By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp appointed Scott Lockett to fill the open seat on Groveport City Council.
“Scott’s knowledge of the city is substantial and he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the council,” said Westcamp. “I believe he will be a good fit with the other council members and always make decisions based on what is best for the city of Groveport.”
Lockett will serve the remainder of Donna Drury’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2017. Drury, who served on council for 14 years, resigned effective Dec. 15.
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 has a master’s degree from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Capital University.
“Scott’s background of working in the schools gives him valuable experience in dealing with a variety of challenges and in working with people,” said Westcamp. “I think the community will welcome him on council.”
James Beidler, James Chilton, Dan Knode, and Lockett all had applied to fill the vacant seat on council.
According to the Groveport City Charter, council had 30 days from the date of Drury’s resignation to name her replacement. Since council did not name a replacement within 30 days (by Jan. 14) then Westcamp had the power to select someone to fill the seat by mayoral appointment.
Westcamp made the council appointment after council was unable to reach a consensus on who to appoint to the seat. According to the Groveport City Charter, in order to be named to council the applicant needed to garner four votes of support from the existing council members.
Council conducted interviews with the four candidates at a special closed session on Jan. 5. However, after the interviews were finished, council did not take a vote on Jan. 5 or at its Jan. 11 meeting to decide who the new council member would be.
Council President Shawn Cleary said council wanted to make the appointment but could not reach the four votes necessary to select a candidate.
“Council could not reach a consensus because we had four excellent, qualified candidates to choose from,” said Cleary, who added, “Council thought it would be inappropriate to put these fine candidates through the nomination and voting process and then not have any of them receive enough votes to fill the seat.”
Lockett said he is “excited and happy” to join council.
“I love Groveport. I want to be part of things in the city,” said Lockett. “I feel I have some skills to add to council. I think the mayor and council are doing a great job and I think we will all work well together.”
Lockett said his strengths are that he is level headed, good at working as the member of a team, and that he learns quickly.
“At age 60 it’s not often that I’m a newbie at something,” Lockett said, “I’ll learn from the other council members and mayor and figure out how things work.”’
Lockett said he is open minded and that he does not have an agenda.
“Whatever issue arises I know that there is always a story behind it,” said Lockett. “Also, I’m not afraid to ask questions.”
Lockett grew up in Groveport, went off to college and after graduation lived in town for 10 years. He moved away for 17 years and then returned to live in Groveport about a year and a half ago.
“I have a different perspective of Groveport after being away and coming back,” said Lockett. “I feel like I’m back home. Things are great here and I think Groveport needs to promote itself more. Look at what we have here: affordable housing, a tremendous recreation center and wonderful parks, a top golf course, and miles and miles of nearby bike paths. We need to get the word out about what a good place Groveport is.”