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City of Grandview Heights Blog


Jan 18

Town Topics: January 18th, 2020

Posted on January 18, 2020 at 4:25 PM by Laura Oldham

Grandview Heights Headlines

Town Topics

January 18th, 2020

 

City opens Fire Chief Search as Chief Shaner transitions into retirement

The leader of Grandview Heights Division of Fire for the last decade has announced his retirement, prompting the City to launch a search for its next Fire Chief.

shaner desk 1

Chief Steve Shaner plans to leave the Grandview Heights Division of Fire by mid-February after spending 31 years serving residents in our urban community, Marble Cliff, and nearby central Ohio neighborhoods through mutual aid pacts. The Hilliard resident first came to our community in September 1988 as a firefighter/paramedic after serving full time for the Truro Township Fire Department in eastern Franklin County and as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic in his home town of New Lexington in eastern Ohio. He became a shift captain in Grandview in August 1993 and Fire Chief in August 2009. He currently oversees 18 personnel in the Division of Fire and remains active as a trainer/educator through various regional venues in firefighting, EMT and paramedic techniques.

Chief Shaner also has served in the semi-official role of in-house information technology (IT) consultant for the City. That role began in the 1990s when the fire division bought its first two computers as a more efficient way to analyze statistics of its firefighting, rescue and emergency medical treatment runs as well as to improve general recordkeeping for the Fire Division. The consulting / troubleshooting role “evolved” from there, Chief Shaner said, as he learned about the ins and outs of office computers and network security through experience and troubleshooting issues as they cropped up.  His initiative and drive to be proactive in securing our data, his willingness to serve staff across departments, and his dedication to enhancing the customer experience are truly commendable.  

As discussed last week, Chief Shaner’s decision to retire is an opportunity to upgrade the City’s IT capacity by contracting with Mr. Brian Lee of Daetec, Ltd. Mr. Lee is an IT consultant and retired as a Columbus Division of Police Officer, and has assisted the Grandview Heights Division of Police on IT and telecommunication matters. The City is currently evaluating how this important function can be addressed for this year and beyond, as part of our strategic initiatives to leverage technology and innovate in providing the highest quality of services possible to our residents. 

To facilitate the selection of a new chief, the City has contracted with the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA) to cast a wide net in the search for the best possible candidate to lead the Fire Division. 

The City expresses heartfelt appreciation to Chief Shaner for the high level of professionalism and selflessness Chief Shaner has demonstrated in leading the Division of Fire and serving the public for all of these years.


Brian Cook returns to City service as Cincione elected to lead Marble Cliff

The election of former Mayor’s Court Magistrate Matt Cincione as the mayor of Marble Cliff led to Mayor Kearns’s appointment of Brian Cook to head the court as magistrate.

Cook has an impressive history of public service in Grandview Heights and the State of Ohio. He served as our city attorney from December 1988 to December 1996 and then as an Ohio assistant attorney general in various divisions through January 2007. Cook also served on the Grandview Heights City School District’s Board of Education from 1998 until he moved out of the district in June 2003. He served as deputy chief legal counsel for then-Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor from January 2009 to January 2011, then as chief legal counsel for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency from January 2011 until September 2013, when he went back into private practice concentrating in the areas of elder law and estate planning and retirement planning as he cared for his newborn daughter. Cook has also served as mayor’s court magistrate for the cities of Hilliard and Reynoldsburg.

Mayor’s court in Grandview Heights takes place on Tuesday afternoons twice per month with license suspension appeals hearings held when needed on the other Tuesdays. Mayor’s court has jurisdiction over minor legal offenses such as traffic violations, simple assault, theft and criminal damaging and misdemeanor drug offenses as well as first-time OVI cases. Defendants may elect to proceed to Franklin County municipal court downtown instead of Mayor’s court, if desired.

We welcome back Magistrate Cook to the City to handle this community-level judicial process. The City extends a warm thank you to Mayor Cincione for his long service to our community and looks forward to his continued leadership in the Village of Marble Cliff. 


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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 GrandviewHeights.org. 

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Jan 09

Welcome letter from Mayor Greta M. Kearns

Posted on January 9, 2020 at 12:37 PM by Laura Oldham

Happy new year and welcome to the 20s from your new Mayor!

I was delighted to win at the polls November 5th with such an overwhelming level of support. Thank you for the high degree of trust in my leadership. This voter endorsement of our strong local government and core values here in Grandview Heights reinforces my conviction that we live in the best community in Central Ohio. Our accomplished and talented City Council was sworn in and unanimously selected new President Emily Keeler on Monday night, and I am eager to work with them. As I say good-bye to Mayor Ray E. DeGraw and his team and complete my first full week in office, I am inspired more than ever by the dedication of those who served this community in the past few decades and are committing to serve in the future. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the transition and update residents as I take the helm after months of preparation.

Here at City Hall, we have been busy. I took the oath of office at noon on January 1st with the support of current and former elected officials, family, friends, and first responders on duty. The preceding week was emotionally exhilarating and draining at the same time, as Mayor DeGraw and his administrative team cleaned out their offices, passed the torch and imparted final nuggets of accumulated wisdom and experience in an unprecedented bittersweet transition. It has been a real privilege to take the reins with the guidance and endorsement of the outgoing city administration. We had many brainstorming and strategy sessions since election day regarding how best to enhance our high quality public services in this City as we modernize and innovate for the future. I’ve already led my first Cabinet meeting and have had extensive 1:1 sessions with our talented Directors who have deep expertise and day-to-day responsibility for the City’s core public safety and service operations: Police, Fire, Services, Parks & Recreation, and Building & Zoning. They impress me with their dedication more and more each day.

I’ve saved the best for last. I could not be more excited about the appointment and promotion of two key Directors: Bob Dvoraczky and Megan Miller. Director Dvoraczky has led our award-winning Finance Department for nearly 12 years with the strong support of Director (formerly Assistant Director) Miller for a decade. Much of our success as a City directly results from their fiscal leadership and vision. As the City transformed its commercial tax base from post-war industrial brownfields into modern multi-use development during that same time period, their keen fiscal strategy and sense of public stewardship have elevated the City from economic distress into recovery, and have achieved the coveted AAA bond rating. In doing so, both have consistently earned the trust and respect of elected officials, Directors, partners, and outside professionals. I’m thrilled to have the impressive intellect and forward-thinking philosophy of Director Dvoraczky on my administrative team as we turn the page on one era and begin a new one. City Council spoke with one voice and without hesitation Monday night, elevating Director Miller to the top Finance post in a resounding endorsement of her leadership ability. Welcome aboard!

Yours,

Mayor Greta M. Kearns



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