Appointments to three city boards and commissions were pushed back by Hilliard City Council's committee of the whole after interviewing 10 people on March 28.

Appointments to three city boards and commissions were pushed back by Hilliard City Council's committee of the whole after interviewing 10 people on March 28.

The committee decided not to make any appointments until the April 11 council meeting. In the meantime, members would select their top choices by April 4.

The positions would be on Hilliard's existing Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), a revamped Economic Development Council (EDC) and the new Environmental Sustainability Council (ESC).

The BZA rules on variances to the city's zoning code such as setbacks for decks and fences, according to the city's website. The EDC "will enhance and expand economic development to retain current for-profit and nonprofit corporations and aggressively seek to attract new corporations in Hilliard." And the ESC "shall review existing green policies and (develop) programs that will create or enhance sustainable practices within our community." The EDC and ESC are advisory in nature.

There would be two appointments to the BZA, up to 11 to the EDC, and up to nine for the ESC.

Michael Buckley, Allan Gardner, Jonathan Hsu, Michele Pershing, Bev Marsh, Pete Marsh, Kim Movshin, Carrie Stanley-Davis, and Bob Stepp each spoke to council members at City Hall this week, explaining why they wanted to be appointed, what skills they brought, and what their priority would be if selected.

A common theme was giving back.

"This is the first step in getting involved in the community," Buckley said of his applying.

"I'm just here to help you make decisions," Stepp said.

After the interviews, council president Brett Sciotto said the process of making the appointments - which to date has involved three meetings over the course of six hours, with numerous breaks between interviews - was "cumbersome." Council has opened up the process so more people from the community could apply to such posts.

"This was really a long, painful process, and I felt bad for some of those who we really didn't have a whole lot of questions," Sciotto said, referring to the more experienced applicants that council already knew. He asked council for input.

Councilwoman Stephanie Kunze said that a thorough review of the applicants' resumes and letters of intent should be sufficient instead of in-person interviews.

Councilman Bill Uttley said those seeking the BZA posts should be interviewed by council in person since their position entails more responsibility.

Council vice president Kelly McGivern agreed that the process was long, but said this was a rare circumstance.

"I don't see the potential of us starting up two big committees like this in the future, so I don't think it will be that cumbersome," McGivern said. "I found value in talking with folks. It's exciting to see how many people in our community wanted to volunteer."

Sciotto said council should look into a codified procedure on selecting members to boards and commissions.