New TMACOG Leadership for 2012
At the annual TMACOG General Assembly held January 25, Carol Contrada, Lucas County commissioner, was elected as chair of TMACOG. Nelson Evans, mayor of Perrysburg was elected as Vice chair; and Don Nalley, council member, City of Fremont joined TMACOG leadership as second vice chair. The panel was elected for a one-year term.
About 120 TMACOG members attended the General Assembly held at the Grand Lobby of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza. Following the elections and business meeting, the group heard a keynote presentation from Kevin Futryk of the Government Advantage Group – a Columbus-based advocacy group. Futryk spoke on new Ohio programs that provide incentives to local governments to share services, promote efficiency, merge, and collaborate.
Futryk described the new state programs and advised local governments to learn about them, get creative, and apply for funds. One new initiative is Regional Shared Services. This program is studying where barriers to shared service can be removed. Another is Local Government Innovation Fund. This program invites local governments to consolidate services and would change rules regarding statutory authority. In response to a question, Futryk agreed that the regional water authority under discussion in northwest Ohio might be the eligible for funds, even for researching the potential of such an authority. The final project Futryk mentioned is Jobs Ohio which is a new private economic development agency to be funded through money from Ohio liquor sales.
In summary, Futryk suggested local governments pursue several strategies: promote regionalism, identify barriers to cooperation, work across boundaries including state boundaries, educate state officials about local challenges, and embrace and advocate regional approaches. He noted that all elected officials should assume that shared services are here to stay, and that neither local citizens nor state officials are likely to vote to raise taxes anytime soon.
TMACOG members are actively pursuing regional answers to local questions. In caucus sessions following the keynote speech, township representatives suggested that they caucus more often. The cities caucus members made plans for a local meeting with state elected officials. Members of the special districts caucus noted that strong regional cooperation led to the recent purchase of the Westside Corridor and they discussed how to build on that momentum.
New leadership accepting their positions, led by
Judge Andy Devine
Vice Chair Nelson Evans, mayor of Perrysburg; Chair Carol
Contrada, Lucas County commissioner; Second Vice Chair
Don Nalley, council member, City of Fremont.
Featured speaker Kevin Futryk discussed new
state programs favoring cooperation and consolidation