Gahanna City Council welcomed new council clerk Kim McWilliams during the Oct. 7 meeting.

Gahanna City Council welcomed new council clerk Kim McWilliams during the Oct. 7 meeting.

McWilliams comes to Gahanna from the city of Groveport, where she worked as clerk of council and paralegal for over seven years.

She is replacing Isobel Sherwood, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Prior to joining Groveport, she had more than 20 years of experience in the legal field and worked in two law firms.

Her annual salary is $72,000 plus a benefit package of $29,749 for a total annual package of $101,749 annually, said Sue Wadley, human-resources director.

"Initially, I was inspired to work for Gahanna by Groveport council member Ed Rarey," McWilliams said. "He has been involved in the Gahanna-Jefferson school district for over 60 years, referring to Gahanna as 'God's country,' always noting the beautiful parklands.

"When I interviewed with Gahanna, I was very pleased with what I learned and everyone I encountered in the city," she said. "I am very excited to build on the foundation that Isobel has worked so hard to construct over the years as clerk of council. I hope I can fill her shoes."

McWilliams' first day on the job was Oct. 7, and she will be training over the next few months before assuming all of Sherwood's duties.

McWilliams has an associate's degree in paralegal studies, and she's a certified municipal clerk.

In council discussion, state Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) presented Gahanna City Council President Stephen Renner with an accommodation from the Ohio House of Representatives for the city's selection by Ohio Magazine editors as one of Ohio's Best Hometowns for 2013-14.

Every November, the magazine picks five towns from various regions of the state. In addition to Gahanna, the other cities are Aurora, Vermilion, Logan and Loveland.

"When I'm in Gahanna, it does feel like a hometown," Gonzales said. "I commend the mayor and staff."

She said the honor is a reflection of the hard work of many city employees who help keep the community safe and provide excellent services to residents.

In reports to council, Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education President Claire Yoder said the school district had an end-of-September enrollment of 7,254 students, an increase of about 150 students from the previous year.

"Some students have been moved from Jefferson (Elementary School) to High Point," she said. "High Point is the largest of the elementary schools. We've done some shifting. We've had concerns from parents in those attendance areas. It's a tough decision we have to make. We want to make sure classes are sizes so learning can occur."

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb welcomed a visiting Boy Scout troop to council, as well as McWilliams.

Before the next regular council meeting, she said, the city will host Creepside from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16.

"We had 8,000 kids last year," she said. "It's a fun time."

City attorney Shane Ewald thanked Gonzales, a first-time sponsor of Creepside who made the final donation to make this year's festival a financial reality.

"My kids love it every year," Ewald said.

Council member Brandon Wright said Creepside is very popular throughout central Ohio.

"It's good to see all those people congregate for a good time," he said.

Because of the Columbus Day holiday Monday, Oct. 14, council won't meet in committee until 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15.