Pickerington City Council members have a pool of nine applicants from which to fill a vacancy created by last fall's election.

As of Feb. 13, council's rules committee, which consists of all six current council members, was expected to interview candidates Feb. 15.

If all goes as planned, Councilman Tony Barletta said, a recommendation would be made for official action to be taken by the full council during its Feb. 20 meeting. The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. in Pickerington City Hall, 100 Lockville Road.

"We've agreed to set up interviews on (Feb.) 15," Barletta said.

"I'm expecting after we finish the interview process, we would have enough discussion to elect a person.

"The rules committee makes a recommendation to council. Then the full council will vote on it, and the mayor can sign it or veto it," he said.

A vacancy on the seven-member council arose at the outset of this year after Councilwoman Melissa Wilde was elected a Violet Township trustee in the November general election.

Wilde was elected to council in November 2015, and had two years remaining on her term when she resigned to take her township office.

In her stead, the city has accepted applications for her potential replacement. Those who have applied are:

* Joann Barnak

* Chad Cram

* Nicholas Derksen

* Paula Gellert

* William Reed

* Jacklyn Rohaly

* Douglas Triplett

* Brian Wamsley

* Lee Ann Whaley

Barletta said the city charter requires council to fill the post within 60 days, meaning action would need to be taken by March 1.

Because Wilde's vacancy occurred after July 1 of the second year of her four-year council term, the person appointed by council would serve the remainder of her elected term.

The seat will be up for election again in November 2019, with the winner taking office Jan. 1, 2020.

Barletta said he's been impressed by the quality of candidates seeking the appointment.

"It's been interesting," Barletta said. "I've tried to meet with the majority of folks.

"I'm excited about all of these people who are interested in serving the city of Pickerington."

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