Upper Arlington City Council: King to serve as president; Greenhill becomes VP

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group
Brendan King

Upper Arlington City Council will have familiar faces in its two leadership posts this year, but with a reversal of roles.

On Jan. 11, Brendan King was sworn in as council president, and Kip Greenhill took the oath as vice president.

This year will mark the third consecutive year council members elected King and Greenhill as its leaders. However, for the past two years, Greenhill has served as president and King as vice president.

Kip Greenhill

Typically, council president and vice president in Upper Arlington are two-year posts. However, at the outset of 2020, council members agreed Greenhill would lead that year and King would take over in 2021.

The decision was made, in part, because Greenhill is entering his final year on council. He first was elected in November 2013 and reelected in November 2017.

Upper Arlington’s city charter stipulates that council members are limited to serving two consecutive four-year terms.

“I bring a different perspective, and it’s good to have different leaders,” King said. “With the term limits in place, it’s good to cultivate new leaders.”

King first was elected to council in November 2015. He was reelected in November 2019, and his term runs through Jan. 8, 2024.

Upon being selected as council president, King said his top priorities are to build on council’s community-engagement efforts while maintaining civility on council and with constituents.

“Fundamentally, we have so much talent in our community,” King said. “We want to make sure we’re hearing from them and listening to them.

“I also believe that we’re a model for civility as a council. We don’t always agree. But when we disagree, we do it in a way that’s respectful. That models our behavior to the community, and I think we’ve seen a change since I’ve been on council.”

Additionally, King encouraged council and residents to “think big” and support initiatives that “keep Upper Arlington moving forward.”

King said the push to bring a community center as part of the redevelopment of the former Macy’s site at Kingsdale Shopping Center is a forward-thinking initiative.

As part of that effort, council is prepared to pass legislation Jan. 19 that would ask voters May 4 if they support a community center as part of the redevelopment project and if they support the city issuing up to $55 million in bonds to fund the facility’s construction.

“The community center vote is coming,” King said. “For us in Upper Arlington, it doesn’t get any bigger.”

King said he’s been lucky to learn from Greenhill’s “leadership and humility” since joining council.

Greenhill said King “brings insight, he’s smart, he brings a commitment and he genuinely cares about the city.”

As for rounding out his tenure in his final year, Greenhill he hopes that future councils will “have leadership that works together as well as Brendan and I have.”

He added that this year should be one in which King can “nurture his leadership skills” for the betterment of the city through the end of his own term.

As for this year, Greenhill said he agreed with King that community engagement is a top priority.

“It’s to continue our community outreach and engage the community ... so the community’s voice is heard,” he said. “It’s not top-down. It’s from the grassroots, up.

“No. 2, it’s to focus on the community center. That’s not just coming from Brendan and I. That’s coming from the entire council.”

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate