By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council selected John Hougland to fill the vacant seat on council.
Hougland replaces former councilman Chad Grashel, who resigned effective June 14 because he is moving out of Groveport to New Albany. Hougland will fulfill Grashel’s unexpired term on council, which runs through Dec. 31, 2021.
According to Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon, council decided not to accept applications and conduct interviews for the open council seat because it wanted the next council member to be selected by the voters in November rather than by council. He said council also felt an application and interview process would take place too close to the date for individuals seeking to file with the board of elections to run for the council seat.
Shannon said council selected Hougland because Hougland is only interested in serving on council just until the end of Grashel’s unexpired term.
“Hougland has no desire to run for the seat in November,” said Shannon. “Council wanted to find a well qualified, long standing and well known member of the community to fill the seat. Hougland merely wants to come in and do the job and then let voters decide in November who will fill the seat going forward.”
Hougland, a retired pharmacist who operated the Groveport Pharmacy for many years, confirmed this stating, “I have no desire whatsoever in running in November. I can do this for six months with no problem. I feel with all that’s going on in the city it is imperative we have a full council in place.”
According to the Groveport City Charter, Groveport City Council had 30 days from the date of Grashel’s resignation to name his replacement. If council had not named a replacement within 30 days, then Mayor Lance Westcamp had the authority to select someone to fill the seat by appointment.