GHAC hears about city finances
Columbus Public Service Director Mark Kelsey gave a presentation on the city's financial situation, explaining why the city is seeking a one-half percent increase in the income tax at a special election Aug.4.
Speaking at the Greater Hilltop Area Commission's June 2 meeting, Kelsey stated that, if the issue fails, more layoffs are in store, including police officers and fire fighters. In response to a question from the audience, which was standing room only in the Hilltop Library's meeting room, Kelsey said "there is no Plan B."
He had been asked why the city hadn't chosen to look to alternative funding, such as a sales tax or property tax. He said that the way the city is structured, "the city doesn't have the ability. It would take action by the Ohio Legislature to change it."
There could be new members on the commission following the election in June.
Three-year elected seats held by Karen Whitman, Justin Boggs and Joe Decker are up as are the appointed seats of Tasha Corson and Thornburgh. Decker and Corson have not filed petitions to run. Six people are in the running for the five seats.
Boggs, Whitman and Thornburgh are running and newcomers hoping to gain a seat are Greg Large, Greg Watson and Lisa Grazier.
People who live, work or own property in the Greater Hilltop Area are eligible to vote for their commission members. The election will be held June 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Polling places will be at the Bean Dinner in Westgate Park and at the Hilltop Library.
The commission covers the largest geographical area of all the commissions, which are an arm of city council. The area is bounded by I-70 on the north, I-270 on the west, Route 62 on the south and Mound Street on the east.
Homes on the Hill
Mark Easterling, a housing specialist with Homes on the Hill, announced an open house for June 28, from 1-4 p.m. where four rehabbed homes for sale will be open for visits. Those homes are at 77 N. Wheatland, 224 N. Eureka, 179 N. Ogden and 485 Columbian.
He also stated Homes on the Hill, which has occupied space in the Hilltop Lutheran Church for several years, will be moving in July to the Westland Mall.
"The church came to us five months ago and said they needed space," Easterling said.
The new location will be in the space vacated by H & R block.
Other Hilltop news
•Hilltop resident Frank Buck told the commission he was having difficulty parking his vehicles on the gravel behind his garage, which he said was built in 1927 "or a Model A and not today's vehicles."
He said he had been to the city's zoning board and had been told to approach the GHAC and whatever this group decided, the zoning board would abide by it.
Danielle Weber, a city code enforcement officer who lives on the Hilltop, said he would have to install a solid surface in order to park where he'd like to park.
Commission Chair Chuck Patterson said he was unaccustomed to a request coming before the commission in such a manner and advised Buck would start in on the paperwork that can help him overcome his problem.
•Whitman, who chairs the Bean Dinner, said she is seeking people to volunteer for that annual festival. She said volunteers can work in two-hour shifts and some of the assignments will be to serve the food, make root beer floats and walk around the grounds interacting with the visitors.
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