As a fairly new transplant to Hamilton County with 20+ years’ experience in government, the County and Municipal Day was a special treat for me! I was glad to see several familiar names on the class day agenda and excited to hear from the panel of presenters who proved to be engaging, personable, and true experts in their field. The class topics were relevant, thoughtful, and the post group discussion provided the opportunity to reflect on community services and local governmental structure.  In addition, I was pleased to hear of how my position in public safety has contributed to the implementation of large-and small-scale projects and programs currently in progress in Hamilton County.  

Of the six exceptional class sessions, there were two that resonated, and provided for a new learning experience. The first, is the role of the Township Trustee and the service they provide to their respective community. Being from the northeast, the office of the township trustee does not exist, and although our fire department has partnered with Westfield Washington Township at various public events, I was not aware of the substantial efforts this organization supplies on a daily basis with the at-risk community. Danielle Carey Tolan and Debbie Driskell delved into the essential services their teams maintain and bestow to their residents and community, in matters of true emergency, despair and uncertainty. Their testimonials were profound, impactful, and the work they each perform, compassionate and altruistic.             

The second session I found quite dynamic was the Mayoral Q&A on leadership lessons and running a city. Our class was able to visibly bridge the cross-generational gap of the Mayors who presented and hear first-hand how these leaders are dealing with current issues impacting their communities. Although each city has their specific vision and goals, these elected officials communicate effectively as a team to exchange ideas and share resources for the greater good. This crucial and personable connection is the inner working of Hamilton County’s success and why our local communities continue to grow and thrive. Lastly, the shift of younger professionals in office provides the cutting-edge opportunity for innovation, creativity and energy that is necessary in planning for the future.

As we closed for the day, I was impacted by the positive remarks made by my HCLA counterparts and how they felt about the amazing work currently in process and yet to come. As a public servant, my passion lies in providing the best possible service to our constituents, businesses owners and visitors. After all these years, I can say with strong resolve, I work in the best field there is, public service.