Ohio Mayors Lay Out How Cities, State Can Recover From Pandemic Together
A collection of Ohio mayors is calling on state leaders to hear them out on their priorities for the year. This bipartisan alliance says the state must work with cities to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ohio Mayor's Alliance is asking the state legislature to work with cities, including coordinated assistance with public health and support for local businesses.
Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn, a Republican, says while the alliance is bipartisan she's confident the Republican-controlled legislature would agree with their proposals.
"As a Republican I'm comfortable supporting them because they are saying that we want safer communities, we are saying we want economic recovery, that we want educational attainment. And if somebody disagrees with that, we probably need to sit down and have a conversation," says Muryn.
The mayor's group is also seeking policies they say will improve public safety such as body cameras, and educational attainment with better school funding.
The mayors alliance focuses on three pillars; recovery, resiliency, and equity.
"There is no Ohio recovery from the great recession without Ohio cities and there will be no recovery in the future if Ohio cities aren't leading the way, creating jobs and growing the economy," says Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, a Democrat, who adds that addressing racial inequality is party of the alliance's agenda.
Another issue that could become an area of debate between city and state leaders is the issue of "home rule." These are laws that allow municipalities the jurisdiction to make decisions on the local level.
Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler, a Republican, says protecting home rule for local communities will be another priority. But Scheffler expects most of the items the mayors alliance will advocate for will have wide support.
"There's lots of things that shouldn't be partisan in our group's minds that will help all citizens of Ohio and allow us to do our jobs better," says Scheffler.
The mayors say they want the state to preserve several measures that have been proposed in Gov. Mike DeWine's state budget, such as the increase to the local government fund and avoiding changes to tax policies.