November 9, 2020 -- Mayor Andrew Ginther told Dominion Middle School students one of his favorite things about being mayor is talking with students of all grade levels.
“It gives me energy,” shared Ginther.
Pattie Niese, an eighth-grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Dominion Middle School, invited Mayor Ginther to speak virtually with students who are currently studying the executive branch of government.
Mayor Ginther shared during the Zoom call one of his big responsibilities is the creation of the capital and operations budget for Columbus, the 14th largest city in the United States.
“I can propose whatever I want, but I need the City Council to approve the funding for the programs and services I propose.”
In addition to speaking with students and teachers about City Government Leadership, Ginther answered questions from eighth-grade teachers and students. One of the first questions came from a student who wanted to know what Mayor Ginther was doing about bringing Columbus City Schools students back to the classroom because she missed her friends.
“I am working with Superintendent Dixon and the CityHealth Department to try to figure out when it is safe to do so,” said Mayor Ginther. “We are still aiming for January 15, 2021, but we have to also work with the teacher’s union and Columbus City Schools Transportation to work out bus pick up and drop off times.”
Other questions for the Mayor included topics on climate change and pay equity between men and women. The Mayor was also asked about the recently passed Issue 2 ballot initiative that would create a Civilian Review Board to carry out independent investigations of alleged police misconduct in the City. A teacher wanted to know how to serve on that Board.
“Columbus is the only big city in America that does not have some form of a civilian oversight board," said the Mayor. “Since the ballot initiative passed last week, we still need to figure out how it will work and specifically tackle the issue of discipline.”
Ginther shared with Dominion Middle School teachers and students that he had 47 brothers and sisters growing up. “My parents were foster parents for 30 years, and sometimes I had a foster brother or sister for one night; other times they stayed with our family for months,” said Ginther, who graduated from Dominion Middle School in the 1980s.
One final question the Mayor was asked involved his job and if he could do anything else in the world, what would he like to be? “A teacher,” Ginther answered right away with a big smile on his face.