OU Student To Run For Athens City Council

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Athens City Council will likely see some new faces and organizational changes in 2016 as at least one person has already announced his candidacy to run for an at-large seat.

On Tuesday, Ohio University student Aaron Dauterman announced that he will be running for an at-large Council seat as a Republican in 2015. Dauterman, 21, is currently in his second year at OU.

In a letter to The Messenger, Dauterman wrote that community involvement and public service have always been passions of his.

“Stemming from being an Eagle Scout, an assistant scoutmaster and former Boy Scout, I have always believed that we must leave the land we found better than how we found it and that is exactly what I intend to do if elected,” he wrote. Dauterman said he wants to focus on economic development, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. He also stated that he’d like to see an end to tax increases in the city.

Current at-large Councilwoman Chris Knisely announced on Monday that she will be vying for the vacant Athens City Council president position. Jim Sands resigned from the position last week due to health problems.

Knisely was appointed to an unexpired at-large seat in 2008 and has served in that role since. She said she first got involved in the community when she moved to Athens in 1996.

“I’m interested in continuing to serve on Council in a new way,” she said, adding that she’d like to follow in Sands’ footprints. Knisely said that Sands was always good at explaining city issues and Council rules to citizens at meetings.

“I want to try to continue that tradition and build on that,” she said.

According to Knisely, she will be expressing her interest to the Democratic Central Committee to be appointed to Sands’ unexpired term. She said she has also taken out petitions to run for Council president in the May primary election.

First Ward Councilman Kent Butler has been filling in for Sands as Council’s most senior member. It was rumored that Butler might also run for Council president, however Butler told The Messenger on Tuesday that he likely won’t be running for the position.

“I’m intrigued by it, but I want to continue with the design and creation of progressive legislation,” Butler told The Messenger.

As The Messenger previously reported, at-large Councilman Steve Patterson has announced that he will run for mayor of Athens in 2015. Mayor Paul Wiehl has stated that he will not seek another term.