City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

State of the City Address

2018 State of the City Address
A Cherished Past | A Golden Future
centennial logo

Tell us how we did this year! Please take a short 5 question survey for a chance to win a summer pool pass, Centennial merchandise or a gift basket from the Upper Arlington Library. Click HERE to take the survey. 

As Upper Arlington celebrates it's 100th birthday this year, it was only appropriate for one of the focal points of the evening to be about the yearlong Centennial Celebration. Attendees were  updated on on the progress of the exciting Legacy Project that will be unveiled during July 4th weekend and watched a short video of  interviews with Centennial Task Force Members Rich Simpson, Charlie Groezinger and Alan Hamwi; the artist and sculptor of the “Golden Bear” statues.

The evening began with the Community Fair at 5 p.m., featuring exhibits from various community organizations that help define Upper Arlington, alongside a number of City departments who shared insight on their work and what lies ahead in 2018.

The State of the City Address began at 6:30 p.m. and City Manager Ted Staton began with sharing results from the 2017 Community Survey, following City Council reflecting on the City's challenges and accomplishments that occurred in 2017. Attendees were also treated to musical performances by Upper Arlington High School's Vocal Music group and the Upper Arlington High School Marching Band. 

If you were unable to attend, below are highlights from this year's State of the City Address:

Program | PowerPoint | Event Photos

2017 Community Award Winners

  • Business of the Year –OhioHealth, John Leff & Brian Jepson - OhioHealth has worked hard to generate awareness surrounding the health crisis of addiction and substance abuse. From physicians and nurses advocating in our community to providing funding and meeting space, OhioHealth has been an outstanding partner for The Stand Project. This kind of generosity is contributing to cultural change. Dr. John Leff acts as an extension of OhioHeath as a subject matter expert, attacking the issue of substance abuse with passion, knowledge and first-hand patient experience. With a full medical practice, John makes participating in The Stand Project a priority as an At Large Member of the Board. Under the leadership of Brian Jepson, OhioHealth awarded The Stand Project a $15,000 grant to help grow the initiative and agreed to in-kind printing services for community resource guides distributed to every student in UA.                                                                                                                                                        
  • Community Enrichment – UA Historical Society History Book Committee; Sara Klein, Chair, Cindy Holodnak, Melanie Circle Brown, Ed Seidel, Kristin Greenberg, Erik Yassenoff, Charlie Groezinger -       In preparation for Upper Arlington’s Centennial year, this volunteer team from the UA Historical Society decided now was the right time for an update to the history book on Upper Arlington. They went much further than picking up where the version from the late 1980s left off—they decided to return to Upper Arlington’s beginnings and to capture the milestones and stories of the community’s evolution anew. Following many months of research, fact checking and organizing, they enlisted the help of a local writer to put one voice on the stories that can be found within 100: A Cherished Past, A Golden Future. The result is a delightful read that celebrates our community’s first century and is sure to become the “go to” resource on all things Upper Arlington.                                                                            
  • Community Safety- Hollie Goldberg - Hollie deserves recognition for her many years of dedicated service and advocacy on behalf of the older adult population living in UA. She has been a tireless advocate for the fragile elderly and their care givers. Hollie is a consummate and caring professional who would do anything to improve the lives of UA’s aging community members. After 40-plus years working in the field of aging supportive services—many of those years spent with Northwest Counseling Services and Syntero—Hollie has announced she will retire in March. We are grateful for all that she has contributed to bettering the lives of others.                                                                                        
  • Super Senior -Denny Mardas - Denny is a calm, gentle unassuming man with a huge heart for young people. He raised his family here and now enjoys watching his grandchildren grow up here. As a long-time member of the Upper Arlington Optimist Club, and someone with a passion for understanding the challenges facing young people in the area of substance abuse, Denny introduced The Stand Project to his fellow Optimist members, with a ‘Friend of Law’ award and funding support one of the positive results. He regularly volunteers for The Stand Project, participating with the Youth Engagement Team, helping to launch a student led group and to fund its first signature event, “Movie at the Marv.” His generosity of time, advocacy and philanthropy is much appreciated, but he would never expect any recognition for his contributions. He would just say “it is the right thing to do.”                                                         
  • Youth Award- Max Gillum - This March, Max will put on his fourth annual Dodgeball tournament for charity. Max started as a 5th grader at Windermere. He is now an 8th grader at Hastings. The first year, the tourney was held at Jones and raised over $2,800 for Faith Mission charity. Since then, the tournament has been held at the High School to accommodate the huge crowds! Kids from all five elementary schools and both middle schools compete in a giant dodgeball tournament. Last year, Max raised over $8,000, which he presented to the Refuge—a Columbus-based homeless charity for men struggling with illness or addiction. Max begins planning in early January with emails, calls, sign-ups and ground work, spending his evenings (after school and wrestling practice) putting it all together for the annual March event.

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2016 Community Awards
We received many nominations for the Community Awards but were only able to choose one nominee from each category. 2016 Community Awards winners were:

  • Business of the Year - OSU Wexner Medical Center - Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center is one of the newest businesses to enter the City with its 104,000 square foot offices at Kingsdale. The facility was fully leased and mostly occupied by its opening date, providing numerous key health services to the community including behavioral health, women’s health, family medical and laboratory services. The significant investment by OSU as well as the numerous jobs that the facility represents for Upper Arlington mark 2016 as the beginning of a strong relationship between the Wexner Center and the Community.

  • Community Safety - Syntero & UA Schools In-Schools Collaboration - Syntero and Upper Arlington Schools are involved in a high priority collaborative effort to provide behavioral health support and prevention services and activities in all UA schools. This program helps provide consultation for students experiencing interpersonal difficulties and provides detailed recommendations to students, parents and school staff to help resolve problems. This program helps prevent serious personal, family and community crises and receives a very high satisfaction rating from UA school staff.

  • Community Enrichment - Northwest Kiwanis - The Northwest Kiwanis Club has a long history of service and commitment to Upper Arlington through their participation in numerous volunteer projects to improve and assist the community. Most recently, the club dedicated several days to the Northwest Kiwanis Park and Burbank Park to replace the lumber and hardware on old picnic tables and restoring them to look like new. In past years, the club has funded the city’s purchase of the park that bears their name, spent days of volunteer time removing invasive honeysuckle from City parks, constructed the shelter house and restroom facilities at Northwest Kiwanis Park and donated them to the City, helped fund the construction of a shelter house and the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Sunny 95 Park and sponsor a large recreational soccer program for area kids among other programs and projects.

  • Super Senior - John Easton - John is a champion of beautification programs in Upper Arlington and has been fighting to add flowers and natural beauty to the city for 10 years. He served on the UA Community Foundation and encouraged the board to offer their support to City beautification efforts, which continues to this day. Additionally, he has organized residents and directed them through several group sponsorship beautification programs including the neighborhood island at Sandover Rd. and Clarion Ct. Recently, John worked as a sponsor to plan and fund the creation of the new butterfly garden at Westover Park to not only beautify the area, but also educate children about the life of these beautiful creatures. John continues to sponsor ongoing garden maintenance and bring together residents with his appreciation and dedication to natural beauty.

  • Youth Award - B.E.A.R.S. Group Hastings Middle School - BEARS, or Bringing Empathy, Acceptance, and Respect school-wide, is a group formed by students at Hastings Middle School to help make sure that students feel safe and engaged at school. The group meets during student’s lunch hours and over the summer to plan events and activities for the school including creating staff meeting presentations, visiting elementary schools to discuss the importance of kindness, school-wide team building days and monthly in-class activities. Additionally, the BEARS students have written grant letters to purchase supplies, bring in nationally known speakers on bullying and inviting OSU athletes to talk about the importance of teamwork. The excellent work of the BEARS students has made a big impact on their school and the students in it.

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News & Notices

  • 2017 Community Survey
    The 2017 Community Survey process is complete and the report can be viewed here. Our thanks to all who participated.
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