Ohio Conference of Community Development
Summer 2015 Newsletter
Volume 42 - Issue 4
July 2, 2015

Summer Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration

Kathy Werkmeister, OCCD President-Elect

The OCCD staff and Board of Directors look forward to welcoming you to OCCD’s Summer Quarterly Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration on July 29 and 30. We will meet at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North, 6500 Doubletree Avenue, in Columbus for a day and a half of networking, informational sessions, and a chance to renew and revive our commitment to our communities. You will leave with a fresh list of ideas and a breath of inspiration.

This is a special Summer Quarterly Meeting where we will celebrate OCCD’s 50th Anniversary. OCCD was founded in 1965 by 17 Charter communities under the name of the Urban Renewal Association of Ohio. At the Gala on Wednesday evening, we will celebrate OCCD’s accomplishments over the past 50 years and look toward planning for the next 50 years.

As OCCD’s focus covers housing and community and economic development, our program sessions will update us on new housing research and workforce development. We will hear from a panel of federal legislative staff and will learn from an update on HUD Davis-Bacon regulations. We have some terrific speakers who have volunteered their time to share their knowledge and experience with us.

Wednesday morning’s Business Meeting will start with elections for the 2015-2016 OCCD Board of Directors. Nominations will be accepted from the floor, and election results will be announced at the luncheon. We will have a presentation from Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s Holly Holtzen on current housing research. It will be followed by a presentation by two Senior Policy Analysts from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Ms. Lisa Nelson and Mr. Kyle Fee, who will bring us their expertise on workforce development.

The luncheon will feature Columbus’ own Barb Poppe as our keynote speaker. Ms. Poppe served as the Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness under President Obama and has insights on homelessness and community from a perspective that is both local and national. We are fortunate to have her join us. Several awards will be presented at the luncheon including the President’s Award for Innovative Practices and the Community Development Department of the Year. Individual award winners and OCCD’s scholarship winners will be announced and the winners recognized for their achievements.

After lunch on Wednesday, Ms. Pamela Hanover will present her quarterly update on legislation in the works. Following her update, she will moderate a panel of Washington insiders who will talk to us about what is happening in Washington, D.C., and what we should know in order to effectively work with our legislators. Understanding our legislative process has never been more important to those of us who are dedicated to helping our communities grow and thrive in the challenging and competitive world in which we live.

Join us for the evening banquet which will be a Gala at the Ohio Statehouse and will be unlike anything OCCD has seen in the past 50 years. Buses will begin departing the hotel at 5:00 pm with the last bus leaving at 5:30 pm. There will be a reception from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm, and the dinner and program will begin at 7:00 pm in the Atrium. State Senator Charleta Tavares will be our Emcee for this evening of honoring our past and looking ahead to our future. Past members and past OCCD presidents will be joining us for the evening including some great friends of this organization. It will be an inspiring evening. Buses will transport all back to the hotel beginning at 8:30 pm. Save some energy for the After-Hours Reception in the Pavilion with Rockin’ Lou Schocken!

Thursday morning will begin with a buffet breakfast (yes, a real buffet breakfast) at 8:30 am and a program at 8:45 am. More information about the presentations will be provided on OCCD’s website in the near future.

Last, yet important and timely, we will have a presentation on Davis-Bacon regulations by Ms. Deborah Diez, the Ohio Labor Relations Specialist, who will join us from HUD’s Region 5 Office in Chicago. Whether you have worked on a related project in the past or not, it is important to understand and know these regulations. They will impact your community. This is a great opportunity to learn from a HUD expert in an OCCD setting. This will be a three hour session so box lunches will be provided before the program adjourns at 1:00 pm.

Mr. Rollin Seward has fearlessly lead a committee of 36 past and present OCCD members and staff to make this a memorable conference. I encourage you to attend and bring staff from your community that may not have had the chance to attend in the past. I look forward to seeing you on July 29th and 30th. Happy Anniversary to OCCD!


From - Paul Christiansen, President 1971-72

URAO’s Transition to OCCD

Since my retirement 25-years ago, time has passed swiftly, but I still have fond memories of the late ‘60’s with close friendships shared with early members: Founding President, Pat Phelan - Columbus, Tony Patrino - Akron, Earle Sterzer - Dayton, Harry Norman - Springfield, Walter Blair - Hamilton, Walter Benedict, Painesville, and past HUD field reps: Dick Starr, Fritz Leighty, and David Ristau.

After five years under the firm and steady leadership of founders Pat Phelan and Tony Patrino, the organization grew to over 25 cities, and our members bonded together with a common purpose:   ”To improve relations between Ohio cities and the HUD Regional Office” in Chicago.

In spring 1971, HUD announced a new plan to decentralize the Chicago Regional Office with location of a new Area Office in Columbus.  At this same time, HUD also began planning consolidation of urban renewal and other categorical grant programs into a new “Community Development Program.” These announcements created new opportunities for the future of URAO.

As I began my term as president in July 1971, the Association was entering what was to be a major transition period. We set two major goals:

   -Establish close communications with the new HUD area office in Columbus, and

   -Broaden the Association’s scope to accommodate expected HUD program changes from urban renewal to community development.

Soon after, I had the privilege of meeting with Richard Kaiser, the new area office operations manager. We had a cordial discussion, and arranged for the Area Director to meet with the Association Policy Committee on a regular basis at each quarterly meeting. These meeting arrangements began with a cordial and meaningful relationship, and our first goal was realized.

Planning for the expected new CD Program, the executive and policy committees studied options for broadening the scope of the Association. In the spring of 1972, the membership adopted revised By-Laws including a change of the Association name to Ohio Conference of Community Development.

By summer 1972, we had achieved our goals: communication with HUD was cordial, and the new OCCD was now refocused to assist members with the upcoming CD Program. The “transition” was complete and the gavel was passed to Gloria Snider, the first woman president of OCCD.

Later in the 70’s, Jack Riordan was appointed area manager, and became our close friend and even acted as a confidant. Over a long tenure, his help and close friendship has been an immeasurable aid and asset to all our members. Through his efforts, OCCD has been able to keep the lines of communication open with HUD for over forty years.

Throughout the entire life of OCCD, Fritz Leighty has the incredible record as the only original member who is still active and contributing to OCCD today.

I beam with pride to see OCCD survive and continue to grow as a meaningful professional organization over the past 50 years. To me, OCCD is the best! My CONGRATULATIONS to all our members, officers and consultants with a special THANK YOU to Jack Riordan and Fritz Leighty for their tireless and long standing service and friendship to OCCD.                                                                                 

OCCD Award Winners Recognized at Annual Luncheon and 50th Anniversary Gala

August 31, 2015

The 2015 winners of the Public Service Scholarship, OCCD Member Awards, and the President’s Award for Innovative Practices were recognized for their service and dedication to community development at the annual OCCD awards luncheon banquet and 50th Anniversary Celebration on July 29, 2015.   Continue Reading »

50/50 Raffle to Benefit OCCD Foundation Public Service Scholarship

During the Summer Meeting raffle tickets will be sold for $5 per ticket or three for $10. The drawing will be held during the After Party Reception in the Pavilion. Proceeds will benefit the OCCD Foundation Public Service Scholarship Fund.

Public Service Scholarship Winner - Aubrey Hale

July 2, 2015

My passion for public service has existed since I first saw the impacts public servants have on the everyday lives of those they serve. Some children grow up wanting to be the president of the United States. I grew up wanting to be a city manager. When I was a junior in high school, I had a front row seat to the impacts public policy makers can have at both the national and local levels.   Continue Reading »
Public Service Scholarship Winner - Erin Kellogg

July 2, 2015

After graduating college, both of my parents embarked on public service career paths. My dad became a high school biology teacher, and has since moved his way up to superintendent of a public school district. My mom started in urban planning, and has expanded her work to include grant writing and development of low income housing.   Continue Reading »
Public Service Scholarship Winner - Anita Schmaltz

July 2, 2015

I am deeply interested in the plight of our urban core, particularly as it relates to community development and revitalization. This interest is rooted in both my work and the neighborhood where I live. I am the Director of Investigations at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, where I have been employed for over ten years.   Continue Reading »
Public Service Scholarship Winner - Courtney Schneider

July 2, 2015

This winter, I had the opportunity to attend Wright State University Diversity in the Multicultural Millennium Conference. This celebration connects the subjects of diversity and success, proving that without diversity, full potential will never be met. Although there were mostly students and professors present, I attended as a community member.   Continue Reading »
OCCD Board Nominations and Election Process at Summer Meeting

June 15, 2015

During the OCCD Bylaw Transition, several existing previously elected officials will be able to proceed to their next office. For example, the President-Elect will become President. After the election in July 2015, there will be no President-Elect position. The current Vice President will remain Vice President, and will become President in July 2016. All other officers are up for election this year, including Secretary and Treasurer.   Continue Reading »
Elections! Who Needs Them?

July 2, 2015

America prides itself on free elections, and considers that a critical part of governing, as well as a changing of the guard for leadership in this country. And throughout the land, elections are held as a way of giving people a voice in how they are governed. We most often think of it in relation to State and Federal elections, but in reality, open and free elections are important tenants of our society including even the smallest of community or state-wide organizations, answering the question – who do we want to lead us.   Continue Reading »

Voinovich Versus the Voracious

Jack Riordan, OCCD Development Specialist

“I don’t understand why there wasn’t an outcry when they cut….”

Some of you had an outstanding opportunity to listen to a Great Ohio Public Servant, Senator/Governor/Mayor/County Commissioner/ County Auditor George V. Voinovich. He is unique! He deviated from his prepared remarks while talking about his efforts to preserve public support of local governments. The cuts he decried were illumination of the Estate Tax, the Local Government Fund and the 10% Real Estate Tax; all cuts made to balance the State Budget and reduce income taxes. We all know who really benefits from cuts in income taxes.

Things have changed since he was mayor and Governor. His elections were tied to a pledge to making Ohio a better place to live for all Ohioans. It appears that today getting elected and staying in office are only goals; goals that can be achieved by Looking Good and raising enough money by protecting special interests of big donors.

Leaders in Ohio scoffed at the idea that cuts in State funds for local governments would cause budgets crisis for police, firefighters, and road repair in our towns, counties and townships. A few weeks ago the Columbus Fire Department was put under stress because the Fire Department from an adjacent Township with a back-up agreement had to close a Fire Station due to lack of staff.

Recently I experienced the real results of this revenue transfer from local governments to the State coffers. I live in Violet Township in Fairfield County; our Sheriff does not have the resources to provide the additional patrols that residence have requested as a result in increased crime from drug use and addiction. The nature of community policing has changed, but the resources needed have gone to reduce income tax of the really rich and still make the State Look Financially Good. Violet Township was approached about a special levee to cover the cost of a needed increase in police coverage.

Professor Joe Stiglitz of the Columbia Business School said, “What we’ve seen, particularly in the last 15 years, is that even those who are college graduates have seen their incomes stagnate. The real problem is the rules of the game are stacked for the monopolist, the CEOs of Corporations. CEOs today get pay that is roughly 300 times that of ordinary workers- it used to be 20 to 30 times.”

A new book by Tax Expert and Wall Street Economist, Ed Kleinburd, “We Can Do Better Than This” points out the for a poverty rate of less income than one half of median income, the USA has the highest poverty rate for all OECD counties. We have a higher poverty rate than Mexico. It may be relative but it is illustrative.

I was able to attend my first grandchild’s graduation from Oberlin College; Marian Wright Edelman the founder of the Child’s Defense Fund gave the commencement. A number of things she said stood out in my mind as examples of what is wrong with these new “rules of the game.”

The top 1% of the richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 90% of us.

The highest paid CEO made more than the total earnings of 6600 Child Care workers.

One CEO made 270 times what the average teacher makes.

All the kindergarten teachers collectively made less the combined compensation of 25 hedge fund managers.

Since 1963 174,000 children have been killed by guns in the US. That is more than all our military personal killed in all our engagements since the end of World War Two.

She paraphrased, Lee Iacooca, one of the last American CEOs of Chrysler who said that in a perfectly rational world the smartest of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to find something else to do.  

There really is something wrong with the new “rules in the game.”

The Old Lady with the cats sadly said, “Voinovich, Edelman, and you are right, but not enough of us will do anything to change the game. As I told you before there is no Teddy Roosevelt to lead the way.”

The Chief Engineer of our Township told us last week that with the funds available he could no longer schedule resurfacing every 10 years, but now with current resources, depending on the cost of salt and asphalt, resurfacing would be delayed between twenty and thirty years. One old wag said, “They'll be dirt paths by that time.”

There is a terrible trend in Ohio and America today to shift the cost of local government from a burden of Income, Wealth and Property taxes to consumption by increased fees for services and upping the sales taxes; the burden for public service are being transferred from the rich to the poor and middle class. It is really a diabolical plan being ignored in order to protect the interests of those who control government by their donations, political threats, and intense lobbying

“Research from the Institute for Policy Studies found that in 2014, bonuses paid to Wall Street employees had been double the annual pay earned by all Americans working full-time at federal minimum wage. So, 167,800 Wall Street employees were paid $28,500,000,000 while 1,007,000 full time minimum wage earners got $14 billion.” Of course minimum wage folks don’t make very many political donations.


From Our Training Coordinator

Debra Mayes, OCCD Training Coordinator

A few weeks ago I conducted a site visit for an upcoming OCCD Quarterly on a Viking River Cruise Ship. It could work! The lounge was large enough for meeting space and the dining room would serve for a separate location for meals…. OCCD Members like tours….there was a tour every morning…talk about historical buildings – design and architecture!

The Danube Waltz  

Passau, Germany, Salzburg-Linz-Melk-Durnstein-

Vienna Austria, Bratislava, Slovakia, Budapest,


This building was in Bratislava, – hundreds of years old and soon to be renovated. Open up the pic and take a really close look. Who among you wouldn’t love to hear about renovating this????

I only conduct site visits. Site selection is chosen by the OCCD Board of Directors…. I’m thinking OCCD Summer Annual 2018!! 

            Other dates to add to your calendar --- October 28-29, 2015            OCCD Fall QuarterlyNovember 4-6, 2015OCD Housing Conference, Sawmill CreekDecember 1-3, 2015OCCH/OFA Housing Conference, ColumbusJanuary 19, 2016CHIP Application TrainingJanuary 20-21, 2016OCCD Winter Quarterly


Hope to see you in July as we celebrate 50 years!

Change of address!!!! Please replace my old e-mail trainingcoordinator@occd.org with tc-occd@occd.org!!!!!


Power Point presentations from the OCCD Quarterly meetings are posted to the OCCD website under Learning Resources-Post Training Materials when permission is given by the speakers. Occasionally, due to the size of the presentation because of pictures, this is not possible. The members’ only password is required to access. If you do not have this password, please contact Patricia Richards at office@occd.org.

Locations for 2015-

The OCCD 2015 Fall Quarterly Meeting will held October 28-29, 2015 at Crowne Plaza North, Columbus.

Locations for 2016-

The OCCD 2016 Winter Quarterly Meeting will be held January 20-21, 2016 (note a week earlier than usual) at the Embassy Suites, Dublin.

The OCCD 2016 Spring Quarterly Meeting will be held April 27-28, 2016 at Crowne Plaza North, Columbus.

The OCCD 2016 Summer Annual Meeting will be held July 27-28, 2016 at Toledo. We are going to TOLEDO!!

The OCCD 2016 Fall Quarterly Meeting will held October 26-27, 2016 at Doubletree Worthington.

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Update from Ohio Development Service Agency

David Goodman, Director

As the state fiscal year comes to a close, I want to thank you, our community development partners, for the work you have done this year to help strengthen Ohio’s communities. An essential part of our mission at the Development Services Agency is providing quality customer service. Part of our work to ensure you know what resources are available through our agency included creating the Program Finder on our website. This is a tool on the front page to look up our programs. When you find a program, based on your needs, it suggests other state incentives that are available. Direct contact information for a staff member is in the same convenient location, in case you have additional questions.

The Development Services Agency has resources for communities and businesses as they look to grow and create jobs. The Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Program is for non-entitlement communities. This provides low-interest, fixed asset, gap financing to Ohio businesses or grants to communities for public infrastructure improvements associated with for-profit business expansion and job creation. This can be a great tool as you implement your economic development strategy. For more information about the program and how to apply, contact the Office of Community Development at (614) 466-2285 or click here to visit the Economic Development Loan and Public Infrastructure Grant Program web page.

As I travel around the state, I notice abandoned gas stations in the heart of many communities. These stations sit empty, many times in high traffic areas. This is property that could be redeveloped except for the high costs associated with removing the tanks and cleaning up. Working with the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal’s Buried Underground Storage Tank Regulation (BUSTR) we are improving the customer service experience for anyone cleaning up these sites by streamlining the process of three state agencies. In addition, many of you have been very supportive of our efforts in the budget bill to add money to help with site cleanup. The Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Program proposes $20 million in grants to local governments to clean up the eyesore and prepare the site for redevelopment. It is my hope that this measure will pass in the General Assembly and we will be able to work with local government officials to turn these blighted sites into land to develop for local business.

When a new local small business comes to your community, remember there are Small Business Development Centers across the state, with certified business advisors, to help Ohio small business owners develop the business, create marketing and financial plans as well as provide capital for growth and expansion. To find a center near you, click here.

Finally, with the warm weather here to stay, check out the fun things to see and do on weekend trips and vacations in Ohio. Check out the TourismOhio Travel Guide online or through Travel Guide app you can download to your smart phone or iPad.

With your help, we’re continuing to make Ohio a great place to work and raise a family. Thank you, again, for all you do to build and sustain Ohio’s communities!

HUD Update

Jorgelle Lawson, CPD Director, U.S. Dept. of HUD

Both the HUD and OCCD are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2015. HUD was created on September 9, 1965, to allow the federal government to tackle urban problems including substandard and deteriorating housing in a coordinated manner. OCCD was formed in 1965 as a professional association intended to serve the needs of local public agencies engaged in urban renewal in Ohio. The partnership between the Columbus CPD Field Office and OCCD has been in existence for many years. Both HUD and OCCD continue to share a common vision – making Ohio communities a better place to live. For me personally, it has been a real pleasure working with OCCD over the last 35 years!!

                                                    Happy Anniversary HUD and OCCD!!

CPD HQ Staff Updates:

Senior HUD Leadership – CPD welcomes Harriet Tregoning as the new Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Community Planning and Development at HUD.


Clarification regarding Income Limits for the CDBG and HOME Programs - All CPD programs included in the Consolidated Plan should be using the HOME income limits. CPD announced that the FY-2015 Income Limits were published for effect as of March 6, and included a link to those income limits on huduser.org. Since the issuance of the FY-2015 income limits, there has been considerable confusion about Extremely Low Income (ELI) figures applicable to the CDBG Program vs. the HOME Program. The Consolidated Plan regulations define the term “extremely low income” as 30 percent of Area Median Income. 24 CFR 91.5 defined “Extremely low income family” as a “family whose income is between 0 and 30 percent of the median income for the area as determined by HUD….”  Further, 24 CFR 91.205 (b)(1)(i)(A) requires grantees to include an estimate of the number and type of extremely low-income families in need of housing assistance. There are a few other instances in the Consolidated Plan regulations that require information on extremely low-income families.

However, in many areas, 30 percent of Area Median Income may no longer be the same as the Section 8 Extremely Low Income Limits. The Office of Affordable Housing Programs has advised that the 30%-of-area-median should be used as the definition of extremely low income persons/families. After consultation among all four formula programs, CPD has confirmed that all CPD programs included in the Consolidated Plan should be using the HOME income limits under which extremely low-income families are identified by the 30 percent income limits as opposed to the Section 8 limits which are adjusted for poverty. Note that the CPD Income Calculator does not yet reflect the FY-2015 income limits. HUD will send a mailing list message when the income limits are updated in the Income Calculator. Should the language establishing the poverty level as a “floor” for Section 8 income limits continue to be included in future appropriations bills to the point that it can be considered a permanent requirement, CPD would then need to consider revising the Part 91 regulation to redefine the term “extremely low income.”

CDBG Entitlement FAQs Now Online - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for the CDBG Entitlement Program have been published on the HUD Exchange. This tool will allow users to learn more about specific activities, cross-cutting requirements, as well as program requirements of the CDBG Entitlement Program. Topics addressed in the FAQ’s include: audits and budgeting, code enforcement, cost reasonableness, Davis-Bacon requirements, economic development, fair housing and Section 504 requirements, homebuyer assistance, homebuyer rehabilitation, income determination, procurement, and Section 3 requirements. Users may also search for specific topics through the “FAQ Keyword Search” function on the page. More FAQ questions will be published on HUD Exchange in the future. FAQ’s can be accessed here: https://www.hudexchange.info/cdbg-entitlement/faqs/.

Please continue to check your e-mails for updates from my office. If there are any changes in e-mail addresses, please let your CPD Rep or Myrna Cokes know as soon as possible. In addition, please provide updated staffing information to our office. This would include changes resulting from elections, office reorganizations, etc.

See you at the meeting.

People Working Cooperatively - Helping Veterans

July 2, 2015

People Working Cooperatively would like to share a story about a veteran and PWC client Billy Wallace. Billy came to them in need of a ramp and other home repairs. Thanks to the PWC Modifications to Mobility program and their Ramp it up for Vets program, staff and volunteers were able to get the job done for a well-deserving veteran.   Continue Reading »
News from CityWide, Dayton, Ohio

July 2, 2015

On April 2nd CityWide employee Erica Hubler was honored at the Annual Miami Valley Fair Housing Luncheon as the recipient of the Marie Kindrick Fair Housing Award for her dedicated work over the years to help families purchase affordable housing.nnual Miami Valley Fair Housing Luncheon as the recipient of the Marie Kindrick Fair Housing Award for her dedicated work over the years to help families purchase affordable housing.   Continue Reading »
City of Bowling Green Welcomes New Housing Specialist

July 2, 2015

The City of Bowling Green proudly announces the hiring of Matt Snow as the new Housing Specialist. Snow served as Housing Specialist at Maumee Valley Planning Organization for four years prior to beginning employment with the City of Bowling Green on April 14, 2015.   Continue Reading »
Legislation. . . .in the News

July 2, 2015

The following is a summary of recent General Assembly activity relating to economic development matters through June 4, 2015.   Continue Reading »
Ohio Conference of Community Development
P.O. Box 776, Urbana, Ohio 43078
Telephone & Fax: 937.652.3523
General Information Email: office@occd.org