Michael Beazley, Oregon City administrator and caucus facilitator, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present. Introductions were made by everyone present. Mr. Beazley suggested turning the discussion into a local government agenda which the cities can ask the gubernatorial candidates their opinions on and request commitments from them.
Caucus members in attendance included:
· Cecelia Adams – Council Member At-Large, City of Toledo
· Kevin Aller – Director, Public Safety/Service, City of Sylvania
· James Bagdonas – Municipal Administrator, City of Waterville
· Kimberly Baker – Manager of Policy Operations, City of Toledo
· Michael Beazley – City Administrator, City of Oregon
· Lori Brodie – Mayor, City of Waterville
· Chris Delaney – Council Member, District 6, City of Toledo
· Richard Edwards – Mayor, City of Bowling Green
· Alice Godsey – Director, Public Utilities, City of Perrysburg
· Paul Grahl – City Auditor, City of Fremont
· Robert Gross – City Administrator, City of Fremont
· Yvonne Harper – Council Member, District 4, City of Toledo
· Cody Holbrook – Intern, City of Toledo
· Gary Johnson – Council Member At-Large, City of Toledo
· Bridgette Kabat – City Administrator, City of Perrysburg
· Timothy Pedro – Council Member, City of Waterville
· Paul Rasmusson – Director, Department of Public Service, City of Toledo
· Tyrone Riley - Council Member, District 1, City of Toledo
· Angie Ruiz – Council Member, City of Fremont
· Daniel Sanchez – Mayor, City of Fremont
· William Sanford – Economic Development/Administrative Services, City of Sylvania
· Sandy Spang – Council Member At-Large, City of Toledo
· Craig Stough – Mayor, City of Sylvania
· Mary Westphal – President of Council, City of Sylvania
Non-caucus members in attendance included:
· Brian Dicken – Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
· Bob Mockenstrum – Retired
· Homer Wilson – Director of Government Affairs, Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd.
TMACOG support staff in attendance included:
· David Gedeon – Vice President of Transportation
· Dana Doubler – Transportation Planner
Introduction of Discussion Topics – The following topics were discussed by the caucus.
· Tax Abatement Incentives for Economic Development – Mr. Beazley asked the members of the caucus if there are changes we need in the structure of JEDD (Joint Economic Development District), JEDZ (Joint Economic Development Zone (proximity issue), or Enterprise Zones, and what support do cities need when working with townships in relation to tax abatement incentives in their area? Discussion included proximity issues of businesses located in townships receiving city amenities (ex. Maumee fire department being called to Andersons headquarters).
· Annexation Laws – Discussion included the benefits and draw backs of Townships annexing vs establishing Economic Development Districts. Planning for future urban development and managing urban sprawl was also discussed. Resources at the Greater Ohio Policy Center website were mentioned for local Cities to utilize.
· Permissive License Plate Fees – It was asked of the caucus which counties enacted the license plate fees, and if city leaders have asked for a portion of the funds received from those fees. TMACOG’s Transportation Council reviewed it and is on record with supporting it.
· Regional Water Discussion – Toledo will draft a new proposal for cities to review. Suburban cities restated the 3 goals: all jurisdictions pay the same amount, Toledo cannot unilaterally change the rates, and there should be redundancy in the system. Toledo having only one intake was a concern. Proposed contracts will be reviewed.
· State Budget Implications for Local Governments & Availability of Grant Funds – Discussion included having the state budget reviewed in order for cities to receive adequate funding for the services they provide to unincorporated areas.
· TARTA Shift to Sales Tax Funding – Sylvania Township turned down the TARTA sales tax proposal. Discussion included whether the rules governing how communities vote on TARTA related issues could change in the future in order to prevent it from being turned down again. Concerns about TARTA’s current business along with their future were raised.
· Possible County Roads in Cities – Mr. Beazley made everyone aware that County Commissioners can designate a city road as a county road, and that city officials should work with their county commissioners if they wish to designate a city road as a county road.
· Criminal Justice and Court Funding – The caucus briefly discussed the distribution of the county sales tax in relation to the Department of Justice, and how unincorporated areas use the court system.
· Jail Prisoner Transport Issues – Not discussed.
· Legislative Update (Transportation Funding/Gas Tax, Election Year Issues) – The gas tax has not been raised in a long time, and many in the caucus felt that it should be raised in order to reflect inflation and economic growth. Some raised concerns about how funds received from the gas tax would be handled and if cities would receive an equitable share of the additional revenue.
Roundtable Topic Discussion – Highlights from the roundtable topic discussion included the following.
· Waterville is doing a study on how to best structure fire safety and rescue services. They are also working with Waterville Township and the Village of Whitehouse on managing cemeteries.
· TMACOG is beginning their 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan Update. Dave Gedeon, TMACOG vice president of transportation, mentioned upcoming events and encouraged the caucus members to connect to TMACOG on social media.
· Toledo council members mentioned the Water District meeting on August 2nd, progress on the opiate epidemic plan, TARTA, police relations with the community, the county jail issue, and Lake Erie algae concerns.
· Sylvania is considering a downtown outdoor recreation district.
· Perrysburg is hiring a law director and building a 2nd fire station.
· Fremont mentioned progress on the Ballville Dam demolition, a new rehab center, and they are working on annexation issues.
· Bowling Green, Waterville, and other suburbs reflected on the need to have a good water district plan.
Generate questions to present at the Forum – Mr. Beazley asked about the distribution of taxes between cities and unincorporated areas, along with how the panel would vote if presented with a gas tax.
Next Steps – The caucus showed interest in forming a city-based local government agenda for the gubernatorial candidates to review and/or commit to. The following were discussed to be a part of the Legislative Agenda.
· Proximity rules for tax incentives.
· Reconsideration of the distribution of taxes between the cities and unincorporated areas.
· As the economy recovers from the recession, shouldn’t the funds that cities receive reflect this economic change?
· We should plan better for urban development. One area of concern was urban townships receiving city public services. Planning based on successful urban cities across the country was also discussed.
· Cities should oppose the permissive license plate fee unless funds are shared with the city. Cities often are population and occupation centers in counties, so funding should be applied to roads in cities as well if they are the largest contributors.
· Legislators should reconsider how the TARTA service area is designated and make it easier for jurisdictions to enter/leave the service area.
Adjourn – There was no further business. Mr. Beazley adjourned the meeting.
Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org