(Posted May 17, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
On May 15, Joseph Russell took the oath of office as president of London city council.
Mayor Patrick Closser appointed Russell to the position, which Jennifer Hitt vacated earlier this month when the Republican Central Committee appointed her as city law director.
Russell, a registered Republican, will serve out the rest of Hitt’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2017.
“I’m really honored to be given this opportunity. I love the city of London, and I look forward to serving the people of the city,” he said.
Russell has lived in London for a little over two years. In that time, he made a run for state representative and was appointed to London’s Board of Zoning Appeals. He also is a member of the London Rotary Club.
“I’m always looking for opportunities to continue to get involved. This position (council president) became available and seemed like a good fit,” he said.
Russell works as policy and advocacy director for the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. He manages the agency’s government relations for all of the state’s 88 counties.
“I think with his knowledge in government, serving on a city of London board, willingness to learn and his great attitude that Mr. Russell is the right choice,” Closser said of the appointment.
Russell presided over his first city council meeting on May 18.
A new two-year term for city council president will be up for a vote in the November election. Prior to her appointment to the law director vacancy, Hitt won the Republican bid for the council president position in the May primary election. Because she plans to run for election to the two years remaining on the law director’s term, Hitt said she will withdraw her name from the November ballot for council president. It’s up to the Republican Central Committee to appoint a Republican candidate to run in November for council president.