West Chester Twp.’s staff and its legal counsel are working on a resolution that will establish the township as a “Right to Work” place, which means private companies and their unions cannot force workers to join unions or pay dues. STAFF PHOTOS

West Chester’s 2017 priorities: Right to Work, spending transparency

West Chester Twp.’s staff and its legal counsel are working on a resolution that will establish the township as a “Right to Work” place, which means private companies and their unions cannot force workers to join unions or pay dues.

“It’s going to make us more attractive to businesses…” township trustee George Lang said.

Board President Mark Welch concurred.

“There is a ton of evidence that says that companies would rather relocate and build their business in Right to Work states,” Welch said. “I think we should move ahead on this as quickly as possible and give potential manufacturers that are looking at Ohio or looking at the region, another reason to come to West Chester.”

A recent federal appeals court opinion opened up “Right to Work” status to cities and limited home rule townships. Previously only states — there are 26 of them and Ohio is not one — had the ability to make that designation.

The township will also work to get its finances and other documents online in a fashion similar to State Treasurer Josh Mandel’s OhioCheckbook.

When Mandel launched his website, it was free to local jurisdictions, but West Chester Twp. trustees wanted a more “comprehensive” system, according to Township Administrator Judi Boyko.

The township has budgeted about $50,000 to develop and implement its own system.

In addition to township spending information, “the preferred option will allow for a wide range of data: eligible police and fire reports, zoning activity, infrastructure conditions, and more …” Boyko said.

Trustee Lee Wong said he would like to see the township build a performing arts center, an idea he previously introduced in years past.

“I hope to build a performing arts center,” he said. “We are up to that level now and I think the community can enjoy an orchestra here, a lot of cultural things that are looking for venues to share with the community.”

Boyko said infrastructure work will also be a priority in 2017. The $12 million Union Centre Boulevard and Interstate 75 interchange improvement will get underway as well as improvements to Cincinnati-Dayton Road through Olde West Chester, which also includes a small pocket park.

“West Chester will also be undertaking projects to enhance lighting, medians and landscaping throughout the downtown area, all contributing to a more functional and aesthetically pleasing corridor for the next generation of residents and corporate stakeholders,” she said.

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