Over the next four years, I look forward to tackling our challenges head on and with the force and vigor of a bull moose!
Our firefighters, who are the lowest paid professional fire fighting department in the region, deserve to be fairly compensated for the life-saving work that they do everyday and we will work to raise their wages for the first time in almost a decade. We will make sure that the 20 and 30 year old equipment that our police and fire nervously rely on will be upgraded so that not only are our first responders safe but they can ensure the safety of our community.
We will work alongside community, faith, and non-profit groups to develop new, homegrown solutions to help those struggling with addiction. Our police officers will be trained how to carry and use narcan and will be equipped with this life saving drug. Our residents, who see overdoses and drug use on a daily basis, will be invited to community meetings to learn how to make our community healthier. And we follow the lead of Columbus and make tobacco products harder for teenagers to purchase—ensuring that our next generation is as healthy as they can be.
The era of our township being the laughing stock of the region is over. Today we reset our relationship with the City of Columbus and Franklin County. Our community is not alone in Central Ohio and we must begin to coordinate and collaborate with our partners across the region to ensure that we are all succeeding and growing together. The City and County are not our enemies, but our friends and we will work hand-in-hand to make our community the best it can possibly be. By hiring a township administrator, we will have an individual whose full time job will be to create policies that standardize and modernize our government and seek out new grants and funding opportunities.
Gone are the days where our elected officials put down our community to the media and public. As the entire region grows in population, we will promote our corner of the county as the place for young families to buy their first home, send their kids to our great schools, and raise the next generation that will sustain our community for years to come.
And finally, I pledge to you that I will always be professional. I will be polite, respectful, and courteous. I will respect our township employees and residents regardless of any preconceived notions. And I will be transparent and open about how we are moving forward.
We may not always agree on the issues, but I will always listen and tell you where I stand—allowing us to build a relationship on trust and mutual understanding.