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Mayor Ben’s Four Things Friday – 2/16

Friday, Feb 16, 2024 at 4:20 pm

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Here are a few things happening in Bexley that (mostly) aren’t otherwise covered in this week’s Blast. Have a great weekend! – BK

Today is Office Jawana Smith Day! Officer Smith was sworn in on August 22, 1996 as the first African-American police officer of the Bexley Police Department. Now a civilian supervisor with the FBI, Jawana has enjoyed an exciting career, and I was honored and humbled to be able to present her with this proclamation earlier today.

Earlier this week, I joined Congresswoman Joyce Beatty in welcoming the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra to Columbus, where we had lunch with other local leaders to discuss new resources and support for our national mental health crisis, and to review and recommend steps being taken to address the cost and availability of high quality medical and pharmaceutical care for all. 

This week we’ve been filming a year-in-review video for our upcoming State of the Community Address on March 7th. The State of the Community will be at St. Charles, where they’re generously welcoming us into the brand-new convocation center. At the SOC you’ll hear from myself, Superintendent Dr. Jason Fine; library director Ben Heckman; Chamber of Commerce director Bryan Drewry, and several other organizations as we get a comprehensive update on our community. Believe me, there’s plenty of space in this venue, so RSVP today to join!

At this week’s public hearing for the proposed Livingston Mixed-Use Commercial zoning ordinance, we had great turnout and plentiful resident testimony. The ordinance is intended to further realize the vision of the Joint Livingston Avenue plan. One of the most important aspects of this vision is to (in conjunction with the expansive infrastructure changes coming to Livingston through the joint federal attributable funds project with Columbus) make way for a safer sidewalk space on Livingston’s commercial areas, with ample space between pedestrians and the curb, room for a tree lawn along Livingston, and reductions in curb cuts throughout the commercially zoned portion of Livingston. Additionally, the proposed ordinance clarifies our conditional use criteria for all districts, based upon the recommendations of a recent court decision. There is some confusion about this ordinance approving or somehow allowing the previously proposed apartment building at Francis and Livingston: it does not and is not intended to accomplish this. The applicant for that project has not resubmitted since the reversal of the project’s approval at an appeals court, and would need to start from scratch with the zoning process if they wished to. Council first read the ordinance in early January; after three readings it was tabled this week for further consideration. If you have any questions this web page provides additional info, and you can always drop me a line!

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