By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Councilman Marvin Stevens resigned his council seat effective March 12.
Stevens, who was elected to council last November said, “It’s been a short, but enjoyable time on council and I’ve been treated like family here.”
Stevens said he had to resign because he was notified by the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System he would lose his health insurance if he remained on council.
In 2016, OPERS changed the way retirees receive their health care coverage. Under the change, OPERS classified all elected officials as re-employed retirees. State and federal law does not permit re-employed retirees to have an OPERS health reimbursement account.
Stevens worked for 13 years for the State Department of Youth Services, which qualified him for OPERS and made him subject to its guidelines.
Stevens said he offered to donate his council salary to a charitable 501.c.3 organization, but was told that would not alleviate the situation.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” said Stevens.
Stevens is the second Groveport City Council member who had to resign because of OPERS rules regarding health insurance, the other being Donna Drury who resigned in December 2015.
Groveport City Council members all expressed sadness at Stevens’ resignation and they thanked him for his time on council. They accepted his resignation with regrets.
“It’s sad,” said Council President Shawn Cleary. “It’s a shame that a person works in public service for years and then wants to further help the community by serving on council, but then gets hampered by these regulations. We appreciate and respect Marvin.”
Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert said, “This makes my heart hurt.”
Councilman Ed Dildine told Stevens, “Thank you for stepping up to run for council.”
According to the Groveport City Charter, council has 30 days from the date of Stevens’ resignation to name his replacement. If council does not name a replacement within 30 days, then the mayor has the power to select someone to fill the seat by appointment.
The city of Groveport is accepting resumes to fill Stevens’ unexpired term on council. The unexpired term runs through Dec. 31, 2021.
Resumes, along with a letter of interest, will be accepted until noon on March 30. Resumes received after that time will not be considered. For information, contact Clerk of Council Ruth-Anne Ross at (614) 830-2052.
Resumes should be sent to the attention of: Ruth-Anne Ross, Clerk of Council, City of Groveport, 655 Blacklick St., Groveport, OH 43125.
Council will review the applications and hold interviews with candidates prior to its April 9 meeting. Council hopes to make its selection on Stevens’ replacement following the April 9 interviews.