Franklin County, Ohio

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Transparency Grade
Meetings P
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning
Contracts P
Public records P
Local taxes
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

Franklin County, Ohio is one of eighty-eight counties in Ohio. The 2010 census reported the population at 1,163,414, making it the second largest county in Ohio. The county seat is Columbus, Ohio, the largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest city in the United States. Franklin County is home to the largest university in the United States, The Ohio State University.”[1] Franklin County maintains the highest long-standing 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% of counties nationwide. Additionally, Franklin County was recognized as one of the best managed counties in American in a five-tiered study conducted by Governing Magazine and Syracuse University.[2] The county was established on April 30, 1803, shortly after Ohio became a state, and was named after Benjamin Franklin.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Ohio county websites

This site was most recently evaluated on December 24, 2012.

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 5 years.[3]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[4]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[5]
  • Meetings
    • Most recent meeting minute is posted.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 7 years.[6]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[7]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2004 are available.[8]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[9]
  • Public Records
    • Public records request policy is provided. Each department has a designated employee for requests.[10]
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[11]
  • Lobbying
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[13]

The bad

  • Public Records
    • The policy states that each agency will have a designated public records custodian, but these employees are not identified with contact information on agency pages.
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are not archived for 3-5 years.
  • Contracts
    • Approved contract statements are not available for vendors above $10,000.

Elected Officials: Commissioners and County Administrators

Three county commissioners serve as the general administrative body for Franklin County and set the strategic direction and fiscal priorities for the county. Commissioners are elected to a four-year term.[14] The Commissioners rely on a County Administrator and three Deputy County Administrators to run day-to-day operations of the county.[15]

Name Title
John O’Grady Commissioner President
Paula Brooks Commissioner
Marilyn Brown Commissioner
Don L. Brown County Administrator
Bill Flaherty Deputy County Administrator for Facilities & Operations
Kenneth Wilson Deputy County Administrator for Resource Management
Erik Janas Deputy County Administrator for Regional Collaboration
Shannon Zee Cross Clerk to the Board of Commissioners

Administrative Officials

The County Administrator appoints authorities, boards, committees, and commission members.[16]

Name Title
Joe Rock Animal Care & Control
Susan Brown Child Support Enforcement
James Schimmer Economic Development & Planning
Charlotte Ashcraft Fleet Management
Robert Young Human Resources
Margaret Snow Benefits & Risk Management
Anthony Trotman Job & Family Services
Antonia Carroll Office on Aging
Kathy Crandall Office of Homeland Security & Justice Programs
Zak Talarek Office of Management & Budget
Hanna Greer Public Affairs
James Goodenow Public Facilities Management
Karl Kuespert Purchasing Department
Stephen Renner Sanitary Engineering


The Franklin County economy is broad-based, with no single dominating industry, which provides economic stability to the region. In 2008, the most recent available data, the primary source of employment was trade, transportation and utilities (19.6%), followed by professional and business services (17.1%), other sectors (15.5%), government (15.3%) and education and health services (13%). Since 2009, unemployment in Franklin County stayed below the national average, while unemployment in Ohio rose above the national average.[17]

The annual 2011 budget projects $281.7 million in revenue, primarily from taxes (59.5%) service fees and charges (15.4%) and intergovernmental revenue (4.6%). General fund operating expenditures are approximately $260.4 million, spent primarily on justice and public safety (67.2%) and general government (30%). The 2011 approved budget includes $47.7 million in reserves and debt.[18]

Local taxes

Tax information (homestead, estate, property) including a tax levy estimator and tax reduction information is published.[19]

The Ohio tax incentive program in Franklin County is in place as an effort to coordinate the economic development relating to Community Reinvestment Areas. It is an effort to avoid unnecessary delays and ensure that the project moves forward.[20]

Franklin County In the News

  • Proposed Ohio redistricting map will reach the House committee, who will decide whether Ohio loses two U.S. House seats in 2012 (18 to 16).[21]
  • Since 2009, suits against Franklin County have cost $1.1 million in settlement payouts. The most recent settlement involved a man who claimed that he was knocked unconscious by a deputy sheriff while in custody.[22]

External links