The View From Ward 2
October 19th City Council Meeting Rundown
Previously, City Council asked the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission (LCRAC) to review applications for membership to the Anti-Racism Task Force and to make recommendations to Mayor George and City Council on who should be considered for appointment. LCRAC recommended 15 applicants for appointment, and Mayor George announced her appointments during the meeting. We will decide who to appoint from LCRAC’s list at tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
Council President Dan O’Malley informed Council of appointments that will expire at the end of the year. Council will need to fill one vacancy on the Board of Nuisance Abatement Appeals, two vacancies on the Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council, one vacancy on the Planning Commission, and one vacancy on the Tree Advisory & Education Board. If you are interested in applying to any of these volunteer positions, please contact our Clerk of Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about these boards and commissions by visiting http://www.onelakewood.com/apply-register/boardscommissions/.
Law Director Brian Corrigan presented Council with a resolution that would allow Mayor George to enter into an agreement with the District Advisory Council of Cuyahoga County for the provision of public health services by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) in 2021. The CCBH has proposed providing public health services for Lakewood residents at a per capita rate of $5.45 for a total amount that would not exceed $284,114. This item was referred to the Health & Human Services Committee for further discussion.
Mayor George provided Council with a break down of how she has disbursed the funds Lakewood received from the CARES Act. Lakewood received a total of $5,283,717.23: $4,461,776.21 went to the General Fund to be used for Covid-19 related expenses, $347,637.29 went to the Police Pension Fund for salary and wages, and $474, 303.73 went to the Fire Pension Fund for salary and wages.
Mayor Meghan George, along with Law Director Brian Corrigan, asked City Council to authorize the Mayor to enter into a settlement agreement with Carnegie Management and Development Corporation. It has become apparent that Carnegie will not be developing the former Lakewood Hospital site and Mayor George and Director Corrigan both relayed to City Council that the best course of action is to separate and seek a new developer for the project.
Several weeks ago, the City spent nearly 12 hours in mediation with Carnegie to negotiate the release of any obligations that either party has to each other. As a result of mediation, Mayor George asked City Council to authorize an agreement that would furnish Carnegie $255,000 for the full and final settlement of all claims that Carnegie may have against the City. In return we will retain the market studies, surveys, and geotechnical reports that were completed by Carnegie. Both parties would be released from any remaining obligations.
I asked Mayor George and Director Corrigan if the resolution needed to be passed that evening or if it could be delayed to allow for further public comment. Both Mayor George and Director Corrigan expressed the importance of it being passed that evening to ensure the viability of the agreement and to begin the process of seeking a new developer as soon as possible. Following a lengthy discussion, City Council, by a margin of six to one, voted to permit Mayor George to enter into a settlement agreement with Carnegie.
Frequently, no party is happy when it comes to legal settlements and it is disappointing that our partnership with Carnegie ended this way. However, this settlement avoids years of litigation, where attorney fees alone would dwarf the size of the settlement, and allows us the freedom to immediately begin seeking a new partner to develop this property that is located at the heart of Lakewood.
Leaf Pick Up
Autumn has arrived and if your yard looks anything like ours, it is already full of leaves. The fall leaf collection program begins on Monday November 2nd and continues through December 11th. For more information, including the 2020 leaf collection map, please visit:http://www.onelakewood.com/2020-leaf-collection-begins-on-november-2nd/.
Jason Shachner is the Ward 2 Lakewood City Councilmember. He is currently serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Lake County Prosecutor's Offices' Criminal Division. He can be reached at Jason.Shachner@lakewoodoh.net or at (216) 714-2150.
Jason Shachner is the Ward 2 Lakewood City Councilmember. He is currently serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Lake County Prosecutor's Offices' Criminal Division. He can be reached at Jason.Shachner@lakewoodoh.net or at (216) 714-2150. If you are interested in subscribing to the View from Ward 2 Newsletter please visit https://mailchi.mp/shachnerforlakewood/newsletter.