By Ris Twigg
Obetz’s newly-elected Mayor Angela Kirk swore in her village council replacement at the Feb. 10 Obetz Village Council meeting.
Replacing Kirk is Mike Kimbler, a 15-year youth sports coach, small business-owner and resident of Obetz since 1997. He sat on council’s planning and zoning committee and, in 2010, helped create the village’s charter as a member of Obetz’s charter commission.
“I wanted to be someone that could be an outlet for those people who are unhappy, that maybe actually don’t want to come to a council meeting,“ Kimbler said. “(I want) to be a resource for them to express their concerns that they may have, if for whatever reason they aren’t the type that want to come to meetings.”
Kimbler said his goal on council is to be a public resource for residents of Obetz, emphasizing his offer to meet with residents and get to know them outside of council.
“You know what? Approach me. I’m here for you. I’m here to talk. I’m here to help you with your concerns,” he said.
Kimbler said there are a lot of things coming up that he’s looking forward to working on in his new council position.
“I was on planning and zoning, so I’ve seen a lot of the things that are up-and-coming prior to being on council. (I’m looking forward to) being able to see those kinds of projects start to develop and hit the streets and actually happen,” Kimbler said.
One of Kimbler’s priorities while on council is to increase local amenities for residents of Obetz so they don’t have to commute for things like groceries or entertainment.
“We’re all, I think, in about the same place and direction in what we’re looking to achieve — and that’s to continue to make Obetz grow to where everything you need is here,” Kimbler said. “To where we don’t have to go to a Canal Winchester or a Grove City or something to sit down and have a meal. To have everything that you could possibly need or want right here within the confines of where you live.”
Eight residents applied for the council seat. Interviews were held in mid-January and Kimbler was selected on Jan. 27.
Rod Davisson, village administrator of Obetz, said appointing Mayor Kirk’s replacement was difficult because all eight applicants were worthy candidates.
One of the reasons council chose Kimbler, Davisson said, was because of his “long history of already working for and in Obetz.”
“Good news is they couldn’t of gone wrong. You know, I think every job has a right person and for this council on that day, Mike Kimbler was the right person,” Davisson said. “It’s inspiring to see so many people who want to help in the community.”
On Feb. 11, Obetz Village Council approved the annexation of the newly planned commercial district.
The new district is slated to be a series of convenience stores and fueling stations.
About 13.8 acres from eight parcels of land are set to be annexed into Obetz as part of a larger e-commerce development area. The total planned district area is roughly 43 acres from 14 parcels, located at the intersections of Toy Road, Alum Creek Drive and Bixby Road.
Davisson said council couldn’t annex and rezone the parcels during its regular Feb. 10 meeting because of a 60-day waiting period that must occur following annexation approval from county commissioners.