WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) hosted the first "Ohio Sixth District Mayors Day" earlier this month.
Mayors throughout eastern and southeastern Ohio traveled to Washington to meet with Johnson in an effort to develop closer relationships and hear the concerns and ideas of local mayors in the district.
Mayors from all along the Ohio River were invited to attend this event with Johnson.
U.S.CONGRESSMAN Bill Johnson, left, recently invited area mayors to Washington, D.C. to talk about district issues. Pictured with Johnson is Bridgeport Mayor John Callarik.
One issue that stood out to the mayors was the overreaching federal government that is overburdening local government with unfunded mandates that cities and towns - no matter the size - are forced to comply with. This issue is extremely important especially in an economy where many local governments find themselves struggling to get by, according to Johnson.
Mayors in attendance received a detailed briefing and legislative update from Johnson as well as an update on his work as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Johnson made it clear that local governments know the needs of their constituents - not unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. - and explained what he is doing to empower local governments. Johnson also laid out his energy vision for America and Ohio that have vast amounts of energy resources.
Johnson said, "Right now in eastern and southeastern Ohio, we are seeing the beginnings of an economic boom when it comes to the development of domestic energy - especially with the Marcellus and Utica Shale. What America needs is a true "all of the above" energy plan that embraces coal, nuclear, and natural gas and oil while finding room for renewable and alternative sources of energy like wind and solar. Eastern and southeastern Ohio are vital to this energy plan."
Johnson also outlined what he is doing to stop President Obama's war on coal because the coal industry is crucial to the economic prosperity of the area.
After hearing from Johnson about what he is doing to serve the people of eastern and southeastern Ohio, he welcomed discussion on topics on the minds of those mayors in attendance, and most importantly encouraged the mayors to use him and his staff as resources.
"It was a great meeting with local government leaders from eastern and southeastern Ohio. Their input is so important to me because they understand best the issues facing residents along the river. This meeting was a great first step in strengthening productive working relationships with local mayors," Johnson said. "In the coming weeks, I will be expanding this dialogue to include county commissioners, county engineers, port authorities, and other elected officials so that through comprehensive collaboration I can better serve the residents of eastern and southeastern Ohio. There are a few problems we can't solve when we work together."