Reynoldsburg City Council appointed Barth R. Cotner Monday night to fill a vacancy left when Antoinette Newman resigned on Dec. 31.

Reynoldsburg City Council appointed Barth R. Cotner Monday night to fill a vacancy left when Antoinette Newman resigned on Dec. 31.

The appointment becomes effective Feb. 1.

Cotner, 36, owner and manager of the Cotner Funeral Home, has lived in Reynoldsburg all of his life. He and his wife, Julie, have two children, Casey and Lucie.

He attended Reynoldsburg schools through junior high school and graduated from Liberty Christian Academy in 1990.

Cotner earned a bachelor's degree in mortuary science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 2003.

He is a member of the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and of the national and state funeral directors associations.

Cotner recently served as co-chairman of the campaign committee pushing for voter approval of the Reynoldsburg school district's 6.9-mill operating levy in November 2008. He said he plans to stay involved in helping to get a May school operating levy passed.

He said Monday he definitely will have some things to learn as a member of council, but looks forward to it.

"I look at this as a new step and a new opportunity to keep serving Reynoldsburg," Cotner said. "That's why I've gotten so involved in so many community activities -- I believe in Reynoldsburg. This is my home, where my business is and this is where I'm raising my family.

"I feel like council is another way that I'm going to be able to serve with those goals that I have," he said.

Cotner said he was in the process of preparing to seek signatures on a petition to run in the May primary for a council seat before his father, Bill, passed away last week.

He said he thinks officials need to stay vigilant and proactive in order to continue making the city the kind of community people want to live in.

"I'm proud of this, and I kind of wish my dad were here because he would have been the first one that I'd have called, and I'm definitely sad that I missed that," he said.

Councilman Mel Clemens said all of the candidates for Newman's seat were outstanding. The other two finalists were Nathan Burd and Christopher J. Long.

He said Cotner's involvement in the community will help make him a good councilman.

"He's a very good person, very good family, very active in the schools, and everybody felt he would be a good representation for the public, really," Clemens said. "We thought he would be a good choice and thought the public would think so, which I think they will."

Councilman Ron Stake said there were a lot of good candidates and thought Cotner was the best choice.

"Barth is a quality person all the way around and has been involved in the community; he's got vested interests more than himself," Stake said.

Burd said he is happy for Cotner and wishes him well.

"He's a good guy. I wish him nothing but the best, and he's one of the nicest guys I know, actually, so I'm happy for him," he said.

Burd said he plans to stay active in the community and may run for office in some capacity with the city at some point.

Long said he is absolutely running in the May primary for a council seat.

"Barth is a decent guy and I think it's going to be a very crowded group that's going to be out in the May primary," Long said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com

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