Gahanna City Council - Ward 4

Gahanna residents will choose between two candidates to fill the seat for Ward 4 seat on City Council.Read more:Gahanna council race: Candidates state views on top matters
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    Jamie Leeseberg Civil Engineer, Gahanna City Council

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    Paul Winstead Maintenance Technician

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Biographical Information

A performance audit recently recommended the city consider whether maintaining two city pools is the best use of financial resources, noting that a shift to one pool could save $199,000 annually over 10 years. Would you support closing one of the pools, or maintaining what the city has now? Explain.

Gahanna is working to rebrand its image. What do you feel is the city’s biggest selling point and what do you think should be incorporated into the new brand?

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

What do you see as the city’s most pressing issue and how should it be addressed?

What else would you like to say to voters?

Age 47
Education BSCE, MSCE University of Toledo Professional Engineer & Surveyor LEED Accredited Professional
Experience City Councilman in Gahanna and Civil Engineer with 24+ years specializing in public/private economic development. Experience with finding solutions to create economic growth and job development. Licensed Professional Engineer and Surveyor.
Family Married Wife Angi Children Matthew and Emily
Religion Christian
Campaign website http://JamieLeeseberg.com
Twitter @jamieleeseberg
The Auditor’s report was presented to Council just a little over a month ago and needs to be evaluated further. With that being said, I’m not convinced, at this time, closing the Gahanna Swim Club is a good idea. There are one-time costs associated with closing a pool and some of the maintenance costs would still be required, mowing, landscaping, etc. The proposed $199,000 savings amounts to a 0.30% savings of the entire 2017 budget and 4.5% savings of the Parks & Rec budget. While $199,000 is a significant amount of money, the report assumes that if GSC were to close 46.2% of the people who utilize the pools would not get a membership. That amounts to roughly 18,120 less trips to the pool for the people of Gahanna. Considering the GSC pools are almost 3 times the size of the Hunters Ridge pool I feel the number of people not buying a membership might be larger. Additionally, the subsidy the City provides to run the pools amounts to $1.39/participant.
Gahanna is a community that has many wonderful assets and resources. That being said, Gahanna lacks a singular clear identity – as noted by our own residents in the recent GoForward Gahanna campaign as well as in the Economic Development Study that was conducted in 2015. We have a strong Convention & Visitors Bureau that does a great job of marketing and promoting our city to visitors despite the absence of an identified brand, building upon our status as Ohio’s Herb Capital to establish Gahanna as a respected resource for “all things herbal” and to engage and attract visitors. At the same time, our Economic Development Department highlights the sense of community that exists among our residents when recruiting new businesses to town. Yet we must collectively understand and identify what Gahanna “is” – that is, how others view Gahanna – in order to attract potential new businesses, residents and visitors and compete successfully with surrounding communities.
I’ve had the honor of representing the residents of Gahanna on city council since 2014. During that time, I served as Vice President and Chair of the Service and Safety Committee. I’ve also served on the CVB Board and as a Trustee for the CIC. I am a licensed civil engineer and surveyor with over 24 years of experience managing multi-million dollar public and private projects. My experience as a civil engineer and the experience I've gained having served the city of Gahanna make me the best qualified candidate.
When I ran for office four years ago I was concerned with cuts to capital improvement and infrastructure projects. Working together, we established dedicated funds for roadway and bridge projects. Our budget model differentiates between ongoing expenses and one-time projects. We will continue to push for the maintenance and repair of our roads, bridges and other infrastructure in Gahanna. The City does an outstanding job assessing the needs of the community and identifying external funding sources. We need to continue to take full advantage of these programs.
My wife and I chose Gahanna for the great schools, wonderful parks, festivals and small town feel. My family has enjoyed all that Gahanna has to offer and it has been my honor to work with Council and members of our community to ensure Gahanna continues to be a great place to live, work and play. I look forward to serving the people of Gahanna in the future and appreciate your support in November.
Age 32
Education Gahanna Lincoln High School
Family Wife Jade Winstead. 2 sons Gavin and Greyson
Religion Catholic
I view pools as an asset to the city and feel there are cuts that can be made that won't have harmful impacts on our community. While I value the recommendations of the performance audit, I have to question why there was no mention of the $16 million lawsuit facing Gahanna for overtaxation. $199,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but the city is racking up $600,000 annually in eventual interest charges from this lawsuit. Compare that to $199,000. Obviously the lawsuit is a bigger threat to our financial well-being than our community pools. Eventually, when this lawsuit is behind us, I would like to explore reinvesting in our pools and finding private management options.
1.) I view pools as an asset to the city and feel there are cuts that can be made that won't have harmful impacts on our community. While I value the recommendations of the performance audit, I have to question why there was no mention of the $16 million lawsuit facing Gahanna for overtaxation. $199,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but the city is racking up $600,000 annually in eventual interest charges from this lawsuit. Compare that to $199,000. Obviously the lawsuit is a bigger threat to our financial well-being than our community pools. Eventually, when this lawsuit is behind us, I would like to explore reinvesting in our pools and finding private management options.

2.) This rebranding is long overdue. I feel how we choose to brand ourselves going forward will define how we grow. I believe we should focus on Hometown Gahanna. Our tight knit community, renowned school system, and hometown feel are what Gahanna special to my family and many others. We must highlight this in our brand
If voters want a city council member who will be a champion for homeowners, they should vote for me. I'm the only candidate for Ward 4 who is willing to stand up to developers and other politicians who want Gahanna to build new apartments, create a "more urban environment", and sell out our school district. When my opponent was challenged about the impact a high density development would have on our school district, his response was "That's not the city's problem. That's the school districts problem." I believe we are in this together and will work tirelessly with school officials to craft a plan to prevent future high density developments that increase traffic, crowd our schools, and put a strain on city resources. 
I believe the most pressing issue facing Gahanna is the overtaxation lawsuit facing our city. It's unfortunate that this has been mishandled and drawn out. Had the city addressed the issue and changed the code when the lawsuit was first brought, two years of damages would have been removed from the eventual payout. This could end up being a multi-million dollar mistake. Each month that goes by, $50,000 in interest charges are added on to the eventual payout. I'm seeing no sense of urgency from the city.

With a $16 million lawsuit hanging over our heads, it is undoubtedly making it more difficult for the city to attract businesses to Gahanna until the final result is known. This lawsuit could set Gahanna back 5-10 years. I believe we need new voices on City Council to press our administration to put this lawsuit behind us so we can focus on the future and attracting new businesses to Gahanna. The city has stalled long enough, its time to put this behind us.
I served my country now I'm ready to serve my community.
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