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Ohio Cities Looking to New State Administration for Financial Help

Sidney, Ohio Mayor Mike Barhorst is first vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Municipal League.

Ohio’s cities have seen about $450 million in cuts to their local government funds under Gov. John Kasich. The lobby group that represents cities is looking forward to establishing new relationships with Governor-elect Mike DeWine and the incoming legislature. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles explains.

Mike Barhorst is the mayor of Sidney in western Ohio. He says he wants to make sure state leaders know many cities are in dire financial condition because of state funding cuts. He says take Ironton for example.

“The mayor there has told me they have one-third of their people working, one-third who are retired and one-third who are on social welfare programs. It’s not a sustainable model. And when you look around the city and see the potholes and see the failing infrastructure, if I were a business looking to relocate, I want to go somewhere where I know I’m not going to fall in a pothole that’s so big that it is going to swallow my car, truck, whatever.”

Barhorst says the group wants to focus on infrastructure needs in cities. Incoming Governor Mike DeWine has made no promise of restoring those funds.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.