2017 Annual Report
Community and Information Services
The community and information services department is responsible for the planning and implementation of community engagement efforts, volunteer coordination, information technology services, front desk customer services and administrative support and services. The department also serves as the focal point for all City communications. The community and information services director oversees an administrative coordinator, a communications and engagement coordinator, a customer service representative and a volunteer coordinator. The department also works with a contracted director of citizen engagement. It is the daily goal of these staff members to deliver services that meet the City’s mission, with actions and behaviors consistent with the City’s values and leadership philosophy.
The City of Montgomery celebrated the tenth year of offering the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy (MCLA), which continued to be a popular activity for some of our most engaged citizens. Approximately 29 residents and local business professionals became highly engaged citizens over the course of ten weeks by diving deep into issues of local importance and gaining first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of local government and each of our partners: Sycamore Community Schools, Bethesda North Hospital, Twin Lakes Senior Living Community, and Ohio National Financial Services. For the tenth anniversary, the partners were honored for their ongoing contributions to the Academy.
The MCLA Alumni gathered for the second annual MCLA 2.0, “a graduate-level course” on March 29, 2017, at Montgomery Inn. MCLA graduates were invited to this workshop to augment their MCLA experience by providing them with a strong understanding and awareness of the multiple, critical components involved in economic development and zoning along the Montgomery Road Commercial Corridor. Law Director Terry Donnellon addressed the MCLA graduates on the specific court cases that have impacted local land use and commercial development in Montgomery, particularly the Montgomery Road Commercial Corridor. Tracy Roblero, community development director, presented information specific to commercial development trends in Montgomery, including in-fill redevelopment, zoning requirements, and future land use. Finally, the approximately 70 participants provided feedback, generated ideas and participated in a table-top exercise around commercial development and input for the Montgomery Road Commercial Corridor strategy.
The community and information services department facilitated the City’s 2016-2021 strategic planning process which was accomplished through the collaboration between City Council and staff from all levels of the organization. An important component of the strategic planning process was gathering community input from the survey of residents, during the MCLA Reunion Summit and the Community Leadership Forum.
In 2017, the newly-enhanced Service to the Community Grant was awarded to Sycamore Junior High and Honor Flight Tri-State. Every year, around the last Friday of October, students from Sycamore Junior High, with their teachers and parents, provide leaf raking services to local residents as a community service project. In 2017, the City of Montgomery provided grant funds used to assist with this endeavor. Funds were also given to Honor Flight Tri-State to honor five Montgomery residents for their service to their country with a trip to the nation’s capital.
The community and information services staff, with participation from members of the police, fire, and community development departments, hosted two Neighborhood Leaders Forums, one in May and a second in November. The May forum addressed traffic management and crime prevention. The November forum was a condensed version of the MCLA 2.0 session focused on providing a strong understanding and awareness of the multiple, critical components involved in economic development and zoning along the Montgomery Road Commercial Corridor. This zoning and economic development forum used much of the same information that was shared at the March MCLA 2.0 session, but was made available to a wider audience.
The department secured a new vendor to publish and print the Montgomery Bulletin and the City Calendar. In 2017, the department partnered with the Montgomery Historical Preservation Association (MHPA) on the annual calendar. Janet Korach of MHPA provided the historical photographs and narratives to accompany the photographs. The Advanced Placement Studio Art class at Sycamore High School used those photographs to create the original art work for the Calendar.
To document the history of Montgomery from 1995 to present day, the City of Montgomery, in collaboration with the Montgomery Historical Preservation Association, created a website, history.montgomeryohio.org, containing photos and audio and video recordings that document significant events, historic landmarks, and recollections from past mayors. The new website is a significant history tool to help educate and inform current and future citizens of Montgomery.
In 2017, the City switched over to a new recreation program management system called Rec1. The new system provides a centralized dashboard of all recreation programs for residents and easy program management features for staff.
The network infrastructure at City Hall was updated to ensure reliability and adherence to current standards.
In April of 2017, one exceptional volunteer was added to the Volunteer Walk of Fame. This honoree was John Tholking. This brick path, located in Montgomery Park, was created to recognize volunteers who have made substantial contributions to the City through their volunteer service.
Katie Busch, a Montgomery resident, performed a summer internship with the City of Montgomery. Katie was a sophomore at that time at Liberty University and majored in business management with an interest in public relations. Katie performed research to help advance communications and customer service related implementation steps from the 2016 – 2021 Strategic Plan. Her final research covered ways to provide customer service in a technology-driven world and analyze social media trends and demographics to ensure effective reach and engagement of the local audience.