If you’ve noticed residents of New Albany strutting around recently with a special pride, it is because our community has officially moved from being a village to being a city. The long-awaited 2010 census results have been released, and they show that the population of New Albany has smashed through the 5,000-resident threshold that separates “villages” from “cities” under Ohio law. Officially, 7,724 hardy souls now call our teeming metropolis home.
Our fine Mayor received a plaque commemorating our passage to city status, but with the plaque, and city status, comes change and increased responsibility. Under Ohio law, public employees in cities have collective bargaining rights where village workers don’t — at least, whatever collective bargaining rights exist after the statewide ballot issue petition drive is over — and New Albany also will assume responsibility for asphalt maintenance, sign maintenance, and pavement striping on the portions of the state routes that run through New Albany. In addition, the city will become responsible for snow and ice removal on Route 161.
For us residents, it means we’ve got closer-to-home people to blame if a pothole isn’t filled or roads seem too icy or snowbound. The ability to kvetch will be one of the things that makes city status great.