Springboro could fill vacant council seat next week

Updated Nov 03, 2014

Two former council members are among five candidates for the open seat on Springboro City Council.

Former council members Sheila Lairson and David Vomacka, along with Janie Ridd, a long-time former planning commissioner, and two political newcomers, Timothy Shuler and Diana Caldwell, are seeking the appointment.

The city council has until Nov. 13 to replace Lori Kershner, elected in the November 2013 election to represent Ward 1.

Kershner resigned on Oct. 14, citing demands of work and family as her reasons for giving up the seat after serving less than a year of the four-year term.

“Rather than wait until the end of my term, I feel a responsibility to the residents of Ward 1 to step aside now with the knowledge that I simply do not have the time needed to effectively represent them at this stage in my life with my family and at this point in my career,” she said in a letter to council.

On Monday, Mayor John Agenbroad said he expected the council to interview the candidates and make a decision before the deadline.

“I would prefer council by majority fill the seat,” Agenbroad said. After the deadline, the city charter gives the mayor the authority to fill the seat himself.

In the November 2013 election, Kershner defeated Lairson by 134 votes in the newly redistricted ward. During the campaign, Vomacka sent out a letter backing Lairson and criticizing Kershner.

Lairson said she was anxious to get the appointment.

“I put my letter in the day it was posted on the web site,” she said.

At the time of the election, Vomacka said he decided to back Lairson, rather than risk splitting votes favoring incumbents.

This time, Vomacka said he decided to pursue the appointment.

“They know me well. They know Sheila well. They know Janie well,” Vomacka said. “This is strictly up to the six members of council.”

Shuler, a teacher who has his own home inspection business, moved into Settlers Walk three years ago.

Caldwell, who owns a music production company, moved to Springboro 12 years ago.

Ridd, a resident for more than 30 years, served nearly as long on the planning commission.

Shuler said the council should consider all the candidates, regardless of their political experience.

“Having that experience is not a necessity to perform the job well,” he said. Ridd and Caldwell couldn’t be reached Monday.

Agenbroad said he expected the council would schedule interviews during Thursday’s regular meeting.

“I want to make sure we do it collectively,” he said.