2018 KEY INITIATIVES
Could Marion City and County be?
* More Efficient * More Effective * More Taxpayer Friendly
2018 Dogs Don’t Bark at Parked Cars
Member Benefits and Support:
Those who choose to be members of our Chamber are our clients/customers. We exist to serve their needs. Our focus will be on assuring we offer membership perks and benefits, educational opportunities, marketing support, and connections necessary to further the success of every Chamber member business.
(Board members: Kit Fogle, Brian Hempstead, Luke Henry, Tom Johnston and Chad Snyder)
Efficient Emergency Response:
Initiate discussion with key decision makers on various facets of our County’s overall cost and efficiency with respect to supplying emergency response to our businesses and citizens. Included will be discussions about equipment sharing, manpower needs/training, accelerating response times, potential combination of fire departments, etc.
(Board members: Kyle Balzer, Rick Fox, Jacque Laipply, Don Mount and Dr. Bernard Nowacki)
Marion – a Small Legacy City:
Partner with the Greater Ohio Policy Center to further their advocacy at the State level with respect to Ohio’s 15 Small Legacy Cities, of which Marion is one.
(Board members: Joy Bischoff, Scott Knowles, Dr. Ryan McCall, and Kevin Smith)
County Land Bank and Delinquent Property Taxes:
Encourage efforts that have begun to eliminate blighted properties. Offer support and suggestions on how to finance the Land Bank beyond receipt of grant monies. Advocate for further reduction of Delinquent Property Taxes, currently in excess of $7M.
(Board members: Tom Kenney, Dr. Bernard Nowacki, Chris Rahrig, Bradley Ridge, Chad Snyder, Chris Osborne, Dave Troutman, Rejeana Woolum-Napier and Dr. Scott Yancey)
We established: the an Entrepreneurship Council and a Non-Profit
Executives Council to support the owners/executives. We
advocated for more progress on our County Land Bank, specifically
the need to utilize grant monies in a timely manner; aligned with this
effort was advocacy to be more aggressive in addressing excessive
delinquent property taxes. Discussion continued (since 2009) with
those who have the authority to combine our fire districts. As Marion
is one of the Small Legacy Cities studied by the Greater Ohio
Policy Center, we worked with them to develop an advocacy
effort at the State level designed to assist cities like ours.
We encouraged: the establishment of a County Land Bank to address escalating property tax delinquency and the increasing number of blighted properties. We re-established the process of developing a candidate questionnaire and then sharing completed questionnaires with our members for education/information. We held a ribbon cutting for the newly combined 911 Dispatch Center!
We sought: input, via electronic surveys, from our membership regarding the challenges they face and how the Chamber can best serve their needs. We facilitated the completion of Frontier Communication’s America’s Best Communities application in hopes of attracting monies to develop a Community Revitalization Plan (ultimately unsuccessful). In the summer of 2015, we celebrated the news that our City and County decided to combine 911 Dispatch.
We made: strides toward increased cooperation among those involved in Economic Development; organized a business trip to China, our first intro into travel as a revenue source; enjoyed enhancement of our Chamber offices after relocation to 267 W. Center St.
We advocated: for the County to take advantage of the $500,000 LGIF loan monies (ultimately the availability of these monies was returned to the state). We continued to emphasize the safety aspects of 911 consolidation.
We assisted: in the preparation of, and were awarded $500,000, as one of the first Local Government Innovation Fund (LGIF) loans for a County-wide 911 Dispatch and Emergency Operations Center. We continued to research the feasibility of taking 911 Dispatch consolidation to our voters; we concluded the EnVisioning plan sections relevant to 911 consolidation.
We continued: to encourage local elected officials to focus their efforts on reforming government by redesigning programs, restructuring delivery of services and evaluating consolidation possibilities. Our efforts received recognition when the Buckeye Institute used our community for a research project: “Joining Forces: Consolidation Will Help Ohio’s Local Governments if Compensation Package Costs are Properly Managed.”
We received: statewide recognition from our testimony before the Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and our work with the Buckeye Institute and Greater Ohio. We partnered with others to formulate Marion Matters and the Valued of Education efforts. We applauded the opening of the Northwest Connector Road and University Drive, both projects included in the Chamber led Transportation Initiative during 1999-2000.
We advocated: for combining of fire districts via support of the study funded by The City of Marion, 1st Consolidated Fire District, Marion Township and Pleasant Township. We expanded member services and benefits in the face of challenging economic times.
We led: a successful ballot initiative to combine our health departments. As mandated by the voters, Marion City and Marion County Health Departments consolidated on January 1, 2010.
We learned: by hiring a consultant to evaluate whether combining our City and County Health Departments would be advantageous that “A combined District, operating from a central location, will improve the delivery and overall quality of its services and programs not only quantitatively – through reducing costs – but also qualitatively.”
We asked: ourselves if we were to design Marion City/County today, would our design include 29 political subdivisions, 10 fire services, 2 health departments and 5 school districts.