Hilliard City Council re-elected its two leaders at an organizational meeting Monday, Jan. 4.

Hilliard City Council re-elected its two leaders at an organizational meeting Monday, Jan. 4.

Council members voted 6-1 to stay the course with Nathan Painter as president and Kelly McGivern as vice president.

No other nominations were made but Councilman Les Carrier dissented on votes to close nominations after each was rendered and also cast the vote against both Painter and McGivern.

Speaking after the meeting, Carrier said he voted against the nominations because he does not support the current leadership, particularly the decision last August to enact emergency legislation to rezone land necessary to build apartments and a road extending Trueman Boulevard east to Edwards Farms Drive.

"Where's the road?" Carrier asked, referring to the lack of immediate progress on the road despite the stated urgency in August to approve the authorizing legislation as an emergency.

The action was the root cause, Carrier said, for him to lead Keep Hilliard Beautiful's effort to circulate a petition late last year to place two charter amendments on the March primary ballot: one to prohibit City Council from approving rezoning requests by emergency and the other to prohibit tax-increment-financing districts for residential uses.

The Franklin County Board of Elections certified the petition in November. However, City Council last month, citing a legal opinion that the petition was flawed according to Ohio elections laws, voted to keep the proposed amendments off the ballot.

Keep Hilliard Beautiful then filed a request for a writ of mandamus from the Ohio Supreme Court, asking the court to compel City Council to fulfill a legal obligation to place the proposed amendments on the ballot.

Attorney Joseph R. Miller of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease was the attorney City Council consulted about the petition.

"The relators demanded that City Council simply rubber stamp petitions that did not meet the requirements of Ohio's election laws and could mislead voters," Miller said in a Jan. 5 email. "City Council could not do so under the law. Instead, Ohio law required City Council to determine if the petitions were in strict compliance with all legal requirements for placing the measure on the ballot.

"The petitions were not and now the relators are asking the Supreme Court to excuse this failure to satisfy all such requirements and place a patently misleading measure before Hilliard's voters."

Miller said his firm responded to the writ of mandamus last week.

Both sides have filed briefs and rebuttals and await a ruling from the Supreme Court, Carrier said.

While no deadline for a decision exists, the case will be expedited and a decision is expected within three weeks to determine whether proposed amendments will be placed on the ballot, Carrier said.

In other business Jan. 4:

* The three City Council members who were unopposed in November and re-elected to new terms, Joe Erb, Al Iosue and Painter, were sworn in immediately prior to the election of leadership.

Mayor Don Schonhardt, who also was unopposed and re-elected in November, had already been sworn in for his fourth term in office.

* City Council unanimously approved a resolution reappointing Lynne Fasone as council clerk.

Fasone first was appointed to a two-year term in January 2006 and reappointed in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.