GALION — Galion City Council voted to fill a vacancy within its ranks during its regular meeting on Tuesday.
Council selected Kara Ault to replace Gail Baldinger as one of the three at-large council members. Council voted 5-0 with one abstention in favor of Ault’s nomination to fill the seat. She will fulfill the term that expires Dec. 31, 2021. All seven council seats will be on the ballot in 2021.
Baldinger resigned from city council to accept an appointment to become city auditor. He replaces Brian Triesch, who resigned in November due to health concerns. Baldinger takes over a term that expires Dec. 31, 2021.
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.
“I’ve really enjoyed serving on a public board (Galion City Health Department) and learning about city government and how things work,” Ault said. “When I saw that Gail took over the auditor position and the council seat was open, I felt confident in applying and getting to learn more and experience more of city government.”
Ault was one of six applicants who submitted resumes for consideration to fill the city council vacancy. The rest of the applicant pool included 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.
Ault said she believes her professional experience will bring “a fresh perspective” to city council.
“I’ll look at things in a different way, through a different lens, as well as bring an understanding of how budgets work, grant-writing and the whole process of receiving grants, and understanding how they impact budgets,” Ault said. “In my work that I do with my day job, I work with individuals with developmental and physical disabilities to help them become more independent. I oversee and have written grants for financial literacy, and for transition-age students in high school all the way up through adult programming through the State of Ohio. We get federal dollars, state dollars, and local dollars, so I have an understanding of utilizing public money in a responsible way to better impact those that we serve.”
Ault noted that she believes the future for Galion is “very bright” and she hopes to help the city grow and develop.
“The past two years have brought a lot of growth, not only in the downtown, but also with housing, different career opportunities, and job opportunities within the city,” Ault said. “I think there’s been a lot of cooperation with Crawford Works and different programs to get more people into town and to incentivize them to stay here and have professional lives here. I think there’s a lot we can do and continue to push on for revitalization, housing, and transportation. I definitely think good things are happening.”
Galion City Council is scheduled to meet in special session at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 28. Council is slated to vote on the 2021 city budget during that meeting.
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