Mayor Coleman Announces Plans To Improve Homelessness and Education At State Of The City Address


Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said "Columbus has transformed from a great American city to one of America's greatest cities," as part of his state of the city speech Wednesday night.

The bulk of the mayor's speech focused on changes to education and a promise to put more central Ohioans back to work.

This was the Coleman's 15th state of the city speech.

He announced Rhonda Johnson has been named the new director of education as he acknowledged the recent turmoil surrounding Columbus City Schools.
"The curtain has been lifted on the culture of dishonesty that led to the data scrubbing scandal.  Public confidence was shattered, as demonstrated by the failure of the fall school levy," said Coleman.

The mayor also focused on the number of homeless people in Columbus.

He announced that the Community Shelter Board will create a new customized management system, and receive over a million additional dollars.

"Work is a key to ending homelessness," said Community Shelter Board Executive Director Michelle Heritage.  "What we're focusing on is very intensive services to get folks linked to job training programs.  Help them with issues they may have, maybe issues with substance abuse or mental health."

Coleman also is pushing for programs that will help the chronically unemployed find the education they need to find work.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center was decorated in red, white and blue for the event.

10TV's Jim Heath reported it was just one of the signals in the building Coleman is serious about trying to land a national political convention that could generate over $150 million dollars for central Ohio.

Coleman said he doesn't know which party would choose Columbus.  He wants the nominee from one of the parties to accept their nomination at Nationwide Arena.