New Albany Mayor-elect Sloan Spalding, who begins his first term this month after running unopposed on the Nov. 3 ballot, said he has three goals for 2016.

New Albany Mayor-elect Sloan Spalding, who begins his first term this month after running unopposed on the Nov. 3 ballot, said he has three goals for 2016.

"First, I think we need fiscal responsibility and need to maintain our good ratings with our auditors," he said. "We have a healthy carryover balance and are making sure we are being responsible with the taxes citizens entrust to us.

"We also need to maintain our momentum of economic development by being able to diversify our tax base, which gives the city the opportunity to do a lot of things. But, at the end of the day, a city is supposed to provide high-quality services to our citizens and we want to maintain that high quality."

Spalding, who works as section chief of the employment-law section in the Ohio Attorney General's Office, was serving his second term on New Albany City Council when he decided last year to run for mayor.

He replaces Nancy Ferguson, who served 12 years and chose not to seek re-election.

Ferguson gave her blessing, saying the city would be in good hands under Spalding's leadership.

Per the city charter, City Council will have to appoint someone this month to replace Spalding.

Part of Spalding's second goal already is in motion, with new businesses opening north of Smith's Mill Road and east of Johnstown Road.

Development in the area began to burgeon after the Courtyard by Marriott, the city's first hotel, opened in 2013 at 5211 Forest Drive.

This year, the neighboring New Albany Ballet Company, which has occupied a 9,000-square-foot building at 5051 Forest Drive since 2007, will move into a larger facility across the street at 5161 Forest Drive. Owner Tara Miller said the company has 550 students who will move into the two-story, 20,000-square-foot building.

The two-story Hampton Inn and Suites also will open at 5220 Forest Drive, north of the Courtyard hotel. The hotel will begin taking reservations Feb. 1, according to the company's website.

In addition, a Turkey Hill Minit Market and Dairy Queen opened in December near the Courtyard hotel, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

The number of events hosted in New Albany also is a factor in economic stability, McAfee said.

"We have a number of new events and are reaching capacity on our ability to provide events," he said.

In 2015, the city hosted the 50-mile finish and the 180-mile second-day finish of the Pelotonia bicycle tour, a fundraiser for cancer research.

Pelotonia first moved some of the finish lines to New Albany in 2012.

"We've been fortunate, obviously with (Pelotonia founder and cancer survivor) Tom Lennox being a New Albany resident and having so many residents participate that live in New Albany," Spalding said.

Spalding, also an avid cyclist, said he has participated in the tour since its first year in 2009.

The tour, which is held every August, has raised more than $106 million for cancer research in the past seven years, according to the Pelotonia website.

The city also hosts the New Albany Walking Classic and the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day, both held in September.

The Walking Classic was started by Philip Heit, a retired Ohio State University professor who lives in New Albany.

Heit also founded the nonprofit Healthy New Albany, which supports health initiatives in the city and is a beneficiary of the Walking Classic.

The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day, which is hosted by Abigail and Leslie Wexner at their estate in New Albany, has raised more than $26 million to prevent domestic violence and support victims of abuse through the Center for Family Safety and Healing. The organization formed out of the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, which Abigail Wexner founded in 1998.

McAfee said even smaller events have been a success, including the inaugural New Albany Thanksforgiving 4 Miler on Thanksgiving Day.

McAfee said 2,000 runners participated and the race raised $50,000 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, LifeCare Alliance and a fund to be established through the New Albany Community Foundation.

The city also hosts two annual events -- Spring Fest and the Fourth of July celebration -- organized by volunteers on the New Albany Community Events Board.

The board last year added a two-day Oktoberfest held in the parking lot behind the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany.

McAfee said the city's many events add to the quality of life for residents.