May 6, 2016

Watch State of the Region

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) honored community leaders in the Central Ohio area who have shown extraordinary efforts to Central Ohio at the State of the Region Luncheon held May 6th at the Hilton Columbus Downtown.

The Sustaining Scioto Plan received the William C. Habig Collaborative Achievement award. The William C. Habig Collaborative Achievement award is annually presented to an individual or individuals who have achieved an effective effort or innovative collaborative in Central Ohio. The City of Columbus, USGS, Del-Co Water, and Brown & Caldwell were the major participants of the project.

The Sustaining Scioto Plan project identified risks an adaptive management strategies to the Columbus, Ohio region’s water resources due to climate change. This science-based study was completed to ensure that Central Ohio has clean and secure water resources for current residents and businesses, and to sustain needs for future growth. The proactive plan provides utilities, developers, agriculture, and industry in the region with an understanding of the potential risks imposed by climate change and also serve as a guide for future investment and planning for water resource management within the region.

Grove City Mayor Richard ‘Ike’ Stage was recognized with the William H. Anderson Excellence in Public Service Award. William H. Anderson, a longtime MORPC board member, was an excellent civic volunteer, therefore this award recognizes a current or past board member who exemplifies outstanding leadership, a vision for the community and the region, and commitment to MORPC. Mayor Stage has been a member of MORPC’s board since 1999. Mayor Stage has been a constant supporter of MORPC’s programs such as insight 2050 and Grove City’s distracted driving stimulator through his various offices in Grove City.

Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher, Former Mayor and Dublin City Council Member, is the recipient of the Regional Leadership Award. The Regional Leadership Award recognizes individuals in a 15-county region (Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Ross and Union counties) who make great efforts to ensure the future viability of the region's communities. Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher served as the MORPC board member for the City of Dublin for seven years. As a Dublin City Council Member, Marilee advocated on behalf of the entire region as a whole while addressing community issues and stimulating visionary thinking. An example of her forward thinking, is her strong support of the I-270/US 33 interchange project, which benefits a key Central Ohio economic development corridor.

Additionally, Marilee was chair of the MORPC Regional Policy Roundtable, where she has led the development of public policy agendas that focus on the priorities and opportunities of our region. She facilitated difficult conversations to find regional consensus on pressing legislative issues such as House Bill 5/Municipal Income Tax Reform; Waters of the United States – US EPA’s water rules and regulations; long-term transportation funding; state budget bills; and changes to the state's renewable energy policy.

Marilee’s public service career dedicated to addressing issues that transcend community boundaries and promoting visionary thinking make her this year’s Regional Leadership Award recipient.

MORPC also recognized its outgoing chair, Eric Phillips at the annual luncheon. Phillips will continue to serve on the MORPC board and its Executive Committee.