Few seem interested in three CAC seats

CAC's election committee head says serving on commission is chance to 'peek behind curtain'


Mike Folmar enjoyed his time as a member of the Clintonville Area Commission so much that he wants others to share the experience.

Folmar, chairman of the panel's election committee, is urging residents of Districts 1, 2 and 9 to consider running for those posts.

So far, he reported at the March 6 meeting of the CAC, only three individuals have taken out petitions to run. Candidate packets have been available at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library since Feb. 21.

The deadline for turning in the nominating forms with the signatures of 50 residents in the district seat being sought is March 28. The forms, accompanied by a notarized affidavit, should be returned to the branch library.

The election will be held May 3.

No one attended an optional but "highly recommended" candidate orientation elections committee meeting held March 4, Folmar told CAC members in his report.

District boundaries are:

* District 1 -- Glen Echo Ravine to the south; the railroad tracks just east of Indianola Avenue to the east; the center line of Weber Road to the north; and the center line of North High Street to the west.

* District 2 -- Glen Echo Ravine to the south; the center line of North High Street to the east; the center line of Orchard Lane to the north; and the Olentangy River to the west.

* District 9 -- the Columbus city limits and the eastward projection of the Columbus city limits west of North High Street and by the center line of Georgetown Drive and its westward projection and the south line of the State Schools for the Blind and Deaf east of North High Street to the south; the railroad tracks just east of Indianola Avenue to the east; the city limits of Worthington to the north; and the Olentangy River and the Columbus city limits to the west.

Rob Wood is the current District 1 representative. Nancy Kuhel holds the District 2 seat. D Searcy, who first ran in 2002, represents District 9.

Whether or not the incumbents in all three districts have shared Folmar's appreciation of being on the panel remains to be seen; he declined to say if those who took out candidate packets include any of the current commission members.

Just because three individuals initiated the process for running doesn't mean all of them will follow through, the committee chairman said.

Folmar said his years on the CAC provided insight into his neighborhood that he might not have gotten any other way.

"It was a difficult time for the commission," Folmar said. "There was a lot of conflict over the intersection of North Broadway and High Street, but there were a lot of contacts and things in the community that I felt very positive about.

"It's kind of like getting a chance to peek behind the curtain," he said. "When you're just a resident, you sort of see the result, the outcome of all this stuff. But when you're a commissioner, you get to be involved in the inner workings of how things happen."

If only the three individuals who took out nominating petitions become formal candidates, that won't upset Folmar.

"I'm not disappointed," he said. "That's fine. Right now the commission's working very well and that's good. The commissioners are getting things accomplished.

"There's always something to be said for differences of opinion and robust debate and giving the residents of the districts a choice, things to chew on, make a decision."

Commission candidates must be over the age of 18 and reside in the district for which they are running.