Grove City City Council - Ward 3

Grove City residents will choose among two candidates to fill the seat for Ward 3 seat on City Council.Read more:Grove City council race: City’s growth, finances on candidates’ minds
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  • Steven M. Bennett

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    Christine Houk Firm Manager/Accountant

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Biographical Information

The city is expecting to lose nearly 1 million dollars in state funding due to Ohio’s elimination of the “throwback rule” for tax revenue related to warehouses, and a reallocation of funding from municipalities to townships and villages and toward the opioid crisis. How can the city address that shortfall without significantly raising taxes or cutting back on essential city services?

What should be the city’s approach to helping guide and shape the redevelopment of the site that was Beulah Park?

What actions or policies can the city adopt to help encourage and manage development and growth in Grove City without sacrificing the city’s small town character and appeal? What type of commercial and residential development is right for Grove City?

What can and should the city do to improve and enhance the parks and recreational opportunities available to residents?

What else would you like to say to voters?

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Age 48
Education B.A. in Accounting, Capital University
Experience More than 23 years as an active volunteer for various community organizations. Currently serve on boards of the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce and the South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation (Treasurer).
Family Husband - Allen (CPA), Son - Cameron (Educator), Daughter - Alyson (OSU Moritz Law Student)
Religion Catholic
Campaign email houkforcouncil@gmail.com
First, it would be wise to examine the assumptions used in this statement. An estimated $870,000 of the $1M dollars is related to Ohio’s elimination of the throwback rule. Accordingly, the reallocation of state funds plays a small role in this projected “shortfall.” So if we are then focused on assessing the potential loss of $870,000 in tax revenue from our warehouses and distribution centers, we must seek clarification on two important questions. 1) Will the estimate of $870,000 prove to be accurate? 2) Is the $870,000 a gross or net number? If this estimate is based on tax dollars from only impacted businesses, should we not be considering potential increases in tax revenue from new businesses? Once these questions are considered, I believe that any potential “shortfall” should be addressed by scaling back the city’s investment in peripheral projects, i.e. projects that are not directly tied to essential city services.
The city’s approach to guiding redevelopment of the Beulah Park site should be no different than it is for any new development in our community. It is important to recognize that the city has already played an active role in the redevelopment of the site through its Racetrack Redevelopment Committee, which recommended that the bulk of the state’s $3M grant fund be spent on the West Water Run Stream Restoration, engineering related to the Columbus St. extension, and improvements to the intersection of Southwest Blvd. & Broadway. The site is also in a CRA. The city should also play a role in funding the supporting infrastructure for the project, but I feel that there should be careful attention paid to the economic development tools used for this funding. The school district and township should be part of this discussion. Currently, I am not convinced that the area can support the traffic demands of the project, and I am very concerned about the impact to surrounding neighborhoods.
As the city finalizes its Grove City 2050 project, I believe the resulting document will serve as a blueprint for strategic planning in Grove City. It will be important for us to regularly revisit that plan as we move forward both to measure its effectiveness and to revise and improve upon it as we grow. Grove City 2050 encourages diversity in both commercial enterprise and housing opportunities. I believe that the key to retaining our character as a community lies partially in our ability to weigh decisions for their impact on the many businesses and residents who have been invested in Grove City for some time. The other component in our strategy should be that the city should continue to nurture relationships with and to work collaboratively with the array of community organizations that provide programming that directly benefits our residents.
Parks and recreational opportunities in our community have become a real point of pride. Our current park facilities should be fortified as resources become available with specific amenities desired by the community. New trees should be planted where possible, particularly in light of the many lost to area development projects. Because we currently find ourselves in a period of rapid growth, I believe it will also be important to insist that green space and neighborhood parks be part of any new residential development. Additionally, as we expand our network of park facilities, walking trails, and bicycle paths, we will need to develop a comprehensive plan for their extended care and maintenance.
I believe that as the largest suburb within Franklin County, we are at a very important moment in Grove City’s history. It is essential that Ward 3 residents have a choice as to who represents their voice on council. Residents deserve someone who is accessible, who responds to their emails and answers their phone calls, someone who is actively involved in the community, and someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and do the research that comes with this position. I have a long track record of leadership in the community, and I am ready to put my experience to work for you. I ask for your vote on November 7.
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