Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard City Council

Ashenhurst, Sciotto say they won’t seek re-election

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Two incumbent Hilliard City Council members say they will not seek re-election this year.

Jim Ashenhurst and Brett Sciotto, who serves as City Council president, plan to step down at the end of their terms, each told ThisWeek on Jan. 11.

Kelly McGivern is the only incumbent seeking re-election.

City Council already is down to six members.

Stephanie Kunze resigned Dec. 31 because she was elected in November to represent the 24th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.

City Council plans to appoint a member to succeed Kunze from among those who file petitions by the Feb. 6 filing deadline at the Franklin County Board of Elections. Kunze’s term expires Dec. 31 and whomever is appointed to her seat must stand for election in November.

The new members for 2014 might be determined as soon as the primary election May 7.

Historically, the primary election has served as the city’s general election. No Democrat has served on City Council since 1993 and in many instances no Democrats have appeared on the ballot.

A Democrat last appeared on the ballot in 2009.

Sciotto, 40, began his civil service as an aide to Hilliard City Council in 2000.

“It has been a privilege to represent the citizens of Hilliard for the past eight years and to help lead the transformation that has made our community one of the finest in the nation,” Sciotto said. “Not only has Hilliard become an incredible place to live, work and play – it has also become a model for what can be accomplished in a community when leaders work collaboratively to achieve their vision.

“While I may be concluding my time on City Council this year, there remains much to do and I am excited about serving Hilliard in new ways into the future.”

Ashenhurst, 66, was elected in 2009.

He said he is satisfied with his one term of service, expressing an interest in having more time for charity and to spend with his two grandchildren.

“I started my time on City Council with one term in mind (and) think I have made a good contribution,” he said. “But I'll keep involved with the city.”

One possible replacement could be a familiar face as former City Councilman Bill Uttley said he is seeking to return to City Council.

The current chairman of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission, Uttley has served 12 non-consecutive terms on City Council beginning in 1994.

He last served on City Council in 2010. He was appointed to the seat in May 2010 but was not successful in election to the unexpired term.

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