Welcome to the County Commissioners Association of Ohio. I am honored to have been elected by the Counties of Ohio to lead their organization in 2021, and it is a highlight of my public service career!
Ohio’s 88 counties serve as the arm of state government charged with providing vital services on the state’s behalf. Counties are given this specific responsibility but limited authority by the Ohio Revised Code. These state mandated services include important functions such as elections, justice and public safety, infrastructure and human services.
County commissioners, executives and council members provide funding and establish a budget for their operations and the other county elected officials, including the court system, making them the nexus of all county government and the services it provides.
Counties today are facing challenges on multiple fronts. Recovering from the economic and health impacts of the pandemic, supporting the vaccination program, addressing county revenue stability and preserving the sales tax base, facilitating access to broadband, tackling the ongoing opiate epidemic which adds greater pressure on jails, and the list goes on.
As we enter the New Year, we need to continue to work with Governor DeWine and his Administration as well as our Legislature to strengthen our initiative — STRONGER COUNTIES, STRONGER OHIO. In the most recent budget and transportation bills, strong, significant progress was made, yet much remains to be achieved in the 2021-22 budget process. We will be asking the state to push full funding of indigent defense reimbursement over the finish line.
The successes of CCAO are due to the hard work and determination of our membership and policy staff. During our engaging CCAO board meetings, attendees are updated on policy and legislative issues as well as presentations from our state partners. Board meetings are open to all county commissioners, county council members and county executives.
This year your involvement is more important now than ever before. With the strong voices of the commissioners, county executives and council members from all 88 counties, we will achieve great things.
Again, thank you for your support. I’m looking forward to serving as your CCAO 2021 president.