The State of the City Address was held Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at Ivy Teach Campus and was hosted by Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce. Over 150 people attended the event and were able to hear about the direction and initiatives new Mayor Jess Alumbaugh and his administration plan to implement. A speech was shared by Mayor Alumbaugh regarding his vision for Marion and the recent accomplishments that have taken place since taking office 47 days ago. Other individuals who spoke included Chief of Staff Mike Flynn, City Controller Julie Flores, Director of Development Jonathon Perez, and Marion Utilities Director Chuck Binkerd. They each shared information regarding projects and goals for the city within their respective departments.
Mayor Alumbaugh communicated his plans to get the budget on track and make sure the city government is fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars. The Mayor shared that to get the budget on track some items would have to be cut, such as contracts with city contract employees. Mayor Alumbaugh explained by the city discontinuing with contract employees it will save approximately $300,000 yearly. He also said city dollars given to nonprofits will need to be cut. Mayor Alumbaugh also expressed his desire and intention of making sure the local government is transparent about their efforts and work together with the community.
Mike Flynn, Chief of Staff, spoke about accomplishments of the police department and the increased amount of arrests that have taken place for crimes such as murder, burglary, theft, and battery. Overall, the mayor and his team communicated a message of working together as a city to make positive changes, being financially responsible, and having transparency regarding government decisions. The Chamber is hopeful about the positive changes that were shared at the event and will continue to partner with local businesses and the community to make Marion a great place to live.