New Albany News

Mayor reappoints Briscoe to New Albany City Council


New Albany City Council on May 2 swore in Colleen Briscoe to the seat from which she retired March 1 to secure her state benefits.

Mayor Nancy Ferguson appointed Briscoe to the seat, which is up for election this year.

Briscoe said she will run for the seat in the November election. She said previously she planned to run again for City Council even if she were not reappointed.

City spokesman Scott McAfee said New Albany officials did not post the vacancy and they were not required to do so, per the city charter.

Mayor Nancy Ferguson said a few people called about the position but Briscoe was the only one who formally applied to be appointed to the seat.

Because no one else applied, the city did not conduct interviews, McAfee said.

According to the city charter, City Council had 60 days to appoint a replacement, but because it did not fill the seat in that timeline, the responsibility fell to the mayor.

"We do not always agree about a lot of things," Ferguson said. "There are some projects I have felt strongly about that she and I have disagreed on, but I think that reappointing her is in the best interest of the city of New Albany."

Briscoe previously said she retired to obtain her benefits from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, citing recent changes to the state's benefits system.

The state legislature last September approved Senate Bill 343, which includes changes in the OPERS pension and health-care plans.

It increases the retirement age and changes years of service required to receive a pension.

The pension plan was expected to take effect Jan. 7, 2013, but will now take effect Aug. 7, 2014, with a timeline extension that passed with House Bill 67.

Briscoe served as mayor of New Albany from 1996 to 2004 and was appointed to a City Council seat in 2004. She was elected to the seat in 2005 and again in 2009.