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Columbus Council Lines Up Public Hearings To Fill Vacancies

Columbus Council member Jaiza Page is leaving for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
Nick Evans
Columbus Council member Jaiza Page is leaving for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Columbus City Council is holding a public hearing Thursday evening to determine who will take over for outgoing member Jaiza Page. Hers is the first of two upcoming vacant seats on the council.

Page won election in November to the bench of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. Thursday's hearing will help Council members select her successor from a shortlist of 15 finalists.

In a memo, Council President Shannon Hardin laid out the process for filling her seat, as well as the one member Michael Stinziano will vacate in March to take over as county auditor.

Council members narrowed a pool of 56 candidates to 15 finalists early last month. They’ll fill both seats from that shortlist, which includes:

  • Nicholas J. Bankston
  • Lourdes Barroso De Padilla
  • Stefanie Lynn Coe
  • Nancy Day-Achauer
  • Rob Dorans
  • Albert Edmonson
  • Shayla D. Favor
  • Catherine A. Girves
  • Chenelle Jones
  • Marco Miller
  • Michelle Moskowitz Brown
  • Rick Neal
  • Ramona Reyes
  • Sam Shim
  • Erin Synk

If all goes according to plan, Council will vote on the first appointment Monday, and hold hearings for the second February 21. A vote on the second vacancy could happen as early as February 25.
Council began scheduling public hearings on every seat vacancy last year, after voters approved a charter amendment in May. The appointment process has been much-criticized for allowing newly-appointed Council members the advantage of incumbency in their first election, a regular occurence as Council members often leave their terms early for other elected offices.

All seven current Columbus City Council members are Democrats.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.