New Albany City Council will interview four residents Feb. 7 to replace Stephen Pleasnick, who retired Dec. 31.

City Council on Jan. 24 selected Mike Durik, Everett Gallagher, Kasey Kist and Hans Schell as finalists for the vacancy.

City spokesman Scott McAfee said he doesn't know if City Council members will make a selection immediately after the Feb. 7 interviews. He said they have until March 1 to decide; after 60 days, Mayor Sloan Spalding can make the appointment.

Three years are left on Pleasnick's term, according to council clerk Jennifer Mason. To keep the seat, she said, the appointee would have to run in the Nov. 7 general election, which is shaping up to be a busy one with five other council members -- Colleen Briscoe, Marlene Brisk, Chip Fellows, Glyde Marsh and Matt Shull -- facing expiring terms.

The four finalists each have experience with civic leadership and service in New Albany:

* A resident of New Albany for 24 years, Durik is the senior director external relations at the Ohio State University and has a consulting firm.

He serves on the planning commission, the board of zoning appeals and the economic-development commission.

Durik also serves as a New Albany Chamber of Commerce board member and is on the board of directors for Healthy New Albany.

Durik said the time he has spent in New Albany has given him the opportunity to see the city evolve. He said his background and experience would allow him to help the city continue to expand according to the high standards upon which it was built.

"It would be one of the most important jobs I think I've ever had," he said.

* Gallagher is vice president and treasurer for Abercrombie & Fitch and has lived in New Albany for 24 years.

He serves on the board of zoning appeals and the board for the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

He is also a member of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the Columbus Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Gallagher said being a council member would allow him to continue his involvement with the community.

"I'm very passionate about New Albany," he said.

* Kist is the founder and president of Keystone Building Contractors LLC and has lived in New Albany for 12 years.

He serves on the Rocky Fork-Blacklick Accord Implementation Panel and founded the Thanks for Giving 4-Miler.

Serving on the accord panel made him interested in participating in more areas of community service, he said.

"The more I could be active in the community, (the better)," Kist said.

* Schell is an insurance agent with State Farm Insurance who has lived in the city for 15 years.

He is president of the New Albany Community Events Board.

Schell said he has enjoyed his time serving on the community-events board and believes a council seat would be another step in helping to lead the city.

"I just think it would be a wonderful opportunity ... to help lead New Albany forward," he said.

Ten people applied for the council seat. The other applicants were Todd Brubaker, Lisa Collins, Richard Fisher, Steven Light, Victor Wilson and Andrea Wiltrout.

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