The candidates of the Canton of Granville united against the invasive development
GRANVILLE – The candidates for the Township of Granville trustee position include a current office holder, a former trustee and a new candidate, but they all agree on what is important to the future of the community.
The trio – incumbent Bryn Bird, former administrator Dan VanNess and newcomer Stephen Chaykowski – agree on supporting a property tax renewal to preserve green space and the importance of protecting against encroachment of development from east and west.
Two will be elected in the general election on November 2 to sit on the three-member board of directors
VanNess, a longtime Granville resident and administrator in 2010-13 and 2016-19, lost his bid for re-election in 2019 when the Licking County Board of Elections struck down his candidate petitions.
“Open spaces are everything to me,” said VanNess, who operates approximately 2,000 acres. “One of the main goals of this plan is to protect the rural character of Granville.”
Bird, who returned to Granville in 2012, has been a Trustee since 2017. His family has been selling produce for 26 years at the Granville Farmers Market.
“Once I got involved I really started to understand the incredible fortune we have with the open space program,” Bird said. “This is honestly the key that made Granville the Granville we know and love.
“When Newark began annexing large plots of land on the east side of Granville Township, it was the open space program and the forward thinking of the Trustees that prevented any further encroachment. We are facing incredible development pressures and we need leadership that is not afraid to be bold in our actions and more on offense.
Chaykowski, a township resident since 2004, said he is financially responsible and has a passion for the community.
“I’ve always been a planner, whether it’s planning for my business or whatever,” Chaykowski said. “I would build on what has already been done. I bring energy and a willingness to work with the other directors to keep Granville’s character and charm intact for decades to come.”
Chaykowski said he was concerned about the township’s ability to meet growth pressures with land acquisition and still have the financial capacity to invest in fire equipment and road maintenance.
“In 2000, New Albany was the same size as Granville and now has 10,000 people and is growing more and more,” Chaykowski said. “We’re right in the middle and (between New Albany and Newark). That causes me great concern. We have to have the resources to protect the open spaces or we risk going the way they are.”
VanNess said he plans to be a financial watchdog and promote reasonable economic growth in the township.
“I’m looking for ways to stretch taxpayer dollars,” VanNess said. “Every dollar counts. Economic development is essential to increasing our tax base. It has been an ongoing issue and battle for directors since I started in 2010.”
BIrd said he wrote the agreement the village and township made for the economic development of the Ohio Corridor 16.
“Since then, both communities have spent significant funds on engineers and consultants for two years on how best to use economic development tools to attract, retain and benefit from business development.
Twitter: @ kmallett1958