Lakewood City Council
The October 1, 2007 council meeting was called to order at 7:34 by president Robert Seelie.
Mayor Thomas George and Nickie Antonio (at large) joined in a resolution honoring the Lakewood Christian Service Center on its 25th Anniversary. The resolution points out that it is a network comprised of faith based institutions, businesses and civic organizations that work with a dedicated staff and volunteers. Individuals from these groups have worked diligently to serve the needs of Lakewood citizens in crisis providing basic assistance and personalized referral services strengthening those that they serve and the greater community as well.
The Housing Committee of council chaired by Antonio met quite a few times to consider proposals originally brought up by Mary Louise Madigan (ward four). These involved outdoor grilling in crowded areas and defining allowable window coverings or treatments. The committee indicated that it needed more time to review the proper language as it pertains to window treatments. The committee did recommend an ordinance that defines safe distances for grilling food to be 15 feet from a public right of ways. It also goes into more detail than previous ordinances about the storage of fuels for grills and their use on balconies of multi-family residences.
The committee also reviewed a report from Planning Director Thomas Jordan on the HOME Program which provides down payment assistance towards the purchase of homes. Since 1995 over 300 buyers have become home owners with the help of this program. Last year the City assisted 24 borrowers and expects to help 30 this year. An increase was requested to meet the expected demand. Also, an additional $25,000 was requested for a special category which is assistance in the purchase of single houses which have been converted from doubles. This is a program that has begun with a house on Bunts nearing completion. A detailed article on the conversion and the program is expected in the next issue of the Observer.
For those who are aficionados of inter-governmental relationships a particularly esoteric ordinance was passed at the meeting. Previously, the Lakewood Civil Service Commission operating under the City of Lakewood government administered all the civil service proceedings—testing and hiring, for instance, for not only the City but also for the Lakewood Board of Education classified employees. The Board of Education felt that this arrangement unnecessarily slowed down its hiring process and wanted to be “included out” of that arrangement. So, in a third reading council passed the necessary ordinance that dropped the Board of Education from the City’s Civil Service program.
Michael Dever (at large) who chairs the Public Works Committee asked that council refer to that committee the ordinance which covers all of the “No Turn on Red” traffic signs. He has promised a comprehensive review in order to eliminate any outdated signs and the possibility of new locations due to new traffic and pedestrian patterns.
Finally, even though cement is still drying on this year’s construction projects plans are already underway for the 2008 road rebuilding program. One of next year’s biggest projects in dollar terms will be the rebuilding of Bunts Road including sewers and water mains. Cuyahoga County is participating in the project which is estimated to cost $6 million. Public Works Director Tony Beno requested approval for seeking financial assistance of $2.2 million from the Ohio Public Works Commission for this project. Council approved and Beno will file the request.
Regular business was over at 8:29.