Welcome spring, and welcome Tyler Walker and Jenny Perkins to the City Council. Tyler and Jenny won the election this week and will be seated on the council on the 22nd. It is exciting to have them part of our team! Tyler represents young families in our city, bringing their voice and energy to the City Council. Jenny’s husband Glen was very involved in politics and the school system. Welcome.
A City “scorecard” was posted on the website. This scorecard emerged from our planning meeting in February. We set goals for ourselves last year, and then measured our success in achieving those goals, and set new success measures for 2008. In some areas we did very well. In other areas we need to continue to focus on important issues to ensure success. The goals are high, the measures were tough. In the category of Industrial Economic Development we gave ourselves a green light for expanding industrial land and having profitable TIF districts for the first time. Under Downtown Revitalization we scored a yellow light because although some downtown properties were renovated there were a number of businesses closed without new ones replacing them. Overhauling the recreation department was a green light. Repairing the streets was green. Communication and tourism were yellow lights. You can see the whole scorecard on the website.
Universal Studios is returning to Columbus for filming on April 29th. The filming will be concentrated on East James Street, where one of the Dillinger gang members dies after a bank robbery gone wrong. There will be renovations and street closings in our downtown. I should have the dates of the closing shortly. At this point they are estimating the road closures beginning on April 25th. Our Universal Studios contact, Adam is working hard to keep Ludington and West James open through most of the work and filming. You may have noticed that East James was left pretty well in character after the first round of filming so that there should be much less construction work this time. We had such a great economic impact on our city from the first round of filming. It will be wonderful to have all those folks eating and purchasing things in our city again. Thank you to Universal Studios for choosing Columbus and for helping our economy. Welcome back.
In early April there will be a joint meeting with Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, Historic Preservation, Council and Auditorium Corporation to talk about how the movie could be used as a tourism draw for our city. there have been lots of great ideas thrown around. Now is the time to take this forward and continue the excitement.
And on a personal note. My grandson should be going in for his bone marrow transplant next week. it has been delayed a couple of times because he’s had a cold, but we have our fingers crossed that it can begin soon. And Sam should be welcoming a new little brother by the time this is in the paper. What a lot of things happening to one family. Sam will be in the hospital for at least 6 weeks with the transplant. We are experiencing so many emotions… fear, joy, anticipation, dread. It is love that holds it all together. Hug someone close to you this week and let them know that you love them. It will be good for all of us.
Nancy Osterhaus - Mayor