Commission President Stephanie Summerow Dumas delivered an End of Year Review of the accomplishments of the Board of Commissioners in 2021 at their annual Organizational Meeting.
After giving a poised acknowledgment of the significance of January 6th wherein she reflected, "The attempt to destroy democracy failed... Together we must be determined to be one nation, under God..." She boasted with pride about leading an "all-female commission," then said that the county commissioners worked together to get a lot of things done, "No 1 of us can do anything ... - however, together we can, and we did, accomplish great successes ...with a determination to leave no one behind."
She then itemized highlights of a difficult year dealing with a pandemic with unique challenges, focusing on how the Board met the need to protect and provide for its residents while conducting the usual business of the county:
- Todd B Portune Center opened to honor "a champion for the people."
- Rental Assistance Funding, the launch of 513 Relief website
- Continued to meet virtually throughout multiple jurisdictions during the lockdowns.
- Get Out the Vax Campaign, mask and PPE distributions.
- Get Your Censy On program making sure every resident counts resulting in the growth of the county population by 3.5% which increased our state and federal funding.
- Ribbon cutting on "one of the most advanced crime labs in the nation" at the Coroner's new office will be used by multiple jurisdictions.
- Re-opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds.
- Phase III B
- First Juneteenth Flag raised and paid holiday in the county.
- 513 Relief Bus launched.
- County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department became 1 of only 30 agencies nationally accredited in the country.
- 513 Small business assistance launched with grants with 3 rounds of assistance distributed.
- Black Music Walk of Fame opened.
- Harrison Viaduct funding secured.
- First female Treasurer - Jill Shiller.
- African American Male Coalition Response Team.
- USA v. Mexico Soccer Event.
- Property Tax Rollback of 30%.
- Passage of historical Solid Waste rules.
- First structurally balanced budget in years.
- Surplus Reserves first time in decades.
- Rolled out the Nonprofit Grant Program.
Dumas concluded her review by saying, in part, "We have the vision, energy, effort, and funds" to continue to serve every county resident.
Vice President Commissioner Alicia Reece introduced the county to her, Report to the People, an annual record of accomplishments published each year since entering public service in 1999. She lamented the challenges of entering office under a lockdown with few resources and many challenges. She said, "A lot of things were coming at us fast," as she came into office and they met them head-on.
She was very proud to introduce the citizen-initiated concept of the 513 Relief Bus that brought county services to the residents. The 513 Relief Bus went everywhere from Bond Hill to Cleves, distributed $15M in assistance, served 4 thousand families, administered 1,500 vaccines, at 78 different locations across the county.
She also spoke of bringing the Black Music Hall of Fame, the Black Music Festival which generates money for the county, the establishment of the small business office which went from 4 to 11 million in funding by the county, and Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
Commissioner Denise Driehaus closed the meeting on a very optimistic note for the future of the county, speaking of "a new mayor, new council, and new leadership throughout the county." She looked forward to resolving the "challenges ahead: COVID, housing, mental health, workforce development, (and) youth programs" that have been brought forward by workgroups throughout the county. She said,
In the end, it is the citizens who drive the work ... and move our agendas forward.