Plain City Council members hold hope for new year


Plain City Council is looking forward to 2021 following an unpredictable year.
Council members discussed their goals for the New Year during their most recent work session.
Despite a tumultuous 2020 for many, Council member Shannon Pine noted that the village made progress on many of the goals they set before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.
She noted, though, that there is still work to be done for a number of longer-term goals.
“I think we had a lot of lofty goals last year,” she said.
Pine said she would still like to see council develop a five-year plan based on the village’s comprehensive plan. Council member Frank Reed added that the new parks master plan could be incorporated into it.
Mayor Jody Carney noted that council planned a work session “retreat” to discuss the topic for August of last year, but ended up nixing the event when COVID cases spiked.
Pine suggested council host a virtual retreat sometime before March to review recommendations and try to come to a consensus.
Other council members supported her idea.
She said there were a number of other “carryover” items from 2020, as well.
Pine mentioned acquiring a new storage facility, the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade and 208 Plan, park land acquisition, website maintenance and development, and the village zoning code rewrite.
Council member Michael Terry, who was appointed to his seat in October 2020, also added new goals.
He said he would like to see a smooth transition to the charter; vacancies filled on committees; a strong working relationship between council members, residents and staff; and progress on the Uptown streetscape project.
“To me, improving that downtown area is so crucial to us so I just want to make sure we keep pushing forward,” Terry said.
Terry also suggested that council regularly report progress on their annually goals, perhaps at every other work session. This way, he said, updates do not need to be completely formal but will keep the community and each other in the loop.
“I think that’s a fantastic idea,” said Council member John Rucker.
The group agreed that they will review goals and finalize a list at their upcoming council meeting.
Carney already had a list of goals for herself for 2021.
She told council she would like to send out monthly updates for the business community to foster a relationship and help them succeed.
The mayor said she is also aiming to host four town hall meetings in 2021, hopefully one each quarter.
In conversations with residents, she said she has come to feel as though “we need more recognition of the arts in Plain City.”
Carney said she would like to establish a Plain City Arts Council, or a similar organization that would promote the creativity in the village.
Lastly, she said she is hoping to host a “Clean Up Plain City Event.” She was spearheading a similar effort in 2020 while she was a council member, but plans were canceled due to the pandemic.
While Carney initially suggested planning a community clean-up event in April, Pine said she wouldn’t recommend preparing for anything earlier than September.
Carney agreed that it would be better to plan for something later than have to rework something that couldn’t take place when it was originally scheduled.

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