Portsmouth City Council named Charlotte Gordon as Second Ward Councilperson on Tuesday, in the wake of the retirement of longtime Councilwoman Jo Ann Aeh late last month.
Aeh reluctantly retired after OPERS (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System) demanded that Aeh take the insurance offered to her through the city. Aeh stated that seeing as she was not a full-time employee, and instead an elected official, it was to her understanding that she would not be required to take the city’s insurance, which would cost her approximately $800 monthly. With correspondence to OPERS being unsuccessful by the City Auditor Trent Williams and City Solicitor John Haas, Aeh tendered her resignation and council advertised for the open position.
On Tuesday night council held a special session meeting for the purpose of interviewing potential candidates for the second ward seat. All applicants were required to have been a resident of the 2nd Ward for no less than six months and of the city for no less than three years.
Deadline for resumes was 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and after already extending the application period council received only two applications for the position.
Thomas Bailey and Charlotte Gordon were then individually interviewed for the position of 2nd Ward councilperson by the remaining members of council.
After conducting the interviews in executive session, council returned after an hour and a half of deliberation and announced that Gordon was the candidate selected to fill the vacant seat on council, with Bailey receiving one vote from Gerald Albrecht.
Gordon is the Artistic Director at the Southern Ohio Museum, and resident of the 2nd Ward.
Gordon said she was inspired to put her name in for the running by those around her. “It was an overwhelming amount of calls and conversations with people telling me I should apply for the position,” said Gordon.
Gordon stated that she was looking forward to fulfilling the position and carrying out business on behalf of the second ward.
“The second ward is a very interesting area, with a very diverse population. we have the school, the library and many businesses,” said Gordon.
Gordon stated she would begin her role as councilwoman by listening to her constituents and figuring out what they need.
The next regular session of Portsmouth City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on August 12.