What's in a name -- or a nickname?
What's in a name -- or a nickname?
In the case of Save Northam Park's attempt to recall four Upper Arlington City Council members, it could have an effect on how many incumbents would be included in the election.
The Franklin County Board of Elections' approval process for a recall vote has been delayed due to a protest over a name used on one of the petitions.
Former Upper Arlington Mayor Priscilla Mead filed a protest last week with the elections board because the name on the petitions seeking Councilman Kip Greenhill's removal from office used his nickname -- Kip -- instead of his given name, Francis, the one under which he's registered to vote.
"We haven't certified the results of the (petitions) yet because a protest has been filed," said Ben Piscitelli, Franklin County Board of Elections public information officer. "That's going to be heard at our next board meeting, which will be July 15 at 10 a.m.
"(Mead's) challenging this because one of the petitions identified Kip Greenhill -- as he's commonly known in UA -- as Kip Greenhill, but he's registered under the name Francis Greenhill."
Save Northam Park (SNP) members want to recall Greenhill and council members John C. Adams, David DeCapua and Debbie Johnson because they believe the officials haven't been responsive to residents' views on the planned redevelopment of Northam Park.
The group also has questioned city leaders' fiscal responsibility and accused them of campaign deception because fliers calling for an income tax increase in November 2014 failed to state the added revenue could be used for parks.
The targeted council members have disputed the claims and said they'll fight the recall alongside an anti-recall political-action committee named Believe in UA.
SNP member Caroline Lahrmann said the protest ensures the recall elections can't go on the ballot Aug. 2 when the city of Columbus and the village of Minerva Park both have issues before voters.
Lahrmann said that means Upper Arlington won't be able to split the estimated $63,127 cost of the recalls by sharing a ballot with Columbus and Minerva Park.
"This meritless protest by Mr. Greenhill's surrogate will result in two separate elections and significantly raise costs to the UA taxpayer," Lahrmann said.
Mead is a former Upper Arlington City Council member, state senator and state representative.
"I put my good government hat on, having some experience with petitions," Mead said. "(Kip) isn't the name by which he was elected or the name he was certified by."
She said candidates who circulate petitions and people who sign petitions must do so under their registered voter names, and the rule should apply to those subject to petitions, as well.
"How can a person be recalled by a name that's unacceptable to the board of elections?" she said. "There has to be consistency."
At least 2,273 signatures from valid Upper Arlington voters had to be filed to recall each candidate, Piscitelli said.
He said the board has determined a sufficient number of signatures has been submitted to require recall elections for all four candidates, but none of those signatures has been certified.
Only Greenhill's recall could be affected by Mead's protest, but the board cannot certify any signatures before a hearing on the protest is concluded. Council will have 40 days to schedule a special election if enough signatures are certified.
Greenhill said he was caught off guard by Mead's protest.
"It surprised me," he said. "I don't support it. All along, I've prepared to have a discussion with the community about the direction of the city. Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to that."
Greenhill said he's been called Kip by family members "since the day I was born" because he's the third Francis Greenhill in his family. He said he tried to use the name Kip Greenhill when he ran for council in 2013 because he feared voters wouldn't associate him with Francis, but state laws required that he use his legal name.
The protest hearing will be held at the Franklin County Board of Elections, 1700 Morse Road, Columbus.