By Dedra Cordle
A familiar face will be coming back to serve on the Greater Hilltop Area Commission.
At its meeting on Jan. 3, the commissioners accepted the nomination of James White to fill an open appointed seat. His original term, which was also by appointment, ended on Dec. 31, 2022.
“I haven’t been away from the commission for very long, but it is good to be back,” he said.
White said when he moved to the westside nearly six years ago, involvement in local politics was not at the forefront of his mind.
“I have always had an active role in my community, but I never gave that political aspect much thought,” he said.
That mindset changed, however, when he started attending these area commission meetings in order to address the issues he saw rising in the community.
“I noticed a lot of blighted properties, a lot of criminal activity, and even some prostitution,” he said. “They had my concerns in mind and I knew that, by then being residents too, they were doing the best they could and reaching out to organizations that could help.“I really liked what they were doing and I wanted to get involved on an area commission too so I could try to help out this community in any way that I could.”
White added that he was happy to accept the nomination and is excited to start his new term.
“I’m looking forward to the next three years and making a positive impact on the Hilltop,” he said.
White was nominated for the open appointed seat by Rachel Wenning. She said she has been “proud to serve alongside him” and believes he will continue to make positive changes within the community as a member of the area commission.
“He has done a really great job, especially with the park (and recreation committee) by implementing new processes and really advocating for changes to our parks, which are really beneficial to our community,” she said.
No commissioners expressed objections to his nomination, nor did any other commissioner nominate an individual to fill the open appointed seat. Area commission bylaws state that only currently seated commissioners can nominate an individual to fill an open appointed seat.
In other news, the commission selected its officers for the new year. Dan Fagan was selected to continue serving as chairman while Victoria Bates-Frye was selected to serve as vice-chair. Joseph Argiro will serve as the secretary and Josh Paxton will serve as the treasurer.
Assignments for the nine committees will be announced at next month’s full commission meeting. It will be held on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilltop Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 511 S. Hague Ave.