Canal Winchester City Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Canal Winchester residents will choose among six candidates to fill four at-large seats on City Council.Read more:CW council race: Safety, development among candidates’ top concerns
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Candidate picture

    Jill Amos Small Business Owner and Admin Assistant

  • Candidate picture

    Will Bennett Associate Creative Director

  • Candidate picture

    Michael Coolman Insurance broker

  • Candidate picture

    Patrick Lynch Developer/Landscape Design

  • Candidate picture

    Bobbie Mershon Registered Nurse

  • Candidate picture

    Bob Toledo Franchise owner of Truly Nolen Pest Control

Change Candidates

Social Media

Biographical Information

Are you satisfied with the direction development is taking in Canal Winchester? What, if anything, would you change?

Should Canal Winchester establish its own police force instead of contracting with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office for police services?

Why are you the best-qualified candidate for this position?

What else would you like to say to voters?

Age 41
Family Wife and proud mother of four boys.
As people take notice of the gem that is Canal Winchester, new development request have become our new normal. That being said, I love the picture perfect town that we have. I want to see future development continue to preserve the old town feel and to follow the guidelines that have been laid out in our commercial and residential districts. Traffic is an issue in our city and with little to no room to expand the roads we must consider a plan for this as we see continued development. We must keep in mind the impact on our current residents, many of which have been here for many generations.
Based on a recent survey that I had the opportunity to review, our city does have a need for additional manpower to more appropriately fit our current population. Our current contract with the Fairfield Sheriffs department ends December 2018. I will be very interested to see the quote from our current vendor and the research/cost estimates for having our own police department. That information will allow for a more informed comment/decision.
I feel I would bring several key attributes that would positively impact the council and personal strengths that make me a well-rounded candidate. One of the greatest compliments I received is that “I am a doer and I get things done.” I like to be involved and I am passionate when I am working on a project or with my community. I do not rush to a decision when I feel that there are questions that still need to be asked or answered. There are always many sides to a story and I believe that you must be a good listener in order to hear what your community is telling you. I am an approachable person and I am willing to do the work needed to be an asset for both city council and our community.
I am a wife and mom to four boys. As a family we take an active role in our community and celebrate Canal Winchester in many ways. We are actively involved in our local scouting troop. I have had the great honor of, serving on various school committees (after prom and parent advisory board), taking part in the Historic Ghost Tour, working on the Labor Day Committee and volunteering at the RibFest as well as the local food pantry. I am also a founding member of the Holiday Light Parade. While these are wonderfully fun events – they have also offered me a great insight into how our city works and given me the opportunity to meet a host of Canal Winchester families and to hear what they hold important. I want to take these experiences to city council and represent all those who love this city as much as I. I am excited for the opportunity to run for city council and to be a voice for all our citizens.
Age 42
Education BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design
Experience Vice President, City Council; Chair, CW Joint Rec. District; Alternate, CW Human Services Rep; Chair, City Council Rules Committee; Appointed Member, Landmarks and Charter Review Commissions; Board Member, Destination: Canal Winchester
Family My wife, Wendy and I are raising three outstanding children together.
Religion Lutheran
Campaign email will@reelectbennett.com
There is always room for improvement in any situation. But, since I joined city council we have established entertainment districts to make allowances for more liquor licenses to create more opportunities for restaurants and entertainment possibilities.

I would also like to continue to update our future development planning guides. These are created with community input and help shape and steer the vision of our city for the next decade and beyond. The Olde Towne Plan is complete. The Parks and Recreation is in progress. This is a great way for us to keep residents engaged in our future.
Short answer is no. While no one likes to talk about financials when discussing safety, this would not be a fiscally responsible solution. In order to establish our own properly staffed police service we would likely double our expenses and would need a tax levy to support the costs. A levy like this could cost residents an additional $800 per $100,000 in property taxes.

Based on research I’ve done, I do believe that we are understaffed and need to add additional sheriffs for 2018. Next year the city will have a complete evaluation performed for future police services.

The Fairfield County Sheriff’s do fantastic work and are all extremely invested in our community. Most of them are assigned exclusively to our city, so short of having Canal Winchester patrol cars and badges they do essentially serve as our own police department.
Experience and youth is what differentiates me from the other candidates. Currently, I am the youngest member serving on council and only one of two current members still raising children at home.

I am also a good listener who works problem from different angles and finds solutions by working together with others. I've spent the last four years learning and developing an understanding of what's been done before and how to move the community forward in a direction that honors the past but represents a vision of what lies ahead for tomorrow.
Hopefully my passion about service and giving back to our community is clear. I would love the opportunity to continue serving you and our great city. Please vote for me, November 7.
Age 59
Education Bachelor of Science - Marketing from Ferris State University
Experience Actively involved in the community: Current President of the Board for Destination: Canal Winchester. Also Vice President of the Board for Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival. Active member of Canal Winchester Historical Society and Chamber
Family I have one son who resides in Worthington, Ohio.
Campaign email mikcoo@gmail.com
We are a growing city. With this growth comes new opportunities for our city - opportunities for additional funding, grants and tax revenues. I want to see a continuation of controlled growth with careful planning and a focus on the future of our city. Canal Winchester has been and continues to be a charming, family friendly city where people greet each other as they stroll along the streets. We can continue to grow while preserving that small-town feel. We have an obligation to keep it that way. I want to work toward prudent growth and the harmonious relationship amongst our business community and the residents of Canal Winchester. I want to preserve and enhance an environment that attracts strong businesses providing opportunities for secure employment. I wish to also ensure we have the resources needed to maintain the current benefits offered to all residents through our programs for our seniors, our youth, and our families.
With growth comes challenges, and some of those challenges fall under the area of increased traffic and safety. However, it wouldn't be fiscally responsible to establish our own police department. Our current contract for police services is less than $1 million annually but would be three to four times more costly with our own police force. In addition to the staff salaries, we would be responsible for additional costs such as facility updates, officers' equipment and supplies, cruisers and other vehicles (to include vehicle equipment, fuel, maintenance, etc.), communication equipment, dispatch services, and all legal costs. We would incur the cost of officer and staff benefits such as health insurance and workers compensation insurance as well as fringe benefits such as vacation time, etc. The FFC Sheriff currently provides us with ten deputies and a sergeant and we can increase that number. Our community gains nothing but higher operating and legal costs by creating our own force.
During the past 14 years, I have worked closely with the community, our non-profit organizations and our city government to provide opportunities for our local businesses and our families. With our city’s growth comes new opportunities - opportunities for additional funding, grants and tax revenues. I want to continue my common-sense approach to provide a resident center development policy as opposed to a developer-driven practice. I want to see a continuation of controlled growth with careful planning and a focus on the future of our city. Canal Winchester has been and continues to be a charming, family friendly city where people greet each other as they stroll along the streets. We can continue to grow while preserving that small-town feel. We have an obligation to keep it that way.
I will continue to be dedicated to serving the people of the city of Canal Winchester through my involvement in the non-profit organizations in which I’m currently serve. And just as I have done with these non-profit organizations, I will maintain my focus on continued fiscal responsibility for our city. Our city should consistently look for ways to improve services without adding costs. I am committed to establishing a long term sustainable plan for management of our parks, senior programs and community services.
Age 53
Education The Ohio State University
Experience Worked with numerous municipalities throughout the Central Ohio region for over 30 years. This experience has enabled me to learn what has and has not worked in the surrounding areas.
Family Cindi Lynch resident of Canal Winchester 27 yrs., wife, Ben Dickerson, son, Olivia, Naomi and Tatum Dickerson grandkids
Campaign email cindilynch921@gmail.com
Canal Winchester has been working hard over the past several years to responsibly develop our community. The City has rejected projects that do not fit the vision of community. The City Administration and Council have received push back from concerned residents on some proposed projects.

Our zoning rules could be tightened to better qualifying what is and is not permitted use in CW. Long-range development plans would be beneficial for the community as a whole.

It would be nice to have an exclusively over 55 housing development for our growing empty-nesters and baby boomers.

We should work to expand our commercial development space to attract businesses that can contribute to our city’s tax base. Increasing our tax base through commercial development allows us extra funds to work on our roads, parks and other public projects.
More in-depth research is needed to responsibly answer this question. It is vital that all of our residents feel safe and know in times of need we have the resources to protect them and their families. I have spoken to past and present Madison Twp. Trustees, and Ohio House Representatives to get their input. I have also met with our representatives to gather information on a state level.

From my initial research, the residents of Canal Winchester pay taxes to Madison Twp. and Franklin County Sheriff department with minimal services provided. However, the City of Canal Winchester contracts directly with Fairfield County Sheriff. I think developing our own police force is not cost effective thus contracting directly with the Fairfield County Sheriff is the most economical way to provide police protection at this time. However, all options to provide protection must be considered now and in the future as our population increases and needs change.

I am committed to open constructive communication, increased safety and responsible development for residents of Canal Winchester.

My wife, Cindi, and I started CW Residents for Responsible Growth Facebook page in 2010. This Facebook page was created to bring a common forum for residents to easily locate information. The information posted is for local concerns regarding CW, CW Schools and our local government in a constructive, unbiased manner.

I am committed to a community that is safe for all the residents of Canal Winchester from the young children to our elderly and everyone in between. It will be important for me to build strong relationships with the local police and surrounding law enforcement to development community safety programs. We need to build neighborhood watches for all our communities.
Cindi (25 yrs. resident) and I are very active in the community and love the small-town feel. I am committed to Canal Winchester and am grateful for the many residents that I have met over the past 15 years. I will lean on the experience and knowledge of our residents along with others in my vast network to move CW forward in a positive direction.

I have over 30 years of working with working with all of the communities in Central Ohio. This experience and knowledge will bring options for development and growth in Canal Winchester.

I will work hard to preserve the nostalgic feeling that the current and previous residents have created. A feeling that says “you are home” once you turn off the highway onto our local roads.

Open communication is of the upmost importance. I want to be your voice and will listen to your concerns; in person, on the phone, in writing or stopping by our home and sitting on the porch

It will be a true honor to serve as a City Councilman for all the CW.
Age 70
Education Attended Marian University. Graduated St Vincent's School of Nursing
Experience Officer, Army Nurse Corps. Deployment to Vietnam, 93rd Evac Hospital, Surgical ICU. Retired from Grant Medical Center, Council Member since 1990. Council Past President & Past Vice President. Serves on Destination CW and Veterans Day Board
Family Married to my husband, Dan. We have 3 children. All graduated from CW schools. We have 9 of the best grandchildren ever!
Religion Member Hope Methodist Chirch
Campaign email Robertamershon@yahoo.com
It is a privilege to develop in Canal Winchester. All development should complement our City and neighborhoods. We accomplish this by maintaining high and up to date Developmental Standards, We should also encourage the use of our Planned Districts by those who want to develop here. This will ensure quality development occurs. I would like to see us broaden our tax base by seeking more industrial and commercial growth. This increase will help provide services and amenities our residents want. We recently purchased 88 acres of parkland. I would like us to use available federal and local grant money to offset the cost of developing family friendly areas for our citizens to utilize and enjoy.
At this point in time, it is not economically feasible to have our own police force. The approximate cost is $6,000,000/yr. We spend $1,100,000 to contract with Fairfield County. At some point it will be the right thing to do, but not now. What we can do is make sure that police staffing is adequate for a city of our size and population. Recommendations show that Canal Winchester should staff 3 deputies per shift. We currently have 2 deputies per shift. Council has authorized the Mayor to add one more deputy January 1, 2018. I would like to see the City readjust the 2018 budget to provide funding to hire two more deputies in 2018. The safety of our citizens must come first.
Whether you are a life-long resident or fairly new to the community, I think you would agree that Canal Winchester is going through an exciting and unprecedented wave of change. During times like this, it is extremely critical to select people for leadership positions who have not only a positive vision for the future but can also apply valuable experience gained from events and decisions that brought us to where we are now. I have had the privilege of representing you as a Council Member for seven terms. I have served as President and Vice President as well as serving on Planning and Zoning, CWJRD and Destination Canal Winchester Boards, Veterans Day Committee and many more. I want to continue to use the knowledge and experience that I have to help make wise decisions on the complex issues that face us.
Since my first term of office, I have watched Canal Winchester grow from a sleepy Village to a "Shining Star" of Franklin County. I want to continue to give back to my community by being your representative and advocate on Council. With your help, I want to continue helping to shape Canal Winchester in a positive way for future generations. Together we will ensure that Canal Winchester remains the place we are all proud to call home.
Age 47
Experience Former Chairperson of canal Winchester Joint Recreation District. Former member of canal Winchester Board of Education Canal Winchester Business Owner
Family I am married to my wife Cyndi and have four children. Christopher, Ryan, Nick and Lauren
Campaign email btoledo2003@gmail.com
I do want to be part of the long term master plan. We have some exciting things on the horizon. I want to see us bring in different types of business. I want to protect our property values through responsible growth and development. Can our streets handle the additional traffic? Do we have enough officers on the road? These are questions I have and one of the reasons why I am running.
I feel like the Fairfield County Sheriff's office needs help. I think it would be way to costly to have our own force. I know council is working on adding an additional officer next year but I would like to increase that. I understand there costs that are involved but maybe we can work together and figure out a way we can afford it without having to raise taxes.
I have lived in Canal Winchester for the last 20 years. My wife and children have all or will graduate from here. I love this community and that is why I have donated my time for so many years as chairperson of the CWJRD. As a member of the Board of Education we looked at creative ways to save taxpayers money. We kept cuts in place so we would not need to return for more funds. The schools are in great shape and I loved my time with them.
We have a wonderful community and I want to be part of the future. I want to help attract a variety of new businesses. The city has purchased some additional park land that I would like to see be developed for everyone.
Voter's Guide