Two Appointed to Columbus City Council

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The Columbus City Council has filled two vacancies left by the resignations of Matt Habash and Mary Jo Hudson. Councilman Mike Mentel introduced the pair, Andy Ginther and Priscilla Tyson, Thursday morning at city hall.

Council President Pro Tem Mike Mentel says they considered 35 applications for the two positions and conducted 12 interviews. He described the selections criteria this way:

“The deliberative process that we exercised as a collective body was Who will be the best stewards of this city?’ These are the two candidates that we feel will represent all of Columbus; everyone, equally,” Mentel said.

The selections of school board member Andy Ginther and City Year Columbus director emeritus Priscilla Tyson were unanimous, Mentel said. Tyson has been an executive at National City Bank and other firms and has served in a variety of capacities with civic organizations.

“I’ve been on the United Way cabinet, I’ve served on the United Negro College Fund, I then went on to Ohio Health, I’ve also during that time have been blessed to serve on Civil Service for 12 years.

As an intern Andy Ginther taught non-violence and dispute resolution at the Carter Center in Atlanta. He was elected to the Columbus School Board in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. He says he’ll continue his focus on education on the council.

“Education is never too far from my mind as a top priority. Every study that I’ve ever seen shows public schools and public education are one of the most important criteria in focusing on economic development.”

Tyson says she’ll also concentrate on the city’s economic development and continue to help train young people to be future leaders.

Both Ginther and Tyson must run for election to the city council in November. But Mike Mentel says he thinks voter approval is all but assured.

“The public always has the opportunity at the ballot to verify whether that selection is correct. And from my recollection the citizens of Columbus have agreed with our process – have agreed with those selections – and have agreed that those individuals are the best qualified to be the stewards of this city.”

Ginther and Tyson will be sworn in January 22nd. Committee assignments will also be made during that meeting.

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