Aide to Commissioner O'Grady
John O'Grady was elected to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners in November 2008, took office in January of 2009, and in 2010, was elected by his fellow Commissioners to a one-year term as Board President. Prior to his election to the Board, John served two four-year terms as the Clerk of Courts for the Franklin County Common Pleas Courts and the 10th District Court of Appeals.
As Commissioner, John advocates for strategic economic growth and development, and he is a strong voice for Franklin County at the local, state, national and international levels. In February 2011, John led the delegation from Franklin County, Columbus 2020!, Columbus Sister Cities International, and The Ohio State University on a trade mission to India to promote foreign direct investment in Central Ohio. John recognizes that strong public-private partnerships, like the one supporting the trade mission, are critically important to economic growth, and he and his fellow Commissioners continue to collaborate with community partners on projects that create jobs and encourage business investment in our area.
What he calls a "hand-in-glove" approach illustrates John's view that economic development and community development are interdependent-success in one area affects opportunities for success in the other, and a commitment to both is important in building strong and healthy communities. Demonstrating this, John led efforts to create the Somali Work Group, an ongoing collaboration between numerous county agencies, courts, and community partners from within Franklin County. This organization's primary focus is to determine the needs of immigrant communities within central Ohio and how government agencies can respond more effectively. One of those needs identified was the desire of Somali families and communities to grow their own produce, as they are accustomed to doing. John responded by working with his fellow Commissioners and staff to identify a vacant plot of County-owned land on Gantz Road for a community garden. The Gantz Road garden opened in 2009 and has since expanded to include gardeners from other communities as well.
Community gardening in Franklin County extends well beyond the Gantz Road site, and Commissioner O'Grady has continued to support these initiatives. He recognizes they create fresh, affordable and healthy food options while also fostering a sense of community among those involved with the gardens. In 2011, John joined his fellow Commissioners and Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, in cooperation with The Columbus Foundation, to create a Community Gardens Grant fund. Sixty grants were awarded to support organizations with new and existing community gardens in the City of Columbus and throughout Franklin County.
As Commissioner, John serves on several boards and committees within county government. He also represents Franklin County in state and national associations, serving previously as Vice-Chair and currently as Chair for the General Government & Operations Committee and as a member of the Metropolitan & Regional Affairs Committee for the County Commissioners' Association of Ohio (CCAO). He is also a member of the steering committee of the Large Urban County Caucus for the National Association of Counties (NACo). Through his involvement with these boards and commissions, John engages with leaders, in our region and beyond, in the discussion of solutions for community issues. He promotes shared government services and cooperative purchasing contracts among communities as a way to reduce the cost of government.
John is also heavily involved in the fields of health, education, and domestic relations. He served six years on the Board of Trustees of the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio and served for several years on the Institutional Biological and Chemical Safety Committee at Nationwide Children's Hospital. John was the founder of the Hearts Over Clubs Charity Fund, a non-profit organization that benefited the families of heart disease victims, and in 2012 became an Ambassador for The American Heart Association. He is an honorary board member of Kid's Voting, Central Ohio, and an active sponsor of programs that promote hands-on educational experiences for young people. John has also been supportive of the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence and their efforts to stem the incidences of domestic violence.
John is the youngest of 12 children of former Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Pete O'Grady. John and his wife, Pamela Hykes O'Grady, are the proud parents of four children. He is a lifelong member of the Catholic Church and serves as a lector at his parish.
Board of Commissioners Agencies
- Animal Care & Control
- Benefits & Risk Management
- Child Support Enforcement
- Economic Development
- Fleet Management
- Homeland Security
& Justice Programs
- Human Resources