Hilliard City Council
Primary field could include at least six Republicans
McGivern the only incumbent who plans to seek re-election
At least six Republican candidates could vie in the May 7 primary election for the right to run for four Hilliard City Council seats in November.
As of Jan. 15, six candidates had obtained petitions from the Franklin County Board of Elections. Candidates have until Feb. 6 to file their petitions for the primary.
City Council Vice President Kelly McGivern is the only incumbent planning to seek re-election. McGivern, 46, was appointed to City Council in January 2008 and was elected in November 2009 to her first term. The Ohio State University graduate is senior director of government affairs at Aetna.
Two other incumbents -- Brett Sciotto, who serves as City Council president, and Jim Ashenhurst -- said they will not seek re-election, and Stephanie Kunze resigned last month because she was elected in November to represent the 24th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.
The five other candidates who have obtained petitions for the primary are: Tom Baker, Les Carrier, Michael-Lynn Evans, Brian Katz and Bill Uttley.
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.
City Council plans to appoint Kunze's successor from among those who file petitions by Feb. 6. Kunze's term expires Dec. 31 and whomever is appointed to her seat must stand for election in November, assuming success in the primary.
Sciotto said Jan. 15 that candidates interested in filling Kunze's unexpired term must submit letters of intent and resumes to City Council Clerk Lynne Fasone no later than Jan. 23.
Those candidates will be interviewed Jan. 28. A second round of interviews will be conducted Feb. 11.
An appointment from those who have filed a petition is expected to be made at the Feb. 11 City Council meeting, Sciotto said.
One possible replacement could be a familiar face as Uttley seeks 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 an election for the unexpired term.
Uttley, 57, is a 1974 graduate of Hilliard High School and owner of the Columbus Appraisal and Consulting Co.
The other candidates could add some new perspectives to City Council.
Baker, 56, is co-owner of Baker & Associates Insurance Co.
"I've seen a lot of growth in Hilliard and want to help make sure we keep moving in the right direction," said Baker, adding that he had no immediate goal or platform but wants to ensure the business community is well represented.
Baker is a graduate of Wittenberg University with a dual major in business and political science. He is a past president of the Hilliard Weaver Lacrosse Club and Hilliard Davidson Drama Club, and a past treasurer of the Hilliard Ohio Soccer Association.
He served on the Hilliard City Charter Review Commission and is current president of the Buckeye Business Network.
Carrier, 43, has a law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and is employed by Denver-based EPS Settlements Group.
He is a structured settlement consultant, often handling personal injury claims involving children.
"I want Hilliard to be a place where our children want to return to raise their own children," said Carrier, who has been involved with several school-based organizations.
Carrier said three components ensure a quality community: safety forces, schools and infrastructure.
"I also want to see our council responsibly manage growth (and) collaborate with other local governments," Carrier said.
Katz, 28, is chief counsel and director of compliance for the Franklin County Auditor's Office.
Katz has a law degree from Capital University Law School and is a hearing officer for the Ohio Board of Cosmetology. He also serves on the Ohio Supreme Court's Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.
"I am running for City Council because I want to have a voice in my community," Katz said. "Hilliard cannot be managed as just any fast-growing community where government as usual is acceptable, (but) a community with solid fundamental principles where local government understands its sole purpose is serving the residents and businesses."
ThisWeek was unable to reach Evans for comment.