FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 12, 2017
Media Contact: Keary McCarthy, 614-425-9163
COLUMBUS – Gathering in Columbus on Friday for its quarterly meeting, the Ohio Mayors Alliance – a bipartisan organization of mayors from Ohio’s largest cities and suburbs – appointed two new board members: Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Kettering Mayor Don Patterson. The organization also discussed various strategies that local communities are implementing to respond to the opioid epidemic, as well as provisions in the state budget that impact cities.
“It’s been an honor to work with my colleagues to help form this organization and give voice to the issues that impact all of our communities,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “I look forward to our continued work together and I’m thrilled that my friend and colleague Don Patterson will continue to represent the Miami Valley on the Ohio Mayors Alliance Board.”
Mayor Whaley nominated Mayor Patterson after she informed the membership that she was stepping down from the board, but committed to remaining actively engaged in the organization. The group also expanded its leadership team by one member. Current board member and Mayor of Findlay, Lydia Mihalik, nominated Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. Both nominations were unanimously approved by the membership.
“Ohio’s cities and local communities are the heart and soul of our great state,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The Ohio Mayors Alliance was formed to bring local leaders together to share good ideas and shape important policy decisions. I’m honored to be joining the leadership team and l look forward to our continued work together on behalf of all of our communities.”
Following today’s elections, the Ohio Mayors Alliance Board is now comprised of the following members: Mayor John Cranley, City of Cincinnati; Mayor Lydia Mihalik, City of Findlay; Mayor Tim DeGeeter, City of Parma; Mayor Don Patterson, City of Kettering; and Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City of Columbus. Biographical information on all the Ohio Mayors Alliance members can be found here: www.ohiomayorsalliance.org/our-mayors
“Mayors and elected leaders from different parts of the state need a forum to communicate, share ideas, and better understand the differences that sometimes divide us,” said Kettering Mayor Don Patterson. “The Ohio Mayors Alliance provides that forum and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
The Ohio Mayors Alliance members also took steps during the meeting to further their commitment to combatting Ohio’s opioid crisis. In addition to reviewing a report that outlined trending strategies implemented by local communities, the group also heard from Greg McNeil, Founder of Cover 2 Resources (www.Cover2.org).
“Cities are on the front lines of this opioid epidemic and communities across the state are taking action to protect their constituents and their communities,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “We need a much more coordinated, strategic approach to dealing with this nightmare. Coming together and learning what our fellow cities are doing in response to this crisis in one important step, but there is a lot more work to do.”
Mayors Mihalik and Ginther also briefed the group on White House meeting that they attended on Thursday of last week. The meeting brought together state and local officials to discuss the nation’s infrastructure needs.
“There are a range of options being considered on infrastructure that could significantly impact our communities,” said Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik. “I appreciated the opportunity to communicate the interests and concerns of my fellow mayors and I hope we find some real solutions to address our infrastructure challenges.”
The organization also discussed the impending state budget that currently includes several provisions that impact cities and local communities. The Ohio Mayors Alliance has voiced its concerns to the state legislature on proposals that impact and limit local taxing authority and further strain municipal budgets. The group has also objected to additional measures that would preempt previously approved local laws.
“We have worked to communicate our concerns to lawmakers and share how certain state policy changes will impact local communities,” said former state lawmaker and current Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter. “The House changes reflected some of our concerns and we hope the Senate will continue to make favorable improvements in an otherwise difficult budget.”
The Ohio Mayors Alliance is a bipartisan organization comprised of mayors from among Ohio’s largest cities by population. Nearly one third of the state’s total population, 3.4 million people, lives in Ohio’s 30 largest cities. The group has come together to help strengthen Ohio’s cities through collaboration, improved advocacy, and stronger partnerships with state and federal policymakers. For more information on the Ohio Mayors Alliance, please visit: www.OhioMayorsAlliance.org.