Proud Of Lakewood

As 2020 comes to a close, I am proud of the work we have done and am hopeful for what lies ahead.

There is no denying the tough times right now. The COVID-19 pandemic remains dangerous, and that means disruptions to life for months to come.

However, even with the backdrop of a once in a lifetime pandemic, we continue to move forward on many goals and projects. We have no room to slow down.

Awards and Recognition

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2020 Census and other progress

We accomplished a great deal together as a community in October.

We completed our Census work—earlier than we hoped—but we still managed to improve our overall response rate in Lakewood compared to the last Census ten years ago.

Our 2020 street resurfacing program has come to a close. We improved 9 streets with over $1.7 million in materials and labor. We completed the installation of a new electric vehicle charging station near the intersection of Parkhaven Row and Detroit.

I participated in Power a Clean Future Ohio’s “Ohio Leaders for Climate Accountability Roundtable” to share the work my administration is doing to preserve and protect our environment. I also attended the kickoff meeting for Cuyahoga County’s Lakefront Public Access Plan, for which I serve on the steering committee. The goal of this Plan is to better access and utilize Lake Erie assets to improve economic opportunities and quality of life.

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Fiscal Responsibility Update

I pledged to emphasize strong public finances, as mayor. Amid the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration is both advocating for federal and state assistance, and finding savings locally.

Applying my background in employee benefits, Lakewood is on course to save more than $100,000 in benefits over the next 12 months. The city has also saved more than $300,000 overtime this year, compared to 2019.

Between disrupted economic conditions, and delayed tax filing deadlines, estimating an eventual budget shortfall is difficult but we are taking no chances. We have reduced payroll further, through voluntary furloughs, while avoiding layoffs, and placed projects on hold where possible to protect the city’s bond rating.

While tough work remains ahead, all of Lakewood can be proud of how city departments have stepped forward with a get-through-this-together spirit.

The Mayor’s Corner

I am excited to begin contributing short pieces to The Lakewood Observer from time to time, to offer insight for Lakewoodites into issues currently happening at City Hall or important ideas I’d like to communicate to the community. I’m grateful for this forum and I intend it to start ongoing conversations. 

During my campaign for the Mayor’s Office last year and since getting elected, you have probably heard me talk about my priorities for city government: Safety, Neighborhoods, Environment, and Disciplined Finances. In this first edition of the Mayor’s Corner I want to talk a bit about Finances.

Read more in The Lakewood Observer or online