3 people to be interviewed for vacant Springfield City Commission seat

The Springfield City Commission has scheduled a special session Tuesday with an eye toward more directly involving city residents in the process of selecting a new commissioner.

With the election of Rob Rue as mayor in November, commissioners are charged with naming someone to fill his vacant seat. Twenty-five members of the community submitted their names in response to a call for potential candidates.

Commissioners have invited three of them to participate in a special meeting Tuesday, Nov. 28, to introduce themselves to the community and respond to questions from the commissioners and submitted by Springfield residents.

Rue identified the three candidates the commission is interested in learning more about as Bridget Houston, diagnostic imaging key account manager with Philips Healthcare; Dorian Hunter, vice president of business development and marketing at Elliott Insurance Agency, and Chris Wallace, mentor supervisor at Springfield City Schools.

“We’d like to invite those candidates to speak for three minutes at the meeting Nov. 28 to speak publicly about why they would like to be a commissioner. There are also three questions the commissioners will ask them. We would like to invite the public to send questions they would like to be asked of the candidates to our City Clerk Jill Pierce.”

Questions can be submitted to Pierce at jpierce@springfieldohio.gov. Rue indicated members of the commission will select questions from among the submissions and pose them to the commission candidates during the public meeting.

“We thought it would be a good idea to have a transparent, open process as we make this important decision,” Rue said.

The new mayor noted that this approach is “above and beyond what we are required to do. We could have talked about this in executive session and then made the decision, but we want to open it up as much as possible.”

The commission will meet in executive session following the evening’s comments to assess the process, but no decision or action will be made at that time. Rue also indicated that the application process will remain open until a decision is finalized.

That means the remainder of the 25 applicants for the position will remain under consideration until a final decision is made. That list includes Commissioner Kevin O’Neill, who lost his bid for reelection earlier this month.

“We were pleased with that amount of applicants,” Rue said.

He added the majority of commissioners selected the three candidates who will speak about why they want to be commissioner and then answer questions in the special meeting.

The 7 p.m. meeting Nov. 28 will also include commission action on a multiple emergency resolutions and ordinances that were deferred due to the absence of Commissioner Krystal Brown, who was absent from the Nov. 21 meeting due to illness.

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