By Linda Dillman
Less than six months into a four-year term, Canal Winchester City Councilwoman Ashley Ward resigned her seat after notifying Mayor Mike Ebert and fellow council members in an early morning email sent on June 21.
Ward wrote that her resignation is effective July 1. She and her family are moving to Granville.
“I ran for Canal Winchester City Council because I saw the city making bad decisions to the long-term detriment of Canal Winchester and its residents,” wrote Ward in her resignation letter. “I love Canal Winchester and it was supposed to be my forever home. My friends and family who I love live here. My grandparents are buried here. My intention was to work to turn things around. Although I have tried my best, I have not been successful.”
According to Ward’s statement, the turning point in her resignation was “when council voted 6-1 to take democratic rights away from our constituents” in reference to a rezoning vote on the 70 acre Schacht property that made a citizen ballot referendum no longer valid.
She believes the action crossed a moral line and was against her personal code of ethics to the point where she said she did not want to be associated with a group that would take such an action.
“The decisions you make have real, lasting impact on people’s democratic rights, property values and the quality of the schools,” wrote Ward. “If you believe Canal Winchester is on the right path and there is no room for improvement, look at the school ratings.”
On June 24, the city posted an announcement regarding Ward’s letter of resignation, pending acceptance by council on July 5, along with a solicitation for statements of interest in the council seat vacancy.
Canal Winchester City Council is seeking statements of interest to fill Ward’s vacant seat pending the acceptance of her resignation at council’s July 5 meeting. Council is now soliciting statements of interest to temporarily fill the vacant seat on council. This individual would be appointed as early as July 5, 2022 and serve a term expiring Dec. 31, 2023.
An election will be held in November 2023 to fill the remainder of the unexpired term (beginning Jan. 1, 2024 and expiring Dec. 31, 2025).
Forms are due by noon on July 1 and can be found on the city’s website at canalwinchesterohio.gov. Council will review, discuss, and interview the applicants during the July 5 meeting. An appointment may occur that evening.
For information on filling Council vacancies, refer to Rule 4 of Canal Winchester City Council Rules. Questions may also be directed to Jordan Pearce, clerk of council, at firstname.lastname@example.org.