AKRON — Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst recently returned from attending the annual meeting of the Mayors Association of Ohio. The three-day conference was held in Akron, Ohio. Also attending the conference from Shelby County was Fort Loramie Mayor Randy Ahlers.
The annual conference provided attendees with the opportunity to network, attend a variety of workshops, and discuss current legislation being considered for adoption by the General Assembly. Speakers who addressed this year’s conference included Ohio Director of Public Safety Director John Born, Ohio Development Services Agency Deputy Director Matthew LaMantia, Ohio Ethics Commission Executive Director Paul Nick, Ohio Municipal League Executive Director Kent Scarrett and a host of others.
Topics included the cyber security, guns in schools, public records, economic development, Ohio’s medical marijuana law, ODOT funding programs, EPA funding programs, ethics, and community well-being, among others.
Elected as officers for the upcoming year were President William Flaute, mayor of Riverside; First Vice President Jeff Hazel, mayor of Celina; Second Vice President Mark Cegelka, mayor of Glenwillow; Secretary Mike Barhorst, mayor of Sidney; and Treasurer John Thebout, mayor of Batavia. Officers serve one-year terms.
The Mayors Association of Ohio was formed to assist the mayors of Ohio’s 937 municipalities in improving municipal government and administration and the promotion of the general welfare of the cities and villages of Ohio. The annual conference provides the opportunity for mayors to meet as a separate group for the discussion of the special problems, responsibilities and experiences of the mayors as a special class of officers and as heads of cities and villages of the state.
The meeting was hosted by Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan. He had offered to host the annual conference in Akron in part so that mayors from across the state could see first-hand the renaissance taking place in downtown Akron. The renewed interest in the downtown has made possible walkable and livable infrastructure, new hotels and meeting spaces, and a variety of entertainment options.
Barhorst has served as a member of the executive committee of the Ohio Mayors Association for 11 years. He was elected treasurer last year, and will continue to progress through the officer ranks and eventually assume the presidency of the organization.