Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Ohio League Meeting Explores New Agenda for Cities

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Ohio League Meeting Explores New Agenda for Cities

Article excerpt

Michael Keys, the mayor of Elyria and president of the Ohio Municipal League (OML), welcomed nearly 600 municipal officials to Cincinnati last week to the League's 41st annual meeting to hear about presidential politics, the cost of unfunded mandates, and the role of American cities in the future.

As cities and towns in Ohio anticipate reduced local revenues from a slowing economy, the meeting focused on issues and directions for the future. Fred Barnes, a weekly TV journalist from the New Republic magazine and nationally recognized urban scholar Richard Nathan, provost of the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, were the keynote speakers. Nathan is the author of an NLC-OML book, A New Agenda for Cities, and a participant in a leadership effort by the Ohio League to address directions for cities in the future.

The meeting featured a special session on the pioneering efforst of the City of Columbus to help translate the cost and impact of unfunded federal mandates to the grass roots level.

Barnes, in his convention opening session, spoke about an issue which he said was transfixing Washington, but not the rest of the--presidential politics.

Mixing his analysis with humorous anecdotes, Barnes noted that under the lead of new White House Chief of Staff James Baker, the President had finally set forth a coherent, domestic agenda intended to contrast his positions from the challenger, Governor Bill Clinton. Barnes said he would not say how this agenda would affect cities. And he was clear that the President's new domestic agenda faced two serious problmes: performance and credibility. …

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