Hilliard Northwest News

City Council plans to name Kunze's replacement Feb. 11


Members of Hilliard City Council interviewed four candidates Jan. 28 to fill the unexpired term of Stephanie Kunze, who resigned in December to take her seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Kunze's term expires Dec. 31, 2013.

At least eight candidates have obtained petitions from the Franklin County Board of Elections for the May 7 primary election.

City Council members said previously they would name only a successor who meets the Feb. 6 filing deadline for the primary election. Whomever is appointed to her seat must stand for election in November, assuming success in the primary.

Council members plan to choose Kunze's successor at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11.

Excluding the sole incumbent seeking re-election, City Council Vice President Kelly McGivern, four of the remaining candidates eligible for appointment to Kunze's seat have applied for consideration.

Tom Baker, Marc Barraco, Les Carrier and Bill Uttley were screened Jan. 28 for the City Council vacancy. All four are Republicans.

Three other candidates with petitions, Thomas Alban, Brian Katz and Michael-Lynn Evans, did not apply for consideration.

Baker, 56, is co-owner of Baker & Associates Insurance Co.

Barraco, 41, works for the city of Columbus, providing technical support for the safety department.

Carrier, 43, has a law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and is employed by Denver-based EPS Settlements Group.

Uttley, 57, owns the Columbus Appraisal and Consulting Co. and is the current chairman of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission.

Council members asked each candidate a standard battery of questions, which included their willingness to campaign in the general election and confirmation that each had the ability to give the required time to the job.

City Council members voted Jan. 28 to suspend rules that require a preliminary voting session and second interviews. Instead, each member will ask Council Clerk Lynne Fasone to prepare a resolution in the name of the candidate they want considered for appointment.

Resolutions for each selected candidate will be considered Feb. 11 until a majority of votes are achieved to secure a nomination.

City Council members also are expected Feb. 11 to appoint a new member to the Hilliard Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mike Cope and Scott Movshin applied for the BZA seat vacated by Barbara Rushley, who resigned after moving from Hilliard to Norwich Township. Rushley's five-year term expires Dec. 31, 2016.

Cope is a former City Council member, Norwich Township trustee and planning and zoning commission member and Movshin has served on the city's charter review commission.