Whitehall News

State of the City

Mayor's address to follow warnings about DSCC cuts

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Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard is scheduled to deliver the State of the City address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Whitehall City Hall, 360 S. Yearling Road.

The annual address, the mayor's second address since beginning her first term as mayor last year, will be given during the regularly scheduled meeting of Whitehall City Council.

Maggard is expected to review the highlights of her first as mayor, as well as outline the goals of the administration for 2013. She'll also recognize organizations that have provided services to the city and helped improve the community.

Maggard addressed Whitehall City Council on March 5 about the effects of sequestration on the city's budget.

Whitehall will be sharply affected, arguably more than any other central Ohio municipality, because of automatic spending cuts at the federal level resulting in the furlough of federal employees, she said.

About 9,000 such employees work at Defense Supply Center Columbus. Whitehall derives 65 percent of its income tax revenue from DSCC employees. The city estimates a loss of about $1.5 million in income tax revenue during a projected six-month furlough of federal employees.

The city received $21 million in income tax revenue last year.

Maggard said she would meet with department directors on a continuing basis to monitor spending patterns.

Maggard pledged to not cut any city services but that the city must "completely and thoroughly re-examine all that our departments provide."

Maggard charged city employees to be vigilant and "meet the challenge" of sequestration.

"As elected officials, we must remember that our most important mission is to ensure our citizens and taxpayers receive the services that keep them safe and ease their burden of everyday life," she said. "If we allow other issues (to divert our attention), I believe we are doing a disservice to our jobs as public servants."

Although Maggard pledged no cuts in essential services, the effects of sequestration could be felt in other ways, such as the postponement of the city's plan to build a community center.

"This is a tough time for us," city auditor Dan Miller said. "Some things won't be done that were said to be done, ... but we will continue to provide services."

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