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Russ Pry Reports on the County of Summit

2016 State of the County Address -- County of Summit
Tim Rudell

Update:  You can find audio of the full State of the County addresss at the end of this story.

Summit County Executive Russ Pry delivered an upbeat State of the County Address at the Akron Press Club Thursday. 

Successes in working with local communities on major sewer issues in the county and finishing 2015 with a budget surplus -- for the second year in a row -- were among the positives County Executive Russ Pry reported. 

Photo of Russ Pry
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
County Executive Russ Pry

He also told the gathering of more than 600 people at the John S. Knight Center not to expect new tax initiatives in 2016.

“We don’t have any plans right now to go for an additional tax increase. I looked at where the results were the last time. Without broad community support, doing the same thing over and getting different results…what do they say…’that doesn’t usually happen.'” 
County Executive Russ Pry talks about job creation

Pry said struggles to address epidemic heroin addiction and a high infant mortality rate are continuing challenges for the county.

John S. Knight Center, High Street entrance
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Knight Center entrance

He also stressed the growing value of public-private partnerships in dealing with community issues.  As an example, he cited a joint effort with an organization called “CONEXUS” to create a skills database to link employer needs with potential employee abilities.

 “It’s very, very important to try to move this forward. The more jobs, the more training we can get people, the more that will help people out of poverty.  And that has been my No. 1 goal since becoming county executive: How do we get more employment, how do we get more people into jobs? because they have a better quality of life.”

Russ Pry was appointed county executive in 2007 to finish an unexpired term. He has since been elected, and re-elected to the office and is running for a third time this fall against Republican Bill Roemer.

Russ Pry's full state of the county speech