Doing more with less, and still improving services...that's the message from Summit County Executive Russ Pry in his annual state of the county address.
Despite some positive economic signs in 2012, Russ Pry says general fund revenue dropped again - due to lower property values and less state government funding.
The county's top officeholder says the county's economy is continuing to "slowly recover" overall, with signs of improvement in sales and property tax collection and increased activity in commercial and residential construction.
Pry once again talked about reducing the cost of government by collaboration between agencies and with the county's cities, and noted the county general fund has continued to shrink with lesser money coming in.
Highlights of 2012 in Summit County, according to Pry, include the completion of two big job creators - the Bridgestone Technical Center and the Akron headquarters of the Austen BioInnovation Institute.
That institute renovated and took over the first floor of space formerly occupied by the county Department of Job and Family Services.
To that end, Pry talked of overseeing that agency's move out of its remaining current downtown space to make way for biomedical development in that space left behind.
He proposed the county helping the city of Green with money - $500,000 - for sanitary sewer work to build the third phase of the CAK Business Park near Akron-Canton Airport. It could result in over 1,000 new jobs.
Pry wants to expand the focus on Summit County's children. The popular "Summit 4 Kids" event will help build an entire month of programs aimed at children - "Summit Kids Month" - in August.