Gahanna residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the city's new leadership team, volunteer organizations and community partners through "Building Community Together," the theme of the Thursday, March 19, State of the City address.

A community reception will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m., with the presentation starting at 6:30 p.m. at the EDGE Innovation Hub, 1140 Gahanna Parkway in Gahanna.

Although the event is free and open to the public, residents are asked to register by emailing mayors. office@gahanna.gov.

Gahanna Mayor Laurie Jadwin said she hit the ground running when she started her term in January, and she has been focused on building a team and the foundation necessary to move the community forward.

"Our State of the City address is an opportunity to introduce our senior leadership team to our residents, share what we have accomplished thus far and talk about what lies ahead for Gahanna in the coming year," she said. "In 2020, we will concentrate our efforts on building community together with residents, volunteer groups, service organizations and our business community. By working together, we will be able to accomplish what we set out to do in 2020."

Carrin Wester, Gahanna's communications manager, said the State of the City would include highlights from Jadwin, City Council president Jamie Leeseberg, city attorney Ray Mularski and directors within the administration.

"We will be focusing on our goals and steps we have already taken to make 2020 a great year for Gahanna," Wester said.

"In 2019, as you are aware, we made a big step in the right direction with the passage of Issue 12. We started collecting additional income-tax revenue late last year, and we will see immediate impact in 2020. Our police, parks and recreation, and public-service and engineering departments are already able to expand programming and services for our residents."

Wester said the city has made progress with community engagement by livestreaming council meetings, offering public-records training for residents and planning publicinput meetings for changes to the zoning code sometime in the second quarter of 2020.

Wester said other highlights in the city thus far this year include:

* Police

Adding three new cadets, currently in police academy training, who are expected to be fully trained by November.

Hiring a new officer, who started on March 2.

Working in collaboration with Mifflin Township to establish a new regional dispatch center, which would allow for quicker response time within Gahanna for first responders.

* Public service and engineering

Implementing the largest street program in the city's history for 2020, a 32% increase over 2019, from 3.57 miles to 4.7 miles.

Partnering with the city of Columbus in widening Morse and Hamilton roads.

* Parks and recreation

Guiding total replacement of playground equipment at Headley Park, 1031 Challis Springs Drive, which is 22 years old.

Extending pool hours and season, with no pricing increase.

* Public engagement

Increasing engagement on social media.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla