The administration department is comprised of the City Manager, the Human Resources Manager and the Administrative Coordinator. Under the City Manager, the administration department provides professional leadership in the execution of City Council policies and the management of the City. The department is responsible for overseeing the coordination and direction of all City services on a day-to-basis, provides direct support to Montgomery City Council and serves as a liaison between the City of Montgomery and other organizations.
New Opportunities and New Challenges
Montgomery Center East is home to
Coldwell Banker offices and Delicio Coal Fired Pizza
New development and redevelopment opportunities continued to emerge in 2013. Planning with developers on designs and concepts on properties at both the north and south ends of the City generated excitement about the possibility of community growth and improvement. The construction of the new Christ Hospital Medical Office complex at the Vintage Club site, and a mixed-use concept plan for the Ford and Chevy dealerships at the corner of Main Street and Montgomery Road, are cornerstone projects that will become key business expansions in the community. City staff also worked extensively with the developers of the Vintage Club site to ensure that the initial concept for the site remained intact. Several other projects, including the opening of two new businesses at the former Perkins site, a Coldwell Banker real estate office and Delicio, a coal-fired pizza restaurant, added new and enticing destinations to the downtown area in 2013.
Shared Service Opportunities
Overall, the City continued on its well-established course of financial stability, community engagement and innovation in quality customer service delivery. In 2013, the City partnered with the City of Blue Ash and the Sycamore Community Schools to develop a website called MyCommuniTree.com to centralize information for all three of these entities.
The City’s information technology staff worked with a representative from Sycamore High School on a shared fiber optic network that vastly improved connectivity and business communications between City Hall and the City’s public works building and also improved wireless access for visitors to downtown Montgomery.
The City explored other shared service opportunities throughout the year by attending and presenting at events such as the Making a Difference Day volunteer venues and convening regional municipalities to discuss possibilities for collaboration. Several of these shared services opportunities came to fruition, including opportunities to conduct joint bids on infrastructure maintenance contracts as well opportunities to share equipment and services with the City’s municipal neighbors in Blue Ash and Indian Hill.
The Community Leadership forum in 2013 provided an opportunity
for City leaders and community stakeholders to meet and share ideas for the future
In 2013, steady progress was made on the City’s 2011 – 2016 Strategic Plan. The five-year plan encompasses six major goal areas: Economic Development, Finance, Organizational Structure and Workforce, Community Engagement, Quality of Life and Facilities. Each major goal area is staffed by a team of “owners” from staff who are tasked with carrying out well-defined implementation steps designed to accomplish the goals, strategies and implementation steps.
The Efficiency and Effectiveness Team completed the first official performance measurement report in 2013 which is part of the work outlined in the Strategic Plan. The team published the report to share with City Council every six months in an effort to better define the City’s delivery of services from both an efficiency and effectiveness standpoint. This report will be continually updated and improved over time as new measures are finalized with a vision for developing Key Performance Indicators as well as benchmarking the City of Montgomery against comparable cities in the region and State of Ohio. Performance measurement is a critical management tool for the City and will help in assessing the value of the City’s effectiveness in service delivery.
The comprehensive inventory and review of City services is one example of the strategic plan work performed in 2012. As part of Strategic Plan Goal Three, all departments compiled inventories of the services they provide. The departments ranked each service as "critical", "core" or "quality of life" in order to identify those services which must be provided and those services which contribute to the overall well-being of the community, but are not essential or legally mandated. Each department’s critical, core and quality of life categorizations were reviewed by another department to obtain a different perspective. A team of citizens conducted a final review of the categorizations to provide a perspective from the public. This work will help provide the basis for determining what services the City should provide in the future, what is the “right-quality” of these services and what is the most efficient and effective method of delivering these services.
A key component of a disciplined and mature organization is to ensure that staff are in place to meet the needs of customers as resources fluctuate and as long-term staff make decisions to pursue professional and personal options outside of the City. In 2013, the City of Montgomery experienced the retirements of Cindy Rains, an office manager in the police department, and Jerry Beitman, the police lieutenant. These two staff members had in excess of 65 years of service with the City between them. Additionally, a few long-term employees have indicated that 2014 will be their last year of service with the City. Succession planning has been in place at the City and continues to be employed to develop staff to be in a position to maintain and enhance service delivery when attrition occurs in the City’s work force. Although it is difficult to lose long-term staff members, transition presents opportunity, and the City has been successful in filling vacancies and/or reorganizing the organizational structure to maintain flexibility and uninterrupted delivery of services.
Farmers Market patrons select from
a variety of locally grown food and other goods
Goal Four of the City’s Strategic Plan is Community Engagement and emphasis on community engagement efforts continued to be strong in 2013. In its sixth year, the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy has become the focal point of the City’s community engagement efforts. Many of the MCLA alumni have gone on to volunteer for City board and/or commission positions, increased their volunteer activity with the City and volunteer opportunities in their churches or other civic organizations.
In 2013, the City awarded the Montgomery Farmers’ Market a $2,500 Community Engagement Grant for the seven new programming initiatives for the 2013 market season. The goal of the initiatives was to increase attendance, length of stay and family interaction at the market, and as a result, the market experienced a great season with strong regional attendance in 2013.
The City of Montgomery was formally recognized for a number of achievements in 2013. Highlights include the following:
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded the City the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012. This is a great honor for the City of Montgomery, as it is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. This award in 2013 represents the 18th consecutive year the City has received this award.
The City received the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District “Best Community Recycling Program” Award (more than 10,000 residents) for the fourth year in a row, reflecting the importance that the City, and the community’s citizens and businesses place on recycling efforts and the work of all in attempting to reduce waste and its impact on our environment.
The Miami Valley Risk Management Association (MVRMA) completed the 2012/2013 Safety Performance Evaluation Checklist (SPEC) assessment of the City of Montgomery’s safety program and loss control measures resulting in a 100% compliance rating with the safety compliance checklist.
Once again, the City received a Tree City USA Award and a Growth Award. This marks the 18th consecutive year for the Tree City USA recognition and the 15th Growth Award the City has received since 1998.
For the third consecutive year, the City of Montgomery received the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) platinum award for “astounding” success within the area of traffic safety.
In 2013, the City also continued its role in regards to leadership not only within Montgomery, but in the region, at the State level and nationally. To this end, several City staff members contributed and will continue to contribute their resources, over and above their primary job responsibilities, to a variety of professional organizations. The following is only a partial listing of the groups to which City staff contributed:
- Brian Riblet, Public Works Director, is the 2nd Vice President of the Public Works Officers Association of Southwest Ohio (PWOSO);
- Paul Wright, Fire Chief, is the 1st Vice President of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA);
- Don Simpson, Police Chief, is the 2nd Vice President of the Hamilton County Police Association (HCPA);
- Amber Morris, Community Engagement Director, in 2013 served as the 2014 Conference Planning Chair for the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA);
- Matthew Vanderhorst, Customer Service Director, provided a leadership role with the National Association of Government Web Professionals;
- Jim Hanson, Finance Director, is a committee member of the National Committee on Benefits Administration for the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA); and
- John Crowell, Police Sergeant, is a Team Leader for the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team in Hamilton County.
Clearly, 2013 was a year of new opportunities and challenges for the City of Montgomery. The City is positioned to carry forward its tradition of maintaining financial stability, fostering community engagement and seeking innovation in outstanding customer service delivery - all with an eye on delivering value to our customers who are the citizens, businesses, visitors and institutions which make up our community.