Tavares, Tyson Dispute Selection Process for New Members of City Council

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Columbus City Council is expected to move forward on the appointment for replacements for Maryellen O’Shaughnessy and Kevin Boyce. O’Shaughnessy was elected county clerk of courts and Boyce was appointed state treasurer. So far, 65 candidates have been whittled down to 16. But that whittling does not sit well with at least two members. Councilwoman Charleta Tavares says the process, including selection criteria, has been unclear to members of council, the candidates and the public. “It’s only fair to those 65 candidates that put their names forth for them to understand the selection process from beginning to end,” she said. Tavares and Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson spoke out about the process at a press conference earlier today. City council president Mike Mentel was unavailable for comment and a city council spokesman referred all questions to the chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party. William Anthony defended the process. “City attorney Rick Pfeiffer has basically laid it out and I believe the process is fair and I believe it’s open,” he said. Tavares says she was told last night’s meeting was canceled and she did not plan to attend. But Council later announced that there were not enough members to conduct business. Council will meet tonight and Tavares says business should be discussed openly during the meeting. “If it’s an actual selection, that it’s done by resolution or ordinance so that we have the majority of caucus members supporting the candidates,” she said. “And my hope is that we would discuss how we are making those selections.” Whoever is appointed will have to defend their position on November’s ballot.