Message from the Chair
Craig Stough - Mayor, City of Sylvania
Andy Devine, retired judge and the first chair of TMACOG
conveys the oath of office to newly elected chair, City of
Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough.
I am honored and pleased to step into TMACOG leadership at this time of transition. Change is inevitable, and welcome, but we will work to ensure that TMACOG continues to do the excellent work that it has done, and we will grow services in the directions that the region needs.
TMACOG will keep transportation planning at a high level of professionalism. This core function of TMACOG has recently brought hundreds of millions of dollars to our region as evidenced by the current improvements under construction on I-75, I-475 and other roadways. The Transportation Legislative Agenda shows our elected officials in Columbus and Washington that our region has comprehensive plans for our region. The Ohio Conference on Freight, now in its tenth year, brings world-wide attention to our region as a logistics center.
Looking forward, there is a clear role for TMACOG in shared services. Local governments are getting more and more pressure from state and federal governments to share services and share purchasing. TMACOG can help us facilitate partnerships and innovation in that area.
In economic development, there is a growing role for TMACOG. First, because we know that regional development lifts all the communities in the region. Secondly, and critically, Lake Erie and our many rivers and water resources should be a drawing point for our region. The drinking water crisis of 2014 has bruised our regional image. TMACOG has begun to address this issue with our new department focused directly on water quality. We are working to ensure that we never get in the news for dangerous drinking water again. And we can simultaneously demonstrate that our natural resources are a reason for investment in our region.
There are other challenges that are likely to arise. Public transit is in flux and not as widely available or efficient as we’d like it to be. The economy has recovered since 2008 but there has been a lot of damage to jobs and income, to housing stock, and to real estate in general.
Among the first jobs for your new TMACOG leadership is finding a new top administrator. Replacing Tony Reams will be a big undertaking. We’ll be announcing the search committee soon. Our plan is to have a decision and acceptance by May, with a start date in June. Tony will be on hand until July to assist with the transition.
Thank you Jim Sass and Angela Kuhn for your stewardship and thank you for asking me to serve the region through TMACOG.