State Rep. Mike Henne addresses Huber Heights City Council

By Dave Lindeman - For the Courier



File photo

HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council members had a lot to listen to at Monday night’s council meeting.

The meeting started out with a visit from Ohio State Representative Michael Henne, who filled council in about the budget process in Columbus.

“It’s a very tight budget, so there’s not a lot of money to expand and to improve on programs we already have out there,” he said.

Henne said Ohio Gov. John Kasich is pushing for reductions in income taxes with increases in other taxes, including sales taxes on some services and increases in taxes on some items including cigarettes, beer and wine and commercial activity taxes. The governor also is calling for an increase in sales taxes from 5 ¾ to 6 1/4 percent to offset his planned income tax reductions.

Henne also talked about the proposed changes in local government funds and said that changes in how the funds are distributed could result in an increase of 50 percent for Huber Heights.

He also cautioned that the governor’s proposed budget will undergo a lot of changes before the final version is passed.

Council members peppered Henne with questions on a variety of subjects.

Nancy Byrge asked him about getting state help for funding sidewalks along Brandt Pike, which she said is a public safety issue. Henne promised to help the city out with an application for the project.

Mayor Tom McMasters asked Henne about a bill that would require cities to let internet providers construct mini towers in cities.

Tyler Starline inquired about help from the state to find solutions for the heroin epidemic that has swept the Dayton area.

“The problem is, no one has a solution,” Henne said. “No one’s figured it out what to do to help these people.

“I agree with the governor on this, I think it’s a local type of solution,” he said. “The one thing I disagree with him is he didn’t put any money in his budget to help. So as communities come up with things that work, we need to help them by help funding them. It’s a huge, huge issue. It’s filling up our courts, it’s filling up our jails, it’s filling up our hospitals, it’s occupying our safety forces, it’s just a huge drain.”

Henne also told council he was strongly in favor of a medical disclosure bill that would require patients to be informed about the costs of procedures before they are performed.

Henne wasn’t the only source of information at the meeting. Two residents came to councils with ideas and information.

Rick Stan proposed the city support what he called a small business thank-you initiative. He suggested that the city show its appreciation for small businesses with a program that would honor a small business on a quarterly basis. He suggested that residents could nominate businesses and that the thank-you letters or other form of appreciation could be delivered to the businesses by city staff members.

Andi Otto provided council with a schedule of events that will be held in the city in 2017. She also told council that the Arts and Recreation Committee is working a street pole banner project. She said two big upcoming events are an art show at the senior citizens center on April 30 and the annual Star Spangled Celebration on July 4. The city already has commitments for seven floats and 15 food trucks for the celebration.

Otto also reported on improvements being made at city parks, including news that the new pickle ball courts will be completed as soon as weather permits.

Finally, she said the city’s Easter Egg Hunt, featuring 50,000 plastic eggs, will be held at the Wayne High School stadium on April 15.

City council’s next meeting will be held March 13. 7 p.m., at city hall.

Henne File photo

By Dave Lindeman

For the Courier

Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.

Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.