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Jan 10

Town Topics: January 10th, 2020

Posted on January 10, 2020 at 5:57 PM by Laura Oldham

Grandview Heights Headlines

Town Topics

 January 10, 2020


The definitive source for the latest Grandview Heights news

Veteran Finance Director Bob Dvoraczky promoted to Director of Operations and Chief of Staff

Mayor Kearns appointed former Finance Director Bob Dvoraczky to the key leadership post in her administration Monday. For nearly a dozen years, Dvoraczky has worked to stabilize the City’s financial condition as he lent his expertise in public finance to create redevelopment opportunities in Grandview Yard and, more recently, Grandview Crossing, while leading the bonding for the Grandview Municipal Swimming Pool and Wyman Woods shelter house improvement.  He knows each department from the inside out through developing years of capital and operating budgets and related interaction with the directors and staff of every department. Dvoraczky’s careful guidance on conservative spending within solid revenue projections and long term fiscal strategy has allowed the City to earn a coveted AAA rating for our capital improvement debt as the City considers other projects, such as planning for the construction of a modern fire and police municipal complex at Goodale & Grandview Ave. Dvoraczky will leverage his intimate knowledge of City operations in this new position as the community continues to build on its desirability as a place to find housing, job and recreational opportunities.

Director Dvoraczky is a true team player who has a great temperament and quick wit. He is beloved by City staff as well as his beautiful and talented wife Vickie and daughters Lilla and Ava. 

Ray E. DeGraw Park named in Grandview Yard

City Council and Mayor Kearns entered a resolution at the January 6th Council meeting to rededicate First Avenue Park between Bobcat Avenue and Yard Street as Ray E. DeGraw Park. DeGraw’s fourth term ended December 31st, ending 16 years of leadership and more than 35 years of public service to our community, including on City Council and Grandview Heights Planning Commission. His first term began shortly after Big Bear Stores announced it would cease operations and shut down the grocery chain and its headquarters and distribution complex in the Yard. That and other business closings in the City’s blighted industrial district put the community on the financial ropes for several years. Mayor DeGraw and his team developed a vision and worked diligently to convert the industrial brownfield into a mixed-use district containing parkland, nearly 2,500 trees, lush tree-lined walkways, residences and businesses. The City originally dedicated First Avenue Park in 2017 and, in 2019, began holding community events such as a live music series and Fall Fest. We expect to further honor Mayor DeGraw’s leadership, stewardship and commitment to public service with a rededication ceremony at Ray E. DeGraw Park this year. 

Leveraging technology a 2020 priority

The City has hired a full-time information technology consultant as an interim solution while Mayor Kearns structures her administration to modernize the City’s internal capabilities. The City has no Director of Information Technology on staff; Fire Chief Steve Shaner has been covering that role, the duties of which have dramatically increased with the information age. On January 6, Brian Lee joined the City as its IT Consultant. Lee served as a police officer with the Columbus Division of Police for about 20 years, serving both on the street and with 911 operations. He retired from the force after an on-the-job injury sustained in Franklinton. He already has a running start in Grandview Heights operations, as he started performing IT work as a consultant for the Grandview Heights Police Department in 2013. We are excited to have Brian’s expertise as we continue to leverage technology and innovate to provide the highest possible service levels to residents.

Edwards joins Council

Ryan Edwards has joined Council after the uncontested Nov. 7 election that returned Emily Keeler to Council and gave Rebekah Hatzifotinosher first full term.  Edwards brings land-use planning skills and community development expertise to his legislative role. He has worked as Assistant Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of Central Ohio for nearly two of the eight years he has worked for the regional nonprofit.  He and wife Lauren lived in a Grandview fourplex before moving into a nearby Columbus home in 2008. During those years he served as a 5thby Northwest Commission board member and, not quite concurrently, worked four years as a land planner for the Licking County Planning Commission. The couple bought their West First Avenue home in mid-2017 as their twin girls reached school age. They also have a younger daughter in school. Mayor Kearns appointed Edwards to the Sustainable 2050 Committee of MORPC and newly-elected Councilwoman Keeler appointed him to chair the Economic Development committee of City Council and serve on the Finance Committee.

10 vie for open seat on Council

Mayor Kearns’s election in November and subsequent swearing in as mayor on New Year’s Day opened up her seat on Council. Clerk of Council Leilani Napier reports ten Grandview Heights residents have applied to serve the last two years of the remaining term. Those seeking the Council seat are:

  • Cody Blair, a McClain Road resident and the Columbus Chamber director of marketing;
  • Daniel Skinner, a Haines Avenue resident and Ohio University/Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine health policy professor joined the Grandview Heights Board of Health in 2019;
  • Jackie L. Collins II, a Westwood Avenue resident and attorney who formerly served on the City’s Civil Service Commission;
  • Ethan Frank-Collins, a Dorchester Way resident who serves as a director of HR Business Partners for Ohio Health;
  • Lincoln Dillon Lobley, a Haines Avenue resident and account sales executive for CDK Global Inc. dealer services;
  • Laura Koprowski, a Haines Avenue resident who serves as executive director of the Ohio Public Transit Association;
  • Brian V. Will, an Ashland Avenue resident who works as a staff training and development coordinator for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center;
  • Ed Hastie, a Grandview Avenue resident and former two-term councilman who practices law locally at Hastie Law Office, LLC; and
  • Frances Rubio Rourke, a Haines Avenue resident and Grandview Heights Planning Commission member who serves as a transportation project manager for OHM Advisors.
  • Michael Belden, a Burr Avenue resident who serves as a Medicaid consultant at Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker. 

Council President Emily Keeler expects Council to select a new member by early February.

Town Topics is a weekly update from Mayor Greta M. Kearns and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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