Pencilstorm U.A. Council Summary: All The Interviews and Question Rationale

As promised, here is a compilation of all the Pencilstorm interviews with Upper Arlington City Council candidates, as well as an interview with Superintendent Paul Imhoff about Issue 43. As a reminder, we published responses unedited.

In addition, it's come to our attention that Pencilstorm was recently quoted in attack ads circulating in Upper Arlington. Pencilstorm had no involvement with these ads, nor were we aware of them before distribution.  We disapprove of these negative attack ads.

Pencilstorm is an independent new source. We do not endorse any individual city council candidate and we wish all of them good luck on November 7.

Interview with Superintendent Paul Imhoff about Issue 43.


Our intent was to ask questions more specific to Upper Arlington. We had some discussions with other voters and reviewed various posts on Facebook.  We also wanted to keep it short and simple.  Here’s why we settled on the questions we did.

If the election were today, would you vote for or against the school levy and why?
While the city council has no jurisdiction over the schools or school board, this levy could have an impact on city finances.  If the levy doesn’t pass and the school system makes job cuts, this will mean less income tax collected by the city since the Schools are the number one employer in Upper Arlington.  If the levy does pass, residents will incur a large tax increase which may impact the Council’s ability to generate new taxes in the future, not to mention the infrastructure, traffic and construction that the city will need to deal with. Both the Schools and City pull from the same tax base.  In the 2017 Community Survey conducted by the city, 21% of the respondents cited “School Infrastructure and Facilities are Aging” as the most important problem facing Upper Arlington and 14% responded with “High Taxes.”  This question was asked to see how the candidate view the importance of the school system to the City of Upper Arlington both fiscally and as an attractor to new citizens.

What qualifies you to be on Upper Arlington City Council?
Just like a job interview, we wanted to know what life and professional experiences the candidate has so they can make the tough decisions they’ll face in the upcoming years.

If you had a magic wand and an unlimited budget, what infrastructure project you would implement?
There’s a finite city budget and we can’t pay for everything everyone wants. We can have endless debate about what’s the best way to spend our money. Instead, this question was intended to understand what infrastructure project the candidate is most passionate about. 

Looking around Central Ohio, give an example of a community you think is doing it right and one that’s doing it wrong. What could Upper Arlington could learn from both?
You grow and improve by learning from others.  This question was designed to see if the candidate was looking at other communities in Central Ohio to understand if there were things we could implement here or pitfalls to avoid.

At Pencilstorm, we all have a love of music. In that vein, what's your favorite album and why?
Music is a great way to make an emotional and human connection.  This question was designed to get to know the candidate beyond the issues and if any of them had a passion for a particular album, artist, genre of music, etc. 

Below are links of each of the Upper Arlington City Council Candidates to their individual blog:

Michaela Burriss

Brian Close

Bob Foulk

Omar Ganoom

Francis “Kip” Greenhill

Michele Hoyle

Jim Lynch

Lowell Toms

Pencilstorm also encourages you to watch the Livestream of Leadership UA's October 19 event with all eight city council candidates and school board candidates, as well as Google the candidate names and visit their websites.

Thanks to the community for their interest in our blog.  Local UA Politics coverage provided by Wal Ozello. You can email him at or try to catch him at Colin's Coffee.