As he looks ahead to the new year - and a November re-election bid - Mayor Brad McCloud said one of the biggest question marks for Reynoldsburg will be what the Ohio legislature will do with local funding, which amounts to about 10 percent of the city's yearly budget.

As he looks ahead to the new year - and a November re-election bid - Mayor Brad McCloud said one of the biggest question marks for Reynoldsburg will be what the Ohio legislature will do with local funding, which amounts to about 10 percent of the city's yearly budget.

He said if the city ends up not getting any money from the state, it would be crippling.

"We get about $1.3-million per year from the General Assembly, and with the budget constraints that the state is operating under, I think it's fair to say everything is on the table in terms of money trickling down to the municipalities," McCloud said. "We won't know until Gov. Kasich submits his budget and it is approved ... Everyone is waiting on that to see what happens."

In the meantime, he said it's important for the city to continue the progress it has made in several areas, especially in the Brice Road-Livingston Avenue area. Accordingly, he said, the city's development department will present a draft of a master plan for Old Reynoldsburg to city council in January.

"We will have input from some community members who live there," McCloud said. "I think it's important that we keep that commercial corridor of our city viable. We want to promote shopping and spending time there; it's the center of the city.

"First and foremost is the addition of businesses and the promotion of tying Old Reynoldsburg in with state Route 256 - if we can somehow make a nexus there with all those businesses."

One of the highlights of 2010 was finally getting a grocery store back in the vacant building that was once a Big Bear store on East Livingston Avenue, McCloud said. Valu King, a subsidiary of Giant Eagle, opened in May.

"That was huge. I came in from day one and said Brice and Livingston is going to be a priority of mine, and being able to get that grocery store back in the old Big Bear was a lot of work and a real accomplishment," he said.

Another highlight, he said, was seeing a community garden established in the Brice and Livingston area.

"That was another thing that arose out of our Brice-Livingston master plan, to make that part of town more viable and community-oriented," McCloud said. "For people who had written off that part of the city, those two things were big shots in the arm toward revitalizing that area."

He noted that the garden won a statewide award.

"That was so successful that there will be another one at Civic Park, a different part of town," he said.

"One of the things I wanted to do was to re-instill that sense of community in the city that I think we had kind of gotten away from," McCloud said. "We've done a lot of things to bring that sense of community back. I mean, when I first took office, we didn't have fireworks the year before, and those things matter to people - that they feel connected and a part of the community."

An in-house accomplishment McCloud said was a highlight for 2010 was the outsourcing of the city's IT support, a move that provided better service for a lower price. He said by establishing Keytel systems as its IT provider in May, the city will save more than $100,000 per year.

"We had two full-time people who had left and a contractor handling our IT before, and we were paying about $211,000 per year. We now pay up to $96,000 a year," he said.

This past year began with Nathan Burd, Barth Cotner and Chris Long joining Reynoldsburg City Council. McCloud said he believes his relationship with council in 2010 overall was a good one, even if all did not agree with him from time to time.

"I think it is improved. It (council) has disagreed with me, but it has been on the merits of the issue and that's OK," McCloud said.

"There are people on this council who are willing to disagree on the merits of the issue rather than a personality. I mean, just to be arbitrarily obstinate doesn't serve any purpose," he said.

McCloud praised council member Fred Deskins for his job chairing the finance committee.

"I think he did a great job, and that is a big job, with a lot of detail and I know Fred worked hard," McCloud said. "Chris Long is very thorough and very prepared and so is Nathan. They don't talk just to hear themselves talk, and when they do talk, it's because they have a point to make."

In October, city council voted 4-3 to establish a daytime curfew for children age 6 to 17 and to hold parents accountable if their children violate the new law. McCloud said establishing the curfew was a good decision, but getting it done took too long.

"It shouldn't have taken three months to hash that out," he said. "It became a personal issue. I thought it was a good thing, with what they ended up with, and I said from day one it was a great idea. I think I said this is a no-brainer.

"I don't think anybody was completely happy with what was passed, but that's often the hallmark of a good compromise," he said.

As for crime in the city, McCloud said Reynoldsburg police are doing a good job and have upped their patrols in areas that need more attention, particularly on the later shifts.

"How do you stop crime? I don't know. How do you stop people from shooting each other?" McCloud said. "The most you can do is enforce the ordinances we have in such a way that hopefully, the people that do not share our values don't come here."

As for 2011, McCloud said he would like to see the city and school district continue their collaborative ad hoc committee efforts, which were established this past year.

"I think it was overdue. I think they were productive and I think as we, the schools and city, continue this dialogue, we will find more and more ways to share resources, which will ideally result in cost savings to the taxpayers," McCloud said. "I think there is a better spirit of communication between the schools and the city than has been for quite some time, and I think everybody benefits from that."

McCloud praised his staff and administration for all their hard work in 2010.

"I have one of the best, if not the best, staffs in central Ohio. I have some extremely talented people here," McCloud said. "I've been pleased with the progress we've made since I've taken office, and plan to see that progress continue into next year and beyond."