The year 2019 in Upper Arlington was marked by the deaths of two prominent public officials, a massive project to upgrade local schools and -- finally -- the end of a legal tug of war over the city's largest office building.
STATON DIES -- The city of Upper Arlington lost its longtime leader when Theodore "Ted" Staton succumbed to esophageal cancer Feb. 12, less than a month after his Jan. 31 retirement. Staton had been city manager since October 2011.
NEW CITY MANAGER -- Steve Schoeny took over Sept. 30 as Upper Arlington's city manager. His hiring came more than seven months after Staton died. An Upper Arlington resident, Schoeny had served as the city of Columbus' development director since 2013.
SCHOOL DISTRICT UPGRADES -- Upper Arlington Schools broke ground April 7 on a $230 million overhaul of six school buildings. The taxpayer-backed project will include reconstructing Upper Arlington High School, Greensview Elementary School, Windermere Elementary School and Wickliffe Progressive School, plus major renovations to Barrington and Tremont elementary schools.
COMFORT DIES -- Longtime Upper Arlington school board member Robin Comfort died July 8 after a short battle with a recurrence of breast cancer. Comfort served on the board for 12 years. Marjory Pizzuti, a former board member, was selected to serve the remainder of Comfort's term, which is through the end of the year.
TREE OF LIFE LAWSUIT -- The U.S. Supreme Court ended a nearly 10-year legal battle when it ruled May 13 that the city did not discriminate against Tree of Life Christian Schools when it refused to allow a school to open at 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Rejecting Tree of Life's appeal allowed the city to uphold its zoning, which prohibits schools from operating in the office complex. Tree of Life is trying to sell the building, which it bought for $6.5 million in 2010. According to a November settlement, Tree of Life agreed to pay at least $60,000 in back taxes to the city and another roughly $600,000 to Upper Arlington Schools.