Working to meet the needs of our citizens
I appreciate the opportunity to write this column for the Kettering City Page each month. It gives me the chance to provide important city updates with you, and from time to time offers a way to share “the rest of the story” about projects and initiatives of recent interest.
As Kettering’s mayor, I take very seriously the responsibility to direct city policy and budget to meet the needs of our community and improve quality of life for all Kettering residents. I am proud that as a city, Kettering strategically reinvests in our infrastructure, our city facilities, our neighborhoods and our parks to maintain the exceptional quality that continues to bring new residents and new businesses here.
Dedicating our resources is a careful balance and it is the role of City Council and City Administration to ensure that we are wise stewards, allocating investments in a manner that will benefit the entire community. We have residents who value affordable and high-quality city services, some who prefer focus on roadways and property maintenance, others treasure our world-class special amenities and public art and others who place a priority on our reinvestment in vacant commercial areas. It is our duty to assign resources to meet the diverse interests of all our citizens.
Several upcoming projects in the city highlight the method Kettering uses to support public art. For decades the city has set aside a small amount of funds each year to be dedicated to investment in public art through our CitySites program. Our 1 percent for the Arts Fund, as the name implies, is equal to one percent of the city’s investment in our annual capital improvement program budget. Think of it like a savings account that slowly accrues over time. After many years, there are sufficient funds in the account to spend on a new public art project. City Council continues to support this savings policy because we believe that public art enhances the identity of Kettering and inspires a spirit of community that enhances quality of life.
We also set aside funds annually for other important priorities like economic development, street improvements and upgrades to our parks. The establishment of the city budget is the single greatest policy action I and my fellow members of City Council take each year. In the coming weeks we will review and approve the 2019 budget recommendations presented by our outstanding city administrators. Our meeting schedule, agenda, current city budget, searchable database for all city expenditures and City Council contact information can all be found on our www.ketteringoh.org website. If you have recommendations on how we allocate our resources for the coming year, please join us at an upcoming City Council meeting or reach out directly to your Council representative.
Don Patterson is mayor of Kettering.