With experience in both the legal and city planning arena, Madison Township’s newest administrator, Judy Edwards, is used to challenges.
Prior to taking office on May 5, she served as an assistant prosecutor for Licking County, a project manager for the governor’s office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, assistant chief counsel for the state’s Department of Development, an assistant attorney general, and as the planning director for the city of West Carrollton, Ohio.
Edwards received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1997, a master’s in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University in 1991, and bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 1989.
As an assistant prosecutor, Edwards represented county agencies and townships, including the Licking County Planning Commission and county commissioners. She drafted legislation, regulations and policies-including a major update of county subdivision regulations and township public records-and personnel policies. Her duties also included providing guidance to townships on planning and zoning, labor/employment, fiscal, governance, and other issues.
In serving as a project manager for the governor, Edwards was responsible for preparing requests for proposals, reviewing and awarding sub-grants, and ensuring contractual and regulatory compliance in administration of federal and sub-grants. She provided general legal representation on labor/employment issues as an assistant chief counsel for the Ohio Department of Development and negotiated/drafted contracts, grant agreements, RFP’s, and legislation.
"I’m a Jack of All Trades," commented Edwards. "My first major position in government was as a city planner and I enjoy planning and development, but during my tenure with the state, I got a lot of experience in negotiations and labor relations.
"I think I bring a lot to the community. During my tenure with Licking County, I represented a lot of townships. I was a member of the Ohio Township Association and worked with all of the fire chiefs in the county. Here (at Madison Township) I get the opportunity to use all of my background. It is a great place to be and is a pretty well run entity. I’m a native of Franklin County and really happy to be here."
During her term as a planning director for West Carrollton in the early 1990s, Edwards assisted the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, and council with zoning, land use, and community and economic development matters. She reviewed and made recommendations on zoning and development applications, researched and drafted legislation, and managed research and drafted an update of the city’s comprehensive plan.
She is a former member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a member of the American Planning Association, served as a trustee of the Ohio Planning Conference from 1991-95, and is a member of the Ohio State and Columbus Bar Associations.