City Council: April 17, 2017

All members of Council were present except Councilman Litten, whose absence was excused.

Public Works Committee Report 

The Public Works Committee met on April 10, 2017 to discuss Ordinances 18-17 and 20-17. Present at the meeting were Councilman Nowlin (chair), Councilmembers Litten and Marx, Director Beno, Assistant Law Director Swallow, representatives from AT&T and and representatives from Cornucopia, Inc.

Councilman Nowlin discussed Ordinance 18-17, the proposal to grant three AT&T easements on city property for the use of internet and telecommunications services to its customers. During the meeting, Director Beno used an interactive map to show the three proposed locations: 14740 Lakewood Heights Blvd, 13029 Madison Avenue, and 14601 Detroit Avenue (technically on Warren Road near Boston Market). Beno searched with AT&T to find least conspicuous locations for the sizable pieces of equipment. AT&T has long term plans to position 50 pieces of new equipment in the public right of way over the next several years.

Councilmembers expressed hesitation installing new equipment in areas where old equipment was already highly visible, specifically the Detroit location. The members present voiced interest in minimizing the impact of this new equipment before installation. Councilmembers proposed using the easements as canvases for public art, as well as emphasized the importance of establishing design and sighting standards for all utility equipment. The Committee moved to defer the legislation in order to purpose more time to explore these ideas.

In addition, the Committee discussed Ordinance 20-17, the proposal to authorize a lease between the city and Cornucopia, Inc. for the provision of summer concessions at Lakewood Park. Councilmembers and employees of Cornucopia discussed potential hours of operation, removal of refuse, advertising, and employees. The law department brought a draft lease agreement and a brief overview of its points, as well. The Committee recommended adoption, with all members of the meeting present expressing optimism to the addition to Lakewood Park. The Council deferred the ordinance to the following meeting for review.

Public Safety Committee Meeting Report

The Public Safety Committee met on April 10, 2017 regarding the Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board. All members were present, and Council Chair O’Malley and Councilmember Marx advocated support of Ordinance 19-17, a proposed amendment to the code providing greater freedom to the Board to deliberate on animal related topics. O’Malley explained that in 2013, the code was amended to protect the Board from deliberating on topics not explicitly referred to them from the Council docket. Frustrated by its inability to engage in pertinent animal related issues concerning the city in a timely manner, the Board hopes to reinstate prior language to the code. During the meeting, Councilmembers discussed many animal issues facing the city and voiced support for the board for bringing it to their attention. The committee supports adoption of this amendment, and it was deferred to the following meeting.

Lake Erie Wind Energy Project

Mayor Summers, in conjunction with Councilmembers Bullock, Marx, and O’Malley, presented the Ice Breaker Wind Project for Lake Erie by the Lake Erie Energy Development Company (LEED-Co). LEED-Co has worked for over a decade to pioneer freshwater wind farm technology. If approved, the company would install wind turbines seven miles off the coast of Lake Erie, visible from the shoreline on a clear day. Mayor Summers remarked on Cleveland’s history of coal fire and power plants, saying, "We owe it to our community, both current and future, to support alternative sources of power generation to both diversify our supply and improve our environment.”

Resolution 8929-17 expresses the City of Lakewood’s support for the wind energy project. Summers explained the project is currently in the permitting phase and recommended LEED-Co to talk to the Council and Administration about the project, implementation plans, and impact on the community. Councilmember Bullock voiced his enthusiastic support for the project, encouraging community members to write letters of support for the clean energy initiative. The Council adopted the resolution.

Potential Bike Share in Lakewood

“Spring is here, and bicycles are on the streets,” Councilmember Marx began happily. She recognized the City’s aim to be healthiest city in the United States, emphasizing Lakewoodites’ commitment to active living. Marx coordinated a meeting with Bike Lakewood, Beat Cycles, and Spin Bike Shop with Alex Baca, the general manager of University Hospital (UH) Bikes, the bike share in Cleveland to inform the group of the steps to take to creating a bike share in Lakewood. Baca educated the group on the steps involved in creating a bike share in Lakewood. He also invited City Council and the Administration to take a courtesy tour through UH bikes to experience downtown Cleveland by bicycle.

Mayoral Appointment to LW Citizens Advisory Committee

Mayor Summers appointed Joshua Gonzalez to the Lakewood Citizens Advisory Committee. The Mayor described Gonzales as a young and new resident to Lakewood who brings great amount of enthusiasm and a desire to be involved in any way possible.

Mayoral Appointment to Lakewood Audit Committee

Mayor Summers appointed Adam Wills to the Lakewood Audit Committee for a two-year term, expiring in 2019. Wills grew up in Lakewood and went to Lakewood High School, expressing excitement to be involved with his hometown. Willis is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is currently working as the Audit Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

2007 GO Bond Private Placement Refunding and 1995 Water Revenue Bonds Defeasance

Finance Director Pae brought two pieces of financial legislation to the docket. First, she introduced Ordinance 21-17, which would refund $6.05 million of the outstanding 2007 general obligation bonds via a private placement arrangement with Capital One (in order to reduce interest costs). Pae also introduced Ordinance 22-17, authorizing Council to defease, or pay off, the $670,000 outstanding of the 1995 water revenue bonds, via the establishment of an escrow account with Huntington Bank. City Council referred both ordinances to the following Finance Committee Meeting.

Announcements from Council

Council Vice President Anderson thanked the Clerk of Council and City IT Department for their aid in presenting the agenda digitally for the public. In addition, Council President O’Leary jokingly encouraged residents to pay their taxes before April 18.

Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) Awards Presentation

Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) presented its annual Beautiful Home Awards, a KLB activity where residents are encouraged to nominate homes in Lakewood that are especially well maintained and beautifully landscaped. Organization chair Ruth Gilett presented the awards, thanking the administration and Council for their efforts to promote a clean, beautiful, and environmentally aware city. Through the summer of 2016, residents nominated twenty homes for the contest. KLB awarded six properties with a plaque identifying their property as a winner, as well as thanking the homeowners for their hard work. The winning properties (and owners) are as follows:

Sara Loomer and Zach Smith, of 1050 Lakeland Avenue, have owned their home since 2009. When they began landscaping their home in 2009, they were unaware mulch by yard could be delivered, so their Mini Cooper doubled as a pick-up truck as they picked up 30+ bags of mulch. Loomer and Smith provided sound gardening advice, such as scheduling for planting and maintenance, planning ahead, and encouraging homeowners to embrace trying new things.

Debbie and Ric Rada, of 2033 Bunts Road, have gardened together here for over 40 years. The property was the Rada family home, so Rick gardened there even before Mary and Debbie. The KLB acknowledged the curb appeal of the property's front yard, as well as the backyard memory garden to memorialize Debbie’s mother and brother. For gardening advice, the Radas primarily thank Mother Nature and hard work for their success, adding, “plant tone and ironite are also helpful.”

Ray and Joanne Heinert, of 2388 Woodward Avenue, have lived in their home for three years but have been gardening together for over 40 years. Since 2013, the couple has designed and installed a three-level brick patio and garden in back yard, as well as landscaping the front and side of the property to enhance the mature plantings. As it turns out, the home’s previous owners also received a beautiful home award. Gilett thanked the owners for “maintaining its tradition of excellence.”

Paul and Terry Schuerger, of 14216 Bayes Avenue, are thirty-two year Lakewood residents, with 28 years of gardening experience. The couple attributes their success to their homegrown compost pile. They also supplement with Miracle Grow Flower and Tomato Fertilizer.

Jonathon Tallman and David Reichert, of 1538 Elbur Avenue, have lived in Lakewood for fourteen years. Much of the landscaping on the property is composed of legacy plants from Jonathan’s mother, Betty Tallman, and David’s grandmother, Sally. Tallman and Reichert love Lakewood and are committed to maintaining its beauty.

Linda White and Gaik Perusek, of 1287 Summit Avenue, have lived in Lakewood for twenty-one years. Both garden enthusiasts since quite young, White and Perusek enjoy digging in the dirt, as well as constructing garden items together, such as cold frames and trellises. Their advice, which they playfully admit is “not endorsed by the lawn maintenance industry,” is to be unafraid of digging up one’s lawn and planting new, beautiful gardens.

After the awards presentation, Gilett urged residents to nominate a beautiful Lakewood home for 2018 – “Perhaps even your own home,” she encouraged. If interested in submitting, visit the Keep Lakewood Beautiful portion of the City of Lakewood website, nominating the property through Gilett also thanked the members of the KLB Board.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 4:19 PM, 05.02.2017