

Change Candidates

What motivated you to run for election and what personal skills do you bring to Council?

What do you see as the single greatest challenge for your constituents and how do you propose to meet that challenge?

What are your hopes for the future of your community?

Since 2003, my family and I are proud to call Powell our home. We chose to raise our family here because of the small-town atmosphere. I feel the role of City Council member should be one of listening to what the needs of the community are and then actively address those needs. My goal is to protect the quality of life we enjoy in Powell and to make certain that it will continue for future generations.

As a longtime resident of Powell with a solid understanding of our past, present and future, I bring to the conversation a diverse knowledge of the issues and opportunities before us. I am a goal and solutions oriented leader with necessary public policy experience.

I strive to work collaboratively with my peers to resolve key issues and define strategic goals for our community. It is key for me to keep the residents wants and needs top of mind when approaching projects or key decisions. I take pride in conducting myself with integrity, consistency and accountability.
I find Powell to be an exceptional place to live and my goal is to maintain the existing services and small-town atmosphere. I believe that successful planning leads to successful execution and while there are many other items that can attract our attention, I view traffic enhancements & improvements as one of our key challenges.

These enhancements include downtown streets, Liberty & Seldom Seen improvements, regional roadways, bike paths, downtown parking, signage, traffic signal at Liberty and Grace, continued annual street maintenance, sidewalk repair, storm sewer & curb inlet repair. When and where possible, I will aim to coordinate our efforts with other surrounding communities and partners. The wide array of improvements will require the City to continually seek feedback from the residents and business community, while developing a funding and prioritization strategy. We will also seek to proactively address long-term transportation needs while balancing our community charm.
Successful communities have a clear sense of direction and a widely shared vision. I advocate a local government that is effective, efficient and priority driven. I aim to think holistically and creatively while partnering with businesses and other communities.

My goal is to protect the quality of life we have enjoyed in Powell and to make certain that it will continue for future generations by strategically focusing on the following strategic themes:

Enhance Powell’s Appeal -Improve Infrastructure -Provide a Business-Friendly environment -Make Streets safe for cyclists & pedestrians -Create a vibrant downtown district

Maintain Powell’s Character -Ensure New Developments Increase Community Value

Prioritize Community Development -Support Solutions for Seldom Seen Park -Support Solutions for Regional Traffic Improvements -Enhance Resident Communication

Exercise Fiscal Responsibility

I am proud to call Powell home. www.FrankBertone.com

Thank you!
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
As a management consultant who helps start-ups, nonprofits, and coalitions to increase their impacts and scale their operations, I’ve been underwhelmed with our city’s ability to budget for long-term infrastructure maintenance while identifying funds for new capital improvements. I saw an immediate way to put my skills to use to help Powell become the exceptional city envisioned in our 2015 Comprehensive Plan.

I bring perspective from my service on Grandshire’s Board of Trustees and 20+ years of experience in policy, strategic planning, partner and fund development. My bipartisan work experience ranges from working within the US House of Representatives and ACLU of Washington Foundation, and includes training in economic development, negotiations, and public policy. I hold a M.A. in public policy (GWU), a Certificate in international business (UW), and B.S. in psychology and criminal justice (OSU).
Powell’s government must find ways to strengthen our local economy and diversify our city’s revenue base. Powell’s 2017 Budget projects city expenditures to outpace revenues in 2019 and 2020, as a growing population increases service demand. At the same time, multiple large-scale projects must be funded to improve downtown traffic and public parking to support local businesses. Powell’s Capital Improvement Plan has not been updated since 2007, despite the adoption of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan and 2016 Traffic Circulation Plan.

In my first term, I will proactively seek out ways for our city to do more with less, while taking immediate steps to improve traffic and parking. I will develop the city’s strategy and capacity to attract businesses, grant funding, and public/private partnerships, and will work to improve traffic and development related notices to reduce impacts to commutes during construction and help residents engage in meetings related to development proposals.
Inspired by living in other walkable suburbs with vibrant local business and arts communities, I appreciate the vision of Powell as a city that supports families young and old with the highest caliber public services, programs, and infrastructure. Growing beyond our status quo to achieve this vision, as laid out in our Comprehensive Plan, will require strategic, forward-looking leadership and long-range planning.

My career has focused on helping organizations impact their communities through strategic initiatives. I am accustomed to enhancing tight budgets by evaluating the status quo and developing complementary initiatives, partnerships and funding. A Vote for Drummond will strengthen Powell by adding this unique perspective to Council.
I would like to restore the public trust in Powell City Council. I have the integrity, credentials, and listening skills to do that. When I walked onto the track and field team at Ohio State, I had to earn the respect of my teammates. After years of selfless, positive thinking and hard work, I did just that and became Captain and Big Ten Champion on a truly remarkable team with a collaborative, supportive culture that was second to none. We used this same approach to teamwork, positive thinking, and hard work to mobilize the Powell community over the past few years for ballot issues to protect the community. My professional life as an attorney and Assistant Ohio Attorney General (from 2011-2016) has only further cemented my belief system and approach to addressing challenges.
Powell needs a government that listens to its citizens, particularly with respect to traffic and development issues. We can meet this challenge by electing City Council members who listen to the people they represent. Voters rejected Downtown high-density housing through ballot issues at the 2014 and 2015 elections. City Council has nonetheless promoted high-density housing in the area, going so far as to re-approve the same high-density project at the Powder Room gun range cite that voters rejected in a 2015 referendum election. Rather than approach these projects in isolation, Council should consider how the re-enacted Powder Room project, the apartments proposed by the railroad tracks and old Yellow House, and other high density housing projects together impact the City's traffic problem. If I were elected to Council, I expect that citizens would start coming back to Council meetings because I listen and I truly value their input.
Powell is a family community with great public schools and I hope to preserve Powell's identity. The current City Council has strayed from Powell’s identity through its efforts to increase population density and approve unpopular high-density housing in the Downtown area. The current City Council has even proposed a $30 million plan to develop the Downtown (Powell Rd and Liberty St) area with redundant side roads that would likely require a major income tax increase. There are existing workarounds the Downtown area, including Bennett Parkway and Murphy Parkway. I oppose high-density housing in the Downtown area and I also oppose a tax increase for redundant side roads in the Downtown area.
I am running for Powell City Council because I have a two-year-old daughter and a three-month old baby boy. We plan to live in Powell for their entire childhood and I would like to do my small part by getting involved early to be sure our community continues to be a great place to raise family. I work for J.P. Morgan Chase leading a team of Portfolio Managers who oversee fully diversified investment portfolios. In 2009, while working full time, I began taking graduate classes in the evening at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State, graduating with my Master’s degree in Public Policy three years later. My professional financial experience alongside my public policy education provides me a unique skill set that I believe can add value to the council.
I believe the greatest challenge facing Powell today is trying to find the appropriate balance between limiting high-density housing while at the same time abiding by both private property rights and zoning codes. This debate has divided our community! Part of the reason why is that the definition of ‘high-density’ is both ambiguous and subjective. This is why I would apply a framework of four criteria to determine which development projects I would support. I would ask of every future project the following four questions. What is the impact to traffic? What is the impact to our school district? What is the impact to our balance sheet? And what are the positive community externalities that would stem from that project? If I received four adequate answers and the project adhered directly to the zoning codes I would support that project. I hope this is a simple way to understand how I would think about future development in Powell.
The common denominator of everything I will pursue as a councilmember will be to continue to improve the quality of life for the residents of Powell. This includes working to solve our traffic issues by supporting the ‘Keep Powell Moving’ initiative while also thinking outside the box for alternative solutions. Ensuring our parks are well maintained and the construction finally begins at The Park at Seldom Seen. Ensuring future development only strengthens our community instead of dividing us. And finally, that Powell continues to be a great place to raise a family. This is my future vision for Powell and I hope you will join me on this journey.
I am running for another term on City Council as I feel an obligation to the community to continue to work on the projects and programs to align Powell for success in the foreseeable future. I am deeply concerned over the future of our capital improvements situation and hope to participate with our residents to present options that will result in a tangible and successful funding solution. I feel I bring a unique perspective to problem solving based on my Council experience and 20 years in Planning and Land Use affairs.
Funding for capital improvements – with a .75% income tax rate and a 4% property tax rate, the funding for capital improvements is a constant challenge and must be taken head on now. In my opinion, the next Council will need to determine a mechanism for increasing revenue to fund these. How we get there (bond levy, renewal, tax increase or combination) we will need to provide a detailed plan that is tangible and transparent to secure buy in from our residents.
I am excited to lead Powell into the future. I am confident the plans we have enacted and policy decisions we have made continue to drive our community forward. We need to continue to manage revenues and growth in a responsible manner. Focusing on the #KeepPowellMoving plan and enhancing our town center will allow us to continue to offer a vibrant lifestyle and the highest quality of life.
We are at a very crucial stage in our city’s growth and we need to be very concerned about how we proceed. Today's decisions will affect our city for years to come. As an attorney, hearing officer, board member, former prosecutor and former judicial law clerk, I have experienced many situations where I’ve had to make the hard decisions that were required in order to follow the law and/or to fulfill my fiduciary duties. I am an issue-spotter, a problem-solver and a listener. I have lived in Powell for 16 years and care deeply about the future of our city. I feel compelled to step forward to offer my experience at this important stage of our growth. If given the opportunity to serve on Powell City Council, I will use my training and experience to provide ethical, legal and well-reasoned ideas and solutions that can be realistically implemented to move our city forward.
Per the Fiscal Analysis section of the City of Powell Comprehensive Plan from 2015, if we do not make “significant” changes to our revenue structure, we will be facing a projected deficit that will continue to grow. We are now in that position. Our expenses currently exceed our revenue. We have to come up with realistic ideas and solutions to generate more revenue to fund our capital improvements and public safety services, let alone parks and the other amenities that we now enjoy. The only other option is to cut costs by reducing the services that the city provides. I will push to hire an Economic Development Director who will be charged with searching out business/economic opportunities that will blend in with our community and generate much-needed revenue for the city.
I see Powell continuing to grow at a manageable rate that our infrastructure can support, while continuing to preserve the charm of downtown and our family-friendly atmosphere. We will continue to be one of the most desirable communities in which to live. We will continue to come up with new means of bringing in revenue to support the many great services our city offers. Our residents will be engaged and kept up to date on issues pending before council. Our public safety services will continue to provide excellent protection for our families. More parks and connected bike paths will be created and maintained. Traffic issues will continue to be resolved. We will have a walkable downtown area with businesses/restaurants that will draw patrons from throughout central Ohio. Our schools will continue to provide great educations for our children. Finally, our community will be drawn together by a sense of pride in what we have accomplished for our city. www.RigginsForPowell.com
I am committed to addressing one of the top issues raised by Powell residents in recent surveys, the concern that City Council is not listening to them. Since 2014, I have been privileged to work with committed citizens across the city on efforts to protect the character of Powell. I support appropriate growth and development in Powell and I share the perspective with the majority of citizens that high-density housing is not the right kind of development for downtown. As a member of City Council, I plan to find ways to reach out to residents through HOAs, community events, and individual meetings and to incorporate their perspective into my work and voting. I would bring my extensive experience working with diverse teams of individuals, managing complex issues, and completing challenging projects to bear on the challenges facing the city. I believe the citizens of Powell would benefit from new City Council members with a fresh perspective and I have that fresh perspective to offer.
In a 2014 debate about an unpopular high-density development, both City Planning and Zoning and City Council, described Powell Road as “an already maxed out roadway” and “at capacity”. One Council member said that “traffic woes” had reached a “tipping point”. Powell residents voted twice to prevent the addition of high-density housing close to downtown because of traffic concerns and in city surveys have continued to cite frustration with traffic and its impact on life. City Council has persisted in approving projects rejected by the voters and has been unwilling to stand up for citizens when threatened with developer lawsuits and other pressure. Developers continue to try to wield influence on Powell through well-funded misinformation tactics. I favor smart development that is supported by infrastructure, can be effectively maintained by city services, and is desired by City residents. I will promote communication with citizens and transparency in city decision making.
I would like the people of Powell to know that they have a voice representing them on City Council. I support well-planned residential growth that maintains the quality of life for current residents as well as for new neighbors who are attracted by small town charm, beautiful green space with trees, and excellent schools. City Council should work cooperatively with the township and other organizations to attract businesses that will improve our tax base. I do not believe a tax increase should be used to attempt to solve the problems caused by a downtown surrounded by high-density housing promoted by current City Council members and rejected by the voters. Any future increase should improve citizen’s quality of life, such as adding green space or needed services. Any plan to increase taxes should take all demographic sectors into consideration, for example, older citizens on fixed incomes, and should clearly identify the benefits to voters.

VOTE411.org logo

Disclaimer:

All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.