Warren Citizen Committee update

DEAR EDITOR:

It is the Warren Citizen Committee’s desire to be a valuable asset to both the Franklin Administration and Warren City Council by keeping the public informed of the accomplishments and actions of these bodies and to provide a voice for the people of Warren. This is an ongoing process and we will continue to monitor and report to you our observations and grades. As of Dec. 9:

Police and Fire staffing: Grade A; next step is to fill positions. With the passage of the Warren income tax increase, line items are included in the 2017 budget to add staff to both departments. Both departments have already begun to act in filling these positions.

Road improvements: Grade A; next step is to release the list of roads to be improved with the added tax.

With the passage of the tax increase, line items are included in the 2017 budget for road improvements. The administration stated most outside funding is ear-marked for lower income areas and the tax increase would allow other areas to get road resurfacing. It is our expectation a list of those roads in most need of repair will be compiled and made public for discussion prior to contracting the work.

Economic Development: Grade is incomplete; next step is to develop a plan for economic development. No funds are included in the 2017 budget for this purpose. It is our expectation with the increased revenue from the new tax that other funds will be available to start this most important work.

Transparency: Grade is incomplete; next steps are outlined within the category.

Mayor Doug Franklin has agreed to provide status reports at council at least on a quarterly basis, which will start the first of the year.

Auditor Vince Flask has agreed to utilize Ohio’s Online checkbook and has begun to set it up, but it is not yet complete. We anticipate a progress report at each council meeting.

We expect department head reports from police chief and fire chief at each council meeting to update the progress of their hiring plans as well as other department activities.

We also expect other department heads to also again provide reports beginning the first council meeting of the new year.

We anticipate council to take an active role in reviewing and vetting proposals. The committee extends an invitation to council to initiate a special committee to work with our committee for the purpose of building consensus by addressing concerns and issues under their purview.

PAUL CLOUSER

Warren

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