Vacant seats filled on Hilltop Commission

By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Staff Writer

The Greater Hilltop Area Commission held a special meeting on July 11 to fill four open seats.

The openings came about due to term limits and early exits.

Commission chairman Jay McCallister started the meeting by thanking outgoing commissioners Judy Andrews and Geoffrey Phillips for their “hard work for this community.”

The commission had planned to hold an election in June to fill the vacancies, but they only received three petitions. Their bylaws state that if there are more openings to be filled then candidates to fill them, an election must be forgone in lieu of a nominating process.

Before commissioners could fill the open seats though they needed to confirm the appointments of three current commissioners. Daryl Hennessy, JD Groves, and McCallister were all confirmed by commissioners to continue serving on the commission.

Mike Purcell was nominated for a position on the commission by McCallister. Purcell has lived on Westmoreland Drive for 40 years. He is an active member of Hoge Memorial Church and also helps on odd-jobs and with the food pantry. He has been an active citizen participant in the commission’s safety committee for several years.

“I think the last 15 to 20 years we’ve seen the crime rate just rise,” said Purcell. “So I stay in touch. I try to spot and report problems.”

Neal Bronder, a 30-year resident, sought a seat on the commission so he could help make a difference. He does that currently as an active member of his church, a scout leader, and by volunteering at the YWCA family shelter.

Commissioners elected Purcell to fill the open three-year elected seat. Bronder was approved to fill a seat with a three-year appointed term.

Ruth ThurgoodMundy is a newer resident, calling the Westside home for eight years. She is an active participant in a number of commission committees and helped to establish and run the farmer’s market.

“I just really enjoy my time on the Westside,” she said.

Josh Maddox is a lifelong resident of the Westside. When he purchased his first home recently, he began to come to a greater understanding of the community. He is interested in joining the commission as a way to get involved in government.

ThurgoodMundy was appointed to a two-year term while Maddox will fulfill a one-year term on the commission.

New members will receive appointment letters from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and then will begin to move forward with commission business.

Following the appointment of new commissioners, attention turned to electing officers for the next year. Commissioners could be elected to one of four offices available – chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, and secretary.

Those nominated, and elected to, each office were the current office holders – Sharry Carey was elected secretary; Rich Riley, treasurer; Greg Large, vice chairman; and Jay McCallister was re-elected chairman.

“Thank you. I appreciate your confidence in me,” said McCallister.

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