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GHAC discusses city council, casino zoning and commission seats
A group hopes to make changes to the Columbus City Council and presented its plan to the Greater Hilltop Area Commission on April 3.
Diana Thomas Beasley, representing Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government (CCRG), said their plan is to obtain better representation.
Beasley believes areas like the Westside are under represented.
City council is made up of seven members elected at large. It has been this way since 1914 when the city covered 24.5 square miles and had 181,500 residents. Today the seven members represent nearly 800,000 residents who live in 225 square miles.
The CCRG wants a nine-member reapportionment board to draw up boundaries for seven neighborhoods and each would elect one member to council. Four council members would be elected at large.
“The community would have its own representative elected to city council,” Beasley said. “That person would live in your community, know the crime and know the streets that need fixing.”
Beasley said they are circulating petitions to get it on the ballot in November. They also plan to submit the proposal to city council.
Conditions at Glenwood Rec Center
The GHAC’s parks and recreation committee wishes to see a new facility replace the nearly century-old Glenwood Recreation Center.
Commissioner Geoff Phillips said the HVAC system was not working properly, making the atmosphere uncomfortable.
The committee also suggested improvements, including the installation of a rubberized surface in the lower level workout room, security cameras, field equipment and implementing standard hours at the pool.
Phillips said he sent the committee’s report to Recreation and Parks Director Alan McKnight.
“If things (at Glenwood) don’t get better fast, I’ll advocate for closure,” said GHAC Chair Chuck Patterson. “I tried to get the March meeting there so city officials could see the conditions, but I couldn’t.”
Rezoning area of Hollywood Casino
The GHAC approved the rezoning request to change the category of Hollywood Casino from rural to commercial development.
The request will now be forwarded to the city of Columbus for final approval.
Casino representative Jeff Reynolds displayed the monument style signs Penn National wants to erect along Georgesville Road and West Broad Street.
One sign is about nine feet tall and could potentially be placed on the property owned by Chris Haydocy of Haydocy Automotive.
“The sign won’t go on West Broad unless Haydocy gives us permission,” Reynolds said. “We called Chris and explained everything. He is comfortable with what we proposed.”
GHAC sets election date
The GHAC will hold its elections June 23. Four seats are up for election, those held by Brian Bainbridge, Lane Newcome, Gregg Large, and James Lashbrook. Petitions to be on the ballot can be found at www.TheGHAC.com.
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