City notes: Working with strong local leaders helps secure bright future

William Murdock
Guest Columnist
William Murdock is executive director at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

As the executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, my team and I work with more than150 local leaders on our various boards and committees, which collectively work to better the 75 member communities and regional organizations we serve.

Because these leaders represent a diverse range of cities, villages, townships and counties – from urban to rural, large to small, affluent to moderate income – each leader brings unique perspectives that make our conversations, initiatives and outreach all the more impactful for the region.  

Something I enjoy most about working with so many talented local leaders is that they demonstrate so much passion for their communities. When they share this dedication and enthusiasm during our board and committee meetings, we all serve to gain from it. This sentiment couldn’t ring truer than with Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard, one of MORPC’s outstanding board members. 

Mayor Maggard and the Whitehall community are celebrating a “Decade of Opportunity,” which is a fitting description of Whitehall’s transition under her leadership.

It’s thrilling to see a highly visible mayor work directly with local businesses, organizations and residents to change the course of an entire city for the better. And, of course, this has benefits for the region and inspires its neighbors as well.  

What’s even more exciting is to witness Mayor Maggard’s efforts to ensure equitable growth through promoting inclusionary housing, supporting workforce development, advancing public transit, implementing various homeownership and home improvement programs and creating new recreational opportunities for the Whitehall community.   

This leadership and transformative attitude is what Mayor Maggard brings to her board positions at MORPC. She has cultivated an inclusive, collaborative environment in her roles on our executive committee as well as the recent chair of our Regional Policy Roundtable committee, which sets the guideposts for regional public policy efforts at MORPC.  

Because of her many contributions to Whitehall and the region, Mayor Maggard was selected as MORPC’s 2021 William H. Anderson Award recipient, which is an honor given to a current or past MORPC board member who exemplifies outstanding leadership, a vision for the community and the region and commitment to MORPC. 

At a time when much of our most meaningful public policy happens at the local level, I am proud to work with such a strong local leader like Mayor Maggard to promote equitable growth, inclusion and sustainability in our central Ohio.

Congratulations to Mayor Maggard and thank you for all that you do for Whitehall, MORPC and the region.  

William Murdock serves as executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). MORPC is central Ohio’s regional council for local governments that provides services, funding, tools and resources to 75 member communities comprised of counties, cities, villages, townships and regional organizations. Murdock oversees innovative planning, services, and policies in transportation, planning, housing, land use, sustainability and data.