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Future of SWAC could be in question
Could the Southwest Area Commission disband next year? If they do not get more people involved, it might.
The commission had their election Aug. 2; typically, they get a number of residents who are interested in an elected seat but this year there were none.
In addition to the three commissioners who stepped down earlier this year, two commissioners decided not to run for re-election due to scheduling conflicts.
A question was raised if there would be a quorum – a minimum number of members required to be at a meeting before business can begin – present at the Aug. 17 meeting and beyond.
There was and will be.
After mulling her options, Stefanie Coe said she would stay with the commission for another year in an appointed seat rather than an elected seat, which carries a three-year term.
Coe said she was frustrated by the seeming lack of interest in the commission and wished there was a way they could reach out to the public that would not be in violation of the bylaws set forth by the city of Columbus.
“What we learned during Neighborhood Pride was that people will come out if there is food,” said Coe.
She said she would like to use a portion of the $500 the city allocates to each of its area commissions to have community cookouts to raise awareness about the commission, but the city prohibits those types of events.
The commission asked David Hooie, the city’s Westside liaison, for advice.
Hooie said he would discuss funding for marketing purposes with city officials.
Hooie said it is not unusual for an area commission to dissolve and then come back a year or two later. However, he said commissions are important because they review development proposals for their area (such as the Cooper Stadium redevelopment) and vote on them.
Currently, the commission has eight members – four elected officials and four appointed officials. Carolyn Nobile is the only commissioner that has two years left on her term. The rest have one year remaining.
In related news, the commission appointed offices for some of its members. Coe was named the commission chair; Nobile was named vice-chair; Rita Miller was named secretary; and Kathy Hatfield remained the fiscal officer.
The commission also appointed Gail Rowat to a one-year seat.
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