By Rick Palsgrove
James Beidler, James Chilton, Dan Knode, and Scott Lockett have applied to fill the vacant seat on Groveport City Council.
The seat became available when former councilwoman Donna Drury, who served on council for 14 years, resigned effective Dec. 15 because governmental changes affected her ability to obtain health insurance while serving as a member of council.
According to the Groveport City Charter, council has 30 days from the date of Drury’s resignation to name her replacement. If council does not name a replacement within 30 days, then Mayor Lance Westcamp has the power to select someone to fill the seat by appointment.
Drury’s replacement on council will serve the remainder of her term, which expires Dec. 31, 2017.
Council President pro-tem Shawn Cleary said the four applicants will be mailed a list of four questions to consider. He did not disclose what the questions are. He said the five remaining council members will then conduct interviews with the four candidates during a special closed session of council on Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 655 Main St.
When asked what criteria council would be used to select the new council member, Cleary said, “We will base our selection on what is in the best interests of the city of Groveport.”
Cleary said council hopes to select its new member by its Jan. 11 meeting and before the Jan. 15 selection deadline.
“We really would like to have the person in place by then, but it all depends on what happens during the interview process,” said Cleary.
About the council applicants
The following information was obtained from the council applicants’ application letters and resumes.
•James Beidler has been a Groveport resident for more than 20 years. He is chief technology officer and interim vice president of information technology at Columbus State Community College. From 1986-97 he served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a chief warrant officer, senior aviator. He has a bachelor’s degree in management from Park College and 27 hours of graduate studies in communications at Central Michigan University. He served on the Groveport Parks and Recreation Commission, Groveport Recreational Soccer Board, and Groveport Select Soccer Board.
•James Chilton has lived in Groveport since 1977. He retired from the U.S. Air Force after 22 years with an honorable discharge. He is retired from Metal Container Corporation where he worked from 1977-99. He initiated the Blockwatch program for Founders Bend in 2010 and is president of the Founders Bend Homeowners Association. He worked with city council to obtain a playground for Founders Bend and to get sections of sidewalks repaired in the subdivision. He unsuccessfully ran for a seat on city council in the 2013 election.
•Dan Knode is a lifelong resident of Groveport. He has 26 years of experience in facilities management for two upscale country clubs/golf courses and a private college. He previously served on Groveport City Council for eight years. As a councilman he served as chairman of the finance, administration, and police and public safety committees, and helped spearhead the construction of the city’s recreation center and aquatic center. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with a major in agronomy from The Ohio State University.
•Scott Lockett is a 31 year resident of Groveport. He works as a school psychologist for Groveport Madison Schools and is also the director of the Disability Resource Network in Groveport. He was the school psychologist for the Fairfield County Educational Service Center from 2004-15 and director of special education at Whitehall City Schools from 1995-2002. He was also the owner of Triad Home Health Care LLC from 2002-04. He has a master’s degree from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Capital University.