Lakewood City Council
February 21, 2017 - Meeting Highlights
Proposed Name Change of Housing Committee
The council proposed three different solutions. First, leaving the existing committee structure as is; second, changing the name to Housing and Development Committee; and third, creating an entirely separate Development Committee. They plan on meeting again for deliberation.
Downtown Lakewood Request for Qualifications
The council opened public engagement of redevelopment of former hospital site. They expressed their desire to foster open discussion about what new businesses residents would like to see downtown.
Finance Committee Report
The Finance Committee reviewed salaries and collective bargaining agreements with the paramedic and firefighter unions. Union negotiations are up for renewal this year, and in Resolutions 8921-17 and 8921-17, the Finance Committee proposed to increase salaries of union employees at a steady rate (3% the first year, then 2% the next two consecutive years). This resolution also establishes a health care committee to meet within the first two years of the contract to provide adequate health care options for workers, while simultaneously reducing cost and staying within the budget.
Through Ordinance 1-17, the Committee also reviewed the salary ordinance for non-collective bargaining/at-will employees. The proposed ordinance offers salary increases in line with the paramedic and firefighter unions.
Ordinances 3-17 through 12-17 include legislation to carry out capital projects that the council committed to in last year's budget. In Ordinance 3-17 specifically, the Committee proposed taking the balance from 2016 ($10.5 million) and re-roll the notes for an additional year (versus bond, for long-term financing). The ordinance also proposes using $11.6 million for infrastructural projects including water, sewage, roads, sidewalks, improvement of water treatment plants, improvement of parks, and roof and structural improvements of city buildings. The city proposes to going to one year of short term debt to try and keep costs low for residents and not have to increase taxes.
Public Works Committee Report
The committee met to discuss Resolution 8920-17, regarding a submerged lands lease for lakeside property, north of Webb Road. The Webb Road Outfall Repair Project (included in 8920-17) explains the necessity of repairing a manhole in an outfall pipe damaged by erosion. The council voted, and Resolution 8920-17 passed.
Public Safety Committee Report
The Public Safety Committee met to discuss Resolution 8916-17, a resolution to extend the moratorium on retail medical marijuana establishments. The state of Ohio wants to see a demonstration of local buy-in before approving licensure for a dispensary - or at least, a lack of opposition. Councilmember Bullock expressed concern about how medical marijuana dispensaries would affect Cuyahoga County's opioid crisis and wanted to do further research. Councilmember O'Malley expressed the council should repeal the referendum altogether and move to decide if medical marijuana dispensaries should be permitted in Lakewood. The council did not come to a conclusion on the resolution and moved to defer for further discussion.
Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board
The Animal Safety and Welfare advisory board created educational materials including a power point presentation and the guide to responsible pet ownership. The presentation and brochure will soon be available for download on the City of Lakewood website, as well as aids for dealing with wild animals and feral cats and dogs.
Ordinance Proposal for Owner-Occupied Two-Family Member Homes
Councilmember Anderson proposed to council that owners of occupied two family member homes apply for an annual housing license. All single, double, and triple family homes require licensure, and Anderson expressed that the need of an annual housing license for owner-occupied two-family member homes would promote best practices by landlords. Because the annual license requires basic information on tenants, it would also ensure that those living in Lakewood would pay Lakewood municipal tax. He expressed that this ordinance would bring in an additional $200,000 in municipal tax.