About Tricia

About Tricia

Reason for Candidacy

Faith in government institutions is damaged at all levels. It will be the job of the new administration and everyone at City Hall to restore trust in government through honest communication and transparency. To that end, the Law Department should require RFPs for contract legal services which should be used only when such services are absolutely necessary. I will manage and review the contract attorneys with an eye toward fiscal responsibility which is in the best interests of the taxpayers of Gahanna. Gahanna Mayor’s Court must maintain the highest standards of ethics in providing justice for all. In order to ensure accountability and transparency, I will propose audio recording of all public proceedings.

Gahanna needs a full-time City Attorney committed to public service, community, and a better future for all Gahanna residents. With 20 years experience in complex business transactions and representing clients with honesty and integrity, I am prepared to meet the challenges presented as Gahanna’s next City Attorney.

“The City of Gahanna deserves reliable, fair, and honest legal representation. These are the principles I have used in my law practice for 20 years and I will continue to do so as your next City attorney.”

“My only campaign promises are to tell the truth and follow the law. Faith in government institutions is damaged at all levels. I want to restore credibility to local government through honesty & transparency. As City Attorney, I will assist our staff, commissions, and Council in keeping Gahanna the best home town for all its residents.”

Tricia Sprankle, JD, LLM

 

Education

Capital University Law School, Juris Doctorate, 1999; LL.M. (Taxation), 1999 Wittenberg University, Bachelor of Arts Political Science and Sociology, 1992

Qualifications for Office

For the last 10 years, I have built a small business and tax practice here in Gahanna. During the last two years, I’ve contracted with the City Attorney to address issues including revisions to the City Code and defending the Planning Commission before the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.

What would be your top one or two priorities if elected to this position?

The new administration and everyone at City Hall must restore trust in government through communication and transparency. To that end, the Law Department should require RFPs for contract legal services when such services are necessary. I will manage and review the contract attorneys with an eye toward fiscal responsibility which is in the best interests of the taxpayers of Gahanna. Gahanna Mayor’s Court must maintain the highest standards of justice. In order to ensure accountability and transparency, I will propose audio recording of public proceedings and night time sessions.

In addition to your professional and educational background, what administrative and managerial skills do you bring to the position of City Attorney?

As a business and tax attorney, I have often taught my small business clients how to read a Profit & Loss statement, Balance Sheet, and more importantly, how to remain compliant under current law. Preventing legal issues before a problem arises requires preparation and vigilance. Time management skills are required for all business owners, community volunteers, and parents like me. In a previous retail career I’ve managed employees, inventory, and sales. Public service requires good customer/constituent service. The most important skill in any of these endeavors is honest communication.

Are there any instances that you can recall within the city of Gahanna in the past decade that you, as the city attorney, would have approached differently? OR do you recall a case that you thought the city attorney handled well and you would have advised the same course of action. Explain.

My approach is different because my experience is different. In 20 years of practice, I’ve represented businesses and non-profit organizations regarding taxation, real estate, employments, and contract negotiation.  I find that a cooperative solutions-based approach has better served my clients than an adversarial litigation approach. Finding solutions and preventing litigation before it starts is the more cost effective approach.

The City Attorney has operated the Law Department with less than optimal funding due to the City’s financial position. I would continue the use of the Sustainable Operating Model as outlined in the current budget. By hiring a full-time paralegal to assist the City Attorney, we can reduce the amount spent on contractual counsel.

I feel it is inappropriate to opine on specific cases where the details of negotiation and events leading to litigation are not public.

What do you believe makes you qualified for the job as city attorney?

The transition to City Attorney will require minor adjustments compared to my obligation to any business I have represented in my career. My management and legal experience are my qualifications.

I will be providing guidance to a wide variety of departments with an even wider variety of legal issues. I will review our code and other documents for compliance, consult with staff regarding budgetary items, supervise outside counsel, and provide legal opinions to decision makers. I will undertake these duties with energy and enthusiasm.

Most important however, is the special duty I will have to the residents of Gahanna. While some sensitive information is properly withheld, I will strive to keep the public informed and maintain lines of communication to all. Public Servants need to remember whom they are serving.

What  have you done/are doing to prepare for the role of city attorney?

During my time as an outside contractor for the Law Department, I’ve become familiar with the personnel, processes, and opportunities to serve our community. After deciding to run, like any business lawyer, I needed to complete some due diligence.  I delved deeper into my review of the City Charter – the mandate from the people as to the operation of our City Government. I also reviewed the operations of our Mayor’s Court and reports from other cities’ Law Departments. I examined the current caseload of the department and the minutes of meetings where the City Attorney gives reports. I’ve reviewed the budget and staff reports to gain a better understanding of the issues facing our city. This is the type of due diligence any business lawyer would take when serving a new client. My goal is excellent, ethical, and informed service to the people of Gahanna.