The View From City Council
November 16th City Council Meeting Rundown
Beautiful Home Awards
The Keep Lakewood Beautiful Board presented the winners of the Beautiful Home Awards for 2020. Every year the Keep Lakewood Beautiful Board receives upwards of 100 nominations for this award and then performs the arduous task of whittling down the nominations to two per Elementary School Boundary. Please join me in congratulating Marsha & Dennis Paul, Heidi & Dana Paul, The Derethiks, Rick & Kim Friedrich, The Toth Family, Mark & Emmy Eichelberger, and Linda Powers & Daniel Weiland for receiving the Beautiful Home Award! You can view the homes by visiting http://www.onelakewood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/KLBBeautifulHomeAwards2020.pdf.
County Health Department Contract Renewal
City Council approved the renewal of the contract with Cuyahoga County’s General Health District for the provision of public health services. The contract amount is $284,114 for the year 2021. Councilman John Litten, Chair of the Health & Human Services Committee, noted that state laws favor contracting with a County Health District as opposed to a city running their own health department. Mr. Litten stated that the City would have to forfeit several revenue streams if we established our own Health Department.
Lakewood’s Tree Policy
Councilmember Sarah Kepple introduced an ordinance, co-sponsored by Council President Daniel O’Malley and I, that would provide more community input on the City’s removal of trees. The Ordinance would mandate that, when a material change to Lakewood’s tree canopy is planned to occur, the Director of Public Works must provide the Tree Education and Advisory Board a written explanation of why the change is necessary and what, if any, remedy is also planned in accordance with Lakewood’s Tree Policy. The change would then be discussed at a public meeting of the Tree Education and Advisory Board. The legislation does include exceptions to this process if a tree must be removed immediately because it is a threat to public safety. The ordinance will be discussed at a future Public Works & Sustainability Committee meeting.
Development of Former Hospital Site
Mayor George and Director Leininger asked City Council for the authority to negotiate a non-binding term sheet with CASTO and North Pointe Realty for the development of the former hospital site. As you may remember, this team was one of the two teams that were found to be the most qualified to develop the site. The City has told Council that this team is still interested in the project and the City would like to begin preliminary negotiations. You can view the original proposal by visiting http://www.onelakewood.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/CASTO_NPR_RFP-2017-Final_public.pdf, however, the final product will likely change as CASTO and North Pointe Realty go through the multi-step process of final approval, which will involve numerous public meetings. I look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that the redevelopment of the hospital site benefits all Lakewood residents.
Housing, Planning, and Development Committee
The Beekeeping Ordinance that would permit the keeping of bees in Lakewood was referred out of committee with a recommendation for approval at the next City Council Meeting. The ordinance will permit one colony per 2,500 sq. ft. tract. This means that most residents will have the ability to keep at least two colonies. There are several residents that currently have more than the allotted number of colonies on their property, however, the ordinance permits the Director of Public Safety to grandfather those in at their discretion.
ABR Review of Brick Painting
An ordinance that would provide the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) the authority to review plans to paint unaltered brick was referred out of committee with a recommendation for approval at the next City Council Meeting. Previously, building owners could paint natural brick without seeking approval from ABR. Council President Dan O’Malley proposed this ordinance to ensure that owners do not endanger the historical designation of some districts or the integrity of the structure by painting brick without first seeking approval. This ordinance will empower ABR to ensure that any painting of natural brick in Lakewood is performed in a professional and conscientious way.
Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) Energized Community and Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Grants
Planning and Development Director Sean Leininger recently shared with Council how the City Administration plans to use the funds they received from the NOPEC Energized Community and Electric Vehicle Charging Grants. The $197,322 received from the NOPEC Grant will go to the conversion of existing streetlight to LED Fixtures. This will allow for 815 streetlights to be converted. The City has previously converted 638 streetlights for an estimated annual savings of $45,000 and a 14% decrease in energy use. The $35,000 received from the EV Charging Grant will go to the purchase of equipment and installation of EV charging stations at Madison Park, Lakewood Park, and City Hall. This grant is also being used in an application for additional funding though the Ohio EPA Volkswagen Mitigation Grants that, if received, would result in an additional charging station being installed on the Detroit Avenue Extension between Gridley and Rio Avenues.
Lakewood Democratic Club Meeting
Our monthly Lakewood Democratic Club meeting was held on November 19th. We elected a new Board and discussed the recent election results. Congratulations to our Board: President, Erik Meinhardt; First Vice President, Maureen Dostal; Second Vice President, Mark Schneider; Treasurer, Catie McMahon; Secretary, Nicole Parks. I look forward to another great year with this engaged club and top-notch leadership.
As for the election results, we were relieved that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected to serve as our next President and Vice President of the United States. Ohio’s numbers were discouraging, but we did have a few big wins. Notably, Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, won a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, narrowing the GOP majority to 4-3. Additionally, democratic judicial candidates in Cuyahoga County did exceptionally well. I also want to note that former Lakewood Councilmember, Monique Smith, flipped House District 16, winning a hard-fought race for State Representative. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to fight for a better Ohio during this challenging campaign season.
Ward 2 Voter Turnout
Lakewood had a great voter turnout of 74%. Ward 2 exceeded overall turnout in Lakewood, with a total turnout of 78.99%! Thank you to all the Lakewoodites who took the time to make your voice heard during this election.
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.