A Holiday Message from Mayor Tom Kneeland

The Holiday season is a time to reflect on the achievements of the passing year and to celebrate time with friends and loved ones. It’s also a time to show support for those less fortunate than ourselves.  We are truly blessed to live in a community that helps one another during challenging times.  Recently, some families in our community were impacted by a fire. Thankfully, no lives were lost, but these families lost many of their personal belongings. Recognizing the need, three area businesses – AutoZone, Lind Automotive and Gahanna Hardware stepped up to help replace many of the items lost and provided services so that those impacted would be able to resume some sense of normal life. During the December 18th Council meeting, I recognized these businesses with my Lead by Example award for their willingness to step up and fill a need. For these businesses to go above and beyond is a testament to the kind of compassionate community we are blessed to be a part of.

It’s been an exciting year for Gahanna as we’ve witnessed substantial progress in our city including the completion of Hamilton Road Central, continued success with the Detroit subdivision street rebuild program and the approval of a much-needed neighborhood park for the residents of the west side. We also launched a new data-driven and responsive website to help enhance our customer’s experience.  We also led an initiative to establish the Gahanna Area Arts Council, an organization that is committed to promoting and cultivating the arts in our community.

Through a partnership with the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District and our local businesses, we have made important progress on a workforce development initiative – a partnership created to help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs.  We also reaffirmed our commitment toward protecting our natural resources through a proclamation I signed making Gahanna a Pollinator-Friendly city and through a resolution adopted by our City Council, we were awarded the distinction of Bee City USA.

Thanks to Make Gahanna Yours and many other community organizations, we have been able to restore some treasured community traditions like Music in the Park, and holiday decorations in our public spaces.  And, we also saw the “G” on our signature arch lit thanks to CRT Realtors.

In the coming year, we will continue to make progress on our Detroit subdivision Street Rebuild program, improve trail connectivity on the Big Walnut Trail, expand on our workforce development initiative, begin construction on the new park located on McCutcheon Road and implement strategies to address traffic congestion on the west side of our city. We will begin work on creating a new brand for our city, one that residents and businesses will be proud to embrace and will ultimately help bring commercial real estate development to spur economic growth for Gahanna.

In 2018, there will be a new community-wide initiative that will be an all-inclusive collaborative effort between the City, schools, Gahanna Ministerial Association, and the entire community to firmly establish and identify Gahanna as a compassionate, and communicating community that cares about its vision, values, and faith. More details about the exciting initiative will be coming in the new year.

We have much to be thankful for this year. I am especially grateful for the support of Council and the efforts of a dedicated and hardworking City staff.  Most of all, I am thankful to have your support and confidence to serve as your mayor!  The success of our city lies in our ability to come together for a common purpose, which is to make Gahanna the best place to live, work, play, visit and shop. I look forward to working with each of you in the coming year!

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

In service,

Mayor Tom Kneeland
City of Gahanna

West Side Intersection Improvement Alternatives Analysis Update

For those unable to attend any of the scheduled open houses concerning the West Side Intersection, we have provided a link to the materials disseminated outlining the proposed alternatives.  If you have additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please email the City Engineer Robert Priestas at robert.priestas@gahanna.gov.

City of Gahanna Awarded Certificate of Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting for Fourth Consecutive Year

The City of Gahanna has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States (GFOA) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  This award is the fourth consecutive year the City of Gahanna has earned this distinction.

“Earning this recognition for the fourth year in a row demonstrates our continued commitment to transparency and fiscal accountability to Gahanna’s taxpayers,” said Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland.  “I am very pleased by the efforts of our finance department, led by Joann Bury to ensure we are adhering to the highest standards of reporting to our citizens.”

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate users and user groups to read the CAFR.

“It is always an honor to receive this recognition,” said City of Gahanna Finance Director Joann Bury. “Receiving this award demonstrates our continued dedication to providing comprehensive financial information and transparency to our citizens.”

The City of Gahanna’s Finance Department oversees all of the City’s financial operations, which includes the municipal income tax, city budget, annual appropriations, accounts payable, debt, banking and investment management and payroll.

A copy of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY16 may be found under the “Finance” section of the City’s website.

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association serving the needs of nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. To learn more about the GFOA, click here.