Time is moving faster than ever. Now that we are into the third month of the New Year—2017 has already proven to be very busy. As your voice in City Hall, I am committed to fighting for the results you deserve. My office is the people’s office and it is my policy to make sure you are heard loud and clear. In keeping you informed, attached below are a few updates from the office.
Safety Committee to examine ward candidates for Community-Police Review Commission
Councilman Bryant is scheduled to introduce legislation in April to renew several Community-Police Review Commission terms, as well as appoint one new member to the third ward commission seat.
Mansfield/Richland County Chamber of Commerce holds Business Expo at fairgrounds
Over 100 businesses in Richland County participated in the Chamber’s Business Expo on March 16th. Councilman Bryant joined the mayors and Richland Co. Commissioners in the cutting of the commencement ribbon.
Next Scheduled City Council Meeting:
Councilman Bryant serves as Spelling Bee Judge
On February 23rd, Councilman Bryant participated in the 1st Annual City-Wide 3rd Grade Spelling Bee hosted by Mansfield City Schools and NECIC. Students from the following schools participated: St. Peter's, St. Mary's, Mansfield Christian, Foundation Academy, Richland Academy and Mansfield City Schools: Sherman Elementary, Prospect Elementary, Spanish Immersion School and Woodland Elementary.
Public Affairs Committee hears proposals for Community Development Block Grant funding
Report retrieved from the City of Mansfield Community Development Department, Director Ed Tharp
July 1, 2017 begins year 4 of the 2014 – 2018 Consolidated Plan that was approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in June of 2014. The Consolidated Plan outlines strategies to achieve decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expand opportunities principally for the benefit of low and moderate income persons in Mansfield. The Consolidated Plan is updated every year through an Annual Action Plan, detailing the activities to be undertaken and resources to be used to achieve the goals and objectives of the 5 year plan. Progress towards achieving the goals is reported in the CAPER (Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report) which is prepared in the 4th quarter of the program year.
The Department of Community Development is in the process of preparing the Action Plan for the program year 2017 – 2018.
Action Plan for Program year 2017 – 2018
Between now and May 2017, The Department of Community Development will be coordinating the preparations of Mansfield’s Annual Action Plan for program year July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. A series of public meetings to solicit, review, and approve projects have been scheduled for this purpose.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development emphasizes the following principles in project identification and reporting:
Responsiveness: of projects and policies as well as implementation strategies in addressing the development challenges of the city and aspirations of its citizens;
Accuracy: in generating and supplying required data on production, beneficiaries, and project implementation issues;
Accountability: i.e., as project implementers, your department or agency will be responsible in seeing through the implementation and completion of your project as proposed in the Action Plan; and, be responsible of project outcomes explaining why targets were not achieved;
Transparency: i.e., whatever you intend to do must be spelled out in the Action Pan and reported in the CAPER.
Local Mansfielder develops vision for a Mansfield Winter Classic basketball tournament
Mansfield Winter Classic visionary, Christen Lee; is a former Mansfield Senior High School basketball player who lost his mother Evern in 2016 to cancer. Lee says there were always people at his house growing-up, and that his mother loved to go above and beyond to make sure everyone felt at home. Christen, who went on to play college sports; said even in college, his mother made sure to always keep an extra room available for his friends when they drove through Mansfield. Some of these friends include professional basketball players Romeo Travis and Antonio Graves and Akron Fab Five elite—Dru Joyce III; just to name a few people.
“My mom believed that everyone could evolve through love and that love has the power to build bridges and connect people to great opportunities in the world. This is a lot to what the Mansfield Winter Classic is about. The Mansfield community loves basketball, many of my friends play professional ball and I love it too. It’s for the love of the game and for those that evolve through it,” Lee stated.
Councilman Bryant, Mansfield Senior High School Principal Jose Hernandez and Mansfield City Schools Athletic Director Skip Fulton, have all agreed to serve as hosts of the Classic.
“It broke my heart last year to learn of the passing of Chirsten’s mother. His mother and my mom were actually both patients at the same cancer treatment hospital in Chicago,” Bryant said.
“I know he and his mom were very close and overall, I know Christen’s heart. He wants to do something that represents his mom’s love for the community and something that is meaningful to our young people. This classic represents the love he has for the city, for our young people, and for the game of basketball.”
Bryant says he has worked with Christen for 7-months to help him develop the Classic.
“Christen was in a deep state of grief when we started working on this project. He had a huge vision for this Classic. I was committed to help lift him up to the best of my ability. I rarely see the type of determination and spirit that Christen has demonstrated through working on this project. He’s lost over 90 pounds through daily workouts and changes of diet and has met with me every week since September to make sure this project comes to life.”
In addition to general operation costs, ticket sales will go toward supporting the following health initiatives.
1. Cancer Support Services (people going through chemotherapy/other intensive cancer treatments)
a. Bottled Water
c. Wig and hair supplies
e. Meal cards
2. Annual donation to Ronald McDonald House (Cleveland)
3. Annual donation to Wounded Warriors Project: Combat Stress Recovery Program
b. TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury
Currently, the Mansfield Winter Classic is recruiting teams throughout Ohio to participate and hopes to have a list of invitees formalized by May 5th. For more information on the Mansfield Winter Classic contact Christen Lee: email@example.com
Councilman Bryant joins Richland Community Development Group’s Downtown Focus Committee
“I am excited to say there will be economic growth taking place in our great city and I am more committed than ever to make sure my record reflects meaningful results. Together, we are about to prove that Making America Great, starts at the local level,” Bryant stated.
The RCDG Downtown Focus Committee tasks itself with topics of downtown living, parking and wayfinding, signage and visibility, entertainment and economic development.
One of the topics discussed at a February meeting included creating more parking spaces downtown and the open container rules. Bryant says,
“The carrying of open containers of alcoholic beverages is a complicated issue in the city. But with more entertainment events taking place downtown, especially at The Brickyard during the summer times; I believe we need to look at the entire issue and think about the long-term vision.”
Fellow committee member and president of Destination Mansfield-Richland, Lee Tasseff, discussed the concept of creating outdoor refreshment areas downtown. Tasseff stated,
“We have someone who keeps an eye on what’s going on at the Statehouse and has a general understanding of all new laws passed each year.”
Tasseff said that he was able to flag down a new modification to the liquor law that was recently passed in September of 2016 dealing with the concept called ‘designated outdoor refreshment areas.’ Because we are a city of at least 50,000; we might be able to have more than one refreshment center downtown.
ORC 4301.82 Designated outdoor refreshment areas.
The new law states: a municipal corporation or township with a population of thirty-five thousand or less may create one outdoor refreshment area if the proposed area will include at least four qualified permit holders and be composed of one hundred fifty or fewer contiguous acres.
City Council Internship Program 2017
The City Council Internship Program offers students valuable learning experience in local government and the potential to connect with numerous agencies throughout the City of Mansfield and beyond. Interns will have opportunities to learn more about the political processes involved in creating and enacting legislation and the functions of local government.
This program is focused on learning and is geared to provide students with active opportunities toward understanding civil service at the legislative level and the function of local government. Students will also learn the history of the City of Mansfield and have opportunities to interact with a variety of government staff and elected officials, as well as members from the business and civic communities.
The City Council Internship Program is an unpaid internship program. However, funds or a stipend may be available through the student's university or college program and is dependent upon university/college requirements and qualifications. Similarly, students may earn academic credit dependent upon their college/university program.
For more information on the program and how to apply, visit: www.donbryant.com/intern
Opinion: Entrepreneurship is the way forward
Every city is different and has its own ways of doing things. But what each city does have in common—is a shared consciousness on the fact that entrepreneurship is on the rise and is the way forward toward an overall stronger economy. Of course there are other factors involved in economic growth such as education and safety.
Local government plays an important role in economic growth, but it does so as a partner and as a member of a collaborative community focused on cultivating and facilitating economic opportunities. It has always been you, the people, who have been the engines of economic growth. You know that if you put your mind to something, then you can do anything.
The American Dream is alive and I am asking you to tap into that energy, that business-mindset and sense of entrepreneurialism; to build upon your ideas here in Mansfield. Especially if you're into technology and engineering—the time for investment is now. Consider opening a startup in downtown Mansfield or creative space somewhere in the city. The timing has never been better than right now.
If you’re outside looking in, then Mansfield is a city with incredible potential. You will find commercial space, living space, development opportunities and a government and business community actively working to make our local economy stronger.
The time is now.