Six candidates interview to fill vacant Galion City Council seat

By Andrew Carter - [email protected]

GALION — Galion City Council has interviewed six candidates who have applied to fill a vacant seat on the local governing body.

Council members met with each candidate during an executive session following the regular meeting on Tuesday evening. One of council’s three at-large seats became vacant after then-council member Gail Baldinger was appointed to serve as city auditor. He is fulfilling the unexpired term of former auditor Brian Triesch, who resigned due to health reasons.

Baldinger started his new role as auditor on Nov. 28. The partial term expires Dec. 31, 2021.

Council has until Dec. 28 to fill the seat, which is 30 days from the date it was vacated. It’s expected that council will choose its next member at the Dec. 22 regular meeting.

The list of applicants who submitted resumes for consideration to fill the city council vacancy includes the following city residents: Kara Ault, Don Diosi, Paula Durbin, Catherine George, Heath Watkins, and Eric Webber.

George, Watkins, and Webber are former members of Galion City Council. Durbin is a former Galion city treasurer. Ault and Diosi also have experience working with public agencies in various capacities.

“The whole field are people who have some public sector, some board background, so I think it will be interesting,” Mayor Tom O’Leary said during his Facebook Live session on Monday. “As I mentioned a week ago, I’ve avoided lobbying for individual candidates over the years I’ve been mayor.”

Ault, who resides on Cherry Street, currently works for Abilities in Action as the operations director/community outreach coordination. Ault is vice president of the board of the Galion City Health Department, and has served on that board since 2018. Ault also serves on the board of Chrysalis Advantage Point in Bucyrus.

Diosi, who resides on South Market Street, is a United States Air Force veteran who has worked for the State of Ohio and various media companies during his career. He previously served on the Galion City Schools board of education from 1998 to 2002. He is the current vice commander of Army-Navy Garrison 987.

Durbin, who resides on North Market Street, has local government experience from her time working as the sales, catering, and concessions manager for the City of Waco (Texas) convention center (July 1990 to March 2010) and as treasurer of the City of Galion (June 2013 to December 2015). She also worked as executive director of the Loudonville Convention and Visitors Bureau (June 2003 to July 2006). Currently, Durbin currently works as a part-time legal assistant for Wade Law Office LLC in Galion.

George, who resides on Maple Heights Drive, is a former Galion City Council member, serving from 2003 to 2013. She is currently a licensed clinical social worker, a position she began in 2018. George taught at Galion City Schools from 1975 to 2011. She also has experience working in the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office and for social service agencies in Crawford and Morrow counties.

Watkins, who resides on Hillcrest Avenue, is a former Galion City Council member and former Galion City Schools board of education member. He is the owner and operator of the following businesses in Galion: American Family Insurance, H&K Watkins, H&K Watkins Fundraisers, and William and Larry LLC Properties.

Webber, who resides on Fairview Avenue, served as the 1st Ward representative on Galion City Council from 2013 to 2014. The vast majority of his professional experience is in the sales field. He is currently the regional sales manager for Rumpke.

By Andrew Carter

[email protected]

Follow @AndrewACCarter on Twitter.

Follow @AndrewACCarter on Twitter.