For over a quarter of a century we have been reading this column authored by Dave Anderson so it is only fitting the first notes of 2018 be an acknowledgement of his extraordinary contributions to the City of Willoughby. Dave has provided consistent, balanced, and forward-thinking leadership throughout his service and the results can be seen every day in our thriving businesses, neighborhoods and active Historic Downtown. Thank you Mayor Dave! It is a truly an honor to continue the great work you’ve accomplished.
Along with Mayor Anderson, the following executive team members will be retiring from their roles including:
• Ray Rogowski, Finance Director
• Angelo Tomaselli, Service Director
• Janice Lipscomb, Community Development Manager
These three executive team members have provided Dave with invaluable support and guidance over the years. Our goal is to replace these vacancies with individuals of the same quality, experience and collaborative spirit that our residents expect and deserve.
I would like to thank outgoing Council Members Jerry Ranally, Jeff Black and Steve Norris. Each of these councilmen invested considerable time and energy in making our City a great place to live, work and play. Their commitment to Willoughby and their ability to work cooperatively has provided steady leadership for years.
Finally, I’d like to give a warm welcome to the following new Council Members:
• Katie McNeill, Council at Large
• Ken Kary, Ward 2 Council
• John Tomaselli, Ward 3 Council
• Dan Anderson, Ward 5 Council
I am looking forward to working with these new community leaders along with returning Council Members Bob Carr, Council Ward 4, Bob Harrold, Council Ward 6 and Chris Woodin, Council Ward 1. I am confident this team will provide the same thoughtful and deliberate leadership our City deserves. Looking forward, I am excited for the opportunities that are before us. Due to Dave’s leadership, and with the support of the City Councils that have worked with him, our community is poised for a new and exciting future. We are ready to investigate ways to improve neighborhoods, support local businesses and re-invent our Downtown. Currently we are working towards creating an ongoing collaboration with our neighboring cities to find ways to share resources and combine planning efforts in order to sustain and improve all Western Lake County Cities. I am already meeting with Mayor Regovich of Willowick and Mayor Morley of Eastlake as well as Eastlake Councilman Mike Zuren to develop strategies to support businesses along the Vine Street corridor from Lakeshore Boulevard to Downtown Willoughby. The first step is to review and coordinate the zoning codes of our cities and identify planning opportunities along Vine Street. We are also considering a Lake Erie Coastal study for our three communities. Our hope is to create a long-term strategy to improve our coastline from Willowick to Mentor. This will be an important step in planning for North Willoughby, our Gateway District. Another economic development strategy will be to strengthen our relationship with the Willoughby/Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce whose goal is to promote and grow our local businesses.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!