The city manager, assistant city manager, human resources manager, and executive assistant/clerk of council comprise the administration department. Under the city manager, the administration department provides professional leadership in the execution of City Council policies and the day-to-day management of the City. The department oversees the coordination and direction of all City services daily, provides direct support to Montgomery City Council, and serves as a liaison between the City of Montgomery and other organizations.
Diversity and Inclusion Commission
In 2021, City Council approved by Ordinance the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Commission. The City Council and administration created the Diversity and Inclusion Committee with a vision to:
- promote positive intercultural relations among Montgomery’s residents, and
- embed its multi-cultural character into Montgomery’s brand as a welcoming community for all people.
The committee is under the direction of the City Manager in collaboration with City Council, Chip Harrod of Harrod and Associates, and also a resident of Montgomery, City staff, and several community members.
The Committee had a very productive 2022 with the following accomplishments:
- Held 9 meetings.
- During the January meeting, Commission Members listened to a presentation by Will Jackson on the topic of “Unifying by Diversifying.”
- During the February meeting, Commission Members listened to a presentation by Beverly Horstman, Ohio State Coordinator for Braver Angels on the topic of bringing individuals with different political views together.
- During the March meeting, Police Chief Crowell gave an informative presentation regarding the Overview of the Montgomery Police Department.
- During the April meeting Tracy Henao gave an informative presentation on Montgomery Minority & Women Owned Businesses.
- Commission member Juan Molina and his wife Rosa gave a presentation in the ‘Know Your Neighbor’ series on Hispanic Culture which was held on April 21 at 7:00 p.m.
- On June 11, the Diversity and Inclusion Garden was planted at Swaim Park. Members assisted in the planting and a boulder with the Commission logo was installed.
- During the June meeting, residents Joe and Jean Hodge shared transgender information.
- Commission members participated in the Independence Day Parade & Festival with a decorated parade float and a booth at the festival.
- The Diversity Dinner Party with a Hispanic theme was held on Saturday, August 6 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Swaim Park and over 60 people attended.
- During the August meeting, Commission Members listened to a presentation “Be An
Upstander” by Jackie Congedo and Jake Campbell from Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.
- On September 8, Commission Member Priya Viswalingham presented in the Know Your Neighbor Series on the topic of Indian Culture.
- In September Commission members participated in a guided tour of the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.
- During the November meeting, Commission members listened to a presentation given by Justin Kirschner, the Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee of Cincinnati.
- Each month Commission members mailed handwritten welcome greetings to new residents of Montgomery.
Staff continually seeks out grant funding sources from federal, state, and local levels that aid the City in completing its many capital improvement and equipment replacement programs.
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District awarded the City a $31,812.21 grant for diverting 1,750.08 tons of recycling from the landfill, achieving a 35.75% diversion rate.
Hamilton County Public Health Department awarded the City with a grant in the amount of $3,750 in support of the City’s Mental Health efforts and specifically a community presentation by national Speaker Kevin Hines regarding suicide prevention.
Pursuant to House Bill 687, the 134th General Assembly of the State of Ohio has appropriated funds to the City of Montgomery in the amount $100,000 for costs associated with the “Montgomery Cultural Arts and Performance Fountain” within the Montgomery Quarter project site.
Montgomery received a $200,000 grant through the Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) Federal budget cycles to assist with the installation of an enhanced traffic camera and building security camera project for the City of Montgomery.
2022-2026 Strategic Plan
City Council and City staff use strategic planning to set long-term goals, which provide purposeful guidance and direction for the activities of the organization. Over the past 20 years, the City has undertaken strategic planning in five-year increments, and in 2021, City Council passed Resolution 38, 2021, which would implement the 2022-2026 five-year strategic plan. 2022 began the work of staff on the following five goals:
Goal A: Facilities and Infrastructure Montgomery strives to meet community and staff needs by providing safe, well-maintained, attractive, and sustainable facilities while ensuring efficient and dependable infrastructure.
Goal B: Montgomery fosters fiscal health through long-term planning, heightened efficiency, increased revenue, and cost recovery to sustain a strong financial position.
Goal C: Montgomery will develop key areas while attracting and retaining businesses that enhance our small-town historic feel to ensure the financial stability of the City.
Goal D: Montgomery effectively uses communication and education to inform and engage our diverse community.
Goal E: Montgomery provides a wide range of activities and events for a thriving, diverse, multi-generational community.
Shared Service Opportunities
The City continued to pursue shared services opportunities in the following areas:
- The City continued to partner with the City of Blue Ash for street maintenance and information sharing on winter weather operations.
- The public works department continues maintenance of the I-275/Montgomery Road intersection. This effort was accomplished in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Sycamore and Symmes Townships to maintain the I-275 overpass area on Montgomery Road from Weller Road to Vintage Club Boulevard to include street sweeping, cleaning of medians and mowing of identified areas around the overpass.
The City's shared services pursuits demonstrate a commitment to regional leadership and stewardship for all the taxpayers in the region and the state.
Staff: Local, Regional and National Organizational Leadership Roles
In 2022, the City continued its role in leading regional, state, and national organizations. To this end, several City staff members contributed and continue to offer their resources, over and above their primary job responsibilities, to a variety of professional organizations. The following is only a partial listing of the groups to which City staff contributed:
- Brian Riblet, city manager, is a Board member of the Cincinnati Area Manager’s Association (CAMA); Ohio City/County Management Association (OCMA); International City/County Management Association (ICMA); Rotary Club of Northeast Cincinnati; and Past President – Public Works Officials of Southwest Ohio (PWOSO);
- Tracy Henao, assistant city manager, is a member of the Cincinnati Area Manager’s Association (CAMA); the Vice-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Ohio City/County Management Association (OCMA); International City/County Management Association (ICMA); Cincinnati Women’s Leaders and American Planners Association.
- John Crowell, police chief, is the assistant commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team in Hamilton County; President of the Hamilton County Association of Chiefs of Police and Chair for the Great Oaks Police Academy Advisory Board; Vice-President on the Miami Valley Risk Management Association Executive Board
- Greg Vonden Benken, Assistant Police Chief, Vice President Hamilton County Police Association Executive Board, FBI National Academy Graduate Session #263, Sycamore Safe Schools Threat Assessment Team Member;
- Matthew Vanderhorst, community and information services director; member of the National Association of Government Web Professionals and past board member;
- Paul Wright, fire chief, is a past president of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association, the chairman of the Ohio Fire and Emergency Services Foundation, the State of Ohio representative to the Great Lake’s Division of the International Fire Chiefs’ Association, and serves on the Cincinnati State College Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, the Hamilton County BioWatch Committee, the chairman of the Marketing Committee of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association, and the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association Legislative Committee;
- Kevin Chesar, community development director, is a member of the American Planning Association (APA); and International City/County Management Association (ICMA);
- Melissa Hays, zoning and code compliance officer, is a member of the American Planning Association (APA);
- Ben Shapiro, assistant fire chief, is the commander for the Hamilton County Fire Investigation Unit, a member of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Arson and Fire Investigators Seminar Committee and a member of Sycamore Safe and Secure Schools;
- Paul Payne, Sycamore High School resource officer, is the past president of the Ohio School Resource Officers Association;
- Maura Gray, finance director, is a member of both the national and state of Ohio Government Finance Officers, a member of the Southwest Ohio Municipal Finance Officers and the Greater Cincinnati Government Finance Officers Associations, the Southwest Ohio Tax Administrators Association (SWOTAA), The Ohio Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA);
- Laura Braun, finance specialist, is a member of the Southwestern Ohio Tax Administrators Association;
- Connie Gaylor, executive assistant and clerk of council is a member of the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association and serves as a member of their Professional Development Committee, a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and serves on the Education Committee of the IIMC Foundation.
- Ja'net Crawford, mayor’s court clerk, is the treasurer of the State of Ohio Mayor’s Court Clerk Association, Education Chair for the Ohio Mayor’s Court Clerk Association Education Committee, member of the Southwest Ohio Mayor’s Court Clerk Association and the Ohio Municipal Court Clerk Association, secretary for the Hamilton County Police Association Charitable Organization;
- Gary Heitkamp, public works director, holds a Professional Engineering license with the State of Ohio, a Certified Floodplain Manager through the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and a member of the American Public Works Association;
- Julie Machon, recreation director, is a member of the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, the National Recreation and Parks Association and the International Festival and Events Association;
- Julie Prickett, human resources manager, is a member of Cincy SHRM (The Greater Cincinnati HR Association), the Ohio Public Employer Labor Relations Association (OHPELRA), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM);
- Mike Rogers, assistant public works director, is a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture.
The City of Montgomery was recognized for several achievements in 2022.
- The City was designated a Top Workplace for the fourth consecutive year by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded the City the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. This award is a great honor for the City of Montgomery, as it is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. The year 2022 represents the 26th consecutive year the City has received this award.
The year 2022 continued the City’s trend of outstanding value for the community it serves. The City is positioned to carry forward its tradition of maintaining financial stability, fostering community engagement, and seeking innovation in outstanding customer service delivery - all with an eye on delivering value to its customers who are the citizens, businesses, visitors, and institutions that make up our community.