The Merriam council has appointed a replacement for the vacant Ward 1 seat.
Jason Silvers will replace former Councilmember Robert Weems, who recently stepped down after he moved out of the city. Silvers will finish the remainder of Weems’s term, which ends at the end of this year.
“After coming to the city of Merriam, I’ve tried to become very vested in it,” Silvers said before the council appointed him. “This seems like a very realistic way for me to help guide the city of Merriam and do my part in helping the city run.”
A resident of Merriam for the past seven years, Silvers said he thinks the most important issues facing Merriam in the next two years are: maintaining affordable housing options for residents from all economic backgrounds; getting a grocery store in the city after losing Hen House in Merriam Town Center last year; and creating better navigability on the city website to help build transparency between the city and residents.
“In all, I think the city of Merriam is doing a great job, and I would like to actually help continue that,” Silvers said during the interview with the council before they selected him.
Silvers also participated in the Merriam Citizens Police Academy. He works in advertising and earned a bachelor’s degree from The Columbus College of Art and Design, according to his application for the appointment. He listed previous civic experience as treasurer and later vice president of the Plaza/Westport Neighborhood Group; at that time, when he lived in Kansas City, Mo., he helped formulate development plans for the Plaza Bowl area.
“I feel like I have a good understanding of how city council works,” Silvers said. “Obviously, I could learn more… I have not sat on a city council, but I feel like I do have understanding of how that works and the decision-making that goes behind it.”
Silvers earned the appointment over two other Ward 1 residents who applied for the position: Brian Shapley, who actively voiced his support for the city’s recently approved nondiscrimination ordinance that provides protections for the LGBTQ community, and Dennis Miles, who ran for the Ward 1 seat in November 2017 but was defeated against now-seated Councilmember Scott Diebold. Miles filed his candidacy for the Ward 1 seat in the November general election.