Delaware City Council is now accepting applications for candidates who wish to fill the vacated Second Ward council seat, which came open following Lisa Keller’s resignation in November. During Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Carolyn Riggle highlighted the process council will follow in selecting the ward’s next representative.
Keller began her time on council in 2008 following the resignation of a council member, and she was reelected three times, most recently in 2019. In a post from her professional Facebook page, Keller stated her intention was to complete her term on council, but “life has other plans.”
“I will forever be in admiration of our incredibly hardworking staff, especially our city manager, Tom Homan, who burns the midnight oil more often than anyone realizes,” Keller wrote. “You, Mayor Riggle, have selflessly devoted countless hours of service while you give your absolute all to the city of Delaware. My fellow council members are true public servants, and my fondness for them and the work they do continues. Our incredible city staff works so hard behind the scenes to make it all seem effortless. Their devotion to our city is truly second to none.”
She added, “Above all else, I want to thank the citizens of the 2nd Ward from the very bottom of my heart for trusting me with the absolute honor of serving them since 2008.”
Now, council is tasked with filling a vacated seat for the second time in less than two years; current Councilman Stephen Tackett was selected to fill the vacated First Ward seat in July 2021 before being elected to a full term that following November.
During the meeting, Riggle said the seat has sat vacant since November due to the timing of Keller’s resignation, which coincided with the finalization of the city’s 2023 budget. “We thought it would just be too difficult to try and fill it at that time,” she said.
Council will follow the same process it did to fill the First Ward seat, beginning with the application process, which opened Tuesday. All candidates must live in the Second Ward, and they must get 25 signatures from residents in the ward as part of the application process.
The application can be accessed by visiting the city’s website at www.delawareohio.net/government/city-council-boards-commissions-committees/second-ward-application.
Applications will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 27, at 5 p.m., at which time applicants will receive supplemental essay questions from council. A special meeting of council will be held on Monday, Feb. 6, which will include candidate interviews.
Should the number of candidates necessitate an additional day of interviews, they will continue on Thursday, Feb. 9. Riggle said the ultimate goal is to swear in the new council member during council’s Feb. 13 meeting.
Whichever candidate is selected will finish out Keller’s term, which expires in November. If interested, the appointed council member can seek election to the seat in November.
“They’re big shoes to fill, but I think they’re worth it,” Riggle said. “I think anyone who is interested in this should really talk to one of us (on council) or reach out.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.