Upper Arlington City Council started its new year by swearing in new members and electing two senior members to serve as president and vice president.

Members voted unanimously Jan. 8 to make Kip Greenhill council president and Brendan King vice president for the next two years.

Greenhill, who was elected to his second term in November, spent the past two years as council vice president.

He promised residents would be heard as council carries out city business over the next two years.

"I believe the people in our community want us to have a culture where people can bring forward ideas and we have discussions, we have debate, but it's always done in a civil way," Greenhill said. "And when we have those discussions, everybody walks away with a feeling, 'I'm OK. You're OK.'

"There is no reason at all that Upper Arlington cannot truly be the shining city on the hill when it comes to having powerful discussion of community issues."

Greenhill said residents must have a "sense of ownership" in decisions and alluded to a previous call he's made to begin video recording council meetings and broadcasting them live on the internet.

"I think we need to again be allowed to open up the doors -- not just open up the doors but open up the windows of our city government -- so people can easily see in," he said. "So that they can see the quality of leadership, the quality of workers of we have here, the quality of discussions we have on important issues, to really understand so that there's no distrust at all of what goes on with city government."

King began his first term in January 2016. He thanked his fellow council members for their confidence in him.

"It's truly an honor, and it's something I take very seriously," he said of being named council vice president. "As I see all these kids up here, in a blink, that was me 30 years ago. So this a little surreal."

King also said strengthening trust and civility with constituents will be key objectives for city officials.

"Looking forward, this council has a chance to continue to lay groundwork for the way our city will grow and continue to prosper for the next 100 years," he said. "Because it's Upper Arlington, the expectations are high, but we're headed in the right direction.

"This council is committed to continuing to build the community's trust through civility and outreach," King said. "Let's build on the successes of the last couple of years while learning from the challenges."

Greenhill and King were elected to the leadership positions by a council that includes three new faces.

Gone are Debbie Johnson, an eight-year council member who served as president the past two years, and fellow eight-year member David DeCapua. Both faced city charter term limits.

Also no longer on board is John C. Adams, who served six years on council and chose not to seek re-election last November.

In their places are newly elected members Brian Close, Michele Hoyle and Jim Lynch.

During swearing-in ceremonies Jan. 8, they reflected on the campaign trail that brought them to office as well as their duties ahead.

"We're going to need to work together to continue to be the best," Hoyle said. "Now let's get started. The best is yet to be for Upper Arlington."

Lynch said the first time he visited the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, he was 3 or 4 years old and made an inauspicious exit after pulling a fire alarm.

"Now I look forward to spending my Monday evenings in this building making decisions for our community, and to keep our community on a competitive path," Lynch said.

Close, who was the top vote-getter in November in a seven-way race for four seats, also said he's ready to go to bat for the city and those who elected him.

"The trust you gave me is powerful and I won't let you down," Close said. "We're excited to do great things."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate