Tallmadge -- The city's efforts to cut costs and save taxpayers money have again caught the eye of state officials.
Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost has awarded the city a "Taxpayer Hero Award," which seeks to recognize state and local government officials who reduce expenses, increase efficiency through innovative measures and "protect tax dollars and uphold the integrity of government in Ohio."
Yost will present the award in person at City Hall on April 10.
Mayor Dave Kline said while he's honored Tallmadge is receiving the award, he's not necessarily surprised.
"It shows the hard work that our administration has done over the past several years. All of our city employees work hard to provide a great service ... ," he said. "We're running our city harder, meaner and leaner."
Finance Director Steve Shanafelt said the city's financial shape is, in part, the result of collaborating with nearby municipalities, which saves money. Examples of the city's collaboration efforts include outsourcing its emergency dispatch services to Stow and income tax collection to the Regional Income Tax Collection Agency.
Yost created the "Skinny Ohio Program" last year that encourages streamlined, efficient state and local governments that yield the best results using the least money.
"I'm very, very pleased, first of all, to be working with a city that's recognized for this sort of efficiency," Shanafelt said. "It's difficult to have to share the bad news, and I'm in an extremely fortunate situation where I've had the opportunity -- as a result of a lot of the work that was done prior to my being here -- to be able to share an awful lot of good news."
Shanafelt said the city's previous mayors and administrative teams had the foresight to share services with other communities before it was as popular as it is now, and the city's current leaders are continuing the efforts.
"We try to provide the best service possible as economically as possible," he said.
The state auditor's office, as well as the Government Finance Officers Association, has recognized the city on other recent occasions for its financial reporting.
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