Thank you for the privilege of representing you this past six years in the Ohio House of Representatives. My life is richer because of the many people I have come to know who care about this region of the state and sacrifice every day to make our community and its people better.
During this time I have learned much about myself and my community. I have learned choosing between two good options is harder than choosing between two bad options. I have learned to listen to the experiences of people who understand more than I do about a particular issue. Mostly, I have learned that change occurs slowly, being tenacious pays off, I can accomplish more by working with others than alone, and to never give up on what I believe.
I want to thank local elected officials who have always worked together to do what is right for their county, installing and updating water and sewer projects, working to foster an atmosphere where employers can create jobs, trying to provide basic fire and police service in times of dwindling revenues.
I want to thank local port authorities, Community Improvement Corporation's and local development district officials for diligently assisting local governments to do what is required to provide and finance infrastructure and assist businesses in the creation of jobs.
I want to thank education administrators, teachers and boards of education for caring so much for our kids' future, understanding that a good education is the great opportunity equalizer.
I want to thank the administrators at Washington State Community College, Zane State College, Belmont Technical College, Marietta College, and Muskingum College, who provide a quality education to the students of southeast and eastern Ohio, making their lives more secure, rich, and successful.
I want to thank all who communicated to me your concerns and needs and allowed me to assist.
I want to thank the local newspapers who have made it possible for me to communicate how I am voting at the Statehouse.
Finally, I want to thank my family, who has supported me, in my passion to be a good representative.
As I leave office I know Ohio's school system is ranked fifth best in the nation by the Education Commission of the States. I know Ohio now has a path toward a constitutional school funding formula.
I know over the past four years we have had two years of zero increase in tuition and two years of a cap of a 3 percent increase a year in Ohio public colleges and universities tuition. This follows an average of 9 percent a year increase for each of the preceding nine years.
I know this area has competed successfully for competitive Job Ready Site monies receiving two of the largest awards given statewide, one in Washington County and the other in Guernsey County. I know jobs are being created in this region.
I am hopeful for what the future brings to southeast Ohio. Take it from one who has seen all of the state over the past two years, we live and work in the most beautiful part of the state. I am humbled and blessed by representing you over the past six years and look forward to contributing to the betterment of our community in the future.
Jennifer Garrison served three terms in Ohio's 93rd District House of Representatives.