A seat on the Clintonville Area Commission is open after members voted Oct. 3 to boot District 7 representative John Eschenbrenner following several missed meetings.

The decision was made during the CAC’s Oct. 3 meeting, at which Eschenbrenner was not in attendance.

Commissioner Libby Wetherholt said it marked “a third unexcused absence, which according to our bylaws is considered a resignation.”

“It’s disappointing, but we’re following our bylaws,” commissioner David Vottero said.

Eschenbrenner did not respond to an email, text or phone call asking for comment this week.

CAC election committee chairwoman Ann Henkener said a special election will be held Jan. 4. A voting location has not been determined.

Early voting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 30 in the meeting room at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.

Petitions for candidates to collect signatures will be available at the library starting Oct. 26, as will mail-in ballot-request forms.

An orientation meeting for candidates will be held Nov. 13. Completed candidate petitions are due by Nov. 30.

Henkener said her committee will work to “make sure folks in District 7 know there is a vacancy and where and when to vote if there is more than one candidate.”

District 7 stretches roughly from Glenmont Avenue north to Garden Road east of High Street.

Henkener said CAC bylaws provide for three-year terms. If the vacancy occurs in the first two years of the term, a special election must be held. If the vacancy occurs in the last year of the term, the CAC can appoint a replacement.

In the case of the District 7 vacancy, there is more than a year left in the term, triggering the special election.

“It runs on the same process as an annual election, except the election isn’t necessarily in May,” Heneker said. “Candidates will have to submit candidate petitions with 50 valid signatures of people living in the district, and voters can vote in person or by mail-in ballot, just like the regular election.”

The commission and its election committee have been working to generate increased interest among candidates and voters in recent elections.

Eschenbrenner won the District 7 seat in a May 2018 race against Michael Weinman by an 8-7 vote.

The CAC serves as an advisory panel to Columbus City Council.

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