Resident and local educator Cynthia Alarcón has been appointed to a First Ward Columbus City Council seat by Mayor Jim Bulkley.
The mayor announced his appointment on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023, noting Alarcón will be officially sworn in during the City Council’s next meeting on Jan. 2, 2024. She will fill the unexpired term of former Councilwoman Beth Augustine-Schulte, who resigned from her position in November 2023 as she and her husband relocated out of the ward she represented.
“I am excited to announce my selection of Cynthia,” Bulkley said. “Cynthia is a married mother of three and involved in numerous community organizations.”
Indeed, Alarcón has made a name for herself serving the community in various roles since she and her family moved here in 2007. She is vice president of the Parent Advisory Council at Centennial Elementary, as well as serves on the Columbus Chamber Hispanic Latino Youth Summit Committee and is a member of the Columbus Youth Latino Professional Association. Additionally, she is a volunteer and former board member for local nonprofit Centro Hispano, among other things.
“As a dedicated resident of our community for the past 16 years, I have witnessed the growth and evolution of our city, and I am enthusiastic to contribute my skills and passion for public service to help shape its future,” Alarcón said.
Although Alarcón was ultimately selected, Bulkley acknowledged it was a difficult decision to make after he and City Council President Rich Jablonski interviewed a handful of quality candidates.
“Although I felt Cynthia was the right fit for our City Council vacancy, the choice was not an easy one,” the mayor said. “We interviewed five qualified candidates for this position and each one came with unique characteristics.”
Those residents were Melissa Spearman, owner/president of downtown business Mother Nature’s Emporium; Dennis Hirschbrunner, a distinguished retired engineer and president of the Columbus Area Antique Fire Apparatus Preservation Society; local businessman Carl Seckel; and Anthony Smith, of online information platform Platte Valley Media.
“I thanked each of the candidates for their willingness to step forward and offer to serve,” Bulkley said. “And I reminded and encouraged each of them to consider committee assignments or other avenues of helping serve the community.”
Alarcón will be sworn in during the City Council’s next meeting which starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, in its Chamber on the third floor of the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St. The meeting was previously moved to the first Tuesday of the month in January because the first Monday falls on a holiday, New Year’s Day.
Alarcón will represent Ward 1 until 2026 when she will then have to decide to run for council on a new term.