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March & April 2014
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Caucus Results

  County Caucus
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Records retention causes space problems. Is it possible to have a common storage area across jurisdictions? Some areas are scanning documents to save space. We rely on a few core staff. Need to set up a best practices seminar, possible TMACOG Tech topic.
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Flood insurance bill going through Ohio House on the way to the Senate will be expensive for homeowners/sellers. County would like a review of the program.
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Pending legislation includes rule that the Sheriff becomes EMA. Allowing concealed carry of weapons by employees in non-secure building may be unnecessary, creates liability issues, and could make expensive security necessary.
 
Cities Caucus
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Shared services. The biggest hindrance to sharing equipment and personnel are questions of unions, insurance, contracts, and liability.
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Labor negotiations and healthcare coverage. Many cities have taken health insurance out of contract negotiations. It is easier for both discussions if work rules and pay are separated from health insurance.
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Tax uniformity and state legislation. The draft bill is considered unsatisfactory. There was a suggestion that local governments deliver resolutions to state lawmakers.
 
Townships
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Equalization of water and sewer charges across regions. Surcharges assessed to residential water bills are seen as a tool for annexation. Attendees suggested a regional water authority would include greater representation from their governments and be more equitable.
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The impacts of annexation include lost tax revenue and awkward geographic boundaries. However, annexation is sometimes necessary when service need exceeds township capacity. A charter township cannot be annexed.
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Public records. Digitizing save storage space. Collaboration on a system of scanning documents is in order to save money for everyone.
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The Flood Insurance draft bill is a concern. State officials are seeking local input.
 
Villages
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Flood Insurance draft bill was also a concern to villages. Caucus members were urged to send comments to Sen. Portman.
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Feral cats are a growing problem. Enforcement of regulations requires manpower.
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Village residents are interested in urban farming. Villages need to consider plans.
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Resource sharing between neighboring communities is desired. Details need to be worked out.
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There was a discussion of the role of school resource officers
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The Affordable Care Act is causing uncertainty as it rolls out.
 
Non-governmental Caucus
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How to successfully engage with elected officials. TMACOG forums, various public meetings, be prepared with questions at the public meetings.
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How can northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan speak as one voice? Include more Michigan business representation in the non-governmental forum. Model a working relationship on the way we work together on federal issues.
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How can non-governmental groups help governments? Business community must communicate with government to make sure government knows its needs. Business should invite government to get involved in projects affecting their jurisdictions. For example, mayors of Toledo and Fort Wayne are involved in Maumee River water quality issues.
 
Special Districts Caucus
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The group discussed regionalism and how to promote the Toledo area.
- Port Authorities are available for environmental remediation.
- Recreation is an important quality of life factor for workers in business.
- Promote the region by advertising the low cost of living, great transportation   system and recreation areas.
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Issues and Concerns:
- Negativity can discourage the opportunities for Toledo promotion.
- Regulations can negatively affect where a company might locate.
- Media outlets can portray the Toledo metropolitan area negatively.
  School Districts, Colleges & Universities Caucus
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Workforce development is a hot topic on all levels. Employers could recruit at the high school level for jobs that don’t require a degree. Community colleges are being urged to provide specific training that employers need for specific jobs. There are plenty of good jobs in manufacturing.
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Agriculture is an area where schools could put more focus. Hydroponics, and sustainable farming were mentioned. There are resources for schools that want to include more programs related to farming, sale of food, are related areas. Possible topic for a TMACOG Tech session in 2014.




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