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Questionnaires were emailed to candidates in races where at least one candidate was identified as Jewish. The candidates’ email addresses were pulled from the Franklin County Board of Elections. Some candidates did not return questionnaires.


Bexley City Council

Incumbent Mary M. Gottesman, Joel Greff, Matt Klingler, incumbent Troy D. Markham, Meagan Matteson, Ian Nickey, Jen Robinson and Jessica Saad are candidates for four open seats on Bexley City Council.

Joel Greff

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Joel Greff

Age: 53

Occupation: Technology integration consultant/co-founder at Shareatech.com and president/director of Dyslexia Institutes of America

Education: B.S. in actuarial science, The Ohio State University; MBA in finance & organizational dynamics, Franklin University

What are two key issues of concern in your community? “My platform consists of four pillars but community engagement and fiscal prudence are most concerning to me. Bexley’s residents are her greatest asset and deserve the right to speak, engage and be heard. Fiscally, I think we often take our stakeholders for granted and we need to steward each dollar earnestly.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues? “As a councilperson I look to return community engagement with council to a safe and unintimidating forum for open, honest and respectful collaboration. In regard to fiscal prudence I plan to engage critical thinking along with my vast finance, budgeting and operations experience reasonably and analytically for all issues in Bexley.”

Meagan Matteson

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Meagan Matteson

Age: 42

Occupation: Nurse practitioner

Education: B.A in biological sciences, Capital University; M.S. in nursing, The Ohio State University

What are two key issues of concern in your community? “Identifying effective ways to include and involve our citizens in city discussions and ensuring ample opportunities to have deep, meaningful, sometimes contentious conversations. Diversifying the type of housing available to attract new residents and keep current residents in Bexley by offering attainable alternatives to the single-family home.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues? “Minor adjustments to the time or location of meetings, scheduling public feedback forums and offering child care during meetings would improve communication between the city and the residents. Prioritization of the development of lower and mid-priced mixed-use housing throughout the city by inspiring investment in a growing and thriving community.”

Ian Nickey

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Ian Nickey

Age: 41

Occupation: Communications

Education: B.A. from Kenyon College

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“The cost of childcare has outpaced inflation dramatically. Childcare bills can rival a mortgage or college tuition and this can be a barrier to starting a family or keeping a career. Your online privacy is a commodity that is being sold to advertisers and other online merchants.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“To address rising costs of childcare, I am proposing a $500 Bexley income tax credit for families spending $5,000 or more annually. I will explore online protections for Bexley residents and encourage federal and state regulators to make the correct policy choices to protect our citizens’ privacy.”

Jessica Saad

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Jessica Saad

Age: 41

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom with three children. I have 15 years of business experience in sales and marketing with E&J Gallo Winery (Chicago), Boston Scientific (Boston), Wallroos Wallgraphics (Columbus) and Infinity Info Systems (New York City).

Education: B.A. in telecommunications, political science and communications, Indiana University Bloomington

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“Protection of our schools, children, community and religious institutions and revitalizing Livingston Avenue.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“I will encourage and support our local Bexley Police department and safety services. It’s important to provide opportunities for all families in Bexley to live and work for community. We should welcome innovative area development partners willing to use creative financing tools we can offer to re-imagine the Livingston corridor.”


Columbus City School Board

Incumbents Eric S. Brown and Jennifer Adair will compete with newcomers Carol Beckerle, Kimberly Mason and Tina Pierce for four open seats on the Columbus City School Board.

Carol Beckerle

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Carol Beckerle

Age: 58

Occupation: Education consultant

Education: B.A. in psychology, St. Bonaventure University; J.D., Albany Law School of Union University; M.Ed., University Dayton

What are two issues of concern in your community?

“Student discipline: The majority of CCS students have experienced trauma which leads to behavioral issues. Standardized tests: The current state testing scheme harms students by forcing teachers to teach to the test.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“Student discipline: implement social emotional learning, trauma informed practices and restorative justice practices with fidelity across the district. Standardized testing: CCS needs to advocate for testing reform at the statehouse and Department of Education.”

Eric S. Brown

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Eric S. Brown

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired

Current political office held: Columbus City School Board

Education: Harvard Business School, Accelerating Board Capacity Institute, 2019; Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Judge (Fellow), 2008 Cleveland-Marshall Law School, J.D. 1979; Cleveland State University, B.A. 1975; Denison University, 1971-72

What are two issues of concern in your community?

“I would eliminate poverty and racism, which interfere with students’ ability to participate fully in their own education. Students who are homeless, hungry, fighting for survival are entitled to equitable resources to help change their circumstances. Students who lack clothing, good health, and loving families are not ready to learn.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“I have a broad perspective and lifetime of experience helping people in poverty. I have developed relationships with people and community organizations working on these issues. I have substantial experience, both professionally and personally, standing up to bigotry and hate, confronting issues of discrimination and working to provide justice.”

Kimberly A. Mason

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Kimberly A. Mason

Age: 33

Occupation: Career and community outreach

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Capital University

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“Parental engagement and school to prison pipeline.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“By working with the school and families within the neighborhood to identify programs that will dismantle school to prison pipelines. Focusing on parental engagement opportunities that help support the families and student success.”

Tina Pierce

Tina Pierce

Tina Pierce

Age: 40

Occupation: CEO of WORTH, executive director of WORTH Foundation, senior lecturer at Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University

Education: Ph.D. in political science with graduate interdisciplinary specialization in college and university teaching, The Ohio State University; M.A. in political science, The Ohio State University; B.A with distinction in social and behavioral sciences, The Ohio State University; B.A. with distinction in humanities, The Ohio State University

What are two issues of concern in your community?

“Advocacy and legislation efforts on local, state and national levels to promote the best interest of our educators, students, schools and communities. Accountable and transparent board governance to establish, monitor and evaluate state mandated standards in student achievement, instruction, principal leadership and professional development.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“Addressing issues and capturing opportunities in a complex education system requires building cultures around servant leadership; investing in empowering strategic action; and collaborating with purpose, discipline and focus. I will advocate for student-focused education while championing the creation of local and state policies that best serve our district.”


Franklin County Municipal Court Judge

Incumbent Judge Jodi Thomas will challenge Trent Dougherty for the position of Franklin County Municipal Court Judge for a six-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2020.

Trent Dougherty

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Trent Dougherty

Age: 41

Occupation: Attorney

Education: B.A., The Ohio State University; J.D., Capital University Law School

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“The issues we face are not new. Individual underlying conditions (such as addiction and mental health), and systemic inequalities and inequities, stand as barriers to ensuring that all of our neighbors reap the benefits of our community. Each manifests itself in those who appear in, and trust in, Municipal Court.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“I will bring the compassion and respect for individual rights and circumstances to ensure our neighbors receive the dignity and fairness they deserve; find opportunities where treatment and assistance will serve better than jail-time; and partner off-the-bench with social service organizations to address these issues before they get to court.”

Jodi Thomas

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Jodi Thomas

Age: 44

Occupation: Judge

Current political office held: Judge in the Franklin County Municipal Court

Education: Bachelor of Science in social work from The Ohio State University; License in Social Work; J.D. from Capital University Law School

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“Two keys issues of concern in the community for me are the negative stigmas related to those suffering from drug addiction and mental illness and the increase in victims of human trafficking.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“In court, I focus on breaking down barriers and stigmas and replace them with resources and support. I address employment, education, transportation, housing, trauma and family reunification. All these areas are crucial to helping our vulnerable populations improve their lives and become productive citizens of our community.”


Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education

Incumbents Beryl Piccolantonio and Daphne Moehring will face challenger Jon Handler for two spots on the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education.

Jon Handler

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Jon Handler

Age: 41

Occupation: Bail bonds

Education: B.A. in psychology, University of Kansas

What are two issues of concern in your community?

“There is a population growth issue for the school district and a lack of transparency with the community and its families.”

How do you intend to resolve those concerns?

“I was the committee leader for the last bond/levy school issue we passed in 2018 and I intend to see that through. I also intend to engage more parents via personal meetings to connect them with our amazing schools.”

Daphne Moehring

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Daphne Moehring

Age: 56

Occupation: Community volunteer

Current political office held: Board member, Gahanna-Jefferson School Board

Education: B.A. in business management with a minor in finance

What are two issues of concern in your community?

“The two key issues are space issues related to enrollment growth and program changes and responding to the social and mental health needs of students.”

How do you intend to resolve those concerns?

“The board has already implemented a Phase 2 process of the Master Facilities Plan and commissioned an enrollment study to address the space issue. Public input will be gathered next. For mental health needs, we added counselors to provide for one counselor per building. Continued training and communication is needed.”

Beryl Piccolantonio

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Beryl Piccolantonio

Age: 42

Occupation: Attorney

Current political office held: President, Gahanna-Jefferson School Board

Education: J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; B.A., Ohio Dominican University

What are two issues of concern in your community?

“Our school buildings are aging and inadequate for student growth. Students have more complex needs and require schools to provide services beyond academic to ensure each student graduates prepared to be a healthy, productive and contributing adult.”

How do you intend to resolve those concerns?

“My service is grounded in tikkun olam. Passed Phase 1 of Master Facility Plan and commissioned robust enrollment study. We’ll continue community engagement in Phase 2. ‘Students first’ guides every decision. Added mental health specialist at every elementary, provided 1-1 technology for students, provided more internship/work opportunities for students.”


Worthington City Council

Incumbents Douglas C. Foust, Bonnie Michael and Douglas K. Smith will face 10 challengers for three seats on Worthington City Council. The challengers are: Candace Brooks, Peter D. Bucher, Paul W. Dorothy, Michael D. Farley, Barton Harold Hacker, Seth T. Kraut, Edward J. Pauline, Jennifer B. Rhoads, Michael C. Troper and Karen Sue Wilson.

Peter Bucher

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Peter Bucher

Age: 28

Occupation: Water resources director for Ohio Environmental Council

Education: B.S in environmental policy, The Ohio State University

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“I believe Worthington needs more leadership in proactively involving the community in major development projects. This is the only way to utilize our limited space in a way that benefits the city long term. Additionally, we must re-prioritize capital improvements to address neglected infrastructure that directly impact people’s quality of life.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“To better involve the community in development we will directly get information on projects to people in the community through direct mailings and door-to-door outreach in areas near development proposals. Funding for infrastructure projects that directly impact quality of life will be prioritized first ahead of non-essential projects.”

Paul Dorothy

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Paul Dorothy

Age: 51

Occupation: Forensic civil engineer

Education: Ph.D. in civil engineering, Michigan State University; M.S. in civil engineering, Michigan State University; B.S. in civil engineering, The Ohio State University

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“As we face the future needs of our community together, the intelligent renewal of our municipal infrastructure and services must be a priority as they underpin the health, safety and security of our community. We must attract quality employers to Worthington and keep our existing employers to ensure financial stability.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“I have a deep understanding of the needs/challenges of managing, maintaining and renewing municipal infrastructure and service programs to directly address our communities’ needs. Only with a clearly articulated and consistently applied policy toward development can Worthington position itself within the region to attract the best employers to choose Worthington.”

Michael Farley

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Michael Farley

Age: 41

Occupation: Attorney and adjunct professor of law

Education: LLM Business Law and Juris Doctor, Capital University Law School; Master of Public Administration, Ohio University; B.A. in political science and history, University of Akron

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“Long-term budget discipline and stability. The budget will likely require money from reserves in the next two or three years. Worthington needs to develop a nimble, creative and smart development strategy to grow our revenues and maintain quality services.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“The first strategy is to create a culture where a nimble, creative, and smart development strategy will thrive. To do this, we need to create additional budget discipline to allow Worthington to maintain high quality services and grow our revenues. Over 70% of city revenues come from income taxes.”

Bonnie Michael

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Bonnie Michael

Age: 66

Occupation: Practicing attorney in Worthington since 1991, focusing on probate, real estate and adoption law

Current political office held: President, Worthington City Council

Education: J.D. (Cleveland State University); bachelor’s degree (Kent State University) and master’s degree (Pennsylvania State University) in parks and recreation, with dual minors in public administration and creative and performing arts.

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“Seventy percent of Worthington’s revenue is income tax. Protecting the city’s fiscal health is critical. Vibrant economic development programs ensure fiscal stability and provide funds for delivery of Worthington’s outstanding services. Worthington should strive toward providing age friendly housing for seniors and for young people to settle or start a family.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“Protecting the city’s fiscal health can be addressed by local business and regional collaboration, business venture grants, seeking state/federal funding, initiating a local foundation, and protecting the rainy-day fund balance. Age friendly housing can be accomplished by working with residential real estate developers.”

Eddie Pauline

Edward Pauline for City Council

Eddie Pauline

Age: 39

Occupation: Director of business development with The Ohio State University

Education: MBA, Franklin University; B.S. and B.A., The Ohio State University

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“City Finances. With a rapidly eroding tax base, Worthington will have to raid our rainy-day savings just to maintain services. New companies thoughtfully placed in appropriate locations, generate incomes taxes that will replenish our revenues and help us co-create a more stable future. We also need more senior housing.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“We can enhance our income tax base by bringing more jobs to the city and keeping jobs in the city by developing desirable commercial real estate inventory, creating an economic development plan, leveraging creative incentives and proactively support business retention, expansion and attraction efforts.”

Doug Smith

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Doug Smith

Age: 36

Occupation: Project management

Current political office held: Worthington City Council

Education: MBA, Ashland University; B.A., Capital University

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“As a member of the Herbert Weyl Jewish Business Network, I see job growth as imperative to maintaining Worthington’s financial and social health.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“By promoting business development through innovative programs like incubation, the city can grow small businesses into larger businesses.”

Michael Troper

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Michael Troper

Age: 55

Occupation: Area coordinator for the Ohio Department of Education

Education: B.A. in mathematics and Russian, Bucknell University; MBA in finance, The Ohio State University

What are two key issues of concern in your community?

“Worthington needs to grow our income tax revenue to continue to provide excellent services and amenities to our residents. We also need to provide more housing options for residents looking to move into Worthington and those residents who are looking to downsize in Worthington.”

How do you intend to resolve those issues?

“Worthington and Worthington City Council need to provide as much support as possible to the economic development department to attract and maintain businesses in Worthington to grow our income tax revenue.”

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