Groveport Council to interview two to fill vacant council seat

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Six people applied for the vacant Groveport City Council seat and council  has narrowed the field down to two.

Council met in closed session on March 13 to review the applications and afterwards Council President Pro-tem Ed Dildine said council selected two of the applicants to be interviewed at council’s March 27 meeting.

However, when asked which applicants were selected to be interviewed, Dildine declined to name them publicly until March 27. The council meeting on March 27 will start at 5:30 p.m. to accommodate time for the two interviews.

“Based on the resumes we received, these two candidates were the most qualified for consideration of the position,” Dildine said of the unnamed candidates.

The candidates are seeking to fill the seat of long time council member Ed Rarey, who had served on council since 1993 and retired from council on March 10.

According to the Groveport City Charter, council has 30 days from the date of Rarey’s resignation to name his replacement. If council does not name a replacement within those 30 days, then the mayor has the power to select someone to fill the seat by appointment.

“Council will either select a new member at the March 27 meeting or take no action to fill the seat, which would mean after 30 days the choice of the new council member would go to the mayor,” said Dildine. “Council can only make its choice at a regular council meeting, not at a committee meeting.”

Rarey is the second long time council person to retire from council in the past two years. Donna Drury, who had served 14 years on council, retired on Dec. 15, 2015.

In Drury’s case, council could not decide on a replacement within 30 days, so Mayor Lance Westcamp named Scott Lockett to fill Drury’s seat.

Rarey’s replacement on council will serve the remainder of his term, which expires Dec. 31, 2017.

These individuals applied for the open council seat:

•Jeff Barnhart has lived in Groveport since 2005. He is a GIS analyst/project manager for the city of Upper Arlington. He holds a GIS certificate from Columbus State Community College and is working toward GISP accreditation by the summer of 2017. He has 25 years experience in project design and management and 12 years experience managing design and construction of large capital improvement projects. He also has coached baseball for the Groveport Youth Athletic Association.

•James Beidler has been a Groveport resident for more than 20 years. He is chief technology officer at Columbus State Community College. He has a bachelor’s degree in management from Park College and 27 hours of graduate studies in communications at Central Michigan University. He has served on the Groveport  Parks and Recreation Commission, Groveport Recreational Soccer Board, and the Groveport Select Soccer Board. From 1986-97 he served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a chief warrant officer, senior aviator.

•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.

•Cheryl Ann Raver-Irving has a master’s degree in theoretical analysis of foreign languages and literatures from The Ohio State University. She  has a bachelor’s degree in French, German, Spanish secondary education from Capital University. She teaches Spanish at Capital University, French at Bishop Ready High School, and French, German, Spanish cultural exploratory classes at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She is one of the original grant writers/founders of the Groveport Madison Link Community Service Program serving the elderly, differently abled, and needy of Groveport.

Council disqualified the other two applicants from consideration for the council position. Elise Zimmerman’s application was denied by council because it was received after the deadline date and time to file for the seat. A sixth applicant was rejected because he is not a resident of the city of Groveport.

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