A familiar face is returning to Bexley City Council.
Jed Morison, superintendent/CEO of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, has been appointed to replace Anne Lewis, who resigned this month due to work and family commitments.
After interviewing seven other applicants, council members voted 5-0 on June 18 to appoint Morison, who originally was elected to council in 1998 and served until 2006 and again from 2008-12.
Morison, who was scheduled to be sworn in at council's Tuesday, June 24, meeting, said he's looking forward to working with fellow council members, Mayor Ben Kessler and city staff to address current issues.
"I'm very interested in supporting a lot of the good work that's going on right now -- the City Hall relocation and bringing in development to the City Hall site," including a new Giant Eagle grocery store, Morison said. "I'm excited about that, and it's something I'm looking forward to helping with."
During his previous terms on council, Morison served in several leadership positions, including as president and chairman of the safety, finance and service committees. He said he is proud of having helped to pass one of the first citywide bans on texting while driving, as well as creating a bicycle helmet law for children, and a citywide indoor smoking ban.
Morison, who holds a bachelor's degree from Otterbein College and a master's of education from Xavier University, is a former board member of the Bexley Education Foundation and also has served on the Jeffrey Mansion Commission.
Council members said Morison's experience is what convinced them to vote for him to fill Lewis' seat. Council member Lori Ann Feibel abstained from the vote because she was out of town when council members interviewed Morrison on June 10.
"I think it's important ... that we add someone with some more experience because we have a young council, not only in chronological age, but more importantly, in service to the community," said Councilman Mark Masser, who nominated Morison for a vote and previously served with him on council.
Masser added that he appreciates Morison's "uncanny ability to listen to two sides of an issue and bring both sides together to resolve and try to make each feel that they're right and, at the same time, producing a positive outcome. I know it firsthand. I've seen him do this."
"I watched Jed on council for a full year before I ran and I think he is a good addition," Councilman Tim Madison said. "I think Jed will be good for us to give us some historical background."
"Given everything that's happening in the city and how quickly everything is moving at the moment, I particularly wanted to make sure that we find a candidate who would move quickly to get up to speed," Councilwoman Deneese Owen said.
Morison will serve for the remainder of Lewis' term, which expires Dec. 31, 2015.
The other candidates council interviewed for Lewis' seat are: Nancy Belay, Roger Carroll, Chad Friedman, Sima Gellman, Robert Kaynes Jr., Richard Lange and Howard Schnitz.