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March 8, 2019

OML Lobbying Day March, 27 2019

On behalf of the Ohio Municipal League and in cooperation with the Mayors Association of Ohio President Bill Flaute, I want to invite you to put aside your local responsibilities for a day and travel to Columbus for Ohio Municipal League's Lobby Day. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27.

We plan to begin the morning at 8 am with breakfast at the Sheraton Hotel (75 E State St, Columbus, OH 43215). The League will cover the cost for the meal. During breakfast, you will be provided with a one-page briefing on issues that have been included in the "as introduced" state operating budget that will impact municipalities. You will also receive a one-page document on topics that have not been included in the budget bill that you may want to address with your State Representative or your State Senator. Both documents will be emailed to you once they have been prepared.

For those who are unable to travel until later in the day, we will also be serving lunch (also at the Sheraton Hotel and also paid for by OML). During lunch that will begin at noon, we will be providing the same information as was provided in the morning session.

Once you have had the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the information you have received, we will cross the street to the Statehouse (State Senators have their offices in the Statehouse Annex) and the Vern Riffe State Office Tower (the location of the offices of the State Representatives) to meet with the elected officials that represent you and your residents.

I would strongly urge you to contact your State Representative and State Senator at least two weeks in advance to make appointments with them so that you can be certain they will be there when you arrive (there's nothing quite like cooling your heals in one of their offices waiting and hoping that they will eventually return so that you can see them.) The OML staff can assist with making appointments for you should you prefer assistance with that process.

President Flaute and I urge you to attend. If just ten percent of our mayors would be willing to join us for Ohio Municipal League Lobby Day, we would have 93 mayors knocking on the doors of the members of the General Assembly. That would make an impression on the legislators. If half of us were willing to take the time to do so, the impact would be far greater (466 mayors!)

If you've never lobbied your state legislators before, I realize the prospect could be intimidating. We can assist you in that process by providing some conversational tips that will help you feel more at ease.

Parking can also be problematic. There are a number of public parking garages in the vicinity of the Statehouse. A list of parking garages and their addresses is enclosed so that you can put the location of your preferred garage in your GPS system. You may also want to make arrangements to travel with other mayors from your area who may be more familiar with downtown Columbus.

I would encourage you to make plans early. Please submit registration form to Zoë Wade by March 22nd (614)221-4349 or Zwade@omlohio.org ) to let us know you will be participating so that we will have enough food to sustain our efforts; let Zoe know with the registration form if you will be coming for breakfast, for lunch, or will be there for both meals. Please RSVP your attendance as soon as possible.

Feel free to call me if you have specific questions I can answer. I can be reached at Sidney City Hall (937) 498-8148), or by email (mbarhorst@sidneyoh.com). You should also feel free to contact the OML offices, as they will have answers for most every question!


Sincerely,




Mayor Mike Barhorst, Sidney
President
OML Board of Trustees

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