Mayor-elect Laurie Jadwin said the year 2020 will be focused on rebuilding and strengthening Gahanna for future growth and sustainability.

"As I shared during the past several months, my overall priorities for Gahanna will be strategic investment in the community to improve our residents' quality of life, smart economic development and creating a defined action plan that generates a blueprint for how we, our residents, want our city to look in the years to come," she said.

Any future development and action inherently depends upon having a successful team in place at City Hall to serve residents, implement plans and perform the work that will be required, Jadwin said.

"With that, one of my first priorities in 2020 will be to fill key leadership positions that were vacated in 2019 with experienced and committed individuals who will enhance the talented staff that is already in place," she said. "Filling the position of director of economic development with an established and successful candidate will be an important focus as we work to navigate and pursue new development opportunities that are presented to the city."

Jadwin said that director would play a critical role as the city works to create defined internal and external processes to govern development.

"In addition, since early November, I have been working closely with existing leadership to identify ways to modernize the city's operations," she said. "Our ongoing goal will be to improve and streamline processes to best meet the needs of our customers, and our team will consistently be challenged to view operations with a fresh and creative perspective."

Communications also will be a key priority for 2020, according to Jadwin.

"Transparency and openness are words that are being bantered about at all levels of government, and rightfully so," she said. "I am grateful to be inheriting the reins of a city that has been repeatedly recognized and awarded for its financial accountability and transparency, and we will work diligently to maintain that honor."

At the same time, Jadwin said, efforts will be directed toward expanding communications with residents by making information easier to access and locate online, by exploring new opportunities to get information into the hands of residents and by sharing information proactively.

"Developing an overall communications and marketing plan to unify Gahanna's message both within the community and throughout the Columbus region will be an important initiative, as well," she said.

Thanks to the support of Gahanna residents with the recent passage of Issue 12, Jadwin said, for the first time in many years, the city will be positioned to invest in infrastructure, attract new businesses and enhance sidewalks, parks and trails.

"With this change in our economic position, the first half of 2020 will include a refresh of the city's strategic plan (initiated in 2016), where residents will have an opportunity to provide input that will help us to prioritize needs and projects within the community and to develop a strategic approach to investment in our city," she said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla