Announcement of Candidacy
For Immediate Release
Mayor Ben Kessler
today announced his intention to run for the position of Mayor of Bexley in
this November’s election.
Mayor Kessler was elected to the office of Mayor by Bexley City Council in February of 2012 after being twice elected as a member of Bexley City Council by the voters of Bexley and after serving as chair of Bexley City Council’s Zoning and Development Committee and Finance Committee, and serving briefly in early 2012 as the president of Bexley City Council.
During his term in office, Mayor Kessler has accomplished the following:
- Brought forth a balanced budget for 2013. This is the first budget in recent history in Bexley to reflect an increase in the general fund at the end of the year as opposed to a draw-down from the general fund. This was accomplished with the help of not only the change to the City income tax, but also the elimination of almost 10% of the City’s general fund operating expenses.
- Negotiated a JEDZ agreement with Liberty Township and the City of Powell, which is projected to bring in an additional $180,000 per year to the City of Bexley if passed by Liberty Township voters.
- Categorically worked towards instituting the 2011 Bexley Land Use Strategy, including overseeing the following:
- Formation of the Bexley Community Improvement Corporation
- Redevelopment of the Bexley City Hall site
- Enhanced City communications on all fronts, with a redesigned website, an active Facebook page, continuing quarterly newsletters, periodic guest columns in the local paper, the creation of the “Bexley Blast” weekly email update, the launch of the “Bexley Blast” call-in telephone hotline, an active Twitter account, a revamped annual budget report to also include an annual report, and the creation of the “blue signs” which are now placed at properties which are the subject of public hearings.
- Created the summertime “Main Event” monthly outdoor movie series and celebration of all things Main Street
- Worked at strengthening partnerships with Bexley’s educational, institutional, and business community
“It’s been a busy term so far,” said Mayor Kessler, “and there are still a lot of projects and initiatives the City is in the midst of that I look forward to seeing through to completion.” Projects which are currently active and at the forefront of Mayor Kessler’s vision for the remainder of the unexpired term are:
- The completion of the City Hall redevelopment project, with the ultimate result of bringing a quality neighborhood grocery store to Bexley and relocating the City Hall and Service Garage functions in a cost-neutral transaction for the City of Bexley.
- The rejuvenation of Livingston Avenue. Livingston Avenue spans Bexley and Berwick to the south, but does not reflect either of these quality communities. We are currently working with the City of Columbus and institutional partners in the area on early stage planning to take meaningful steps to revitalize Livingston Avenue.
- The modernization of the Southwest Bexley Master Plan, with a reimagined, community-authored vision for the mutual strengthening of the institutional and residential base in the southwest Bexley area.
- Completion of the Livingston-to-Main Alum Creek Park, which is currently in early planning stages.
- A movement to greater utilization of data-driven policing, made possible by the City’s investment this year in a modern, map-based software infrastructure for the Police Department.
- Infrastructure modernization. Bexley’s infrastructure is ageing, and requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach to continuous and cost-effective improvement. This includes traditional City infrastructure such as water and sewer lines, and also private infrastructure such as electric, natural gas, and telecom, all of which present unique challenges and opportunities to the City. Developing a strategy to encourage electric grid modernization and increased tree maintenance and a better power line tree policy are forefront to the Mayor’s infrastructure modernization initiative.
“I love this job,” said Mayor Kessler. “I’m passionate about it, and it is a challenging and all-consuming job that is exhausting and rewarding. I’m able to help preserve and improve the Bexley that I love, and I’m able to work for and with a community of friends neighbors. I really appreciate all the support I’ve been given in this role, and look forward to continuing to give this position my all, for the betterment of our community.”