Mayor's Corner:Refining The Budget

As we enjoy everything that summer has to offer in Lakewood, this season is also a time of planning, preparation, and prioritization at City Hall. It’s when I begin meeting with the directors of our departments to begin working on our city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, both for our ongoing operations and capital needs and improvements.

My goal continues to be preparing a budget that is fiscally realistic and responsible while also ensuring that Lakewood maintains the excellent level of service that our residents, businesses, and visitors have come to expect and enjoy. Reaching that goal involves in depth conversations with our directors at City Hall, but also conversations with you – our residents – on what is possible and what is a priority.

This thoughtful budgeting process allows Lakewood to keep top notch services – things like safety, public works, and human services – while also maintaining our core infrastructure and adding or updating assets. With careful planning, we can take on projects that have been completed this year – like the Cove Community Center – or that are now underway or in the bid process – like the major upgrades coming at Foster Pool and the new Recycling Center and Animal Shelter facility.

As we refine the budget, we will also continue our dialogue with City Council to share the analysis and thinking that drives my administration’s recommendations while also understanding council input and priorities. Through this collaborative conversation, the City is able to best position itself for long-term financial health while also moving ahead with our future vision for Lakewood. I look forward to fine tuning the budget and presenting it to Lakewood City Council in the coming months.

As mentioned here, a priority from last year’s budget was to construct a new Recycling Center and Animal Shelter facility. This week, I had the pleasure of presenting to Cuyahoga County Council with our City Engineer, Mark Papke, where we reviewed the project as part of an effort to secure potential funding support from the County.

The project is an important one for our city. By modernizing our recycling center, we will provide a streamlined facility where residents can drop off both nontraditional waste – from hazardous waste items to tires and construction debris – as well as process recyclables. Our new animal shelter will ensure safe and humane treatment of animals that do not have a home or whose owners can no longer care for them. Both of these needs have been on the City’s radar for years. I’d like to thank our area’s representative, Councilman Dale Miller, as well as all of County Council, for hosting us and considering our request for support.

Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022