The new year brought new faces to both the administration and council in Canal Winchester following the election of first-time mayor Mike Ebert and first-term councilwoman Marilyn Rush-Ekelberry and the return of councilman Rick Deeds.
"I’m looking forward to working with everyone on this council and really good things happening in the next four years," commented Ebert.
Deeds, who previously served on the council from 1998-2005, was welcomed back to village government by assuming the duties of council president. Councilman Victor Paini was elected vice president.
"I’m really pleased and honored to have served the village as council president," said Councilman John Bender before exchanging chairs with Deeds. "I appreciate the work of council. They’re dedicated people and we have great employees. We also have great volunteers. The hours that people put into this village are amazing. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in two years. We still have a lot of things to do. We’re sitting here in just a great situation. I feel very, very good about Canal Winchester and feel we have a great future."
Following a closed-door caucus session, the following council committee assignments and appointments were announced:
•Finance: (meets first Monday of the month, 5:45 p.m.) Deeds (chair), Paini, Bruce Jarvis, Bobbie Mershon.
•Safety: (meets second Monday of the month, 5 p.m.) Mershon (chair), Leah Turner, Bender.
•Service: (meets third Monday of the month, 5:45 p.m.) Paini (chair), Bender, Turner.
•Old Town/Historical: (meets second Monday of the month, 5:45 p.m.) Jarvis (chair), Deeds, Rush-Ekelberry.
•Rules: Turner (chair), Paini, Mershon.
Mershon is council’s representative on the Recreation Committee, Deeds and Ekelberry will serve as representatives on the C.W.I.C.C., and Ekelberry was appointed to the CW Main Street Association.
Committee of the Whole meetings will be held in Town Hall, 10 N. High St., at 6:30 p.m., on March 31, June 30, Sept. 29, and Nov. 24.
During his first council meeting as mayor, Ebert recommended council fill a vacant seat on the Landmarks Committee with Joe Abbott, who, along with his wife, Kelly, recently purchased a house on West Columbus Street and is in the process of restoring the home. Abbott is a managing partner of M.G. Abbott Inc., an electrical contractor, and a certified electrician.
Ebert also recommended Bill Christensen, who is chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Dan Konold, who joined the commission in 1997, be returned to their seats on P&Z and the appointment of Jim Knowlton, a lifelong Canal Winchester resident who spent the last 12 years in a city position dealing with Columbus’ growth and development.
Other CW news
•Public Works Director Matt Peoples said plans for the Columbus Street project were reviewed and returned to engineers for revisions. His department is in the process of formulating a plan for public presentation of the plan and reported construction is slated to begin in spring.
•A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., for public comments on a proposed zoning change for a former fast food restaurant site on Cemetery Road from general commercial to exceptional use to allow an auto lot. By a unanimous vote, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denying the request.
•A public hearing to discuss the proposed Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) with Violet and Bloom townships, Lancaster, and Pickerington will be held on Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m., at Canal Winchester Town Hall.