Council hopeful named to board

COLUMBIANA – The woman making a bid for council is getting her feet wet as the city’s new planning commission chairwoman.

Crystal Siembida-Boggs was chosen Tuesday by a majority of council. She showed an interest following their decision to put Richard McBane in the council seat left by Bob Bieshelt earlier this year.

McBane was chairman of the commission when chosen for council and had to resign from that position since only one person can represent council on the commission.

Councilman Tom Ferguson is already on the commission as council representative and McBane was serving as citizen representative.

Boggs will fill the citizen representative role as chairmwoman and is expected to complete the remainder of McBane’s term that ends December 2018.

Whether she will complete the term depends on the outcome of the November general election. Boggs has said she intends to run for council in that election and if chosen will need to relinquish the planning commission seat.

In her letter to council she said she debated submitting her resume for the commission seat since she is still pursuing council.

“However, the more I thought about it the more I realized planning commission will be an educational experience that will help me accomplish my goals for city council,” she said.

Boggs is currently the executive secretary of the Columbiana Area Tourism Bureau and president and founder of the Siembida & Boggs Philanthrophic Foundation.

According to her resume, she served two years in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Iraq for one tour of duty.

She earned an associate’s degree in business management from Kent State University in 2000 and a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Kaplan University in 2009.

She was chosen for the commission by majority vote and beat out three other contenders.

Councilman Tom Ferguson was absent and McBane was the only one who voted for another candidate.

The three others who applied were Charles Tucker Cope Jr., former council and commission member Pat Keylor and William Flesse.

McBane voted for Cope and Councilman Lowell Schloneger originally voted for Keylor but changed to Boggs after Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell said four votes would be required for someone to be selected that evening since not all members were present.

Schloneger said after the meeting he changed his vote so easily because he felt all the candidates were qualified for the position.

“They were the four most qualified we had,” he said.

Councilman Bryan Blakeman also believed the four were qualified, but suggested Boggs overall because of the effort she has put into serving the city.

“That is the one person that is not only here, but is running for council and it was suggested that night that those who didn’t make it” try out for this, he said of the evening McBane was chosen for Bieshelt’s seat.

At that time council members told the others who applied for the council position they should put their applications in for the commission seat.

Boggs was the only one who did. She was also the only one of the three seeking the commission seat who attended the Tuesday meeting.

McBane did not comment during the meeting as to why he selected Cope, who is head of C. Tucker Cope & Associates Engineering.

According to his letter, Cope holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Case Western Reserve and received a professional engineer’s license for Ohio in 2000.

In other business, council also approved:

– Second readings were given to ordinances to purchase two water lines easements in connection with the proposed water treatment plant, budget appropriations for 2013, and transferring the following for payment of current expense as they arise: $840,000 from the income tax fund to the general fund and $840,000 from the income tax fund to the capital improvement fund, $116,500 from the general fund to the cemetery fund, $175,000 from the general fund to the park fund and $85,000 from the general fund to the police pension fund.

– An emergency ordinance to provide a contract between the city and Fairfield Township for fire protection services for the township.

– A motion approving the request of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit Post 290 to hold the annual Poppy Days in the city on May 10 and May 11.

– A motion approving the request of Jack Guy on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce for the annual Fourth of July program at Firestone Park.

– A motion approving paying Finance Director Mike Harold for the month in which he served as acting city manager the same amount the manager receives.

Harold makes less as finance director than the manager makes.