Reynoldsburg officials hope for 'great ideas' from task force commissions

KELLEY YOUMAN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Dozens of Reynoldsburg residents have stepped up to serve on the city's newly created Community Task Force.

About 40 community members will work over the next few months to set the framework for what a permanent "community commission" could look like and how it could function.

City Council unanimously approved a motion July 27 to establish the task force and appoint inaugural members to individual task force "commissions."

"I'm very excited," council President Angie Jenkins said. "I think it's very uplifting to see that so many people have wanted to step up and volunteer and participate in the process. I look forward to all the great ideas that are going to come out of this."

The task force will be "dedicated to promoting community involvement and policy recommendations for the city," according to the legislation approved by council.

Participants also will be asked to provide recommendations for the "composition of and scope of responsibility" for a possible permanent Community Relations Commission.

According to the legislation, the task force "shall meet at least once a month for three months and provide recommendations to City Council for the creation and implementation of a Community Relations Commission by Nov. 2, 2020."

The Community Task Force will then remain in existence "for potential further recommendations, until City Council has established a codified ordinance establishing a Community Relations Commission, or any variation thereof."

Areas of specific focus for the task force commissions include:

* Arts

* Beautification

* Diversity, equity and inclusion

* Children and family

* Community service

* Military recognition

* New Americans

* Transportation and traffic

April Darling volunteered to serve on the transportation and traffic commission.

"I live off of the Brice Road corridor, and I work off Main Street," she said. "I've seen traffic pile up, so I'm always looking for ways to improve traffic flow, and speeding is always an issue, especially in neighborhoods.

"I like the idea of the community commission because I think it's a good way for community members to get involved. We all live in different neighborhoods, so what I see might not happen in other neighborhoods. Now we're opening that opportunity up to people to get in there. It's the best way to come together as a community."

Task force applicants were solicited via the city's social-media accounts and asked to submit letters of interest.

Although the initial commissions are set, Mayor Joe Begeny said, the city is exploring additional options.

Meetings will be broadcast on Facebook Live.

"People are always welcome to join at a later date. We're never going to turn away help," he said.

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