Local officials attend Municipal League Conference


Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan congratulates Information Technology Manager Joel Glass following his presentation during the Ohio Municipal League’s annual conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus. Adding their congratulations are Vice Mayor Steve Wagner and City Councilmember Mike Barhorst.

Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan congratulates Information Technology Manager Joel Glass following his presentation during the Ohio Municipal League’s annual conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus. Adding their congratulations are Vice Mayor Steve Wagner and City Councilmember Mike Barhorst.


Courtesy photo

COLUMBUS — Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan, Vice Mayor Steve Wagner and Councilmember Mike Barhorst attended the annual conference of the Ohio Municipal League (OML) recently. The conference was held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus.

This year’s annual conference began with early registrants walking the short distance from the hotel to the Statehouse. There they had the opportunity to take a guided tour the State Capitol, visit the House and Senate Chambers, and learn a great deal about the history of the building.

During the three days of the conference, attendees had the opportunity to attend presentations on topics ranging from crisis communications, workforce challenges, Ohio’s economy, information technology, housing challenges, leveraging state resources, Home Rule, municipal budgeting, municipal income tax, pending legislation, and several others. Barhorst, who served as president of the OML in 2019, remains on the organization’s board and helped to plan this year’s conference.

“As I have traveled across the state,” Barhorst said, “I have asked mayors at each stop to list their greatest challenges. Statewide and despite the size of the municipality, the challenges were similar.

“Across Ohio, the challenges included having more jobs than workers to fill those jobs, workers who lacked employable skills, the lack of available housing, aging infrastructure, drug abuse and homelessness,” Barhorst said. “In the larger cities, gun violence was a top concern. The OML staff tried to find presenters who could effectively address as many of those top concerns as possible.”

Barhorst didn’t have to look far to find a presenter for the session on information technology. Sidney’s Information Technology Manager Joel Glass was asked to assist with that presentation. He in turn, recruited Darren Davey, the Information Technology manager for the city of Vandalia, and DHS CISA’s Cybersecurity adviser to Ohio, Terin Williams. Wiliams is also a brigadier general in the National Guard.

“I’m probably biased,” Wagner said, “but I think the information technology presentation was the best session. I was surprised at how little some of those attending the conference knew about the topic. Perhaps because of my own age, I liked the session on aging as well. Understanding the services available to assist our aging population was invaluable to me and will certainly help me better serve Sidney residents.

“The conference also provides the opportunity to learn best practices,” Wagner said. “It is good for individual councilmembers to keep up with the legislation being considered in both Columbus and Washington. The OML conference helps us do that.”

“This year‘s OML conference was a wonderful opportunity to connect with other municipal leaders and hear about important issues facing our communities,” Milligan said when asked about this year’s conference. “In particular, we were proud to have Joel Glass contribute his knowledge of information technology challenges.”

The Ohio Municipal League was incorporated as an Ohio non-profit corporation in 1952 by city and village officials who saw the need for a statewide association to serve the interests of Ohio municipal government. The City of Sidney has been a member of the OML for many years.

The Ohio Municipal League is governed by a Board of Trustees, elected by the membership. The Board is the policy-making body and appoints an executive directorto manage the League under their general direction. The Trustees must include one mayor of a city or village; a city manager; a fiscal officer or finance director; a solicitor or law director and a member of a municipal legislative body other than the mayor.

Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan congratulates Information Technology Manager Joel Glass following his presentation during the Ohio Municipal League’s annual conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus. Adding their congratulations are Vice Mayor Steve Wagner and City Councilmember Mike Barhorst.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_OML-Conference.jpgSidney Mayor Mardie Milligan congratulates Information Technology Manager Joel Glass following his presentation during the Ohio Municipal League’s annual conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus. Adding their congratulations are Vice Mayor Steve Wagner and City Councilmember Mike Barhorst. Courtesy photo