When John Ivanic, communications director for Columbus City Council, reached out to Northwest Civic Association President John Ehlers about holding another community meeting in the neighborhood, a likely location popped to mind.
"I had contacted Doug Hammond, who is the airport director, about whether he knew of any facilities that could host a group of maybe 100 or 150, and he immediately mentioned that Hangar 1, the original hangar at Ohio State Airport, would be available, so it sounded like an interesting opportunity," Ehlers said last week.
The result is that the ongoing series of gatherings offering residents face time with elected representatives and members of their staff will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the Don Scott Field facility, 2160 W. Case Road.
The last time a council community meeting took place on the Northwest Side, just under a year ago, it was held in the lobby at Centennial High School.
After having attended some gatherings held at Hangar 1, Ehlers said he thought the site might make an equally excellent setting for what will be the sixth council community gathering of the year.
A seventh is set for Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd.
The sessions all run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and feature not only council members and their personnel, but also several heads of various city departments.
Ehlers said he met with Ivanic at the airport hangar and they worked out the logistics of getting sufficient tables and chairs to accommodate all seven who serve on council, the members of their staff, department representatives and members of the public.
"It seemed like it was going to be a good fit," Ehlers said.
"The community meetings are a chance for residents to discuss any subject matter they choose in an informal, one-on-one setting with council members, their staff and city department leaders," Ivanic wrote in an email announcing the September and October gatherings.
The session in Hangar 1, Ehlers said, provides not only members of council, but also NWCA trustees an opportunity to find out what's on the minds of residents in that part of the city.
"In public forums, when you're speaking to a group, you speak in very different language than you do one on one," Ehlers said.
"It's often very helpful to participate in these one-on one-conversations.
"Northwest Columbus faces a lot of the same issues that other parts of Columbus faces in terms of maintaining property values and creating a safe and appealing neighborhood for our families, and so most of our concerns are similar to other places in terms of development, code enforcement and safety."