Mayor's Report

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Contact Information

330-364-4491

330-343-2489

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Joel Day

Mayor

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Mary Anne Otte

Executive Assistant

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Ron McAbier

Service Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Greg Popham

Safety Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Julie Courtright

Clerk of Council

330-364-4491, ext. 1243

Information Desk

330-364-4491, ext. 1210

Mayor’s Report for April 24, 2017

Request to Table Resolution 24-2017 to Allow Time to Correct Misleading Language in the City’s Annual Audited Financial Statements

A paragraph that I’ve learned has been in every annual City audited financial statement since 1999 has caused local lenders to hesitate to offer a loan to fund construction of a new hangar at Harry Clever Field. The paragraph reads: “New Philadelphia Airport and New Philadelphia City School District have been excluded from the accompanying basic financial statements. Both are legally separate from the City. Neither imposes a financial burden nor provides a financial benefit to the City. The City cannot significantly influence the operations of these entities.”
When we began the process of seeking a loan to finance the hangar construction, all the interested lenders said that paragraph was problematic because they interpreted it to mean that the City did not own the airport. Therefore, there was no way to collateralize a loan. During a meeting last week with Citizens Bank, its representative indicated that the paragraph was still making the banks’ underwriters hesitant. As a result, I am asking Council to table Resolution 24-2017. In my opinion, we cannot proceed with the hangar project until corrections are made in the annual financial statement to clearly state that the City does indeed own the airport.
A representative of Rea and Associates, which conducts audits of the City, told me this morning that the troublesome paragraph was apparently written by City officials in 1999 and included in the audited financial statement prepared that year by the State Auditor’s office. And it has been included in every annual financial statement to date. Now that it has been brought to light, I have asked Rea and Associates to issue a letter explaining the error and clarifying the City’s ownership of the airport. I have also asked our airport consultant Michael Baker International, to write a letter documenting that the Federal Aviation Administration considers the City of New Philadelphia as the owner of Harry Clever Field. With these letters in hand, we can then re-bid the project and seek a local lender to provide a construction loan.

Encouraged by the Turnout at the Tusc Talk Event at Welty Auditorium

A reported 200 people attended last Thursday’s Tusc Talk event at the Welty Middle School auditorium. It was encouraging to see that many concerned adults and young people come to learn about the opiate addiction epidemic in our community and to hear ways we can defeat it from Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine and local law enforcement officials. The City will continue to use its resources from the Health Department, Municipal Court and safety forces to help victims overcome their addictions and arrest and jail drug dealers.

Planting Buckeye Trees in Celebration of Arbor Day

Service Director McAbier and I will be planting buckeye trees outside Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium on Thursday morning. Several students from New Philadelphia High School will be joining us in the Arbor Day celebration. The trees will symbolize our appreciation of Coach Hayes contributions to New Philadelphia’s history and the pride we have in the great state of Ohio.
O-H….

Mayor’s Report for April 10, 2017

The Fight Against Opioid Addiction in New Philadelphia

As a city government, we must continue to do all we can to raise awareness of the opioid addiction epidemic that has gripped our community. I am urging all council members, all city employees and all concerned New Philadelphia residents to attend an upcoming meeting with Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine. He will be in town on Thursday, April 20th to conduct a town hall meeting from 5pm to 7pm in Welty Middle School’s auditorium. State Representative Al Landis, Jody Salvo and several of the county’s anti-drug organizations arranged the Attorney General’s visit. Their goal is to educate us about opioid addiction and how we can prevent our children and family members from becoming addicts.

In conjunction with the local effort to reach out to heroin addicts to put them on a path to recovery, I have started discussions with Safety Director Popham and Police Chief Goodwin about what City law enforcement can do to attack the suppliers of heroin and other addictive drugs in New Philadelphia. My goal is to make it very uncomfortable and unprofitable to be a drug dealer in our town.

The State of the Utica Shale Play in Eastern Ohio

I have been working to learn more about the Utica shale play to determine how New Philadelphia can capitalize on the growing number of oil and gas opportunities it is creating. The presenters at last week’s Utica Upstream seminar at Walsh University were unanimous in stating that the Utica play will lead to North America becoming energy self-sufficient. And their biggest immediate concern is finding enough workers to construct pipelines, power plants and cracker plants. There is a shortage of welders, pipefitters and CDL drivers. Stark State College is adapting its curriculum to provide skills training. And I know that Buckeye Career Center is doing the same. According to the presenters, entry level roustabout jobs start out at $20.00 per hour.

Besides the lack of skills, failure to pass drug tests was also identified as a key employment problem. If you are unemployed, consider this: drug use is a job killer. Its standing in the way of you having a job that pays from $20 to $35 dollars an hour in the oil and gas business.

Making New Philadelphia a more Bike Friendly Town

Service Director McAbier and I had the pleasure of going on a nine mile bicycle ride this morning on the streets of New Philadelphia. The ride was hosted by Yay Bikes of Columbus and Ohio Department of Transportation Director Lloyd McAdam and ODOT special projects engineer Roxanne Kane. The ride showed us that the design of our city streets is bike friendly, which gives New Philadelphia a head start in becoming a destination for bicyclists.

The ride was led by Yay Bikes Executive Director Catherine Girves, who gave us a great education on bike safety and the economic benefits of having bicyclists come to our town.

City Income Tax Filing Deadline

The deadline to have New Philadelphia City income tax forms filed and balance dues paid is next Tuesday, April 18th. Avoid the long lines by filing this week. Tax payments can be made online through the City’s website at www.newphilaoh.com. The income tax dollars you provide pays for fire and police protection, as well as city services such as road maintenance and street lighting. I also want our taxpayers to be aware that Governor Kasich and the Ohio Legislature continue to look for ways to take City income tax dollars out of New Philadelphia. Their latest attempt is by taking over the collection of net profits tax from local businesses. If they are successful, the result will be more of our tax dollars being sent to Columbus, meaning less money we will have to pay for our city services. I urge New Philadelphia taxpayers to contact State Representative Landis and State Senator Hottinger and ask them to remove centralized collection of net profits tax from the biennial budget currently being crafted in the Ohio Legislature. It will harm the quality of life in New Philadelphia and will hurt our ability to maintain and attract businesses to provide jobs.

Remembering Doctor Maureen May

Last week our community was shaken by the news of the tragic death of Doctor Maureen May. Dr. May served New Philadelphia as a longtime member of the Board of Health. She will be remembered for her compassion, her determination to provide quality health services to our residents who couldn’t afford them and for her professional guidance of the Health Department’s mission. I ask that you continue to keep the family of Dr. May in your prayers.

Mayor’s Report for March 13, 2017

Conditional Awarding of a $196,000 Grant for Renovation of the Tuscora Park Tennis Courts 

This morning my office received a letter from James Zehringer, the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, announcing that the City has been conditionally awarded $196,000 in grant funding for renovation of the Tuscora Park tennis courts. The grant, through the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, will be officially awarded when it receives final approval by the National Park Service. Mary Fitch of Director Zehringer’s office told me this afternoon that, if all goes according to plan, the project contract should be approved with a start date of June 1st of this year. With the addition of this grant, the money pledged to the project totals $371,000: with the City and school district pledging $50,000 each and local foundations pledging a total of $75,000. The estimated cost of the renovation is $392,000. 

NPBCA’s 8th Annual Shamrock Run is Wednesday March 15th 

Residents in the Tuscora Park area should be aware of runners and walkers participating in the New Philadelphia Business and Community Association’s 8th Annual Shamrock Run this Wednesday March 15th. The event starts at the park at 6:30pm. The course includes Fair and Ray Avenues and 3rd Street, and the streets in the neighborhood of Tuscora Park. If the course is too slippery because of snow, I would expect the event to be rescheduled. 

Planning Commission Meeting has been Cancelled Due to the Lack of a Quorum 

Tomorrow’s scheduled City Planning Commission meeting has been cancelled because a quorum of the members could not be present. At next month’s meeting the members will get their first look at a list of City-owned township land that should be annexed into the City. After studying the list, the commission will make a recommendation for an assignment to Council’s Zoning and Annexation committee. The commission will also review the Southside Park master plan. 

All Downtown Street Lights have been Upgraded to Energy Efficient LEDs 

This past week the installation of new LED lights in downtown street lightening was completed. If you haven’t done so already, I invite all residents and Council members to drive through the area at night to see the difference LED lighting makes in the appearance of our downtown. The new lighting should cut the City’s downtown street lighting bill by two-thirds. I’ve asked Service Director McAbier to track the bills over the next several months to confirm that.

 

Contact Information

330-364-4491

330-343-2489

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Joel Day

Mayor

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

John Knisely Municipal Centre

150 East High Avenue

New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Mary Anne Otte

Executive Assistant

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Ron McAbier

Service Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Greg Popham

Safety Director

330-364-4491, ext. 1242

Julie Courtright

Clerk of Council

330-364-4491, ext. 1243

Information Desk

330-364-4491, ext. 1210