Change was definitely in the air for both the Reynoldsburg school district and the city in 2017 with a metamorphosis that pushed the old guard out and opened doors for new programs and new leaders.
Voters stop saying no: Until May 2017, Reynoldsburg voters had stomped on every city tax increase on the ballot since 1983. But Issue 11, a bump from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent, earned a big thumbs-up from voters after a campaign in which city leaders promised to build a shiny new community center. The higher tax rate went into effect July 1.
Going ... but not entirely gone: The school board tried to oust then-Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning last year by not renewing her contract, but this year's negotiations over her termination agreement stalled when she threatened a discrimination lawsuit. On June 14, board members approved a document that required them to rescind the nonrenewal of her contract and pay Thomas-Manning $100,000 for the next year as an "educational consultant."
Water, water, everywhere: Nearly three inches of rain fell on Reynoldsburg in two hour times July 13, flooding several streets for an entire day. Cars stalled when motorists tried to drive through high-water intersections; JFK and Huber parks closed and the parking lots in front of City Hall looked more like a large lake.
New superintendent, new teachers contract: With a new superintendent waiting in the wings, school board members negotiated a new contract with the Reynoldsburg Education Association in just four days. Melvin Brown had not yet taken over the top spot in the district but was working as a consultant so he could participate in the talks.
Hard hats and golden shovels: City officials donned hard hats and picked up gold-colored shovels to break ground Sept. 28 for a new Reynoldsburg Community Center YMCA. The two-story, 52,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in 2019 and will include a full gymnasium, a kids club and aquatic facilities, a fitness center, community rooms and administrative offices. It will be built and owned by the city but operated by the YMCA.