By Frank Lewis
Barring anyone else filing as a write-in candidate long time city clerk and former member of Portsmouth City Council Jo Ann Aeh will be the new Second Ward Councilwoman come January.
When current Councilman Rich Saddler announced he would not seek reelection, it would have left that seat virtually vacant and without a candidate, City Council would have had to appoint someone to fill the seat.
“When Richie didn’t file I had several people call me and ask if I’d do it,” Aeh told the Daily Times. “I understand and agree with, when you have somebody serving and they have to leave, then Council appoints, but to appoint from day one, I don’t want them deciding who is going to represent the Second Ward right from the get-go.”
The Scioto County Board of Elections verified Thursday afternoon that no one else has filed to run for that seat, which would leave Aeh as the only candidate as she filed directly after Saddler’s announcement.
“If there is nobody else and I get two votes even I’m in,” Aeh said. “So the Council won’t get to decide who sits in that seat.”
Aeh said she had applied to run as a write-in candidate in the primary election but found out that was not possible.
“They had accepted my application, so then they called me and then I re-filed,” Aeh said.
Aeh retired as city clerk in 2011 and said she had planned to stay retired.
“It (running for Council) wasn’t my plan for retirement,” Aeh said jokingly. “but there it is.”
Aeh said there is no question she is qualified citing her over 20 years experience in city government having also served as city clerk from January of 1988 Through September of 2011.
“I served on City Council from August of 83 through December of 85,” Aeh said. “and I have had 20 some years experience working with the City Charter in understanding legislative matters and the position that you hold as a legislator. You’re a legislator, not an administrator and that is what the position is – you represent one-sixth of the city and as a body you represent the whole city but you represent that one-sixth. I understand the process and the position.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.