City Manager & Officials
NOTE: This is the latest in a series of interviews with Todd Wilkin, Greenfield City Manager, designed to improve communication about events, activities and projects in the Village of Greenfield.
The Recreation Commission has been advertising for a parks director. How is that search coming?
James Barnett has agreed to be the new parks director at Mitchell Park. He will be filling the position that Tyler Carmen held last year. James has a lot of good ideas to grow the programs at the park and opportunities to establish a parks association with the guidance and leadership of our recreations department.
Tell us about the mock site visit to the industrial park that took place recently.
We had our industrial park site visit March 14 with JobsOhio and APEG. The visit was very informative and we learned from the event. They were very impressed with our informational packets and PowerPoint presentation. We do need to make a few corrections to the PowerPoint presentation but as a whole we are ready to promote our park. I want to thank APEG and JobsOhio for their help through this process.
Speaking of our South Central Ohio Industrial Park (SCOIP), we attended several meetings about how to promote and stimulate economic growth and vitality. We were shown a 70-page report that detailed our region with strengths, weaknesses, and red flags. What I found most interesting is that there are 11 light industry sites in the APEG region and we were ranked 3rd of those 11. I did ask the presenter for the information that helped identify our park as third in the region (which is 25 counties). They informed me that information was in the report and that they would send it to us for review. I want SCOIP to be ranked #1.
The Village of Greenfield has made changes in its building department services. Can you talk a bit about this?
Recently we had the opportunity to meet with our building department and specifically the owner of NIC, Andrew McKenzie. I stressed to Mr. McKenzie the importance of customer service within our building department and he agreed that customer service should be our #1 priority. I want to reiterate a few points about a building department. If we didn’t have a commercial building department all permits would be going through the state. Inspection lead times would be 3-5 business days with plan review taking as much as 6 weeks. Everything would have to be submitted to the state and there would be no oversight of that department from a local level. The pricing that we utilize is all mandated by the state of Ohio. As for the residential building department, we need to insure the homes that are being constructed are safe and will protect our citizens. We, by law, do not need a residential building department but if we were to dissolve it, I believe we would have more issues with blight and nuisance.
Does Greenfield still have its aggregation program for electricity and natural gas?
Recently we met with Art Deininger of Buckeye Energy Brokers to discuss electric and gas aggregation. We have a contract to sign with him but our current electric aggregation pricing expires May 2020. We currently pay 5.35 cents per kWh and in June of 2020 the pricing will be 4.81 cents per kWh. This will extend our contract to June of 2021.
He also spoke about the gas costs and we currently have a contract through September of this year. We currently pay .415/Ccf or 41.5 cents per 1,000 cf and that will be lowered to .397/Ccf for an additional 30 months or March of 2022. If council has no objections to these prices I plan to sign the contracts tomorrow.
It’s been suggested that updates need to be made to Greenfield’s zoning code. How is that process coming along?
In March I had a couple of meetings with the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals to discuss helping us update the zoning code throughout town. These meetings were positive and ended on a high note with everyone agreeing to help in the process. We will be meeting with a zoning consultant soon to start to determine a scope of work and possibly a RFQ.
Is Greenfield still a Tree City USA community?
We were informed that we were again awarded Tree City USA. This would be the 5th year in a row the village has obtained that status.
Your job as city manager involves lots of meetings. Can you tell us about some of the recent meetings you have attended?
I had the opportunity to meet with Bruce Baird, Madison Township Trustee, last week. The meeting was pleasant and I appreciate Bruce meeting with me. We discussed some blight issues that neighbor Greenfield and he informed me they are cracking down on the issues. I appreciate the trustees willingness to help alleviate some of the eyesores that border our corporation line. As we all know, sometimes that line is not as well defined as we would like it to be. So I wanted to thank Bruce and all of his efforts as well as the other Madison township trustees.
We made a trip to meet with the Ross County Commissioners during their regularly scheduled commissioners meeting. We were able to introduce ourselves to the commissioners and remind them that part of Greenfield’s corporation line extends into Ross county and that we are looking at options to develop in Ross County.
We met with the interim School Superintendent, Ron Sexton to talk about a partnership at Mitchell Park. The partnership would not only include baseball, softball, and cross-country but would also include new tennis courts for the school to offer a tennis program for our kids. I really enjoyed my meeting with Mr. Sexton and look forward to this adventure and partnership at the park.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Destiny Bryson several times over the last couple of weeks. I am pleased to announce that we will be having a Greenfield Business Coffee and Commerce meeting on April 12, 2019, from 8-9 in this room, council chambers. This event is to get to know the businesses and get them all in the same room talking about business and Greenfield.
In meeting with Destiny we shared an idea for a mini-triathlon to be held and focused around Felson Park. The triathlon would start with a 2-mile canoe trip down Paint Creek, followed by a 10 KM run along our bike path and then a 26-mile bicycle trip throughout our community. This would occur with vendors and entertainment at Felson park. This idea was shared with G3 and we will meet with them soon to help this idea come to fruition.
I will be attending a seminar the first week of April that is presented by OEDA, which is the Ohio Economic Development Association. The course is Ohio Basic Economic Development. The course is intended to help us build a healthy economy.
That is a lot of meetings! Anything else you would like to discuss?
We have made some changes to the third floor in city hall. As many of you know we had an office for Peg Beekman to perform her duties and she hasn’t been with the village since 2013. That old office became a catch all from police files to old furniture to trash. We decided to clean out that old office and move our conference table to that office. We now have a much larger conference room available to hold staff meetings, council committee meetings, or other commission meetings. We have deemed it the War Room because that is where thoughts and ideas are created, shot across the bow and either land on the target or are destroyed.
In moving the conference table we also placed a desk in the kitchen to be utilized by visitors. While in a meeting with Katy Farber of APEG she mentioned that she has poor cell coverage and internet. I offered to create this office space for her to utilize when necessary and while she is in town. The office is open for any one of our state legislators if they are in Greenfield and need to work in the field. We are also planning on taking the old tax office and converting it into a lobby. The idea would be to call it our municipal library that visitors to our community could learn about our rich history and see some historic items related to the development and creation of Greenfield.
If you have questions for the City Manager, please email Todd Wilkin at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Officials & Contact Info
Phone: (937) 981-3500
Todd Wilkin -- City Manager
Gary Lewis -- Public Service Director
Carolyn Snodgrass -- Finance Director
Roberta Karnes -- Clerk of Council
Jeremiah Oyer -- Police Chief