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WAC election set for May 2
Several petitions are being circulated by people interested in sitting on the Westland Area Commission (WAC) with election to those seats set for May 2.
Marian Hymer and Patricia Brown are running for re-election while Greg Donovan Sr. is seeking election to the seat he was appointed to in January.
Elections chair Jo Ellen Locke said at the April 15 WAC meeting that the seat held by Walt Dunn is also open this spring and she doesn't expect him to seek re-election to his three-year term.
Anyone over the age of 18 who lives, works or owns property or businesses in the area bordered by the Conrail tracks on the north, I-270 on the east, Big Run South on the south and Hellbranch Creek on the west can seek a seat on the commission and is eligible to vote. The elections will be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 2 on the first floor of Doctors Hospital.
Petitions bearing the signatures of 12 people who live in this area have to be submitted before April 27.
WAC leaders, seeking more community involvement, are hoping for more voters from the area since in recent years the election has only drawn members of the commission, which is an arm of Columbus City Council.
Besides the four seats up for election next month, another seat became vacant with the death of Art McCabe only hours before the meeting. WAC President Mike McKay will have to appoint someone to fill McCabe's seat.
WAC is one of 21 commissions that act as liaison with Columbus City Council. Mike Puckett from the city's Development Department said two new commissions were created this year. He projected revenues for the first quarter of this year are down and more cuts are likely to be made in city services. He was unable to elaborate on where cuts could be made.
Puckett added the city's new police chief, Walter Distelzweig, who has said he wants to be visible in the community, is planning neighborhood meetings.
"I'm sure there will be one on the Westside," said Puckett.
Planning and Development chair Brown said it is possible WAC could be on the list in 2010 for areas that have their development plans updated.
"The letter we submitted has been accepted and we could be considered for updating in 2010," she said.
The Westland Area Plan was last updated in 1994. The Area Plan outlines how the area is to be developed, both residential and commercial.
Brown said she had read, but not yet studied, the handbook on what is involved in updating the plan, and said the process could take as long as a year.
McKay said the latest he had on the request for updating the plan was from the city's planning department which will decide this summer "if we fit into the 2010 schedule and if we do, then we will initiate the paperwork this fall."
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