Franklin County and communities across the nation are celebrating April as National County Government Month. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has encouraged counties to actively promote and highlight the important work that county governments do. This year’s theme is Brilliant Ideas at Work.
“We’re excited to highlight some of the exciting things going on everyday here in Franklin County,” said Board of Commissioners President, John O’Grady. “The public should be very proud of all the good things happening in our community, and we’ll have a chance to show it all off this summer during the National Association of Counties’ Annual Conference and Exposition which we’re hosting right here in Franklin County.”
The NACo Conference will be held July 20-24 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and will bring up to 3,000 elected and appointed county officials, exhibitors, presenters, and guests from all over the country. Attendees won’t just be confined to the convention center as the commissioners are excited to show off local gems such as Huntington Park and the North Market, the Ohio Statehouse, mobile tours of the Scioto Mile, the logistics hub at Rickenbacker International Airport, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and The Ohio State University.
“Franklin County continues to grow and thrive,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “And I’m proud of all that we have accomplished, but communities all over the country are also facing a number of challenges. Our county government touches all of its residents in one way or another, and we’re working hard to ensure that they are all able to participate in our expanding economy.”
Franklin County is the largest in the state and one of the fastest growing counties in the region, having added more than 15% to its population in the past decade, and among the top 1% in size nationwide. The Central Ohio region is now home to more than 2 million people, and is projected to grow by a further 500,000 in the coming decades.
“It’s a privilege to be able to serve the residents of Franklin County,” said Commissioner Kevin Boyce. “From Economic Development to our Sanitary Engineering Department, and from Job and Family Services to Workforce Development, you can be assured that your county government is hard at work providing the best services possible and preparing our community for a successful future.”
Over the last year, the commissioners have continued to work on the national Stepping Up initiative, which aims to reduce the number of inmates with mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders in jail, they have introduced the Local Food Action Plan to address the underlying social issues of poverty, underemployment and unemployment that contribute to food inequality, and they commissioned a study to determine the “living wage” in Central Ohio and announced that they would be paying all board of commissioners employees at least that rate. They also signed a contract to purchase 100% renewable energy for 47 county-owned facilities at a considerable savings for the taxpayers, and invested in jobs programs for social services clients.
Throughout April, the commissioners will be drawing attention to some more of the exciting things going on in county government and in the community, and the ways in which they are engaging with residents. Yesterday, they voted on a contract to improve a county computer system that will allow the public to easily search via the internet for the text of all of the commissioners’ resolutions going back nearly a decade. Next week, they will be hosting a meeting of Franklin County elected officials to discuss the upcoming state budget and how the county will be affected by proposals that would cut all Ohio county budgets. Later this month, the board of commissioners will unveil a new website, the commissioners’ new quarterly newsletter, and the annual State of the County Report.
For more information about National County Government Month and why counties are so important, visit www.NACo.org