City, Blue Star Moms, Honor Holtz
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.
This was brought home to the Lakewood community when Navy Petty Officer Michael Holtz died in January while serving on a submarine. So on behalf of the Blue Star Moms and in honor of Michael Holtz, Antonio requested that the city add his name to the Veteran’s Memorial Plaque at Lakewood Park.
Council unanimously agreed and Mayor Thomas George directed remarks and remembrances of the Holtz family to Michael’s parents who were in the audience.The rules and ordinances committee has held several meetings as it has worked to revise civil services policies followed by the city. Among its recommendations to the full council are doubling the number of points for applicants who reside in Lakewood and improving requirements in favor of veterans. Additional points improve an applicant’s opportunity of being hired. Also under this committee’s jurisdiction are the rules for private parades and running races on the city streets. Modifications to the fees for those events were recommended, requiring private sponsoring organizations be held responsible for some of the up front fees.
Under new business member Ryan Demro (ward two) is proposing changes in the curfew law for children not accompanied by a parent or guardian. Specifically, he wants the curfew for those under 13 years of age to be 9:30 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. between 14 and 16 years old 11:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. and 17 year olds to be off the streets, sidewalks or public property from midnight to 5:00 A.M. Parents would also be held responsible for their kids who are out after curfew.
Mayor George indicated that the administration has been looking hard at the curfew laws and will be working along these lines to change them.
Public Works Director Tony Beno asked for authorization to extend the Gypsy Moth Control Program to allow spraying on private property. He emphasized that this is essential in controlling that insect.
Finance Director Jennifer Pae submitted an ordinance to issue tax increment financing bonds for the Cliffs project along Sloan Avenue. The amount is $250,000 more that what was anticipated last year. According to Planning Director Thomas Jordan the project had been held up by the Metroparks, whose property abuts the private development. There was concern about surface access on the part of the Metroparks. Mayor George enlisted the aid of the Cuyahoga County Commissioners who have authority over that park district. Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones personally visited the site for his own evaluation. A solution in the form of a private access road which reflects the additional money was the result. A recent visit to the Rocky River shoreline of that building site shows that construction has resumed. Two barges with an excavator and a crane are docked and ready for action.
Director Jordan also introduced a proposal for a Joint Economic Development Zone between Cleveland and Lakewood. Cheaper rates for water purchased by Lakewood from Cleveland and an agreement by each city not to “poach” or offer competing inducements for new businesses are the main features of this agreement.
This agreement will be fully reviewed by council’s committees and according to Mayor George “It promises to be a landmark agreement of regional cooperation.”Finally, when it comes time to buying food for your pup consider this. The city is accepting a donation of coupons in the amount of $450 from Nutro Products to buy Nutro Max dog food for one of Lakewood’s K-9 units. The company has a program for working police dogs through which it offers their product.