Lakewood Responds To Outdoor Dining Announcement

The announcement that Lakewood will allow expanded outdoor dining is receiving mixed responses from Lakewood citizens. It's good news for restaurants who can make up for having less customers because of Covid 19 restrictions and for their patrons who will have shorter waits if there are tables outside. Those who feel the opening is coming too soon, is dangerous, and will promote an increase in Covid 19 cases, feel that this expansion will make a bad situation worse. Then there are those holding their breath (literally), being careful, and waiting to see what happens.

My own first reaction (posted on the LO Deck on May 25) might sound a little hysterical: 

"I’m sure they (City Council) don’t want Lakewood to get the reputation of being party city where people come from other towns to congregate and spread disease, then go home to their quiet safe communities. They don’t want a hot spot in Lakewood with their name on it."

The fact is Governor DeWine declared restaurants open, and our City Council has to deal with it, as do we. 

Another poster wrote: "As I drove down Lakewood streets yesterday they were filled with happy joyous people and one in a hundred wore a mask if that. Patios, bars, restaurants with packed tables." 

No matter how sensible the rules might be, without enforcement they are worthless.

Facts dispel fear, we hope. It seems that everyone agrees that council must have a solid plan for enforcement. And not "that's for the police or building inspectors"--a plan for this situation. These are extraordinary times, in which people's lives are at stake, ordinary enforcement plans can't be relied upon.

I emailed my four council representatives, Ward 2's Jason Shachner, and the three council people at large, Tom Bullock, Tristan Rader and Sarah Kepple for more information. I will share their replies in the next issue.

We are very good at living together in our densely populated community. We are up to the challenge of taking good care of one another and keeping each other safe; we have to require our council and Administration to lead the way.

Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 10:36 PM, 06.03.2020