Former Hilliard City Council President Albert Iosue is the city’s new service director.

“(Hilliard Mayor Don Schonhardt) offered me the job and I accepted today,” Iosue said Wednesday, March 20.

A press release from the city confirmed his hiring.

However, Iosue said, he will not withdraw from the Hilliard City Council Republican primary election May 7.

Iosue, who resigned from City Council on Feb. 10, is one of four Republicans vying for three council seats up for election.

Council members Pete Marsh and Omar Tarazi and challenger Bobby Stepp are the other three.

The top three will advance to the general election to face three Democrats – Tina Cottone, Deryck Richardson II and Cynthia Vermillion – on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Iosue was serving as president and in the final year of his third term when he resigned last month, just four days after the Feb. 6 Franklin County Board of Elections filing deadline for the Republican primary. Iosue’s petition was certified Feb. 19.

In a Feb. 10 message to Kelly McGivern, then the council vice president, Iosue wrote, “The past 11 years as a member of Hilliard City Council have been rewarding and memorable. For personal reasons, I have decided it is in my best interest to resign at this time and spend more time with my family.”

Meanwhile, several developments with the service-director position were occurring.

On Feb. 8, the city announced the March 1 retirement of former service director Clyde "Butch" Seidle.

Seidle then died March 2 from cancer at the age of 68.

McGivern had told ThisWeek that Iosue’s resignation was “a surprise” but he first had indicated to her Feb. 8 that he was considering resigning.

Given the timeline, ThisWeek asked Iosue in February if he had interest in the job of service director.

“I have not expressed any interest in any position with the city," Iosue said Feb. 20. 

Schonhardt said in late February the administration was not considering how the position would be filled until after Seidle’s retirement was effective.

“I didn’t reach out to anyone in the city (about the job) and was not approached about it,” Iosue said March 20.

The city posted the opening for service director March 11 and it remained open until March 18, according to Iosue.

“I applied for the position in the city’s online portal March 13,” Iosue said. “The mayor interviewed me (March 19) and offered me the job (March 20) and I accepted."

The other applicants were Kathy Bartlett, Isaac Freel, Larry Lester, Thomas Komlanc and Ryan Ohly, according to David Ball, Hilliard's communications director.

Schonhardt said Iosue's "professional background and education, coupled with his knowledge of city operations gained during three terms on City Council, make him uniquely qualified to fill the very large shoes left by Butch Seidle."

His first day on the job will be Monday, March 25, Iosue said.

Iosue's annual salary will be $115,000, Ball said.

Iosue said he resigned, effective immediately March 20, from his 23-year job as programs administrator for the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

“I’m a civil engineer with an extensive background and knowledge of the city," Iosue said. "Being (Hilliard's) service director is a good fit."

But if he is successful in the primary and general elections, Iosue might need to choose whether he remains service director or retakes a seat on City Council. He could not do both, according to the city charter, Ball said.

Hilliard also is transitioning to a city-manager form of government beginning Jan. 1, 2020, after a charter amendment was approved by voters last November.

In a city-manager form of government, a city manager serves as the pleasure of City Council and oversees the day-to-day operations of the city, including the hiring of department directors, with council approval in some instances.

Hilliard has not hired a city manager, so any future decisions on department directors are unknown.

Iosue said he would prefer to remain service director but, if that was not option and he was elected in the May 7 primary and Nov. 5 general elections, he would be happy to serve again on City Council.

“I want to continue to serve the community one way or another," he said. "I feel strongly about public service and the good I can do for the citizens of Hilliard.”

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Hilliard for updates.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo