2018 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 service, 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 eleventh year of offering the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy (MCLA), which continued to be a popular activity for some of our most engaged citizens. Approximately 27 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.
The MCLA Alumni gathered for the third annual MCLA 2.0 on November 21 at Montgomery Inn. MCLA graduates were invited to this workshop to review the rebranding survey responses from the community and to provide additional feedback about the future brand of the City of Montgomery. The attendees participated in a Pitchbox session facilitated by Kolar Design that focused on the visual aspects of Montgomery’s brand.
In 2018, the Service to the Community Grant was awarded to Sycamore Junior High and Operation Give Back. Every year, around the last Friday of October, students from Sycamore Junior High, with their teachers and parents, provide leaf raking services to residents as a community service project. In 2018, the City of Montgomery provided grant funds used to assist with this endeavor. The City-funded Operation Give Back’s proposed WeTHRIVE! Food Bundle project benefiting 50 Montgomery residents. The WeTHRIVE! Food Bundles contained fresh fruit, fresh produce, and healthy snacks. Recipients also received, cooking recipe cards and healthy eating fact sheets. Operation Give Back also included a walking pedometer with the August bundle with information on the six local parks and the City’s WeTHRIVE! Initiative on Chronic Disease Pathway.
The community and information services staff, with participation from the police and community development departments, hosted a Neighborhood Leaders Forum on October 23 about safe driving, the status of development projects, and updates to the branding campaign. Police Officer Scott Bierer and Sergeant Mike Plaatje gave a presentation about safe driving tips and recent changes in traffic laws in the State of Ohio. Community Development Director Tracy Roblero shared information about commercial development projects in Montgomery, including Vintage Club North, Gateway Redevelopment Area, and new businesses. Finally, Faith Lynch provided an update on the Distinctly Montgomery branding and imaging campaign project.
In 2018, the department partnered with the Advanced Placement Studio Art Class at Sycamore High School to create the 2019 City calendar. The theme for the 2019 calendar was “Celebrate Montgomery,” drawing attention to Montgomery’s many special and unique events and opportunities to engage with other members of the community.
In April 2018, the City inducted four exceptional volunteers, Gary Blomberg, Greg Leader, Rosalee Ritchie, and Carol Suer, into the Volunteer Walk of Fame. This brick path, located in Montgomery Park, was created to recognize volunteers who have made substantial contributions to the City through their volunteer service.
The network infrastructure at City Hall was reconfigured to increase reliability in the event of a power outage. Also, unused traffic signal fiber was configured to add a redundant route for network data to improve reliability. The City completed the first part of this project in 2018. Project completion is anticipated for 2019.
In 2018, the City implemented a new online engagement tool called HelpScout. HelpScout provides an interactive chat function, along with traditional website forms. The program provides educational tools for staff to quickly and accurately manage requests.