Westland Area Commission receives new representation


By Hannah Poling
Staff Writer

The Westland community will have a new neighborhood liaison, who was introduced at the November Westland Area Commission meeting.

Olabisi Eddy has replaced Melissa Green as the liaison for the westside. Eddy served two terms with AmeriCorps and has worked with Community Health Action Teams (CHATs) across Franklin County doing community engagement. She also has experience being on a commission herself, which the city said will be a great asset in her new position.

“I’m really glad to be joining the team here. I am familiar with doing community engagement for the last five years and I live just south of the Hilltop,” said Eddy.

Eddy began her new position on Nov. 21.

There were also some new positions announced within the commission.

Lori Balough, former chair of the education committee, is now being replaced by Matthew DeCastro due to prior commitments. DeCastro is a director of classified personnel with the South-Western City Schools District. He has worked in the personnel department for approximately five years and will be starting as education chair in January.

“I am excited to be here with you all,” said DeCastro.

Nominations were also taken for officers for the commission for 2023.
Scott Taylor was nominated for commission chair, Jeff Tanner for vice chair, Dave Van Order for treasurer, and Janet Cahill for recording officer.

The November meeting was the last for Nancy Day-Achauer, chair of public health and safety, who will be pursuing her political campaign next year and stepping down from her role as commissioner.

Day-Achauer nominated commissioner Heather Abdalla to take her position.

In other news, Mark Dravillas, administrator for the Columbus City Planning Division, attended the commission meeting to discuss a plan update.

The planning division works on a wide variety of projects and programs, which are aimed at improving the quality of Columbus’ neighborhoods. Its primary areas of work include annexation, Columbus city-wide planning policies, development review, historic preservation, and design review areas, maps and apps, Columbus art commission, and the urban infrastructure recovery fund.

The city currently has about four area plans in place with the Westland plan being the oldest.

According to Dravillas, the city has drastically changed and the city needs to do a comprehensive plan update. The update has been on hold for several years because the city was working to update the zoning code.

“By doing a zoning code update for your area, there is a planning aspect to it. We need to sync up any of our planning with the zoning code update process,” Dravillas said.

Dravillas encouraged the commissioners to be prepared to engage in the zoning code update until they can update the area plan.

The Westland Area Commission will not meet in December due to the holidays and will resume meeting on the third Wednesday of the month in January.



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