Last Friday, January 29, the Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration met at the Worthington Board of Education to hold their monthly meeting. Greater Ohio asked Pam Hall from Marion to testify. Pam Hall’s excellent testimony detailed her experience working to consolidate the County and City Health Departments of Marion County. Mrs. Hall, President of the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, outlined the challenges and barriers that supporters of the merger faced despite the demonstrated political will and cost saving data ($254,000) that supported the reform measure. The status quo was in full force against her. Pam helped lead a strong grassroots effort that was able to create local buy in and overcome these challenges. The merger of the City and County Health Department was placed on the ballot and passed in November, 2008 with the hope that the reform would save tax dollars and provide a better customer experience.
Pam’s story is a good reminder of both the difficulties associated with challenging the status quo and the transformative nature that political will and determination can have even in the face of adversity.