City can keep momentum going
My name is Katrina Keith and I am a lifelong resident of the City of Ironton and I am running for Mayor in the upcoming, Nov. 3 election.
I’ve had the pleasure of working for the citizens of Ironton for the past 13 years, with 4.5 years serving as the Mayoral Assistant and 8.5 years as the Benefit Specialist. During this same time, I served as the Executive Secretary to the Ironton Port Authority, as well as Chairman and current co-chairman for Ironton Alive. I am one of many proud Tiger Moms to the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams at Ironton High School and a member of Church of the King here in Ironton.
I have served on the Ironton in Bloom Committee, Lawrence County Safety Council Committee and the “No Excuses” Diversity Committee. I am a 1996 graduate of Ohio University Southern and a 2013 graduate of the Appalachian Leadership Academy.
In 2008, Ironton City Council realized the need to address the number of work related injuries and the financial impact it was having on the budget as well as the mental impact on our employees. I was handed this task and have successfully reduced the premium by approximately 62 percent. This was done by creating and implementing a comprehensive safety program. Through this program, the City of Ironton was the first OBWC Safety Innovation Award winner, beating large cities such as Akron. Through my position, we also have an HR component and work hand in hand with our employees to ensure we are meeting state and federal labor regulations.
I have a strong passion for Ironton. We have a proud history. With that being said, we have a number of natural resources we need to focus on in order to give us a proud future. The City of Ironton is situated on the beautiful Ohio River with several undeveloped acreage ready for development. What about the miles of Wayne National Forest acreage, (ATV trails, horseback riding, fishing, camping) in which we can promote tourism for Southern Ohio? What about transportation to assist in economic development: river, rails, highway, and nearby air access? Ironton has a number of vacant industrial acreage along the South Ironton Industrial Park and surrounding area. Please don’t forget the number of hard working people that pay taxes into this city that have kept us afloat while we endured this nation’s economic decline.
Over the past 13 years, we have experienced growth in many areas. Ironton has seen the development of the Farmers Market / Entertainment area, new splash park, medical centers, restaurants, hotel, barber /beauty shops, variety stores and the ongoing renovation of the old Ro-Na Theater. We have also witnessed the community coming together to provide our students with state of the art schools and all residents with a flood defense system.
Have you noticed the number of hazardous properties cleaned up and the number of blighted properties demolished? What about the new Bellemont subdivision and 9th Street Gateway Center? I would be remiss to not mention the new bridge the State of Ohio is building and the Natures grant we won to help with our efforts to develop the riverfront. With only an average of 20 percent of Irontonians paying taxes, I believe Ironton has accomplished a lot over the past 13 years. This progress was only made by the number of elected officials, business leaders, civic clubs and city employees coming together to keep progress moving forward.
It’s imperative that we seek job opportunities. It’s our tax dollars that pave our roads, provide police, fire and health services. We can’t afford to lose our momentum by simply maintaining what we have. My goal, as your Mayor is to strengthen our current work force, give attention to our downtown business district and continue the move of riverfront development.
With a comprehensive plan of attack and entities working together, we can continue revitalizing Ironton and provide hope for the future.
Ironton mayoral candidate