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The Commissioners' Role in County Government

As the administrative head of Franklin County government, the Board of Commissioners sets the strategic direction and fiscal priorities for the 30th largest county in the nation. A board of three county commissioners serves as the general administrative body for 86 of 88 Ohio counties. Commissioners are elected to a four-year term.

Given specific and limited authority by the Ohio Revised Code, the Board of Commissioners holds title to all county properties, serves as the sole taxing authority for the county and controls county purchasing. 

Most importantly, the Board of Commissioners is the budget and appropriating authority for county government which includes all county agencies and elected officials (Sheriff, Auditor, Treasurer, Courts, etc.)

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners manages an annual budget of $1.5 billion and works with business and community leaders to preserve the high quality of life that makes Franklin County a great place to live and work. The annual budget reflects a solid commitment to the Commissioners' goals to provide community safety, security and effective justice, promote job creation, strategic economic development and fiscal security, provide supportive health and human services, promote good stewardship of natural resources, environmental sustainability and civic engagement and provide efficient, responsive and fiscally sustainable government operations.

For example, the ability of Franklin County residents to receive care and treatment for their health needs remains a high priority of the Board of Commissioners, especially regarding the care and health of our community's children. The Commissioners work hand-in-hand with the City of Columbus, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and partners throughout the community to help reduce the rate and number of premature births, and have invested more than $7 million in the project.

Another way that the commissioners are working to help improve the health of our community is with the Local Food Action Plan, a partnership with Columbus, Local Matters, and more than 1,000 resident who have worked to develop a plan to improve residents’ access to quality, nutritious, affordable food. A link to the plan can be found on the commissioners’ website, as can information about the 2017 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award the commissioners received for their work on food security.

The commissioners are also building our community through their Smart Works suite of economic development initiatives. This program includes grants and revolving loans to bring jobs and growth to Franklin County by building infrastructure, revitalizing local downtowns, training employees for the jobs of the future, and going greener in existing buildings. These investments in our people, businesses, and future are already paying dividends.

Franklin County government is known for its leadership and continues to be recognized nationally for sound financial planning and overall management practices. The County maintains the highest long-term bond rating issued by both Moody's Investor Services (Aaa) and Standard & Poor's (AAA) for its general obligation debt. These ratings place Franklin County among the top 1.8% percent of counties nationwide.

Franklin County was also recognized as one of the best managed counties in America in a study conducted by Governing Magazine and Syracuse University. In a five-tiered evaluation of overall management, only four counties in America ranked higher than Franklin County.