Leadership for a newly constituted Clintonville Area Commission won't be chosen until Aug. 2, if then.

Leadership for a newly constituted Clintonville Area Commission won't be chosen until Aug. 2, if then.

The decision last week to hold off on choosing a chairman or chairwoman, a vice chairman or chairwoman and a secretary sets up the possibility of deadlocked votes on these and other matters.

In a meeting that was briskly paced and yet still managed to go slightly over the mandated two-hour time limit, three new members were seated in a session that initially was scheduled for last week, then was to have taken place on July 5 but was returned to July 12 as a result of the late-June storm that left much of Clintonville without electricity.

The July meeting is identified in the bylaws as the annual organizational session for the CAC, at which new members seated and officers elected, and leaders and members of three standing committees are appointed.

However, citing Robert's Rules of Order, Chairman Pro-tem Dan Miller, the new District 4 representative, said it's permissible to delay action required at a specific meeting by adjourning to a specific time and date.

Rob Wood of District 1 made the motion to do just that.

At 7 p.m. Aug. 2 in the meeting room of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Whetstone branch, the commission's July session will be reconvened for the purpose of electing officers and appointing chairmen, as well as members of the planning and development and zoning and variance committees.

At that time, all eight current members of the commission will be on hand; District 3's James R. Blazer II was out of town last week, the result of having made travel plans when it appeared the meeting was to have taken place July 5.

An even number of commission members creates the possibility of 4-4 tie votes.

The seven commission members present at the July 12 meeting did name a chairwoman and members of one standing committee -- the one charged with holding elections -- in order not to further delay filling the vacancy created in mid-May when District 8 representative and chairman John DeFourny resigned.

A series of events, "and frankly snafus," led to the date and location of the July meeting being changed repeatedly, Miller said at the outset of the discussion to postpone selection of officers.

"At the time the decision was made, half or more of Clintonville was in the dark," he said.

Miller was chosen to be pro-tem chairman only after the nomination of District 6 representative Jennifer Kangas was defeated with a 4-3 vote. Miller joined with District 9's D Searcy as well as new members Dana K.J. Bagwell of District 5 and Jason Meek of District 7 in turning down that nomination. His own election to lead the meeting was passed unanimously.

The vote to delay choosing officers until Aug. 2 was approved 6-1, with Bagwell casting the lone dissenting vote.

Bagwell said "100 percent of the people I've heard from have asked us to move forward with the election of officers."

This prompted commission member and zoning and variance committee member Sandy Simbro to ask how residents could possibly have known a motion to delay consideration of officers would be up for a vote. Resident Emma Heiberger, who headed up a crosswalk task force appointed by the commission, noted the officer issue was on the agenda.

District 9 resident Rick Fowler asked if Blazer had expressed interest in being elected chairman of the committee. Miller said he had in the past, but wasn't certain of Blazer's current plans.

Kangas and District 2's Nancy Kuhel both said holding off on choosing officers had nothing to do with whether Blazer wished to be one of them.

"It's an important thing for a commissioner to have a say in," Kangas said.

"This is about a full body being present to make an important decision," Kuhel said.

"It would be nice of seven of the nine of you could get the job done," said Josh Peters, a resident of District 8.

Another person in the audience, Linda Lewis, asked what would happen if a commission member were unable to attend the Aug. 2 reconvening of the organizational meeting.

"I don't perceive that happening," Miller replied.