(Columbus) A lack of interest and persistently vacant aldermanic seats were cited as key factors as the Columbus Common Council discussed changes to their aldermanic policy this week. District 3 representative Ed Johnson suggests converting as many as three of the current aldermen from district specific positions to city at large representatives. Johnson says that as the council has had some difficulty filling council seats, opening three at large seats would drum up interest in running for the position. He suggests alternating primary elections each year between district specific and at large races. Johnson believes this will encourage residents to run without the pressure of trying to compete against an incumbent candidate.
District 1 representative Katie Ryan says while she is still processing the suggested changes, she has some concerns. Ryan states that council members have numerous meetings to attend throughout their time in office, and with the proposed idea is adopted, she fears sections of the city will not be represented in key decisions if their single district representative is unable to attend any of these meetings. While no decision was made, further discussion on the proposed changes as been tabled for discussion at the next committee of the whole meeting later this month.