At last week’s City Council meeting, I introduced an ordinance that would permit and encourage urban beekeeping in Lakewood. Beekeeping is currently prohibited in Lakewood, however, according the Ohio Department of Agriculture, we have 23 beehives located in our City. Throughout the process of drafting this ordinance we heard from many interested residents that shared with us their beekeeping experience. We learned that honeybees are quite docile and curious creatures. One beekeeper told us that he doesn’t use any protective gear as he handles thousands of bees in his hive. Another Lakewood beekeeper shared that he is allergic to bees but is not worried about being stung, and told us that his child plays in the backyard and has never been stung. The ordinance was referred to the Planning Commission and the Housing, Planning, & Development Committee for further deliberations. The goal is to have this completed by this Fall.
Pyke Park Resolution
At last week’s City Council meeting, I joined Councilmembers Tristan Rader and Tess Neff in introducing a resolution that will designate the green space between St. Charles Ave and Belle Ave as a park. This has been a resident-driven effort, which included the hard work and advocacy of many, including my predecessor Sam O’Leary. The park will be named after Bernice Pyke. Ms. Pyke worked tirelessly for the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. She also was one of the first women in the United States elected to public office, winning her seat on the Lakewood Board of Education in 1920. Additionally, Ms. Pyke was the first woman to run for Lakewood Mayor, served as the first female member of a Cleveland Mayoral cabinet, was the first female delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and was appointed Director of Customs Collection for Ohio by President Franklin Roosevelt.
Gun Violence Awareness Day
At the June 1st City Council meeting, Councilmember Tess Neff introduced, and Council subsequently passed, a resolution that declared June 5, 2020 Gun Violence Awareness Day in Lakewood. The goal is to encourage the safe storage of firearms to create awareness of the many firearm related deaths of children that could have been prevented if the firearm was properly secured. Ways that we can further encourage gun safety will be discussed at Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting. Here’s some important information from Mom’s Demand Action about gun safety storage: https://besmartforkids.org/.
Applications for Expanded Outdoor Dining
On June 4th, the Planning Commission reviewed applications for temporary conditional use permits for outdoor dining for the first time since the Temporary Outdoor Dining Resolution was passed. Acting Director of Planning, Katelyn Milius, along with the members of the Planning Commission carefully evaluated each application and worked with the restaurant and bar owners to improve their designs. The plans ranged from Melt’s and Salt+’s extension of their existing patio spaces to Cleveland Vegan’s and El Carnicero’s plan to place tables in front of their restaurants.
The Planning Commission will be reviewing applications from O’Toole’s Pub, Side Quest, Avenue Tap House/Oscar’s Pizza, Waterbury Bistro, and Buckeye Beer Engine at their June 18th meeting. Please visit http://www.onelakewood.com/accordions/planning-commission/ for instructions on how to participate in the meeting.
Outdoor Dining Resolution Passed
At a Special Council Meeting held on May 21st, City Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 2020-31, authorizing the Planning Commission to grant temporary conditional use permits for outdoor/seasonal dining facilities during this state of emergency to qualifying applicants.
The intent of the resolution is to allow bars and restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas to allow for more room for social distancing. The thought is that adding more space will allow the restaurant to serve a similar amount of people they typically serve, while providing the required 6 feet distance between seating areas.
To understand the impact of the resolution it is important to understand the normal process for bars and restaurants to obtain conditional use permits for outdoor dining. Typically, for a restaurant to obtain a conditional use permit for outdoor dining they must apply and get approval from the Planning Commission. Additionally, the Architectural Board of Review must approve all design plans. The Planning Commission uses Lakewood Codified Ordinances 1161.03 SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USES and 1129.13 1129.13 SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR OUTDOOR/SEASONAL DINING FACILITY when determining if an applicant should receive a permit. The Planning Commission is also free to add any conditions that it deems appropriate. All applications are heard at a public meeting where residents can voice their concerns.
Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subscribers’ inboxes every Monday morning. For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #17 and Issue #18. They cover the weeks of April 27th and May 4th.
Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subsribers' inboxes every Monday and as of April 20th we have sent out 16 issues! For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #15 and Issue #16.
If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter please visit https://mailchi.mp/shachnerforlakewood/newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to e-mail me at Jason.Shachner@lakewoodoh.net or call me at (216) 714-2150.
City Council Meeting
At the beginning of the City Council meeting held on April 20th, Peter Rancatore and Claudia Dillinger were officially sworn into office as the Director of Finance and the Director of Human Resources, respectively. At a previous Committee of the Whole meeting we had an opportunity to have thorough conversations with them both. Ms. Dillinger shared her past experiences, including her part in creating the Human Resource Department for the City of Elyria. Ms. Dillinger also told us of her support for paid parental leave policies and explained her strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce. Mr. Rancatore told us that he was raised in Fairview Park and attended St. Eds. He shared with us his extensive experience and said that he was impressed with our award-winning Finance Department’s history of excellence. They both bring a wealth of experience to their positions and I look forward to working with them.
2020 City Council Swearing In Ceremony
As 2020 begins, Mayor Meghan George and Lakewood City Council are sworn in to start business. Mayor George was sworn in on January 1, and the four ward representatives were sworn in on January 6 (Ward 1 - Tess Neff, Ward 2 - Jason Shachner, Ward 3 - John Litten, Ward 4 - Dan O’Malley).
Mayor George began the swearing in of City Council by introducing Judge Patrick Carroll. Judge Carroll went in order of the wards to swear in the four councilpeople. Each new councilperson brought a loved one up when they were sworn in to share in the experience. Ward 3 Councilperson John Litten’s daughter stole the show when she realized she was helping swear in her dad.
President of Council & Vice President of Council
Once the swearing in ceremony ended, there was a brief recess before the first official Lakewood City Council meeting of 2020 would begin. When the session began, Council at Large Councilperson Tom Bullock led City Council in the selection of President of Council. Councilperson Litten nominated Councilperson O’Malley which was seconded by Councilperson Bullock. There were no other nominations, and it was a unanimous vote for now Council President O’Malley.
Council President O’Malley initiated the process for the nomination of Vice President of Council and nominated Councilperson Litten. Councilperson Bullock seconded. Similarly to President of Council, there were no other nominations and a unanimous vote for Council Vice President Litten.
Mayor George appointments
Mayor George made two appointments for City Council confirmation. She appointed Brian Corrigan as Law Director and Roman Ducu for Director of Public Works. Both individuals have a long history of service to Lakewood.
As the year ends, Lakewood City Council and the Finance Committee had to balance the books from their 2019 spending and adjust the 2020 appropriations based on updated information. At the final Finance Committee meeting of 2019, there were several substitutions and changes that were discussed. The most significant changes were all involving the demolition and remediation of the former Lakewood Hospital site. Due to unforeseen issues around finding hazardous carcinogenic material (Perchloroethylene aka PCE) and the discovery of a creek bed that was unearthed during demolition, the project will require approximately another $3.7m in funds.
The discovery of PCE added several complications to the process. When workers noticed the faint, sweet smell they notified superiors who immediately got EA Group, Brownfield Restoration Group, and Buckeye Environmental Network involved. They quickly contained the material that had been dormant while the hospital was above it. While there is a sense of urgency around the removal of both solid and liquid waste, the recent rain made the collection more challenging. Additionally, hazardous waste sites will only accept up to twelve, forty ton truckloads a day. The environmental experts cited above are estimating over one thousand tons of material are at this site alone.
“Each passing day we learn more about the contaminants and our ability to address them moving forward,” stated Bryce Sylvester, Lakewood’s Director of Planning & Development. “We’re confident by the middle of January we will be in a place where we can provide a ‘no-action letter’ to Carnegie and finalize the deal.”
“The circumstances of the discovery are unfortunate, but it could have been much worse if it had not been found while the site was wide open with the necessary tools on hand,” stated Mayor Mike Summers. “The site is a Lakewood problem because the chemicals were used by the Lakewood Hospital and by Lakewood employees.”
A few weeks ago, Lakewood came under fire for its lack of solutions for low- and middle-income renters who are being pushed out due to the rising housing costs in recent years. While the article focused on the dwindling use of Housing Choice Voucher Program (aka Section 8), 289 in 2018 vs the 420 in 2013 (according to HUD data), it glossed over a lot of solutions the city offers. The city currently offers approximately 1000 affordable housing units with the assistance of all their programs combined.
City Council began on November 18 by recognizing the winners of Keep Lakewood Beautiful’s 2019 Beautiful Homes with an awards presentation. Once everyone got a chance to take a photo and congratulate the winners, Council President O’Leary started what turned into a very efficient City Council meeting where several new projects were discussed that will bring positive change to Lakewood.
Growing up in Lakewood, it’s good to see someone who cares so much about their community run for City Council. His name is Brad Presutto. A good friend, awesome father, and advocate - we’re lucky to have him in our community.
I met Brad Presutto when my family moved back to Lakewood a couple years ago. When a family in Lakewood had hateful graffiti spray painted on their driveway, Brad responded by creating The Lakewood Sidewalk Chalk Love Facebook group, to show that we care about each other and that hate does not belong in our community. Our children covered the city with messages of love on our sidewalks. It was encouraging to see such young children participating in amazing acts of kindness. I want someone on City Council that looks at diversity as a blessing, not just a statistic.
Brad gets to know his neighbors, building relationships through social media or face to face. He’s always busy taking care of a neighbor in need, whether he knows them or not. I frequently see him volunteering his time to help people through our local Lakewood Buy Nothing Group. He's also a big supporter of our local small businesses. He uses his relationship building to create this network so when someone or a new business needs support, he gets them the necessary support they need to be successful.
Because Brad is well-known in the community, parents reached out to him about concerns regarding Kauffman Park. Not only is he a big advocate for renovations at Kauffman Park, he responded to the parents concerns by organizing a group to clean up Kauffman Park, specifically the slides that had been plastered with sap from the nearby trees. Our playground and park looked beautiful once it was cleaned. Taking care of our green spaces is important for our community even though they do not generate income. Our kids need a safe and clean place to play, and I know I can trust Brad to be a constant advocate for our parks.
My name is Jason Shachner and I am running to be your next Ward 2 Councilperson. My wife, Michelle, and I own a home on Cook Avenue with our 12-year-old shepherd mix, Tessie. Lakewood is home for us because of its schools, parks, walkability, unique restaurants and businesses and, most of all, its strong sense of community. I am running for council because Lakewood should be able to support you at every stage of your life. Whether you are a new family or ready to retire, I want you to be able to call Lakewood home.
I’m excited to announce my support for Laura Rodriguez-Carbone for Lakewood City Council Ward 1. Ward 1 deserves a leader who is willing to put in the hours to make sure your voices are heard and represented. Laura is that leader.
My name is Brian Taubman, and I am running for an At-Large Council seat in Lakewood, Ohio. Many people ask me why I’m running for Lakewood City Council. The short answer is I’m excited for the opportunity to help my home city improve, grow, and thrive. But it’s so much more.
Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board The Council passed Ordinance 19-17, revising the Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board code to provide greater authority on the Board’s part to advise on animal-related issues. In the past, the code restricted the parameters of the Board to issues specifically referred to it by Council.
Cornucopia, Inc. Concessions Lease for Lakewood Park 2017 Summer Season
In the last Public Works Committee Meeting, the City worked with Cornucopia, Inc. to revise the proposed concessions lease at Lakewood Park. Ordinance 20-17, legislation introduced to contract with Cornucopia, Inc. for the 2017 summer season at Lakewood Park, provides a space for the non-profit to sell healthy concessions to the public.
All members of Council were present except Councilman Litten, whose absence was excused.
Public Works Committee Report
The Public Works Committee met on April 10, 2017 to discuss Ordinances 18-17 and 20-17. Present at the meeting were Councilman Nowlin (chair), Councilmembers Litten and Marx, Director Beno, Assistant Law Director Swallow, representatives from AT&T and and representatives from Cornucopia, Inc.
Rules & Ordinances Committee Report
University Tees Economic Grant Approved
Adopted Resolution 8923-17 detailed entering into an economic grant agreement with University Tees, issued in the form of annual rebates not to exceed $100,000. Jeff Frederico, the Director of Finance for University Tees, spoke of the company's mission to Develop People and Change Lives (DPCL), explaining, "the more you invest in a person, it's a win for the person, the company, and the community." Frederico expressed University Tees love of Lakewood and their gratitude for the ability to expand through the grant. Frederico stated the company is growing so rapidly that securing more space is vital for future growth, and this grant will not only provide space but will also encourage new employees to move to the city of Lakewood. The council expressed excitement for the development and requested scheduling a tour of the Screw Factory (13000 Athens Avenue) University Tees facility.
Process matters. Whether it concerns decisions regarding Lakewood Hospital, approval of the city's annual budget or the identification of which streets to repave in any given year, I have consistently advocated for due diligence and procedure while serving as Lakewood’s Ward One elected Member of Council since 2011.
As many may know, I was appointed to an unexpired term on Council in 2011, then was elected to a full term that November. My reason for wishing to serve on Council is to help every Lakewood neighborhood meet and exceed its potential. Quite honestly, as a husband, father of four and a landlord, Lakewood is the greatest place I have ever lived and I simply want it to be the best it can be for everyone.
As Ward One Councilman, I stand on my record of originating and promoting ordinances, codes and strategies to provide more tools to effectively deal with challenging properties and neighbors. I also have worked hard to improve the city's strategy for advancing the quality of Lakewood’s housing stock. There is always more work to do in these areas but I feel Lakewood is more than just on the right track. I want Ward One and all of Lakewood to know that there is much fire left in my belly and that I enthusiastically seek a second term on Lakewood City Council.
One of the great things about Lakewood is that there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to jump into, get involved in the community mix and ways to try to make a positive impact on the way things happen in town. Another great thing is that there are so many people willing to be involved, give their time, be productive and try to accomplish good work. The will for Civic Involvement is simply one of Lakewood’s strongest suits. Much of what I’m tied to in Lakewood includes these same things – things that are satisfying to me personally and helpful to others. And so, I’d like to bring some focus to this spread of involvement by asking you elect me to the Lakewood City Council as a Ward 1 councilman.
At the time of publication Michael Summers has now been appointed to the office of Mayor. Many thanks to all of the applicants who took the time to submit their names to become a public servant and share their talents with the City of Lakewood. Although the position of Mayor was filled without any interview process by a vote of City Council two council seats (one at-large and now Ward 3) still need to be filled. Over the next few weeks Council will conduct these interviews and make their decisions at a later date.
I am not seeking this office with the intent of running in the fall. My reason for applying to fill this position is very simple: I have a skill set that I have developed over the course of my professional career that I believe can help this city bridge the leadership gap in the interim period between Mr. FitzGerald’s departure and the next opportunity for the public to have its voice heard.
The following are the applicants for the soon vacant at-large council seat currently held by State Representative elect, Nickie Antonio. At the beginning of September, council put out a general call for applications with an initial deadline of October 1, 2010. Ten names were submitted for this deadline (in bold). With an extension until November 9, 2010, sixteen additional brave, community minded individuals added their names to the list.
I am an attorney whose office is located on Madison Avenue, here in Lakewood. I have been a homeowner in Lakewood for the last 9 years. I have a familiarity with the needs of businesses and property owners in the Lakewood. I am also familiar with pro’s and con’s of being a rental property owner here in Lakewood.
I have been involved with a variety of businesses, organizations, committees, boards, groups, and commissions.
I am creative and deliberative. I can work in a group apolitically for the greater good.
On two Lakewood Charter Commissions, I not only engaged with our own elected and appointed officials, but went outside to other communities and groups for help and opinions. I was also the biggest advocate for public participation in the charter review process.
In the various leadership roles that I have been involved with in the community, I have proven myself to be an objective, deliberative and analytical decision maker. I am able to see multiple sides of an issue and help facilitate an appropriate resolution. This consensus building mind-set will be critical as Council continue's to face tough issues that will need to balance the impact on the residents/services and Lakewood's financial condition.
My creativity is vital to problem solving and generating new ideas for keeping Lakewood residents employed, safe, healthy and happy. Among some of the issues facing Lakewood, we have unfunded federal mandates and an estimated decrease in population that will require creative strategies to avoid additional taxes.
In response to your inquiry, I believe that my professional, civic, and personal experiences have afforded me skills that can be translated into my successful representation of the people of Lakewood. As an attorney I am utilizing skills of advocacy, mediation and negotiation, and counsel on a daily basis. These skills allow me to develop the personal relationships necessary to effectively manage and resolve disputes.
The April 6, 2009 council meeting was called to order at 7:37 P.M. by Council President Michael Dever.
Mary Louise Madigan (ward 4) presented a resolution commending Billy Butler “For demonstrating community spirit by raising money for charities and promoting environmental awareness.” The resolution also expresses Council appreciation in Billy’s commitment to bettering the lives of others...
Sensing competition from a younger namesake, Kevin Butler (ward 1) was quick out of the box to offer his congratulations to the younger name holder.
Billy’s parents were on hand for a ceremonial picture with the entire council and mayor.
Neighbor Andy Bodi and his wife Trudi, who have lived across the street from the Butlers for years said, “we are all proud of him on Arthur Avenue.”
In exclusive corridor comments to the Lakewood Observer, Billy Butler modestly allowed that he was “proud to receive this resolution.”
On the November ballot Issue 2, renewal of the Clean Ohio Fund will appear. Tom Bullock (ward 2) in a letter requesting council support for the issue listed arguments in favor of the issue.
This fund was first approved in 2000 in order to preserve natural areas and farmland, protecting waterways and redeveloping urban areas to foster economic growth. Since it began, Clean Ohio has protected over 26,000 acres of working family farms, created 216 miles of recreational trails and cleaned up more than 173 abandoned industrial sites, known as brown fields.
Council president Michael Dever brought the May 19, 2008 council meeting to order at 7:40.
After a year of hard work by the Lakewood Planning Commission, the Heritage Advisory Board and advocacy by the Lakewood Historical Society, council finally passed revisions to the zoning code providing for Historic Preservation Districts (HPD) and Historical Property (HP) designations...
Health Services Shifting to County Agency
In a busy week for council, historic action was taken at the regular Monday meeting and the presentation of the Public Safety Initiative was heard at the committee of the whole on Wednesday.
Michael Dever is starting to imprint his style on meetings with a signature opening. In this case it was “Good evening. I’m Michael Dever, President of Lakewood City Council. Welcome to the April 21, 2008 meeting.” In the past, an abrupt, “the meeting will come to order,” usually served as a public salutation...
Several years ago Dennis Albrecht assumed the position of City Engineer for Lakewood. One of his first major tasks was to implement an objective, engineering based evaluation of all the city’s streets. This evaluation was then used to rank the streets so that repairs and rebuilding could be prioritized. It also made street repaving less subject to politics and more responsive to actual needs. Albrecht was able to bring his background at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to bear on this project. Albrecht will be returning to ODOT to assume a major supervisory position...
Council president Mike Dever called the February 19, 2008 meeting to order at 7:36 PM. The first order of business was a resolution presented by Dever (at large) commending Thomas J. George for his public service as Mayor of Lakewood...
At 7:34 Council President Dever called the January 22, 2008 meeting to order. The first docket item was the committee of the whole report which recommended appointing Brian Powers to the vacant council at large seat. Council received the report then passed a resolution to appoint Powers to fill the remaining two years of that seat’s term...
Council President Robert Seelie called the May 7, 2007 meeting to order at 7:34 P.M.
Seated in the audience were members of the Lakewood Blue Star Moms. They are the mothers of our military men and women serving throughout the world. Council member Nickie Antonio (at large) joined them at one of their regular monthly meetings which are held at Lakewood Christian Church. She was particularly impressed by the fact that these mothers carry the burden of the knowledge that their children’s daily duties put them in harms’ way.
The 2007 budget has been put to bed but the budgeting process is just taking a nap.
This year’s budget which was passed in a special meeting of council calls for expenditures in the amount of $38,534,502.