Candidates sought to run for seat on the Greater Hilltop Area Commission

By Dedra Cordle

Staff Writer

The Greater Hilltop Area Commission is looking for individuals who have the “passion and drive” to serve the community.

The commission announced at its meeting in July that candidate petitions are now available for those who want to run for one of four elected seats on the board.

A candidate has to meet these three requirements in order to run for a seat:

  • They must reside in the Greater Hilltop area.
  • They must maintain residency in the Greater Hilltop area to remain a member on the commission.
  • They must complete and return a candidate petition in accordance with election rules.

Those who are seeking a nomination must also collect 25 valid signatures from residents for the petition. Candidate petitions must be completed and returned by Aug. 29.

According to James White, commissioner and co-chair of the government and legislation committee, an election will not be held if four or less petitions are filed.

“If we do receive five or more petitions, and I really hope that we do, we will be able to hold our elections,” he said.

The election, if necessary, will be held on Oct. 5. The government and legislation committee has yet to decide where the polling locations will be.

The current commissioners whose three-year elected term is expiring in 2024 are Simon Dallas, Victoria Bates-Frye, Adhanet Kifle, and Josh Maddox. Of the four commissioners, only Maddox said he did not intend to run for re-election. The other three commissioners said they were undecided at this time.

In addition to the four seats that are up for election, the commission also has an open appointed seat. Current appointed commissioner Malik Moore said he is undecided as to whether he will run for an elected seat or another appointed term.

The commission will vote on the appointed seat in January, but the nominations typically take place in December. Unlike elected seats, candidates do not have to live in the Greater Hilltop area, but they do have to own property, be employed in the community, run a business, or be involved in a non-profit agency in the boundary area.

White said the ideal candidate for the five open seats would be someone who has the drive and passion to better the community.

“Even if it is for one specific issue, if they have that drive and passion they would make a great candidate and commissioner,” he said.

White has been on the area commission since 2018. He said his passion and drive was for improving the recreation areas and parks.

“I have always believed that we should all be entitled to an equitable outdoor environment regardless of where we live on the Hilltop or where we live in the city of Columbus,” he said.

He added that it has been “wonderful” to have been able to work with city officials as a member of the recreation and parks committee in order to make improvements to the local neighborhood parks.

“It has been wonderful to see all of the improvements that have taken place within the last six years,” he said. “We still have a ways to go but it has been great to see firsthand how things are changing.”

Candidate petitions are available on the Greater Hilltop Area Commission’s website, White said the commission plans to have candidate petitions available at the Columbus Metropolitan Library – Hilltop Branch.

“We are still working on getting those printed but they will be available at the library relatively soon,” he said.

In other news, the full commission will not convene in August. They will reconvene on Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Their meetings are held at the CML – Hilltop Branch, 511 S. Hague Ave.

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