Columbus, Ohio USA
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Councilman Michael Stinziano

Newly elected Columbus City Council Member Michael Stinziano was born and grew up in the Short North where he lives with his wife Caroline, son Cooper and daughter Riley, along with two rescue pugs Wrigley and Fenway.  For the past five years Michael proudly served the residents and businesses of the Short North in the Ohio House of Representatives.  Michael is a pragmatic and innovative leader who works in a bipartisan manner to get results for his constituents.

Get Active with Columbus Recreation and Parks
January/February 2017 Issue

Community Hours: Michael Stinziano holds Community Hours across the city once a week to listen to issues and concerns of residents. Find a list of times and places at www.columbus.gov/stinziano

The New Year is the time when many of us set our goals. For Columbus residents seeking to improve their health and wellness, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department has the tools to help you reach your goals.

Through the leadership of Director Tony Collins and City Council Recreation and Parks Committee Chair Councilwoman Jaiza Page, the City of Columbus is dedicated to enriching the lives of citizens through the work and programming of CRPD which operates 29 community centers and five athletic complexes throughout our city that are open to public use all year round. Whether you are new to Columbus or your family has utilized CRPD facilities for generations, I invite you to visit one of our community centers and check out the health and wellness resources available to all Columbus residents.

LEISURE CARDS
For access to swimming pools and community recreation centers CRPD uses a photo ID card system, known as Leisure Cards. In order to take advantage of the great programs and facilities we offer around Columbus you must obtain a Leisure Card which cost only $1 (new or renewed) and are good for three years from the date of purchase. You can pick up your Leisure Card at Thompson Community Center at 1189 Dennison Ave.

GET ACTIVE CENTERS
Nearly all Columbus community recreation centers have some sort of fitness room, weight room, or gymnasium. Residents are able to purchase an Annual CRPD Fitness Room Membership Pass allowing access to 14 Get Active Centers across the city, including Thompson Community Center in the Short North. At a fraction of the cost of a private gym membership, the membership pass gives you access to all of CRPD’s Get Active Centers across the city and the fitness classes held at these facilities.

To learn more about Get Active Centers and class offerings through the Annual-CRPD Fitness Room Membership pass visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/ columbusrecparks

COLUMBUS AQUATIC CENTER
A great way to exercise this winter is to visit the Columbus Aquatic Center which offers a wide variety of programs for all ages from 6 months to senior citizens including open swim, adult swim classes and water fitness, learn to swim and competitive youth swimming programming. The CAC is located next to Thompson Recreation Center, two blocks west of North High Street and one block south of West Fifth Avenue.

Please visit www.columbus.gov/recreationandparks for more information on Columbus Recreation and Park programming and resources available to you.

If you’d like to share your ideas, questions or concerns regarding how to keep our community moving, please call me at (614) 645-8084 or email me at mstinziano@columbus.gov and I will do everything I can to help. Also, please visit my Council website www.columbus.gov/stinziano often to learn more about Council’s work to improve life for the residents and businesses of our community.

SHORT NORTH RECREATION

COLUMBUS AQUATIC CENTER, 1160 Hunter Avenue
(614) 645-6122

THOMPSON COMMUNITY CENTER, 1189 Dennison Avenue
(614) 645-3082

www.columbus.gov/recreationandparks

City Budget Sets Priorities:
Council gets ready to review mayor's
budget proposal and plans for future

November/December 2016 Issue

Community Hours: Michael Stinziano holds Community Hours across the city once a week to listen to issues and concerns of residents. Find a list of times and places at www.columbus.gov/stinziano

When asked about what our local government priorities are, I often point people to our city’s budget. Budgets set priorities and commitments. The forming of our budget is one of the single most important processes our city takes on, yet, few residents engage in or understand this process.

In a few weeks, Mayor Ginther will propose and present City Council with an operating budget that accounts for the city’s expenses, expected future costs, and forecasted income for the coming year. Following the mayor’s presentation of the operating budget, Council has responsibility to review, amend, and approve a sound budget. Mayor Ginther and City Council are committed to continuing the City of Columbus’ legacy of fiscal responsibility and providing strong neighborhood services.

The general fund provides financial support for the city’s basic services – police, fire, and refuse collection, snow removal among others. In addition, the general fund budget includes personnel costs and annual facility operating costs. Many city departments are funded solely by the general fund, while others receive general fund subsidies, and some have multiple funding sources.

The primary source of revenue to the general fund is the income tax. However, a number of additional revenue sources including casino revenue, parking meters, property taxes, charges for services and licensing and permit fees, help strengthen the general fund and the city’s commitment to the safety of our residents and the delivery of basic neighborhood services.

After the mayor’s presentation to Council, my colleagues and I will be hosting hearings to review Mayor Ginther’s budget proposal. I invite Short North neighborhood leaders and residents to participate in upcoming budget hearings to learn about the mayor’s funding priorities and share their vision about how to advance city services to all residents and neighborhoods. Council budget hearings will be announced in the next couple weeks. If you are not able to attend the hearings, recordings will be available on the Columbus Television YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/cityofcolumbus.

Following these budget hearings, Councilmembers will propose amendments and vote to approve the 2017 operating budget in early 2017.

If you would like to share your thoughts about the Mayor’s proposed operating budget, or anytime that I can be of service, please call me at (614) 645-8084, or email me at mstinziano@columbus.gov and I will do everything I can to help.

Also, please visit my City Council website www.columbus.gov/stinziano often to learn more about Council’s work to improve life for the residents and businesses of our community.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Council Supports Restorative Justice
September/October 2016 Issue

Community Hours: Michael Stinziano holds Community Hours across the city once a week to listen to issues and concerns of residents. Find a list of times and places at www.columbus.gov/stinziano

This past month, I had the distinct privilege to attend and speak before the Franklin County Municipal Court’s Mental Health Specialty Docket Graduation. As the chair of City Council’s Judiciary and Court Administration Committee, my visit to the courthouse was a fulfilling experience as I learned more about the life-changing work our local judges and court administrators are committed to.

Council’s Judiciary and Court Administration Committee is responsible for all legislation related to criminal, civil, and administrative law in the City of Columbus to provide the resources necessary to run one of the largest and busiest municipal courts in the state. Columbus City Council is proud to support and help fund the specialty dockets and restorative justice efforts in the Franklin County Municipal Court.

An extraordinary number of our current prison population suffers from mental health or substance abuse issues. Our judges and court administrators understand that a one-size-fits-all model of incarceration does not support the rehabilitation and restoration of populations with special needs. Specialized dockets provide an alternative to traditional sentencing. Participants enroll in a rigorous two year program of coordinated treatment run by licensed social workers and court administrators to help participants turn away from a life of crime.

Columbus’ local courts administer five specialized dockets and two education programs with target populations ranging from victims of human trafficking to offenders suffering from opiate addiction. In 2015, specialized dockets served 646 participants and less than 25 percent of those participants committed similar crimes following graduation.

This programing has been so successful, other municipalities have recognized and used Franklin County Municipal Court as a model for progress in restorative justice. After listening to the personal journeys and recognizing the 17 graduates of the 2016 Mental Health Specialized Docket Program, I am confident to say, our community members who want to put their criminal actions in the past, are facing a brighter future.

If you’d like to share your vision of how our local courts could best serve Columbus residents, or anytime that I can be of help or service, please call me at (614) 645-8084, or email me at mstinziano@columbus.gov and I will do everything I can to help. Also, please visit my City Council website www.columbus.gov/stinziano often to learn more about my work to improve life for the residents and businesses of our community. I’m at City Hall working for you.

Columbus Libraries Inspire

July/August 2016 Issue

Community Hours: Michael Stinziano holds Community Hours across the city once a week to listen to issues and concerns of residents. Find a list of times and places at www.columbus.gov/stinziano

Columbus is home to 17 incredible community libraries serving over 570,000 library card holders and over 5 million visitors yearly. Our libraries are not just homes for books, they are community centers and treasures, inspiring Columbus residents in every neighborhood.

In 2013, Columbus Metropolitan Libraries broke ground on their first of ten library renovations as a part of their Aspirational Building Program. The newly built libraries are designed to fit the needs of each community they serve. New buildings are outfitted with more space for community gathering and collaboration, increased computer access and technology options for patrons to better serve Columbus residents.

City Council committed generous funding to Columbus Metropolitan Library in the 2016 Capital Improvement Budget approved in May. I host many of my weekly Community Hours in libraries across the city and am always amazed by how busy our branches are. I think this is a great sign. Our libraries are providing valuable services to our residents. I look forward to continuing my support for Columbus Metropolitan Library while on council.

Libraries serve as common ground for residents and cornerstone of knowledge and imagination for our neighborhoods. For many of our residents, the library is the only point of access for those without technology or Internet at home. Our libraries will help ensure families have access to books and educational resources. CML’s construction goes beyond building. This construction is symbolic of the value of learning, of collaboration, of dialogue, and of Columbus’s future.

With seven of the ten buildings under construction or opened, Columbus Metropolitan Library is on track with their 2017 construction completion goal. The recently opened Main Library is one of the most spectacular renovations of all. The Main Library truly showcases Columbus’s investment in culture, knowledge and most importantly, people.

Be sure to pick up your books on hold or browse the collection at the Northside Temporary Location this summer in the Kroger parking lot, 1350 North High Street. While you’re there, check out the award-winning design and construction of the Northside Branch.

I look forward to enjoying our new facilities and hope you’ll join me in supporting our local libraries. When you have a problem, question, or concern, or anytime that I can be of service, come meet me, call me at 614-645-8084, or e-mail me at mstinziano@columbus.gov and I will do everything I can to help.

 

Area commissions guide City Council
on neighborhood decisions

May/June 2016 Issue

Columbus neighborhoods are rooted in the values and work ethics of residents who have lived in their communities for decades. In the 1970s, Columbus City Council recognized that neighborhoods are the heartbeat of our city and established area commissions and historic architectural review commissions to extend the voice of the people to City Hall.

Commissions give authority and advice on city issues and how policy affects neighborhoods. In the Short North, Italian Village, Victorian Village, University Area, commissions act as a liaison between neighborhood groups, property owners, residents, developers and city officials.

Whether you’ve lived in Columbus your whole life or just moved here, whether you pay rent or a mortgage, whether you’re a student, or retiree, your area or review commission serves you.

I invite you to get involved. Through area and review commissions, Columbus residents have the opportunity to shape their surroundings and initiate community dialogue to keep our neighborhoods unified and strong.

When legislation hits a councilmember’s desk with an official recommendation from a commission, we are able to better understand how the community feels about the proposed legislation. Commissions help generate communication, understanding and cooperation between neighbors, city officials and developers.

Columbus currently has eighteen area commissions and five historic architectural review commissions overseen by the Columbus Department of Development. Commissions have anywhere from seven to twenty-one members, serving two or four year terms. Typically commissions meet on a monthly basis and follow a set of by-laws, procedures and rules that keep meetings running smoothly.

All commission meetings are open to the public, and I encourage community residents, civic association representatives, business owners, faith leaders and public safety officials to attend. Along with the Mayor’s Neighborhood Pride Liaisons and the City Council Office on Community Engagement, councilmembers also regularly attend meetings.

Our residents, who love our city and their neighborhoods, deserve a say in the future of their local community. Please visit www.columbus.gov/development/Public-Meetings for more information on your local commission and how you can get involved.

I look forward to keeping you updated on issues that affect our neighborhood. Remember, when you have a suggestion, problem, question, or concern, or anytime that I can be of service, call 614-645-8084 or email me at mstinziano@columbus.gov and I will do everything I can to help. I’m at City Hall working for you.

Committed to Safe Drinking Water

March/April 2016 Issue

Is my drinking water safe?

With reports of unsafe levels of lead turning up in cities across the country, neighbors ask me all the time about the safety of our drinking water. As were many of the homes in the Short North, my home was built in the early 1900s. A few distinct characteristics of our historic neighborhood’s homes are wonderfully detailed woodwork, four square floor plans, and lead pipes.

Despite the old bones of our plumbing, a number of citywide safeguards are in place, and the city of Columbus’s water is safe.

As a resident and chair of City Council’s Public Utilities Committee, I take special interest in securing and maintaining our city’s water infrastructure.

Last year, Columbus provided almost 49 billion gallons of safe, clean drinking water to more than 1.1 million people throughout the Central Ohio region. Our city is in compliance with all of the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements, including the lead and copper rule, exceeding many federal and state minimum requirements. Water leaving Columbus treatment plants is lead-free and pretreated to keep lead in old pipes from entering water during transportation to our homes and businesses and Columbus tap water is tested multiple times each day to ensure these safeguards are working properly.

What you can do to reduce your risk of exposure to lead:

• Check home plumbing for any sources of lead.
• If your home, like mine, was built before 1950, call the Division of Water to identify the service line material at 614-645-7691.
• Let water run from the tap before drinking or cooking whenever the faucet has gone unused for more than 6 hours. The longer water sits in your home’s plumbing, the more lead it may contain.
• Use cold water for cooking. Cold water does not dissolve lead as quickly as hot water.

On Council, I look forward to working closely with the Department of Public Utilities to continue infrastructure improvements at our water treatment facilities to ensure we have the cleanest water possible. My goal is to provide public hearings, relevant information and continue to engage in open dialogue to ensure transparency and keep you up-to-date on the safety of our drinking water.

I look forward to keeping you updated on issues that affect our neighborhood. Remember, when you have a suggestion, problem, question, or concern, or anytime that I can be of service, call 614-645-8084 or email me at mstinziano@columbus.gov and I will do everything I can to help. I’m at City Hall working for you.

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