Hilliard Northwest News

City Council to disband Youth and Family Commission


Citing a lack of support and the availability of similar alternative programming, Hilliard City Council members plan to dissolve the Youth and Family Commission.

Legislation repealing the Youth and Family Commission as a "board and commission" under the purview of City Council was introduced at the Oct. 28 meeting of the Lifelong Community Enrichment Committee.

It is scheduled for a first reading at City Council's Nov. 4 meeting.

City Council established the Youth and Family Commission in 2001.

Several years later, the Hilliard-Ray Patch Family YMCA took the reins of the commission, but Hilliard officials later reassumed oversight and funding of the commission.

City Council President Brett Sciotto said there recently has been no continuity in leadership and "the energy is out" of the organization.

Councilman Nathan Painter said he recently spoke with YMCA officials, who indicated little if any public inquiry about the programs of the commission.

The commission was established to encourage the development of family-friendly programs, but city officials said in the past decade, the YMCA and Hilliard schools, churches and other outreach organizations have stepped up, supplanting the need for the commission.

"Rather than try to resuscitate it, or just let it die away, I think we should officially repeal it," Sciotto said.

In action at the Finance and Administration Committee meeting, committee members accepted and forwarded three ordinances for consideration Nov. 4.

The legislation authorized workers' compensation insurance, stop-loss insurance and named a third-party administrator for health-insurance benefits.

In addition, Christy Clark, executive director of Destination Hilliard, provided committee members with a third-quarter report of the organization.

Clark reported bed-tax revenue at the city's hotels was up 6 percent through Sept. 30, compared to the same nine months last year. She said it is expected to further improve from lodging associated with the President's Cup PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village in Dublin and the All-American Quarter Horse Congress at the Ohio Expo Center.

Clark summarized activities during the third quarter, including a float in the city's Fourth of July parade, Heritage Day, a cemetery walk at Wesley Chapel and the Color Me Rad 5K race.

Color Me Rad will return in April 2014, Clark reported.

Clark also said the organization successfully lobbied Experience Columbus to include Hilliard's First Responders Park, Weaver Park and the Early Television Museum as central Ohio destinations to visit.

Jonathan Hsu, chairman of the Environmental Sustainability Commission, also provided an activity update to the committee. Hsu recapped the organization's first Earth Day celebration earlier this year and requested a $6,576 budget for next year.

Of that amount, $2,500 would be used to meet matching requirements for grants, and $2,576 would be used to maintain the organization's website promoting recycling and other environmentally friendly practices and events.