By Josephine Birdsell
The Greater Hilltop Area Commission elected new officers at the Sept. 3 meeting.
Jay McCallister, chairman of the commission, was re-elected into his role for his fourth consecutive term. Scott Stockman, Daniel Fagan, and James White are to serve as vice-chairman, treasurer, and secretary of the commission respectively; none of them have served in an officer position previously.
Officer elections occur once yearly. All officers will serve until September 2020.
Jay McCallister, chairman
McCallister was born and raised in the Hilltop. He’s served as a commissioner for the past 11 years, and as chairman of the commission for the past three years.
As chairman of the commission, it is McCallister’s job to run general commission meetings and set meeting agendas. He also serves on every committee in the commission: community relations, human services and education, planning and economic development, public safety, government and legislation, zoning, liquor permit review, and recreation and parks.
It’s also McCallister’s job to appoint a chairperson to each committee. This term, he wants to further empower the committee chairs to take charge of their committees.
“I’m not going to be around forever and I don’t want people to just rely on me. I want the chairs of each committee to grow into more of a leadership role,” said McCallister. “I want the chairs to get involved and, well, take an active role. That’s what the committees are for.”
McCallister also hopes to resolve longstanding problems within the Hilltop this term.
“There are problems we’ve been dealing with for 10 or 12 years,” McCallister said, “Simple things like changing the lane markings and reducing the speed limit. And we’re just banging our heads against the walls. So we’re hitting it hard again, instead of just saying ‘we want this,’ we’re going to go pound on some doors.”
Scott Stockman, vice-chairman
Stockman is relatively new to the Hilltop. He moved to the community in July 2017 and has been serving on the commission since December 2017. Stockman is embracing his newness within the community.
As vice-chairman of the commission, it is now Stockman’s job to fill in for the chairman when he’s absent and represent the commission to the Columbus City Council.
He hopes that by working closely with McCallister, they can better represent both the newer and older residents of the Hilltop.
“There’s a more active, younger contingent moving over to the Westside. I think that’s good for the community,” Stockman said, “I know it’s good for the city. It leads to economic development.”
But still, Stockman is eager to learn from older residents, especially McCallister.
“Honestly, I think there’s a lot to learn from (McCallister). He’s been doing this for a long, long time,” said Stockman.
Daniel Fagan, treasurer
Fagan is also new to the commission. He began serving on the commission in January 2019.
As treasurer, Fagan will receive, disperse, and record all of the funds for the commission.
The commission receives $2,500 a year from the city of Columbus for administrative expenses. At the end of the year, all unused money is returned to the city.
The money is typically spent on marketing, to make sure that Hilltop residents understand what the commission does. This year, expenses may also go toward training sessions for commission members and hiring a note-taker to attend and record meetings at commission meetings.
But mostly, Fagan wants to use the money.
“We don’t want to return that money,” he said, “we want to make sure it goes to good use.
So I want to make sure I’m encouraging and prompting us to have really fruitful discussions about how to use the money.”
James White, secretary
White is the new secretary of the commission. He is responsible for calling and recording roll, recording voting results, and recording and maintaining meeting minutes.
White is new to both the commission and the role. He moved to the Hilltop in 2018 and was appointed to the commission on July 2, 2019.
“I’m just excited to see the greater Hilltop grow,” said White, “becoming the next Dublin is my goal. But it’s going to take a lot of hard work and determination to get us all there.”