Hilliard Northwest News

City accepting applications for board of zoning appeals

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Hilliard City Council will accept applications rather than automatically reappoint two current members of the board of zoning appeals.

City Council on Dec. 16 tabled resolutions reappointing Brent Gilmore and Dean Worthington to the board of zoning appeals.

Both members' terms expire Dec. 31 and both indicated a desire to continue serving on board.

Opinions differed on whether City Council should reappoint the members or call for applicants and vet them all.

"I think opening it up to interested citizens is important," Councilman Al Iosue said.

But Councilman Nathan Painter opposed calling for applications after Gilmore and Worthington indicated a desire to continue serving.

"In a way, it's insulting to say that we want to see who else is out there," Painter said. "Unless there a basis to object (to the current members), I think we should reappoint."

Iosue said he understood Painter's view, but did not consider the suggested practice an insult.

To not solicit applications "closes the opportunity for others who might be interested from coming forward," said Iosue, who challenged Painter's summarization that applicants should only be sought if there was no intention to reappoint the seated members.

"I'm not going to reappoint them only because they've done a good job," Iosue said. "If someone else is even more qualified, (I'll consider that person). I'm not a rubber stamp."

Councilman Joe Erb appeared to side with Painter.

Erb said if a board has an open seat or City Council wishes to remove someone, then City Council should seek applications. But if City Council intends to reappoint seated members, it is "kind of disingenuous" to seek applicants.

Council members Jim Ashenhurst and Tom Baker both said they favored making the process more open.

Council Vice President Kelly McGivern appealed to the new council members beginning service in January to establish a uniform policy for appointments to the city's various boards and commissions.

"It can't be on a case-by-case basis," McGivern said.

Despite the dissenting opinions, the decision was unanimous to table the resolutions until the Jan. 13 meeting.

Those interested in being named to the board of zoning appeals can submit applications by Jan. 13 to the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way.

In other business Dec. 16, City Council unanimously approved numerous ordinances and resolutions. They included:

* Adoption of the city's five-year capital improvement projects program.

* Establishment of a reserve-cash fund for the city.

* Authorization of a contract for professional information-technology services.

* Allocation of 68 percent of income-tax revenue to the general fund.

* Appropriation of the the city's general-fund expenses for 2014.

City Council members said little about any of the legislation, including the $21.4 million general-fund operating budget for 2014, as all the legislation had been reviewed Dec. 9 and at previous council meetings.

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