By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester City Council is nearing the end of a months-long quest to officially adopt a resolution committing the city to equity, inclusion, and diversity and recognizing Franklin County’s declaration that racism is a public health crisis.
While still tabled during a Feb. 1 council work session, council plans to bring the resolution back to the active agenda at its next meeting in February.
“I want to make sure there is ample time to read this,” said Councilwoman Jill Amos, who worked with council members Pat Lynch and Chuck Milliken to draft the language. “I am appreciative of everyone taking their time to provide input.”
Amos encourages citizens to visit the city website, read the resolution and provide comments. Written public comments may be accepted prior to a council meeting. To be included on the council agenda, comments must be received by noon the Friday before the meeting. Comments received after the deadline will be included on the next agenda.
“There have been Canal Winchester residents that have seen firsthand the evil nature of racism,” according to the resolution. “There is only one race, the human race.”
Council pledges to send one liaison to Community Health Action Team (CHAT) meetings. The liaison will provide council with a verbal report during the council meeting following the CHAT meeting.
In addition, council will continue to address items of action concerning equity, inclusion, and diversity and continue to participate and engage with personal and public dialogue to gain a better understanding of, including but not limited to racism.
“City council encourages equity, inclusion, and diversity among all, including but not limited to community partners, grantees, vendors, and contractors,” according to the resolution. “City council affirms the rights of all to peaceably assemble against all forms of injustice and inequality.”
Council believes it is beneficial to residents that the administration and elected officials seek out or continue to attend annual inclusion and/or diversity training. It wishes to promote unity with due respect to the equity, inclusion, and diversity of all thoughts, beliefs, and demographics.
Other Canal Winchester news
•Finance Director Amanda Jackson said, while 2020 brought everyone new challenges, she was pleased that the city fared well amidst the uncertainty. Income tax collections, the city’s largest source of revenue, exceeded expectations coming in at just over $7.7 million.
Development revenue continued to remain strong in 2020 and utility revenues came in over anticipated amounts as well. On the expenditure side, Jackson said her department shifted its focus early on to “needs only,” carefully spending funds as they did not know what the future would hold in regard to revenues.
“Because of this, coupled with very positive revenue collections, our fund balances all saw very healthy increases in 2020,” said Jackson. “With several large dollar projects planned for 2021, our fund balances will allow us to complete these without overburdening the city coffers or our taxpayers while still maintain a level sufficient to carry us into 2022 and beyond.”
•A resolution approving the appointment of Councilman Mike Coolman to a one-year term as a trustee of the Canal Winchester Industry and Commerce Corporation expiring on Jan. 20, 2022 and Councilman Bob Clark to a one-year term expiring on Jan. 20, 2023 was approved.