Letter: A critical decision is before us

From: Jesse Brand


I am proud to say I have lived in Columbus for 65 years. I have observed many changes in our community over that time, including numerous challenges that have been met with a spirit of collaboration and cooperation that has brought great progress and benefits.

I believe we are now faced with one of the most important choices in our history. We will be choosing a candidate for mayor in the May primary election. I believe we have a clear choice when making this decision that will be critical to the future of our community. We are looking to the future, but history is a great teacher and can help make the right choice.

Our current mayor left Columbus after high school for college and a career in various positions with high-tech companies. Her resume is populated with many different jobs, all of relatively short duration. Then six years ago she left her high-tech career at the apex of her earning and executive opportunities and retired from industry.

This is unlike many of the careers we see in our local companies, where leading executives spend a lifetime of progressive responsibility. They spend more than two or three years in their roles as they move through the ranks. And they live with the consequences of their decisions.

We do not know why, but at the apparent peak of her career she retires and returns to Columbus after being gone for a long time. And here she discovers a sense of civic responsibility, though without any record or history of community involvement.

She begins her campaign with attacks on the city administration (in the interest of transparency I should state here that I was a member of the Columbus City Council at that time), including charging people with illegal activities. She charges that money is secretly being funneled to the rich and powerful. The attacks continue against those who have brought the community economic development, downtown redevelopment and a tax base that supports our city.

The facts are that no one has been charged or prosecuted, the rich beneficiaries of the alleged city misconduct are never identified, and no misappropriation of money has been identified.

Since she has been in office, she has driven nearly the entire leadership team of the city from their positions. Years of experience and expertise have been lost to the city, and our reputation around the state and even the nation is being damaged. We must not have four more years of her mismanagement of the people and material resources of our city.

Jim Lienhoop has spent a lifetime here, serving his community in many ways. His is a record of integrity and success. Columbus needs him and his commitment to positively working for the future of our great city. Together we can make a better future for Columbus. I urge you to vote for Jim Lienhoop.