Mayors Group Outlines Priorities For 2023, Emphasizes Need for Bipartisanship
December 16, 2022
Recommendations to address concerns over local control, public safety, remote working
COLUMBUS, OH – Over two dozen mayors from Ohio’s largest cities came together today to outline their shared priorities for 2023 and emphasize the urgent need for elected leaders to find common ground and work together. The group released a set of policy recommendations to help address concerns over local control, public safety, gun violence, potential fiscal impacts to cities, and the importance of state and local collaboration.
“As mayors, we know the important role cities play in driving regional growth and bolstering Ohio’s statewide economic success,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We also know that investments in local communities will benefit the state overall and help build vibrant communities. Next year, we hope our state leaders embrace this collaborative spirit and share our view that strong cities make a stronger Ohio.”
The Ohio Mayors Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of mayors in Ohio’s 30 largest cities, held a press conference in Columbus to outline a set of recommendations to Ohio’s statewide elected officials and new General Assembly members. The mayors emphasized the importance of bipartisan collaboration and the need for state and local officials to work together in the interest of all Ohioans.
“As we look ahead to 2023, we believe there continues to be great potential for improved collaboration between state and local leaders,” said Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn. “We also believe that now, more than ever, we must bridge our political divisions and work together to promote bipartisan cooperation and get things done for all Ohioans.”
The recommendations include:
- a state commission to preserve local control and foster statewide collaboration;
- measures to improve public safety and reduce gun violence;
- monitoring the impacts of remote working and protecting the fiscal health of cities;
- improving state and local revenue sharing and targeted grant programs; and
- promoting bipartisanship, civic learning, and public service.
The mayors raised concerns over several state preemption laws and the erosion of home rule in Ohio. “Local leaders elected by their neighbors are in the best position to determine what is best for their communities. This is why we must protect Ohio’s right to home rule and preserve local self-governance,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Our communities must have the flexibility to solve the problems they care about and find innovative local policy solutions.”
The mayors also proposed a series of policies to improve public safety and reduce gun violence. These include dedicated state funding for police officer training, the creation of a statewide law enforcement certification and licensing program, establishing extreme risk protection orders, enhancing Ohio’s gun purchasing background check system, implementing a statewide safe storage law, and reinstating the duty to notify provision and restore local control on certain gun safety measures.
“Strong, smart, and effective public safety strategies are foundational to the health and vibrancy of Ohio’s local communities and our state,” said Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone. “Public safety is the largest expenditure for nearly every city in Ohio. We must work with state leaders to protect the fiscal health of our cities. We’ve also come together on a range of gun safety measures that we would like to see the legislature take action on. We have to find a bipartisan balance, and I believe that is what we have done.”
Additionally, the mayors emphasized the importance of encouraging bipartisan cooperation at every level of government and discussed several ways mayors will be promoting bipartisanship in 2023. These include hosting bipartisan roundtables throughout the year and developing a partnership between cities and schools to promote civic learning and public service.
“We will be working to emphasize the importance of bipartisan cooperation and encouraging state leaders to work across the aisle,” said Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler. “We are also working in our communities to promote the importance of finding common ground to help improve the tone and tenor of our political discourse.”
“Ohio cities play such an important role in powering Ohio’s economy,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter. “Our recommendations for 2023 emphasize the need for local innovation and statewide collaboration because we know that strong cities make a stronger Ohio.”
Formed in 2016, the Ohio Mayors Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of mayors in Ohio’s 30 largest cities. For more information on the Ohio Mayors Alliance and to read the Mayors Recommendations Report for 2023, please visit: ohiomayorsalliance.org.
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