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New City Council Member Is Former Coleman Staffer

Columbus City Council last night appointed a former member of Mayor Michael Coleman's staff as the next council member.

Coleman lobbied to have 27-year-old Shannon Hardin become council's first openly gay African-American member. Hardin is Coleman's former external affairs coordinator. The South Side native and Democrat currently works as an associate vice president at the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority. Council appointed him last night after meeting behind closed doors for 45 minutes. Hardin was chosen from a pool of 12 finalists to succeed Troy Miller, who resigned to work in the private sector. He was thought to be the choice to succeed Hearcel Craig, who is running for State Representative. Hardin filed to run in that race but stepped aside for Craig. Many of the others who applied for the position were told by Council president Andy Ginther to show up at last night's meeting. All six sitting Council Democrats then told them how difficult the choice was to make. Council last night also approved a 1.2 million contract to design a new parking garage that will go next to a new city building at 111 North Front Street. Sponsoring Council member Priscilla Tyson says  a 700-space parking garage will be built for city and state employees.


The project is expected to be completed in 2016.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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