2015 Annual Report

Administration

The administration department is comprised of the city manager and the human resources manager.  Under the city manager, the administration department provides professional leadership in the execution of City Council policies and the day-to-day management of the City.  The department is responsible for overseeing the coordination and direction of all City services on a daily basis, provides direct support to Montgomery City Council and serves as a liaison between the City of Montgomery and other organizations.

2016-2021 Strategic Plan

The City of Montgomery uses strategic planning to set long-term goals and these goals then guide the City.  Over the past 20 years, the City has undertaken strategic planning in five-year increments.  This strategic plan serves as a tool that is used extensively by City Council and the City workforce to track and manage progress toward the completion of the strategies associated with each goal.

In 2015, the City contracted with the University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research and Management Partners, Inc. to conduct a resident survey.  A total of 911 households responded.  City staff also prepared an environmental scan that provided trend data and projections about major factors that are likely to affect the City in the future. Both of these efforts helped City Council members and staff prepare for the strategic planning workshop.

In collaboration with the City’s strategic planning team, Management Partners, INC. prepared a workbook to assist participants with their preparation for the strategic planning workshop.  The two-day workshop, held in August of 2015, included the Mayor, City Council members, city manager department directors and staff from each department.  During the strategic planning workshop, City leaders and staff worked together to refine the vision and mission, and craft goals and strategies to guide the City to the year 2021.

The final draft of the 2016-2021 strategic plan was approved by City Council on December 2, 2015. The new strategic plan consists of the following five goals:

Goal 1: Montgomery delivers core services through innovation and partnerships consistent with our vision by assessing changes in customer demands, demographics and the environment.

Goal 2: Montgomery has a quality of life that makes it a premier community.

Goal 3: Montgomery attracts and retains businesses that contribute to the long-term stability of the City, while maintaining our small town historic feel.

Goal 4: Montgomery will retain and attract quality and diverse housing options while maintaining a small town feel and effectively managing the infrastructure impacts of redevelopment.

Goal 5: Montgomery’s fiscal plan supports City operations consistent with policy, while managing risk to provide services in the most efficient and effective manner.

Gateway Redevelopment Area (GRA)

The Montgomery Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), on behalf of the City, issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in early January to seek a team of qualified real estate developers with experience in mixed-use infill projects to partner with the CIC on the redevelopment of the GRA.  The CIC received thirteen submissions in response to the RFQ and narrowed the list down to four development teams who were issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in May.  The CIC sought a development team with a commitment to a pedestrian-oriented design, efficiencies in traffic flow and parking needs of the area, and the understanding of the need for the development to be complementary to the adjacent historic district.

On October 7, the CIC voted to designate Gateway Partners, LLC as the preferred developer for the GRA.  Gateway Partners, LLC is a partnership of several development companies, with the team led by Great Traditions Land and Development Company.  Great Traditions partnered with Brandicorp, Greiwe Development Group, North American Properties and Sibcy Cline to assist the CIC in developing this exciting mixed-use project.  The team proposed a mix of professional office and restaurant space with townhomes and condominiums and the concept of a boutique hotel.  Gateway Partners, LLC will continue to work with City staff on the design, construction, financing and management of an integrated Master Plan for the site on an integrated, mixed-use project that is compatible in scale and design to the adjacent Historic District.

The City initiated discussions with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) regarding potential modifications to the interchange of Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway and Montgomery Road.  An initial traffic analysis and study was completed and reviewed with ODOT officials.  The City was authorized to proceed with conducting additional traffic counts and analysis to submit a request for certified traffic information to ODOT.

Sister Cities Exchanges

Mayor Steinbrink and Demunyck

Montgomery Mayor Todd Steinbrink and Neuilly Plaisance Mayor Christian Demunyck rode motorcycles in Neuilly Plaisance’s inaugural July 4 parade.

In early July, Mayor Todd Steinbrink joined former Montgomery Mayor Gary Blomberg, City Manager Wayne Davis, and Sister Cities Commission member Jack Wild, as they traveled to Montgomery’s Sister City, Neuilly-Plaisance, France, to assist with its inaugural July 4th Celebration.  “Week-end de l’Amitie” honored the City of Montgomery and the twinning relationship.  Neuilly-Plaisance also dedicated a street in honor of the City of Montgomery, “chemin de Montgomery.”  The event was a success and attracted over 100 volunteers, a rare feat in a country not known for volunteerism.

While visiting Neuilly-Plaisance, Mayor Steinbrink and the Montgomery contingent also addressed future exchanges with Neuilly-Plaisance Mayor Christian Demunyck.  They identified opportunities for smaller groups to visit each city every year or every other year.

Several representatives from Montgomery, Ohio, also visited the Village of Montgomery, New York, to rekindle a sister cities relationship that was created several years ago. Many original Montgomery, Ohio, settlers originated from the Village of Montgomery, New York.  Montgomery City Council and staff participated in the General Montgomery Day parade on September 12, 2015, and met with several Village officials to develop a schedule for future interactions to build the relationship.

Shared Service Opportunities

The City continued to pursue shared services opportunities in the following areas:

  • The City continued to invest in the productive technology partnership created with Sycamore Community Schools in 2014. In 2015, a shared telephone system was installed and is managed by Sycamore Community Schools for the City of Montgomery. In total, the City saved over $15,500 in 2015 and will continue to see similar savings in the coming years.
  • The City partnered with the City of Blue Ash for street maintenance and information sharing on winter weather operations.
  • The public works department continues maintenance of the I-275/Montgomery Road intersection. This effort was accomplished in partnership with Ohio Department of Transportation, Sycamore Township and Symmes Township to maintain the I-275 overpass area on Montgomery Road from Weller Road to Vintage Club Boulevard to include street sweeping, cleaning of medians and mowing of identified areas around the overpass.

The City’s shared services pursuits demonstrate commitment to regional leadership and stewardship for all of the taxpayers in the region and the State.

Staff: Local, Regional and National Organizational Leadership Roles

In 2015, the City continued its role in leading in regional, State and national organizations.  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, was the 2nd Vice President of the Public Works Officers Association of Southwest Ohio (PWOSO);
  • Paul Wright, fire chief, is the President of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA);
  • Don Simpson, police chief, was the 1st Vice President of the Hamilton County Police Association (HCPA) and Executive Board member of the Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force;
  • Matthew Vanderhorst, community and information services director, provided a leadership role to the National Association of Government Web Professionals, was a member of the Advancing New Leader working group for the Alliance for Innovation and was on the planning committee for the national Big Ideas Conference, also conducted by the Alliance for Innovation;
  • Connie Gaylor, administrative coordinator, was the Vice President of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators and was a member of the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association;
  • John Crowell, police lieutenant, was the Commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team in Hamilton County;
  • Ben Shapiro, assistant fire chief, was the Operations Officer for the Hamilton County Arson Investigation Unit;
  • Wayne Davis, city manager, was a board member for the Ohio City/County Management Association;
  • Paul Payne, Sycamore High School resource officer, was the President for the Ohio School Resource Officers Association;
  • Ja’net Crawford, mayor’s court clerk, was the State Vice-President with the Association of Mayor’s Court Clerks of Ohio;
  • Kelly Beach, former assistant finance director/tax commissioner, and Cindy Abner, finance specialist, were both members of the Southwest Ohio Tax Administrators Association (SWOTAA);
  • Tracy Roblero, community development director, was a member of the American Planners Association; and
  • Melissa Hays, zoning and code compliance officer, was a member of the American Planners Association.

Grants

2015Staff continually seeks out grant funding sources from State and local levels that aid the City in completing its many capital improvement and equipment replacement programs. The following is a list of grants that were received in 2015.

The City received grant fund reimbursements from JobsOhio ($217,720) and ODOT ($143,696) for the Pfeiffer Road Resurfacing Project this past summer.  This officially allows us to close out the 2014 Street Resurfacing Program.

 The fire department received a grant from the State of Ohio Division of Emergency Medical Services for 2015-2016 in the amount of $3,500.  The grant was used for training and equipment for City personnel to allow for continuing education requirements for the EMTs and Paramedics, as well as for some equipment gaps identified within the department.  Funding for this grant comes from seat belt fines paid by drivers cited for not wearing their seat belts.

The City received $60,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from Hamilton County as partial reimbursement for the demolition cost of the former Williams Ford building at the Gateway Redevelopment Area.  The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program, administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.

Achievements

The City of Montgomery was formally recognized for a number of achievements in 2015.

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 ending December 31, 2014. This is a great honor for the City of Montgomery, as it is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.  The year 2015 represents the 20th consecutive year the City has received this award.

The City website received the Pinnacle Award for the City/County Small Population Group from the National Association of Government Web Professionals during its annual conference in September.

The Miami Valley Risk Management Association (MVRMA) completed the 2014/2015 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.

The City received a Tree City USA Award and a Growth Award, marking the 19th consecutive year for the Tree City USA recognition and the 16th Growth Award the City has received since 1998.

For the fifth consecutive year, the City of Montgomery received the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) gold award for success within the area of traffic safety.

The fire department received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 2 as a result of the review of the department’s operations.  In 2015, 132 fire departments were rated Class 1 and only 1,060 departments were rated as Class 2; there are 48,754 fire departments across the country.  Communities with a Class 1 or Class 2 rating result in lower insurance costs for their businesses and residents.

The City of Montgomery was recognized as a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association. This award is a reflection of the strong commitment the City places on providing a healthy workplace for its employees.

The City of Montgomery was named a finalist among 29 greater Cincinnati companies/organizations for the “2015 Healthiest Employer Awards” recognized by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Clearly, 2015 continued the City’s trend of outstanding value for the community it serves.  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.