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Reynoldsburg mayor, superintendent outline plans in state of the
Reynoldsburg Mayor Brad McCloud and Reynoldsburg Schools Superintendent Steve Dackin outlined the progress of the city and what challenges are ahead during their State of the City addresses Feb. 5 at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Reynoldsburg must be a place where businesses feel welcome, McCloud told the more than 50 Chamber members in attendance.
That's why, he said, the city is working to implement an "A to Z handbook" of how to do business in the city. The guide soon will be available on the city's Web site.
The city also is initiating a business retention program in which city officials will take to the streets, talking to businesses and asking them how they can have a better working relationship with the city, McCloud said.
Under McCloud, the city has increased its reserve officers from four to seven.
When McCloud took office, he said he expressed concern with the juvenile crime levels in the southwest quadrant of the city.
By enforcing curfew and maintaining a police presence in the area, the number of arrests has increased from 310 in 2007 to 528 in 2008, McCloud said.
In 2008, the city also reinstituted its bike and motorcycle patrol, he said.
Maintaining real estate values is a top priority for the city, McCloud said.
"The most fundamental thing we can do in city government is protect that investment," he said.
With initiatives like the city's new mowing ordinance, code violations have increased by more than 700 since 2007.
"Written notices have increased from 1,311 in 2007 to 2,030 in 2008," McCloud said.
In 2008, the city began an employee of the month program, as well as mandated ethics training.
A new user-friendly city Web site also was unveiled, McCloud said.
Bringing back the farmer's market in 2008 was a citizen favorite, McCloud said.
"This was an enormous success," he said.
As the farmer's market evolved during the summer, it grew into the fastest growing farmer's market in Central Ohio, he said.
Also last year, the city unveiled its Brice/Livingston master plan and continued to work with Target, which is scheduled to open March 4 at S.R. 256 and I-70.
Plans are under way for the widening and expansion of Rosehill Road as well, he said.
"Reynoldsburg City Schools are at a crossroads," Dackin said.
Unless an operating levy is passed this spring, more than 100 teachers, administrators and support staff could face layoffs, he said.
The district also could see transportation reduced to state minimums and high participation fees for athletes, he said.
"And we would still need to eliminate 44 teachers in core subject areas," Dackin said.
With Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's education plan and budget still uncertain, Dackin said the school district may face additional expenditures with any initiatives that are mandated in order for a district to receive state funding. This could include an additional $900,000 in expenditures for all-day kindergarten in Reynoldsburg.
But Dackin said the district has reason to remain hopeful.
"Our students are learning and are growing," he said.
Two elementary schools in the district recently received an excellence with distinction rating, while the district received an excellent rating.
The district also has received STEM grants and is in discussions with an additional partner to provide STEM opportunities to students in Reynoldsburg.
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