The Commissioners' Role in County Government

[Taken directly from the web site of Franklin County Board of Commissioners.]

As the administrative head of Franklin County government, the Board of Commissioners set the strategic direction and fiscal priorities for the 33rd largest county in the nation. A board of three county commissioners serves as the general administrative body for 86 of 88 Ohio counties. Commissioners are elected to a four-year term.

Given specific and limited authority by the Ohio Revised Code, the Board of Commissioners hold title to all county properties, serve as the sole taxing authority for the county and control county purchasing. Most importantly, the Board of Commissioners are the budget and appropriating authority for county government which includes all county agencies and elected officials (Sheriff, Auditor, Treasurer, Courts, etc.)

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners manages an annual budget of $1.25 billion and works with business and community leaders to preserve the high quality of life that makes Franklin County a great place to live and work. The annual budget reflects a solid commitment to the Commissioners' goals to provide community safety, security and effective justice, promote job creation, strategic economic development and fiscal security, provide supportive health and human services, promote good stewardship of natural resources, environmental sustainability and civic engagement and provide efficient, responsive and fiscally sustainable government operations.

For example, the ability of Franklin County residents to receive care and treatment for their health needs remains a high priority of the Board of Commissioners, especially regarding the care and health of our community's children. In 2010 the Commissioners entered into a five-year collaboration with Nationwide Children's Hospital to reduce the rate of infant mortality in Franklin County. Titled the Ohio Better Birth Outcomes (OBBO), this local health initiative aggressively seeks to reduce the rate and number of premature births in Franklin County. A reduced infant mortality will also lead to cost savings for business and government. Franklin County's $7 million investment in OBBO, including a $500,000 installment in 2011, is projected to realize long-term corporate and government savings in excess of $25 million.

Additionally, the Board of Commissioners has statutory authority for providing water and sewer services, as well as solid waste (trash) disposal. The Water Quality Partnership program addresses health concerns caused by raw or inadequately treated sewage entering waterways. The major contributor of this pollution comes from homes built 50 to 60 years ago that rely on failing in-lot home sewage disposal systems. This program targets fourteen unincorporated areas of Franklin County that have on-lot septic and aeration systems that have failed or have the potential to fail. By the end of 2011, a total of 1,524 homes will have been brought into compliance through this county initiative.

Franklin County government is known for its leadership and continues to be recognized nationally for sound financial planning and overall management practices. The County maintains the highest long-term bond rating issued by both Moody's Investor Services (Aaa) and Standard & Poor's (AAA) for its general obligation debt. These ratings place Franklin County among the top 1.8% percent of counties nationwide.

Franklin County was also recognized as one of the best managed counties in America in a study conducted by Governing Magazine and Syracuse University. In a five-tiered evaluation of overall management, only four counties in America ranked higher than Franklin County.