Could Marion City and County be?

* More Efficient   * More Effective   * More Taxpayer Friendly

2017       Dogs Don’t Bark at Parked Cars

Advocacy for Efficient and Effective Government:

  • Initiate discussion with all invested parties as to the feasibility of consolidating our 10 fire districts to accelerate response time; provide fire, rescue, EMS and tech rescue on a broader scale; increase manpower training; allow reallocation of capital equipment.

  • Partner with the Greater Ohio Policy Center on furthering their efforts to develop a policy agenda document for Ohio’s Small Legacy Cities, of which Marion is one. (added August 2017)

Economic Development and Retention and Expansion:

  • Establish an Entrepreneurship Council to support and mentor those who have chosen to invest in our community as business owners/operators.
  • Establish a Non-Profit Council for executives responsible for an organization identified as a Not-for-Profit entity. (added August 2017)
  • Convene R & E luncheons that include both Chamber members and non-members with Chamber Directors as hosts.

Community Development:

  • Further encourage the progress of our County Land Bank placing emphasis on elimination of blighted properties and reduction of over $9M in delinquent property taxes.
  • Provide support to the MarionMade! Initiative.


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.