New Boston Village Councilman Mike Payton has been elected president of the board of trustees for the Ohio Municipal League after having served on that board for eight years.
“Over the past eight years I have had the opportunity to represent New Boston with various village and municipal officials throughout the state and work with them to develop legislation best suited for our needs as a whole,” Payton said. “We meet with state legislators, state senators and the Governor as well as lobbyists.”
The Ohio Municipal league was incorporated as an Ohio non-profit corporation in 1952 by city and village officials who saw the need for a statewide association to serve the interests of Ohio municipal government. The board of trustees is the policy making body and appoints an executive director to manage the league under general direction. The trustees must include one mayor of a city or village, a city manager, a fiscal officer or finance director, a solicitor or law director, and councilpersons.
“They have always sent us up there (Columbus) for training. If you’re a new councilman, they sponsor the training that we go to once you get on Council,” Payton said. “They have ethics training and then they do the mayor’s court training as well as a lot with the solicitors and the legal end of it. That’s why I initially got involved with them. We work with the statehouse and the legislature. It’s been fun.”
Payton said any city or village, by proper action of its legislative body and payment of the annual membership fee may become a member. When a Ohio municipality becomes an active League member, all of the elected and key appointed officials are eligible to use the available services. Several of the villages in Scioto County along with Portsmouth and New Boston are members.
“We all have a lot of common issues, so it makes it good to be one voice,” Payton said. “We kind of revamped it this year. My year (which begins in January 2017) is going to be kind of the start of a different era with it. We’re going to get a little more aggressive with the legislature in trying to get some legislation done on some things that are advantageous to the cities and to the villages, especially the small ones.”
Payton said many of the cities involved in the League are large cities. That’s why he has made his agenda focusing on smaller municipalities.
“New Boston is one of the smaller villages,” Payton said. “I kind of want my year to try to represent some of them a little bit, and see if I can get some of their voices heard a little bit. That’s my goal, if I have one, for this year.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.