Heidi Samuel for Columbus Neighborhoods
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Candidates for City Council plenty

By Michael Edwards
Contributing Writer

Five Columbus City Council seats are up for grabs, the most since 1995. A seven–member entity, city council is the city’s legislative and policy-making body. Council is charged with providing overall leadership for the city by enacting laws and allocating city resources for programs, services, and activities. Council members are elected as at-large community representatives for the city and serve for a term of four years. In the November 6 general election, the four top vote getters for council will earn a four-year term.

Currently, democrats fill all positions and are running as a stay–the–course team with Mayor Michael B. Coleman, a democrat.

In a head-to-head race, Incumbent Priscilla Tyson and Heidi Samuel are vying to fill a two-year seat that was vacated. The other four council seats will go to the top four vote-getting candidates.

Tyson was appointed in 2005 to serve the last two years of a term vacated in 2005 by Mary Jo Hudson, who resigned to serve as director for the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Tyson is a member of Columbus City Council’s Creative Columbus Policy Steering Committee, which is reviewing a comprehensive and strategic policy that grows and strengthens the city’s and region’s vital arts communities.

Priscilla Tyson, an experienced business executive within the Columbus area for more than 29 years, has held roles as Vice President of Community Relations at Ohio Health, and Vice President of Community Relations at National City Bank. Tyson is President of Star Arts Gallery Limited. She has also served on the boards of Phoenix Theatre Circle, National Black Programming Consortium, Opera Columbus and the Community Shelter Board. As chair of Columbus City Council’s Recreation and Parks Committee, Tyson has sponsored legislation to enhance signs on over 50 miles of bike trails throughout the city as well as increased security initiatives at city recreation centers. Tyson is currently pursuing funding to restore programs and park hours that have been cut in recent years.

Heidi Samuel, Tyson’s challenger, a republican, served as the special assistant to the Chief of Staff for the Ohio Department of Transportation. She led the initial working group that designed the I-670 cap that serves as a link between Downtown and the Short North.

"While community activists are often forced to take a confrontational posture to encourage government action, I have been able to draw on my experience in the executive levels of government and transportation planning to work in coordination with city departments to bring lasting change," said Samuel.

As a member of the ECA&B, Samuel has overseen the closing of Motel One on E. Main St. as well Club XXX-tacy by use of precedent–setting public nuisance laws.
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The polls open at 6:30 a.m. on November 6.



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