Lakewood's 2016 Strategic Objectives
On Wednesday evening, March 25th, 2016, Lakewood's Mayor Michael P. Summers addressed the City at Lakewood Masonic Temple regarding the State of our City, and strategic objectives for the future- with the four primary goals being vibrant neighborhoods, economic development, safety and security, and sound governance. In attendance on this rainy evening were members of City Council, city officials and Judge Carroll, as well as Lakewood School Board members, regional officials, and a nice crowd of interested Lakewoodites.
Topics covered included quality-of-life issues, customer service issues, housing improvements, public infrastructure investment, and health, wellness, safety, and environmental stewardship concerns.
During the question and answer session that followed, there were several questions regarding why the hospital situation happened. The Mayor was engaging, polite, expansive, and forthright in his responses. He called to mind his past business experiences, particularly with respect to anticipating future trends and it was his concern that medical trends were changing as well. He stated that, (as he had done with his past business issues) he had felt the need to proactively get ahead of the medical issue in our city. Among other facts, he noted that 94% of Lakewood Hospital services were already out-patient in any case, and that around 20% of Lakewoodites had been referred to Metro as well. His thinking regarding the hospital revolved around the question of its viability before coming to the conclusion that "doing nothing was not an option". He regretted the loss of many medical jobs, but also stated that many hospital jobs were transferred to other facilities, and that Lakewood was being proactive in attracting a number of new jobs already, medical and otherwise.
The mayor also addressed the issues of rental properties, Detroit Avenue congestion, and new business development. As he concluded his remarks with a video from the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, he received a very loud and long ovation.
A group of around twenty-five Save Lakewood Hospital people picketed outside of the Temple, prior to the presentation.
(click photo to enlarge)