Hamilton County is "on the move and getting stronger." That was the theme of Commission President Chris Monzel's State of the County address Thursday.
Monzel talked about the importance of keeping taxes low and how the Governor's proposed budget could benefit the ailing county stadium fund.
He says the county is also focused on infrastructure projects, especially the multi-billion dollar federally mandated sewer system upgrade. One money-saving plan involves ‘daylighting’ a stream to capture storm water rather than building a costly tunnel.
All three Hamilton County Commissioners are optimistic about Governor John Kasich's proposed state budget.
Republicans Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann call the plan bold and filled with a lot of changes that could affect county government. Hartmann adds the proposed budget has the potential to be revolutionary.
Democrat Todd Portune agrees. He especially likes the plans for Medicaid.
Hamilton County Commissioners are throwing out hiring and procurement policies related to the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).
The city, which operates MSD had instituted new bidding requirements the county, which owns MSD, says were unfair- and in some cases illegal. Chief among them were apprenticeship requirements and a policy giving preference to contractors within city limits.
Commission President Chris Monzel says a working group will be formed to draft a new procurement policy.
Hamilton County Commissioners reorganized Monday with Chris Monzel assuming the presidency.
Monzel says he plans to stay the course laid out by fellow commissioner Greg Hartmann.
"Definitely public safety is the number one priority for Hamilton County. And it's something that's important and especially with the new Sheriff coming on board of what the public safety needs are. So that's number one, that's always been the number one priority to me in government," he says.