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Dinner Marks Milestone for Mayors’ Partnership for Progress

Daniel Kington
October 1, 2015

The Mayors’ Partnership for Progress (MPP), an organization that promotes collaboration among mayors from 11 counties in Appalachian Ohio, will hold its 20th anniversary dinner on October 8.

The Partnership was founded in 1995 to help mayors problem-solve together and organize around common needs and goals. Sometimes this collaboration manifests in more experienced mayors offering informal assistance to those newer to the role, and occasionally this manifests in sharing of resources, such as snow removal equipment.

The Partnership also hosts informational forums for mayors to learn about and discuss issues that are important to the region. These forums are helpful not only for their educational value but also for connecting local leaders to their political stakeholders. Generally, multiple representatives of local, state and national agencies as well as political entities are in attendence.

Throughout its existence, the Partnership has maintained a relationship with Ohio University and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The Voinovich School has offered technical assistance to the MPP, which has, in turn, provided students and faculty with opportunities to learn about MPP projects and network with the participating mayors.

Robert Gordon, Voinovich School research associate and the MPP coordinator, pointed to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s resource directory on water and wastewater as one prime example of the Partnership’s success. The directory offers a place to search for instruction on issues related to water and wastewater, particularly for leaders in small communities. Gordon said the contribution of the MPP to this project was invaluable, as the Partnership helped facilitate the collaboration and communication between local leaders needed to make the guide as practical and useful as possible.  

Kasich letterOver the 20 years of its existence, Gordon stated that the MPP has grown, “not only in attendance… but in the richness of the conversations and the value that it provides to those communities.”

“The one thing that is most valuable is to have that round-table, where [the mayors] can bring their issues,” Gordon said.

Ohio Governor John Kasich also applauded the Partnership for its 20 years of success. In a recent recognition from the Governor’s Office, Kasich affirmed the value of the organization, stating, “Throughout the years, your organization has been a cornerstone for many positive developments in Southeast Ohio, and has provided a forum for the leaders of the area to speak more unified ­– and more powerfully – to make a positive difference in our state.”

The dinner honoring the 20th anniversary of the Partnership will feature remarks from Mayor Randy Heath of Jackson, Ohio, president of the MPP; Marsha Lewis, associate professor with the Voinovich School; and keynote speaker Ryan Smith, state representative for the 93rd District.