SAN ANTONIO — Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst recently attended the National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit in San Antonio. He took part in the annual conference in his capacity as president of the Ohio Municipal League.
During the five days Barhorst was in San Antonio, he had the opportunity to interact with the 4,000-plus attendees from cities large and small from all 50 states, three US Territories and Canada. In addition, he attended sessions as diverse as “Big Ideas for Small Cities,” “How Skateboarding Grows Cities,” “Intelligent Transportation & Smart Corridors,” “Neighborhood Stabilization & Enhancement” and “Economic Development.” Barhorst also participated in a round table discussion with other small city mayors.
“Interestingly, the problems are similar across the country. The lack of affordable housing, the lack of a well-trained and willing workforce, and the challenges of an aging population were the hot topics not only during the round table discussion, but in conversations between sessions with other city leaders from across the country,” Barhorst said.
As the president of the Ohio Municipal League, Barhorst also helped to host the Ohio Municipal League reception. The reception was held Friday evening at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
“The reception attracted officials from not only Ohio, but a number of other states, who heard through the grapevine that Ohio has the best food of all the states who were hosting receptions Friday evening,” Barhorst recounted. “There were state receptions at staggered times each evening, and with the exception of California, none of the receptions had entertainment.”
“I think the lack of entertainment was due to no one wanting to compete with California,” Barhorst continued. “Incoming NLC President and Los Angeles City Council member Joe Buscaino kicked off his year as president in grand style by inviting The Beach Boys to perform. The Beach Boys performed their greatest hits for nearly two hours without a break.”
Busciano announced that NLC’s theme for the coming year would be “Leading Together.” His agenda focuses on leading with urgency — because the challenges local officials face require urgent solutions.
“In 2020, I will lead with urgency on the issue of homelessness. I will lead with urgency as we strengthen the federal-local partnership. And I will lead with urgency and support your efforts to build innovation-driven economies,” Buscaino told those attending the conference.
Barhorst also had the opportunity to visit museums and sample the nightlife of San Antonio. Among other sites, Barhorst visited the Alamo, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Candelaria and Guadalupe, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, the Riverwalk, and the Brisco Museum of Western Art.
“Fortunately, prior to my departure, retired Sidney Police Department Office Manager Nancy Steinke mentioned that she and her husband had been in San Antonio. She recommended the Brisco Museum of Western Art as a ‘must see’ museum and the Saltgrass Steakhouse as a place I should eat. They were great recommendations.
“Fortunately, when I travel on behalf of the Ohio Municipal League, they pick up travel expenses,” Barhorst said. “As a result, Sidney’s taxpayers reap the benefits of the ideas I bring back without having to invest tax dollars to do so.”
Founded in 1952, the Ohio Municipal League represents the interests of Ohio’s 933 municipalities. The Ohio Municipal League is governed by a Board of Trustees, elected by the membership. Barhorst is one of the 24 trustees on the board.