Delaware City Council - At Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Delaware voters Nov. 7 face a choice between adding a new voice to City Council or returning three incumbents to the city’s at-large council seats.Councilman George Hellinger and Vice Mayor Kent Shafer, both of whom have served on council since November 2013, will seek new terms, as will Mayor Carolyn Riggle, who has served on council since 2003. The trio is being challenged by 23-year-old newcomer Dustin Nanna, a caretaker for people with developmental disabilities.Read more:Delaware City Council at-large seats: Candidates consider parking, roadwork, taxes
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    George A. Hellinger Technical Change Manager

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    Dustin Reed Nanna Homemaker/Personal Care Professional

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    Carolyn Kay Riggle Delaware City Council At Large

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    Kent H. Shafer Public Safety Consultant

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Biographical Information

Do you agree with the city's use of tax incentives to encourage businesses to move into or improve downtown spaces?

Should easing congestion at the Point intersection be a high priority for city leaders?

Do you think Delaware should take advantage of the state DORA law that would allow people to drink alcohol outdoors in certain parts of downtown at certain times?

What else would you like to say to voters?

Age 59
Education MBA, Ashland University BSBA, Bowling Green State University
Experience City Council, 2013 - 2017; Planning Commission, 2007 - 2013; Income Tax Review Committee, 2002
Family Married to Brindi since 1988. Daughters: Georgia and Jennifer
In today’s competitive business environment, I support the fiscally-responsible use of tax incentives to attract new businesses, retain existing businesses and encourage business growth. Delaware has a vibrant downtown that is the heart of the community. Maintaining a high occupancy rate along with a dynamic mixture of retail, restaurant, entertainment and professional services is essential to the community’s health. It is likewise important that community businesses provide funding for the services our residents demand. Businesses seeking incentives must commit to specific deliverables, designed to ensure that Delaware prospers as does their business. Claw-back provisions are necessary to protect public funds in cases where a business fails to meet agreed upon deliverables.
Virtually all traffic coming from or going to I-71 travels through the Point. I believe the efficient flow of traffic within our community is vital to ensure the future prosperity of Delaware.

The Point has been a transportation bottleneck for years. To date, the City has been able to secure close to $18 million in state and federal funding for the Point project, leaving the City with an obligation of approximately $6 million, prior to construction in 2022. Delaware will continue to pursue additional funding sources as this project progresses. The Point project is the highest priority transportation project in Delaware; MORPC and regional leaders have prioritized the Point as one of the region’s top transportation improvement projects also.

Traffic is systemic in nature. There is no single improvement that fixes our existing traffic issues; rather, traffic issues will be addressed by enlarging our road network and maximizing the capacity and effectiveness of existing roads.
I believe a designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA) is unnecessary and has the potential to harm our downtown. Communities often employ a DORA in an attempt to revitalize an area suffering from low traffic and underutilization. Our downtown offers a vibrant, family-friendly environment, providing the goods and services our community desires.

Predominately, downtown restaurants and bars benefit from a DORA by increasing patron turnover, especially on sidewalk patios. Businesses are solely responsible for managing their customer turnover; this is not a government issue.

City taxpayers will bear the burden of additional police and public works employees needed for set-up, tear-down, trash collection and law enforcement. Our city employees can be better utilized working to keep our neighborhoods and parks safe and clean.

A DORA is unlikely to build upon the existing energized, family-friendly atmosphere that exists downtown.
I have worked hard as your at-large council representative for the past four years. My goal is to help residents with issues and concerns that involve the city. My campaign is self-funded to ensure my actions cannot be biased or influenced by any donation –large or small. I work for Delaware. I work for you.

You can call me anytime. I am responsive and willing to meet with you anytime, anywhere. I care about Delaware. I am committed to helping Delaware continue to prosper while retaining the small-town friendly atmosphere and other attributes that makes our city a great place to live. I promise to continue to be responsive to your needs and requests. I take my duties seriously.
Age 23
Education Graduate of Rutherford B. Hayes High School
Experience This is my first time running for public office, but I have been heavily involved in politics since I was 18.
Family My mother Tanya has always been there for me, and my wonderful girlfriend Brooke of over 5 years as well.
Religion I cannot say that I subscribe to a particular denomination, but I would consider myself a Christian.
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Absolutely. I believe that as much as possible taxes should be lowered across the board, both for businesses and for residents. I believe that a healthy and thriving downtown sector is crucial to the continued growth and development of Delaware. When new businesses move in, it not only fills a vacant space, it creates jobs in the community and a spot for folks to socialize. Having a sprawling "main street" will also attract people from outside of Delaware who wish to shop/dine in our fantastic historic downtown. The original building faces and historic architecture are part of what give Delaware its charm.
Yes I think it should be a focal point for leaders in the community. As a former employee of a business in that area I can attest to the fact that it does indeed get very bad during rush hour. At times, I sat in that line of traffic for upwards of 20 minutes. As you may know, the current Council placed a permanent income tax increase on the ballot last November to address this. However, it was soundly defeated, and for good reason. A permanent tax increase is not the way to address the $6 million funding gap the City faces after Federal and State monies. I believe that if the City needs money to widen “the point”, that it should come from a targeted ask and for only this project.
Thanks to new legislation from the State, the City can now implement what is referred to as a DORA. This is a designated area/time in which folks could take beer or wine in specially marked containers and walk around with them while they travel from establishment to establishment. I personally think this is a great idea and could lead to more activity in the downtown sector. Most of the business owners I have spoken with are on board as well! My only concern is littering and that could be addressed by making the specially marked cups reusable with a promotion, etc.
One of the most pressing issues facing our community is ease and access of/to downtown parking. Countless citizens have expressed to me a need to increase the parking space available in the immediate area of Historic Downtown. To do so presents a unique challenge, as I do not wish to see any of our beautiful historic downtown demolished for this purpose. I think the most effective way of combating this issue is to find out if it is feasible to construct a multi-level garage on one of the existing public lots. (Winter or near the BP gas station) My concern with this is cost. Parking garages will set you back around $15,000 per parking spot. I do not wish to raise taxes for such a project unless it is a targeted ask at the voting booth. If the community deems it necessary to have this luxury, then Council should do their best to make it a reality.
Age 60
Education Some college
Experience I have been on Council for 14 years, servicing 4 years as Vice Mayor and currently serving in my 4th year as Mayor of the City of Delaware.
Family I am proud to say I have 2 beautiful daughters, 2 great son in laws and I am blessed to have 5 wonderful grandchildren!
Religion Christian
I believe it is important to stay competitive with other cities as we attract new businesses. We all want growth, but we want smart growth to enhance our City and quality of life. Businesses that will complement each other and bring other businesses of like-kind will best serve our community. While I think it is imperative to give this tax incentive, it is equally important to be certain our schools are not negatively impacted. With the current school funding formula, an influx of students creates a burden on the local systems. Similarly, the drain on our social services increases as our employment base expands.

Now that Sawmill Parkway is extended up to State Route 42 in Delaware, additional land opens up for future potential development. In the competitive environment in Central Ohio, it is our job to convince businesses that Delaware is the right choice and the best place to live, work and play. consistently ranks Delaware one of the happiest places to live i
Improving traffic flow through the junction of Routes 36 and 37 on the East Side is crucial for the growth and commercial expansion we are experiencing. We have already seen an increase in traffic as a result of the Tanger Outlet mall project. The intersection forms a bottle neck, under a working rail road track. In order to fix this problem, a temporary track will need to be built in order to widen the road below.

This long-term solution is very expensive and not currently necessary for the rail road company. I believe re-configuring the intersection will benefit all of the county as well as those traveling thru Delaware. We are currently working with the County Commissioners, County Engineer, MORPC and looking for ODOT participation and possibly Federal grant money. We want keep folks happy when they enter or leave Delaware, and give them a reason to return.

Yes. If the Designated Outdoor Restricted Area, aka DORA, is passed by Delaware City Council there will be restrictions written into the ordinance that will ensure it benefits our downtown area. All that it entails is allowing businesses which choose to participate the opportunity during special events permitted by the City to sell beer or wine in a specific plastic cup, with a label, to an adult, within designated areas during the special events. With this cup, adults would have the right to wander out onto the sidewalk or closed-off street to become part of that event. With our unique wonderful restaurants with beautiful patios attracting so many visitors from surrounding areas they are bursting at the seams. If you are lucky enough to get an seat on a patio during an event, you don't to give it up for fear of losing it. This is not meant to encourage anyone to drink alcohol or drink more alcohol, in reality they probably drink less because they are not sitting in an establishment.
I have seen a lot of positive changes traffic patterns are adapting to both facilitating development and increasing convenience for drivers with Sawmill Parkway and the new Interchange at N Sandusky St. and US23. This year, we will complete the safe sidewalks program throughout the City. Citizens asked for and their tax dollars have provided a dog park, a pickle ball court, a beautiful YMCA, and a very cool dinosaur splash pad. My pride and joy, however, is our new Veterans Plaza. This is a must see, especially in the evening with the lights. It brings tears to my eyes each time I see it; after all these amenities would never exist without our Veterans who fought for our freedoms in our Country. Working with and supporting Veterans is dear to my heart, I believe in Delaware we have grown to honor those who serve in a unique, respectful and kind manner. I want to continue to serve Delaware to the best of my ability, listen to the needs and desires of its citizens and keep it happy.
Age 63
Education Masters Public Admin.(partial); OSU Bachelor of Business Administration; MVNU F.B.I. National Academy
Experience Adjunct Lecturer; OSU December 2013 – May 2013 Delaware City Council November 2013 - Present K.H. Shafer & Associates Public Safety Consultants January 1986 - Present Commander - Columbus Division of Police December 1978 - July 2012
Campaign website
Tax incentives can be a useful tool for the city to encourage and support new business. Two important issues need to be evaluated each time the use of incentives is considered. First, is the decision to offer incentives to a potential business owner fair. That is, is it consistent with what we’ve done or would do for other similar businesses with similar financial situations. Second, does the long-term return, or what we gain, by the use of incentives justify the cost to taxpayers of using the incentives. Each situation needs careful evaluation of these two issues. If the answer to both questions is yes, then the use of incentives is justified.
Absolutely. For two reasons. First, the “Point” is the most serious traffic congestion issue in Delaware and it is at an important entrance to our city. Second, right now the city can leverage its dollars required to re-engineer and re-develop the point, due to a large grant from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). The cost to improve the point is close to $20 million dollars. By leveraging MORPC funding, the cost to Delaware tax payers is approximately $6 million. A question that many people ask is that if the bridge is owned by the railroad, why does the city have to pay the cost of replacing it. The bridge in its present condition is completely suitable for the railroad’s use. They have no reason to replace it. On the other hand, it causes a serious problem for traffic in the city and if we want to address the problem, we will need to finance the improvements.
Both those that are in favor of DORA and those that oppose it have valid points to consider. A recent survey of downtown businesses indicates the majority favor the DORA. At an upcoming City Council meeting, we will hold a public hearing to gain citizen input regarding the DORA. We will carefully consider all input but at this time I believe the DORA is worth a try. With any change, there are always risks that the change will be worse than the current situation. When City Council approved sidewalk patios years ago, there were complaints that doing so would ruin the downtown. In fact, the opposite occurred. The sidewalk patios are an enhancement to our downtown. If the DORA is approved, it will only apply to a limited number of special events and if there are problems, we can simply discontinue it. Other cities that permit outside consumption of alcohol experience little problems. I believe that if the DORA is approved, the people of Delaware will enjoy it responsibly.
A project that I’ve been involved in since my election to City Council in 2013 is making improvements to downtown parking. That fact that parking is sometimes limited indicates that we have a thriving, active downtown. That’s obviously a good thing! I believe, however, that to keep it thriving, we need to improve the parking situation. The city has a comprehensive plan to accomplish three things: Improve the effectiveness of our current public parking, increase parking capacity, and improve public communication regarding parking in our downtown. Detailed information is available on our website. Finally, my commitment as a Delaware City Councilman over the past four years has been to insure Delaware City Government is dedicated to the best financial management of our citizens’ tax dollars and to providing exceptional city services. I am committed to continuing to work for the citizens of Delaware to keep our city a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
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