Earlier today The Dispatch blog published a list of people who applied for one of the two open seats on Columbus City Council.

The list is actually pretty great and there are a number of people I think would be wonderful council members.

Obviously Kevin Boyce is at the top of the list. He’s already served 8 years on council and has an amazing amount of experience.

And I absolutely love Bob Fitrakis’s irreverent style of progressive activism. I know he’d bring some crazy new ideas to council (though his selection seems pretty unlikely).

Also add to the list Eric Myers from MADLAB, Michael Wayne Daniels from Outlook Columbus, Karla Rothan from Stonewall Columbus and of course Greg Schultz.

There are so many good people to choose from here. I don’t envy the council members who have to make the choice.

And while we’ll all soon be faced with a certain amount of disappointment and disillusionment as we watch our state devolving back into complete Republican control, it’s nice to know that my city still maintains some level of sanity in the choice of its leaders.

Here’s the complete list:

1) Douglas J. (D.J.) Williams, who filed by mail and whose application could not be found.
2) Michael Wayne Daniels, the publisher of Outlook Columbus
3) Marsha Zabecki, a former administrator at the Ohio Department of Mental Health
4) Jeffery Mayes, a retired postal administrator from Minneapolis
5) Jodelle Dawn Spruill, a high school home-ec teacher
6) Russell C. Goodwin Jr., a sales representative for a veterinary supply company
7) Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, a law student and former Obama organizer
8 ) Marian Harris, an outgoing state representative
9) Stefanie Lynn Coe, general counsel for International Industrial Cleaning Co.
10) Reggie McMillian, a merchandise handler for Limited Brands
11) Keith W. Hatton, a former manager for Grapevine Pizza
12) Joseph A. Stefanko, president of the Merion Village Association
13) David T. Donofrio, an intern with the Ohio Legislative Services Commission
14) Fran E. Dennis, president of The Dennis Group insurance agency
15) Melissa (Pierre-Louis) Peoples, a customer service supervisor for the Franklin County Clerk of Courts
16) Greg Schultz, the former deputy political director for the Obama campaign in Ohio
17) Brandyn L. McElroy, vice president of the Far South Area Commission
18) Lisa Freeman, a customer service representative at Nationwide Insurance
19) Zachary M. Klein, deputy chief of legal services for the Ohio Attorney General
20) Ian B. MacConnell, president of the University Area Commission
21) Nana Watson, chairwoman of the Near East Area Commission
22) Linda Stubbs, a member of the North Central Area Commission
23) Duffy D. McSweeney, an engineering associate in the Columbus Department of Public Utilities
24) Tony Eufinger, the assistant law director in Marysville
25) Michelle M. Mills, executive director of St. Stephens Community House
26) Kimber Perfect, communications director for the Ohio Department of Development
27) Karla Rothan, executive director of Stonewall Columbus
28) John E. Hykes, an administrator at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
29) Catherine A. Girves, former vice president of the University Area Commission
30) Teresa Fowler, executive director for the Ohio chapter of Veterans and Military Families for Progress
31) Mark Noble, former vice chair of the Libertarian State Central Committee
32) David W. Paul, president of the Northland Community Council
33) Mayo T. Makinde, founder of Counseling and Encouraging Minority American Youths
34) Dan Stewart, outgoing four-term state representative
35) Jeffrey D. Porter, a lawyer with Kegler Brown Hill and Ritter
36) James Allan (Jay) Panzer, principal, Facility Strategies Limited
37) Kenneth A. Williams, vice president of the Ganther Place Community Association
38) Constance Gaddell-Newton, a lawyer with Fitrakis & Gadell-Newton
39) Robert J. Fitrakis, a Columbus State professor and a lawyer
40) Leslie J. Sawyer, a former director for the Ohio Board of Regents
41) Cheryl Bucy, a former finance director for New Albany and Powell
42) Eric Myers, founder and artistic director of MADLAB theater company
43) Cynthia L. Slate, an employee of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
44) Kevin L. Boyce, Ohio treasurer and former two-term city councilman
45) W. Shawna Gibbs, member of the Columbus board of education
46) Jeffrey J. Scarpitti, a real estate agent
47) Christopher G. Harris, a client service professional for Chase bank
48) Anthony J. Celebrezze III, a deputy director at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
49) Darren Thomas Grundy, an artist and former “subordinate workforce laborer.”

  • Anonymous

    I would be thrilled to see Dan Stewart get Tavares’ seat, after losing to her in the Senate primary.

  • Dan Stewart! Sorry. Put him at the top too.

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  • Guest

    Russ Feingold. Now that’s funny.

  • 49? WTF?

  • Rgtmwlly

    Don’t forget that Columbus is in America, so try not to let Michelle Obama know that you’re proud to live here!

  • Anastasjoy

    Sad to see so many great people out of work, and so many corrupt incompetents taking over. Alas, Ohio.

  • Typically they are elected, however two open seats are available now because Mike Mentel is resigning before his term is up and Charleta Tavares just won her election to be my new state Senator.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    gee 49 applied — thats great–
    do you think if we had of had 49 candidates for governor that Kasich woulda still won–
    appointed? we vote on ours — (they may be chosen temporarily in case of death etc)
    were these seats vacated for some reason –the article really doesnt say why they are open — sorry if I sound dumb but I live in another community

  • Greg

    If you look at the history of Columbus city council, most members are initially appointed in similar fashion. Rarely is a new member elected without having first been appointed in an off year.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    thx joseph for the answer as to why u have 2 vacant seats

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    thx joseph for the answer as to why u have 2 vacant seats

  • Very true. I can’t remember the last time we had an election for council. Suggestions for fixing it?

  • Greg

    Members like Mentel resign before their term is over to give council the power to appoint their preferred candidates, probably under the assumption that bestowing incumbency status on the newcomer will help when they do stand for election. However, this really is unnecessary, as Republican chances of winning against even a non-incumbent is poor at best.

    Instead, it seems to me, what they are really doing is circumventing the democratic process, which would in theory allow voters to decide who would best represent the public interest. Once preferred candidates are anointed, other candidates will have a hard time challenging them in a primary election. With so many good candidates applying this time, what qualities will council be looking for? I would trust voters a bit more to choose the best candidates than a perpetual system of passing the baton through a hand-picked process.

    At the least, we should shame politicians who support this process, and hold them to an obligation to serve out the term they were elected to, to allow the political process to work as intended. The appointment process should be the exception, not the rule.

    Since it has become the rule, perhaps we should switch to mandatory special elections to replace resigning members. This puts the choice back in the hands of voters, where it belongs. Besides, closing this loop should reduce how often we see council member resigning early.

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