COLUMBIANA New members elected to city council
City growth and infrastructure are the priorities for new trustees and council members.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
COLUMBIANA -- City council will have four new members in January, including one to be appointed to fill the unexpired term of Robert Hum II.
Hum was the top vote-getter among six candidates vying for Fairfield Township trustee, ousting longtime Trustee Wilmer Swope. Hum's council term expires in 2003.
Fairfield Township residents who live in the Columbiana city limits may vote for trustee candidates and run for either trustee or city council seats.
Voters chose newcomers William Kimpel, Donald Vignon and Patricia Keylor for the three city council seats. Kimpel was the top vote-getter among six candidates. Incumbent Matt Weikart finished fifth. Kimpel's father previously served on council.
Kimpel expressed thanks to voters and said he plans to dig into the city's various infrastructure projects as soon as possible.
"We need to secure grants and other funding for these projects," he said. "We need to find new ways to fund projects and not always expect the city residents to pay for them."
After attending city council meetings off and on for the past 10 years, Keylor said she looks forward to serving on council. She is a former president of the chamber of commerce and said she has had an interest in city politics for some time.
"I look forward to serving," she said. "I think I can make a difference. We have a lot of ongoing projects, and we need to move forward."
Trustees' race: In the trustees' race, voters chose incumbent Fred Grappy over incumbent Swope and challengers James Kellner, Leonard Pritchard and Merle Travis. Pritchard, an incumbent city councilman, did not seek re-election to that post.
Hum could not be reached to comment Tuesday, but has said previously that trustees and city council should agree to a moratorium on further annexation of Fairfield Township land into the city.
A moratorium for a period of time would allow the city infrastructure to catch up with the growth, he said.
Hum also sees development of the former Fairfield School building and property as an important key to the township's future.
Trustees plan to use the former school for a township garage, meeting room for trustees and a community center that could be used by township residents and civic groups.
Grappy retains the seat he has held since 1994. He said his priorities will continue to be ensuring fiscal responsibility and the safety of township residents.