Over the past few years, Mark Sigrist has tried to serve the Grove City community in a number of ways.
Now he’ll add one more to the list: Grove City Council Member.
Sigrist received more than 50% of the votes cast in the race for a general council seat in the November 2 general election ballot, defeating both an incumbent and a sitting Ward 4 council member.
Residents cast 3,794 votes for Sigrist in the field of four candidates, according to an unofficial count by the Franklin County Electoral Board on November 2.
Outgoing incumbent Aaron C. Schlabach received 1,535 votes, Ward 4 Council member Roby Schottke received 1,429 and John Galasso received 776.
In the council’s other contested race for Ward 1 representative, incumbent Ted A. Berry defeated challenger Cara Tauro by an unofficial vote tally from 1,485 to 640.
No one ran against incumbent Christine Houk in Ward 3, the third seat that was in contention.
Sigrist will join Berry and Houk when he takes office in January.
Sigrist, 59, retired from the American Honda Motor Co., said he has been active in the community for years. The founder of Thanksgiving Day Wattle 5K was raised in Grove City and returned to the community in 2017.
He attributed the relationships he established through community service as a factor in his election.
âPeople have seen me work tenaciously to carry out projects that make Grove City a better place to live,â said Sigrist. âI started to forge these relationships when I founded Thanksgiving Day Wattle 5K in 2012. No one could ever host such a big annual event without the help of so many others. It attracts nearly 2,000. attendees and volunteers alike, and this event raised over $ 140,000 for the Grove City Food Pantry.
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He said that upon his return to Grove City in 2017, he became involved in other community activities, including the board of directors of Keep Grove City Beautiful, his church community’s parish festival, the Buddy Ball in Grove City’s Mirolo Dream Field and the Grove City Food Pantry. . When he decided to run for the board, hundreds of people from his connections helped shape his grassroots campaign, he said.
Sigrist said his priorities when he took office in January would be “the priorities of the community”.
âWhen I went door to door and listened to residents, I heard about their priorities: strengthening our existing and future infrastructure; promote and facilitate programs to help older people age at home; and make Grove City a safe, calm and clean community today. and for future generations, âhe said.
The board member Sigrist is replacing, Schlabach, said he was honored to have served as an elected official, especially given his age.
“I am truly honored to have had this opportunity and to be the first board member under 30 in a long time, as well as the first of my generation to hold this position,” said Schlabach, 30, real estate agent . and head of the athletics department at Ohio State University. âI have strongly opposed government overbreadth, have spoken in favor of human rights and have been a watchdog of government spending, sometimes even making these positions appear isolated.
âThe only thing I really regret is that due to the difficulties of COVID, most of my plans and ideas from the first term took a hiatus to deal with the problems caused by COVID. I am still working to make it happen. so the city will embrace the sewer update the plan from a few meetings ago and fund it to better solve our flood infrastructure problem. If that’s the only big thing I can fix, I would. will consider it a victory.
âOne of my biggest concerns, which I am in good authority, is that with my promise to never raise taxes when I leave this seat, there will be pressure for higher taxes. intend to continue my work as a citizen, This is my hometown, (and) the absence of (an) elected position will not prevent me from working for my community. “
As for Schottke, nothing will change for the Ward 4 council representative, who previously said he planned to step down from Ward 4 headquarters if he wins his general offer, citing a desire ahead of the election to represent residents of Grove City. and not a single neighborhood.
Schottke’s tenure in Ward 4 does not expire until the end of 2023.
âMark Sigrist has had a great campaign, as evidenced by his resounding victory,â said Schottke. “He will be a good addition to Grove City Council.”
Meanwhile, Berry, 52, director of business development for Byers Auto, will also return to the board with his new tenure as Ward 1 representative.
“I am shocked by the results of the election,” he said. âThe residents of Grove City have high standards for elected officials. They want civically engaged leaders who listen to citizens and understand the unique community in which we live. Grove City has a long, proud history, and our residents want us to work together to solve problems and ensure a bright future for Grove City. “
Bay said This week ahead of the election, he was running to focus on three issues: job creation and expansion, quality of life and healthy budgeting.
âMy knowledge of the issues and my background in business and the public sector (have) created unique programs to serve our residents and businesses,â he said. âWe have attracted two new medical centers, a veterans clinic and over 1,500 new medical jobs. Grove City is emerging as a medical and high-tech hub. The higher education and skilled workforce programs that I have sponsored and succeeded in helping residents by training them for higher paying jobs.
âWe have added nearly 100 acres of parkland over the past four years. Grove City is now home to one of Ohio’s largest community hub parks in Beulah. I pledge to add an additional 100 acres, a recreation center / aquatic and cycling connectivity to Columbus, Darby and Scioto Metro Parks. I will continue to say no to more (warehouses) and always put Grove City residents first in managing urban growth and sprawl.
âI have cut taxes twice and will continue to balance budgets without raising taxes. I commit to holding my annual ward and ward meetings in addition to (to) surveys to solicit input from (residents). “