LIMA — City and county officials met Monday to discuss plans to best showcase the region for Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State speech in Lima next month.
“The focus is the governor’s State of the State to the General Assembly, but that’s not until the evening, so we’ll have an opportunity to do a number of other things during the day as people arrive,” said state Rep. Matt Huffman. “So we’re perhaps talking about some tours at area industries and facilities.”
Also, he said, showing some of the specialties at both of Lima’s hospitals, many of the various arts of the city and county, among other things. Although, because all ideas are in planning stages, events have been confirmed just yet.
Other individuals and organizations represented at the meeting included the Lima/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, St. Rita’s Medical Center, Lima Memorial Health System, Lima Symphony Orchestra, as well as Allen County commissioners and Mayor David Berger.
“We had been hoping there would be some information coming out of Columbus, but decided that since we weren’t hearing anything, we had to go ahead and actually develop some options locally that we could offer to the governor’s staff for their consideration,” Berger said. “We’d like to do some hospitality events, perhaps some other kinds of events locally, but we’d obviously create a positive impression for all those that will be coming to Lima.”
Huffman said the group plans to meet again on Monday, and likely for the two Mondays following that precede the Feb. 19 event.
“Essentially here, the concept is really to show Lima and Allen County’s best foot forward. It’s a historic day when the governor and the entire General Assembly, and hopefully the Supreme Court and other cabinet members show up,” he said.
Kasich is tentatively scheduled to give his State of the State address at the Crouse Performance Hall of the Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
The governor formally asked to hold the State of the State in Lima earlier this month. The General Assembly is to vote on the matter on Wednesday.
Kasich’s office said he wanted to make a tradition of something he did last year: moving the annual address out of the capital city to highlight a community’s success. Last year, Kasich went to Steubenville’s Wells Academy, the top-ranked public school in the state. It was the first time an Ohio governor moved the speech out of Columbus.
Lima puts out welcome mat for State of State
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