Thirty-one members of the Delaware community have been selected to lead the newly formed Steering Committee, which will help in the construction of the city’s new comprehensive plan. The final committee selection was made from 90 submitted applications from either residents or business owners in the city of Delaware.
Those who have been selected to lead the committee are Donnie Akers, Robert Badger, Tajudeen Bakare, Susie Bibler, David Carpenter, Heather Cowles, Beth Fisher, Katherine Gharrity, Whitney Gherman, Stephanie Gregory, Harry Hart, Stefanie Hauck, Jack Hilborn, Robert Hillery, Anna Hurley, Jennifer Franklin Kearns, Ben Kelly, Chang Keat Koo, Jacqueline Luzar, George Mantzoros, Dustin Nanna, Jim Ohlin, Nancy Reger, Michael Rush, John Rybka, Stacy Simpson, Kristina Sossa, Stephanie Steinbeck, Paul Stelzer, Stephanie Stromberg and Abbey Trimble.
One city council member will also be selected to serve on the committee, bringing the total to 32. Originally, the group was expected to include 20-25 members of the community, but council felt that given the number of applications submitted, and the diversity of the applicants, a larger committee was necessary.
The committee is made up of 16 men and 15 women, with ages ranging from the early 20s to over 65. In addition to the age and gender diversity, each ward of Delaware has at least seven representatives on the committee.
Development and Planning Director Dave Efland said his hope for the sizeable and diverse group is that “the community can look at this list of people at the end of the day and identify with them, hopefully in more than one way. So many people wear so many hats nowadays, and I think everyone on this list wears multiple hats in lots of different ways in our community.”
As earlier reported, Delaware’s current comprehensive plan was constructed in the early 2000s and did not have a particular duration for relevancy. However, Community Affairs Coordinator Lee Yoakum said the comprehensive plan “needs to reflect current trends and priorities,” and because of that, “it was time to undertake an all-around update.”
It is expected the committee will hold its first meeting this month and will meet seven more times over a 15-month span.
Efland encouraged those who applied but were not selected to remain involved in the process, saying, “There are opportunities within this process for help with outreach coordination and workshop facilitation, and then some topical discussions.”
In other council news:
• The June 25 council meeting has been set as the date for three separate second readings and public hearings, including one for the proposed hotel to be built on the back portion of the historic Perkins House on West William Street (Perkins home will be renovated). Also included will be discussions on the approval of a temporary trailer/modular classroom for Delaware Bible Church, as well as an ordinance to approve a rezoning amendment request for approximately 90 acres on Airport Road. Council meetings are held in City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.
• Council members discussed the resolution in support of the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy further. First Ward representative Chris Jones said of the resolution, “I hope everybody would support it.” However, Vice Mayor Kent Shafer said that while he’s in full support of reducing the carbon footprint, this is a “significant public policy that I don’t know that we fully understand all the repercussions of,” before going on to say he was not prepared to support such a resolution before hearing more about the long-term impacts. Shafer’s sentiment was echoed by other council members, and the resolution was tabled for the time being.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.