Welcome to my Monthly Newsletter. I remain committed to building better neighborhoods while promoting inclusive communities, cost-efficient infrastructure improvements and better-paying good jobs for all Columbus residents.
When you have a problem, question, or concern, or anytime that I can be of service, come meet me, call me at 614-645-8084, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do everything I can to help.
What Area of the 2018 Budget Should We Spend More On?
This is the time of year when City Council prepares to pass the Mayor’s proposed budget for the upcoming year. We’ve held public hearings, discussed amendments, and reviewed the numbers. Once we’ve finalized the budget proposal, Council will vote to pass it in early February.
With Council’s vote fast approaching, I’d like to hear from you: what area of our Columbus government should we be spending more on?
- Health & Human Services
- Public Service & Transportation
- Public Safety
- Public Utilities
- Economic Development
- Recreation & Parks
Last month you shared your thoughts on where I should schedule my Community Hours in the future. You have been heard! This is why my team and I have scheduled more libraries and coffee shops to host Community Hours in February. See the column to the right for times and dates to meet with me throughout the City. Hope to see you there!
Highlights from the Proposed 2018 Budget
The Mayor’s proposed budget for 2018 will allocate city resources to help us maintain the great quality of life we have in the City of Columbus, while allowing every resident in every corner of Columbus the opportunity to thrive.
We will continue to add to the City’s Rainy Day Fund by contributing $1.2 million to the existing $74 million in 2018. This keeps us on track while getting us one step closer to the goal of saving $80 million in the Rainy Day Fund by the end of 2020.
Public Safety remains a top priority of this Mayor and City Council. In 2018, more than $601 million is included in the budget for Public Safety which includes money for the Mayor’s comprehensive neighborhood safety strategy, 70 new police recruits, 80 new fire fighter recruits, while efforts to equip 1,300 police officers with body-worn cameras.
The City of Columbus depends on the health of all of its collective neighborhoods. This is why the budget allocates $7 million to the Department of Neighborhoods that oversees 19 Area Commissions, My Brother’s Keeper, the New American Leadership Academy and our comprehensive neighborhood planning efforts in the Hilltop and Linden, among others. Money will also be spent, in partnership with the Franklin County Juvenile Court, to expand the Columbus Recreation & Parks Department’s Job Readiness Program along with more than $600 thousand for other youth programs that serve the 1 in 4 residents under the age of 18 that reside in the City.
In terms of Early Childhood and Education, $4.5 million is set aside for Early Start to ensure that every four year old in Columbus has the opportunity to access high quality pre-Kindergarten classrooms. The budget also provides spending for CelebrateOne, Moms2B, and increasing by 8 the number of CenteringPregnancy sites throughout the City.
This budget also supports the SMART City team as they continue to implement news idea garnered by data that will build innovative infrastructure for modern transportation that will allow Columbus residents access to opportunities to get to work, recreation, and safely back home again.
Funding for all of these important programs and services, and many others that help our residents flourish will be voted on and passed by City Council in early February. I value your input, and there is still time to give us that input by reaching out to my office to let me know which initiatives matter the most to you.
For more information I encourage you to visit the 2018 Proposed Operating Budget to learn more about the process and resources the City will use to make Columbus the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
A Changing of the Guard
If you haven’t made your way to a Council meeting lately you might notice some new faces and roles. First, congratulations to our new Columbus City Council President, Shannon Hardin. Elected by Council to serve as President, with the help of the rest of Council, President Hardin has announced new committee assignments for the upcoming year.
I’m excited to serve this year as Council President Pro Tem and to chair Council’s Neighborhoods Committee, where I will work more closely with our Area Commissions, Civic Associations, Neighborhood Pride, the Community Relations Commission, and Neighborhood Liaisons. In addition, I will continue to serve as Chair of Council’s Technology Committee and Council’s Public Utilities Committee.
Councilmember Elizabeth Brown will be the new Chair of the Finance Committee and Recreation & Parks, while continuing her work as the Chair of the Education Committee.
Councilmember Mitch Brown will stay on as the Chair of Public Safety and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The Economic Development & Small Business Committee will be Chaired by Councilmember Jaiza Page, who will also Chair the Judiciary & Court Administration Committee and continue her leadership role on the Housing Committee.
Our newest Councilmember Emmanuel Remy will Chair Public Service & Transportation, Environment, and the Administration committees.
Councilmember Priscilla Tyson is the new Zoning Committee Chair and will also serve as Chair of the Health & Human Services and Workforce Development committees.
As is custom for the Council President, Shannon Hardin will serve as Chair of the Rules & Reference Committee.
Welcome to the Team, Cole!
Please join me in welcoming Cole Wojdacz to my staff at City Hall.
Cole previously worked for Triumph Communications and is a recent graduate of Kent State University. She is a lifelong Central Ohio resident and brings a wealth of local knowledge and enthusiasm to the team.
Cole replaces Trenton Weaver who worked as my Legislative Assistant before taking his talents to Congress joining the staff of Representative Joyce Beatty as a Constituent Services and Policy Assistant.
I appreciate all the help that Trenton provided to constituents contacting me for help with problems, questions, and concerns and wish Trenton all the best in his future endeavors.
“My Door Is Always Open”