The View From Ward 2

Jason Shachner, Ward 2 City Councilmember

Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subsribers' inboxes every Monday and as of April 20th we have sent out 16 issues! For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #15 and Issue #16.

If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter please visit If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to e-mail me at or call me at (216) 714-2150.

City Council Meeting

At the beginning of the City Council meeting held on April 20th, Peter Rancatore and Claudia Dillinger were officially sworn into office as the Director of Finance and the Director of Human Resources, respectively. At a previous Committee of the Whole meeting we had an opportunity to have thorough conversations with them both. Ms. Dillinger shared her past experiences, including her part in creating the Human Resource Department for the City of Elyria. Ms. Dillinger also told us of her support for paid parental leave policies and explained her strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce. Mr. Rancatore told us that he was raised in Fairview Park and attended St. Eds. He shared with us his extensive experience and said that he was impressed with our award-winning Finance Department’s history of excellence. They both bring a wealth of experience to their positions and I look forward to working with them.

Mayor George notified Council that Carnegie Management and Development Corporation, the developer that was developing the former Lakewood Hospital site, has taken the position that it has terminated the Development and Use Agreement. Since receiving this report from Mayor George, I have diligently sought related materials to garner a better understanding of how we arrived at this point. We discussed the One Lakewood Place development in greater detail at the Committee of the Whole meeting held on Monday, April 27th. It appears that Carnegie will not be developing the site. Although we are disappointed, we are optimistic that future developers will attracted to the shovel-ready work site and eager to be a part of a project that will shape the future of Lakewood.

Finally, City Council approved an agreement between the City and Cuyahoga County, whereby the County will provide $240,000 in funding for the striping of bike lanes on Lake Avenue between Cove and Webb. This project is expected to be completed by November. 

You can watch the entire meeting by visiting

Coronavirus Updates

According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, we are still experiencing community spread of the virus. Please continue to be conscientious about washing your hands and keeping your distance from others.

The Phoenix Vape Lounge, located at Lauderdale and Detroit, was cited for violating the stay-at-home order. This remains the only business cited in Lakewood so far.

For our local businesses, the City created a webpage devoted to providing you resources during the pandemic: Small businesses can apply for a one-time supplemental cash grant through the Save Small Business Fund. For more information, please visit the link above or

Lakewood High School students made face shields in the 3D printing lab and donated them to our Fire Department. Thank you, students, for contributing to the effort to keep our first responders safe during the pandemic!

Housing, Planning, & Development Committee Meeting

On Tuesday, April 21st, I chaired a Housing, Planning, & Development Committee meeting on the topic of rent assistance. I called this meeting because I am concerned that residents may be struggling to pay rent due to the unprecedented job losses due to the pandemic.

During the meeting, I learned that a significant number of residents are being either denied unemployment or unemployment insurance payments are not being promptly dispersed, which adds to the potential danger that residents will not be able to afford their rent.

Mary Leigh from the Department of Planning briefed the Committee on current avenues of funding. She relayed that there are two main sources of funding available for rent assistance. One is the Emergency Shelter Grant Program that is managed by the Lakewood Community Center and is available for renters whose income is 30% or less of the area median income (AMI). The second is from the HOME funds, which can provide rent and utility payment assistance for those whose income is 60% or less than AMI. These programs calculate a person’s income based on when they apply, meaning that those whose jobs were affected by the pandemic may qualify. Unfortunately, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has not provided guidelines on how the available funds can be disbursed to those in need. Unfortunately, this means that these funds remain unable to be distributed until HUD releases their guidelines.

In the next Housing, Development, and Planning Committee, the Committee will explore where other funds may be available for more immediate residential rental assistance that is not reliant on action by the Federal Government. The Committee will also discuss ways that we can expand our restaurants' ability to offer outdoor dining to accommodate potential social distancing requirements. For instance, various other cities have relaxed permitting requirements and allowed outdoor dining to expand onto sidewalks, parking lots, and into streets.

You can watch the entire meeting by visiting

Jason Shachner is the Ward 2 Lakewood City Councilmember. He is currently serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Lake County Prosecutor's Offices' Criminal Division. He lives on Cook Ave. with his wife, Michelle, and their 13-year-old shepherd mix, Tessie.

Jason Shachner

Jason Shachner is the Ward 2 Lakewood City Councilmember. He is currently serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Lake County Prosecutor's Offices' Criminal Division. He lives on Cook Ave. with his wife, Michelle, and their 13-year-old shepherd mix, Tessie.

Read More on City Council
Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020