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Who’s Next on Deck to be Appointed at City Council?

Walker Evans Walker Evans Who’s Next on Deck to be Appointed at City Council?Photo by Walker Evans.
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With five of the seven members of City Council determined earlier this week by the voters of Columbus, you might think we’d be done for awhile with the transition of legislative leadership. Instead, there will actually be one more update in January when current Councilmember Eileen Paley steps down to take on her newly elected position as a Judge at the Franklin County Municipal Court.

Since October 2014, three Columbus City Council positions have been vacated and filled with appointees: Shannon Hardin was selected to replace A. Troy Miller, Jaiza Page was selected to replace Hearcel Craig, and Fran Ryan was selected to replace Michelle Mills. Hardin and Page were both officially voted into office on Tuesday, while Ryan opted not to run beyond her three-months of appointed service.

While the appointment process won’t officially begin until at least January, some frontrunner candidates from previous processes have already weighed in on whether or not they plan to seek the office once again. That includes Weinland Park Civic Association President Brandyn McElroy, who confirmed yesterday that he plans to apply for the seat through the appointment process.

“I am a very strong supporter of the current city council elect, but I do think it is time that a community leader join Council — one that has been involved in the community and understands the needs of those working diligently on our Civic associations and commissions, day in and day out,” he said. “I think of myself in many ways a representative of people of this great city and their undying love for their piece of the Columbus pie. I think this appointment gives the opportunity for city council to select a candidate that will bring that wealth of grass roots knowledge to the table.”

McElroy was named as finalist in the process last December when applying for the position that ultimately went to Page. Former Mayoral Candidate James Ragland was also a finalist during that same process last year, but said that he does not plan to seek the appointment at this point in time.

“I’ve spent the last few months working in earnest to elect good Democrats,” he said. “While I’ve been interested in Council appointments in the past, I am not certain that this is the right opportunity for me. I will continue to work in the community to make certain that with the next office I seek, I will have earned the trust of the people.”

Similarly, Assistant City Auditor Megan Kilgore was one of 12 finalists to apply for the seat that went to Hardin, but said that while she has already been asked to apply, she has no plans to do so.

Yay Bikes! Director Catherine Girves is another repeat applicant who has been named as a frontrunner on multiple occasions. She said that she does plan to seek the appointment in January.

“It’s an exciting time for Columbus as we consider how we’re going to handle the growth projected for the region, and I’d be thrilled to join the stellar leadership team we just elected,” she said. “I think I’ve got a lot to offer in terms of thinking creatively about growth from the perspective of social justice and sustainability.”

Columbus City Council Communications Director Columbus John Ivanic said that no deadlines have been determined at this point in time for when the appointment process would begin next year.

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