Coronavirus (COVID-19) Message from Mayor Dobroszi and City Manager Brian Riblet

Forging into the second week, but grateful for all that we have.

March 31, 2020

As we begin the second week of the “Stay at Home” Order issued by Governor DeWine, we hope that all of you are well and are adhering to the physical distancing guidelines.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “When given a lemon, you can make lemonade.”  Our lives have been turned upside down, and we’re slowly adjusting to this new “temporary” normal. Let us not forget the many things we can be grateful for, such as blooming daffodils and azaleas, flowering trees, the smell of fresh-cut grass, birds chirping,  warmer weather, and longer days with magnificent sunsets.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of our beautiful parks, including Swaim Park, Montgomery Park, Pfeiffer Park, Pioneer Park, Dulle Park, Weller Park, along with another hidden gem, the Johnson Nature Preserve.  Take a walk on over 10 miles of sidewalks throughout our beautiful city and experience the many wonders of nature.  Share your photos and stories with us at #silverliningsinmontgomery.

As you receive the April edition of the Montgomery Bulletin, you may be asking, “Why was there no reference to the Coronavirus pandemic?”  The process for the City to produce the Bulletin, have it printed, mailed, and delivered on time, requires us to have the content to the printer during the first week of the previous month.  At that time, discussions and potential decisions regarding the coronavirus pandemic were in very preliminary stages. Therefore, we did not have enough information to include in the Bulletin.

The City of Montgomery continues to be “Open for Business” as our tremendous first responders continue with 24/7 hour operations. Members of our public works staff are working daily to keep our parks and restrooms clean and taking care of other essential tasks. Although our doors at City Hall are closed, the team continues to work in their offices and remotely, and are available via phone and email.  We’re so very thankful for the dedicated team that always works to deliver first-rate services to our community while being good stewards of your tax dollars.

Speaking of tax dollars, during the economic downturn in 2008, our City Council decided to establish reserve funds for unexpected events. These reserves include six to 12 months of operating expenses in our General Fund (including our Police Department), six to 12 months of reserve funds in our Fire Department Fund, and $1 million reserve funds in our Capital Budget Fund.  Often over the past few years, we have been questioned as to the reasoning for these substantial amounts to be set aside as a “rainy day” fund when we could use these funds to provide additional services to the residents.  The COVID-19 pandemic is not only having an impact on the health and wellness of our community; it is also dealing a blow to our economy.  The careful and conservative planning of our City Council and staff with these reserve funds will help sustain the City through this current crisis while still providing the high level of public service to which our residents are accustomed.

We continue to be grateful for the healthcare professionals and facilities who are at the forefront of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, including our very own TriHealth Bethesda North Hospital.  Our thoughts are with them and their families daily as we know how very challenging this is for them.  We continue to think of all of our local businesses, bars, and restaurants and encourage everyone to support them during this crisis.  Finally, thank you to the staff at Kroger and our other grocery providers in the region – we truly appreciate your willingness to forge on and provide the basic necessities for our families.

We are striving to provide timely and accurate information on our City website, and through our social media outlets, during this unprecedented time to help our community get through this together.

Finally, we continue our thoughts for those impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19, and we look forward to overcoming this TOGETHER!

Godspeed, and stay safe,

Mayor Chris Dobrozsi

City Manager Brian Riblet