Council To Consider Teacup Pigs
Council President Brian Powers called the October 15, 2012 Council meeting to order at 7:35 P.M.The first order of business was the annual report from the Community Relations Advisory Board. Chairperson Greg Mahoney delivered the annual report. He started by summarizing their accomplishments from the last year which include holding diversity potlucks, conducting a community conversation forum, and new this past year was the Welcome to Lakewood event. Also coming up next month, on November 14th at the University of Akron, Lakewood they will be holding a community discussion on the book, "The Other Wes Moore." This was the summer reading book that every student in the high school had to read and the community was invited to join them. Students and members of the community are invited to come to discuss the book and its themes.
Moving into the next year, the Community Relations Advisory Board wants to strengthen its relationship with students and work more closely with block clubs and block captains. They also made a few recommendations to Council. They asked Council to consider coming up with a new template to educate real estate agents about the assets of Lakewood and to consider adding a student to their Board.
Councilman Powers (At-Large) thanked Mr. Mahoney, and all the members of the Board for their hard work and dedication. Councilman Tom Bullock (Ward II) applauded the group for their excellent work on putting together the Welcome to Lakewood Event. He said it is a great idea to show people what Lakewood has to offer and a number of ways they can get involved in their community. He said he looks forward to seeing it again and hopes to see it grow.
Next, Public Works Director, Joe Beno, notified Council that the City intends to allow a local Eagle Scout candidate to build a shelter at the Lakewood Dog Park. Boy Scout, Ryan Giermann, is working to attain the level of Eagle and for his service project he would like to build a shelter at the dog park, for the use of its patrons. All materials and labor, with a value expected to exceed $500, would be donated.
Director Beno then asked Council to consider passing a resolution which would allow the City to accept a $150,000 grant from the Ohio EPA. The grant funds would help pay a portion of a project to repave municipal lots 1 and 4 (those behind First Federal of Lakewood and Geiger’s). The project will include the installation of permeable pavement, trees and bio-retention areas which will reduce stormwater discharge into Lake Erie. The total cost of the project is $417,000 dollars.
Council adopted the resolution, accepting the funds.
Police Chief Malley then asked Council to pass a resolution that would allow Lakewoodto accept a grant from the University Hospitals of Cleveland in the amount of $10,438.46. The money is to be used to help pay for saturation patrols to enforce OVI laws. The City would work in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies throughout the county to have greater enforcement coverage on certain days and times.
Council passed the resolution.
Law Director, Kevin Butler then introduced 14 proposed changes to the Lakewood traffic code. The changes are to bring the Lakewood code into harmony with changes that were just made by the Ohio General Assembly to the state traffic codes.
Council referred the items to the Public Safety Committee for consideration.
Coming to the end of the agenda there were a few members of the public who wanted to make statements. The first was Russ Slavits who had a few issues he wanted to take up with Council. As a resident of Cohasset Avenue he wanted to make a formal complaint about the speeding in the morning and afternoon up and down his street of parents coming and going from Garfield Middle School. He said he has made this complaint before and some things have been done, but he would like to see an officer posted on the street during peak times to enforce the speed limit. Chief Malley said he would look into the situation further and see if there is something more that can be done.
Mr. Slavits’ second item concerned the field house at Madison Park. He said a number of years ago, when Ed FitzGerald was mayor, the City said that the field house was going to be renovated, however to this day it has not been. Director Beno told him that sometimes these projects take a long time to get funded and that the City had just approved $400,000 of the City’s 2013 Community Development Block Grant money to go towards completing that project.
The next person to speak was Shelby Costo who asked the City to consider giving her an exemption to the animal prohibition law. According to the law as it is written, all swine are prohibited in the city. Ms. Costo would like to own a teacup pig, which is a small pig that grows to an adult weight of 20-60 lb. However since it is not currently legal to do so in the city she asked that they consider giving her an exemption. Councilman Powers verified with Law Director Butler whether that law allows for exemption, and it does not. He then told Ms. Costo that in order for her to be allowed to own a teacup pig a change to the current law would be required. Therefore he instructed her to give all the materials she had brought to share with them on teacup pigs to the Council legislative liaison so they could consider her suggestion for a law change.
Councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan (Ward IV) asked if the pigs spend most of their time inside or out and Ms. Costo told her they live inside and are let outside occasionally, like with dogs.
With no one left from the public to speak, Council President Powers adjourned the meeting at 8:41 P.M.