2010-07-10 / News

Kalish will head Ohio Mayors Association

By Scott Rawdon

BALTIMORE – Baltimore Mayor Bob Kalish has plenty of reason to celebrate.

On June 25, he was named statewide president of the Ohio Mayors Association, an affiliate of the Ohio Municipal League. He’ll hold the position through June 2011, during which time the association will hold its annual conference in Lancaster, also June 2011.

Kalish said he worked closely with Lancaster Mayor Dave Smith and the Fairfield County Visitors and Convention Bureau to host the conference, which boasts roughly 150 members, in Lancaster. “It’s an honor to bring something locally and gain such visibility,” said Kalish. Mayors from all over Ohio will attend.

Kalish was named president of the Ohio Mayors Association during a meeting at the Marriott Northwest hotel in Dublin. He is moving up after serving as First Vice President. Kalish started his four-year progression to the presidency when he was elected treasurer.

Kalish said one of the association’s main purposes is to plan its annual conference, to which the association invites state and local officials to advise Ohio mayors on best practices. The Lancaster meeting will be held at the First United Methodist Church Crossroads facility.

While Kalish would love to host the conference at Baltimore, he said the village lacks the hotel space necessary to accommodate all the association members. Considering that another goal of his is to expand association membership as much as possible, he doubts the conference will come to his hometown any time soon. But, the Lancaster conference brings plenty of attention to Fairfield County.

Smith said securing the conference was a lot of work, but definitely worthwhile. “(Kalish) thought it would be cool the have the conference in his own backyard,” he said. Kalish worked with Smith, the Fairfield County Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Lancaster Public Transit to organize all the groundwork necessary to convince the Ohio Municipal League that Lancaster was best place to hold the conference next year.

“We walked through what we thought we needed to do,” in relation to conference venue, lodging, transportation, and entertainment for roughly 150 mayors plus spouses. The proposal was presented to the Ohio Municipal League. “They liked what we presented,” said Smith. “We’re very pleased.”

According to association bylaws, the association’s purpose is to organize conferences, meetings, schools and short courses for discussion and study of municipal problems and their solutions, and to provide an opportunity for mayors to meet as a separate group for the discussion of their particular issues, responsibilities and experiences. Among other duties, the association also participates in the publication and circulation of bulletins and reports that pertain to municipal government.

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