Mayor's Corner: Safety And Recovery

March was a busy month for Lakewood, and much of it was focused on safety. We began the month with discussions about how to improve traffic safety in light of February’s horrific car accident on Clifton Boulevard that took the lives of two young men. We marked the one-year anniversary of the pandemic’s economic shutdown. We responded to unfortunate gun-related incidents. I would like to provide you with a short update on the safety initiatives we are taking in the aftermath of these events.

In response to recent gun-related incidents, please be assured that safety continues to be our number one priority. On March 25th, we hosted a virtual community safety meeting to address recent criminal activity in and around Lakewood. If you wish to watch the meeting, a recording is posted to the City’s website. As discussed in the safety meeting, all resources have been deployed to address and investigate these incidents. These include increasing patrols in our parks, expanding policing and patrol efforts citywide, and scaling up our camera systems. These are short-term solutions to address the immediate safety concerns. However, to address the ongoing and long-term issues it will take a community-wide effort that addresses safety through an equity lens in a post-Covid world. Gun violence has increased nationwide and we need to work together as a community to address the long term impacts of Covid on mental health combined with easy access to guns.

While March had its challenges, we saw many bright spots. I have been advocating for more than a year to our congressional delegation that we need help to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic and help is on the way. We received news in March that the City will receive new funds from the federal government through the passage of the American Recovery Plan. These funds will help Lakewood for years to come and it is important to develop a strategic plan to maximize the use of these funds, which will take extensive community and Council input.

Additionally, we are also coming closer to an agreement with our regulators to address the City’s stormwater permit in a sustainable and affordable manner. I am advocating for additional funding from the State of Ohio and the federal government to address these issues that we did not create but we are responsible to resolve.

Finally, I am looking forward to the virtual State of the City address which will be held on April 16th at noon through the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce’s monthly “Brown Bag Lunch” series. A spinoff throughout April and May will be coming to each ward so please tune in and register through the City’s website.

Looking forward to a successful Spring and Summer.

Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021