Saturday Morning Market
8:00 am – Noon @ City Hall Parking Lot (May through October)
More info at www.heartofwilloughby.com
Saturday Morning Market
8:00 am – Noon @ City Hall Parking Lot (May through October)
More info at www.heartofwilloughby.com
Tree Maintenance and Removal Companies wishing to become part of a list to be supplied to Willoughby Residents should contact the City of Willoughby Service Department at 440-953-4111 with your contact information and any other information, such as Liability Insurance, that you wish to provide. This is strictly voluntary. No one Company will be recommended over another and any work resulting from this list is strictly a private contract between Resident and Contractor. The list is being provided to residents upon request as a courtesy.
So a contractor, a steelmaker and an architect walk into a bar…
Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn’t it? Well it isn’t a joke and we didn’t walk into a bar, we walked onto Eastlake City Hall. Over the past months Mayors Rich Regovich from Willowick, Dennis Morley from Eastlake and I have been working together to investigate new ways to pool resources and develop strategies to help our communities.
Collaboration seems to be the new catchphrase in business, education and government and when it does occur the efforts of a group generate larger successes than any of its members can individually achieve. However, for people or organizations to pool resources for shared goals there must be a sense of common purpose and the ability to cooperate as equals.
Willoughby, Willowick and Eastlake are working on several initiatives that will help our cities in several ways. We are currently involved is securing funding for a study of the Vine Street corridor from Lakeshore Boulevard in Willowick, through Eastlake and to Erie Street in Downtown Willoughby. Our hope is this study will help re-imagine a heavily trafficked corridor into a more pleasant experience with a broader mix of uses. Eastlake has already seen interest in light manufacturing and national food chains are aggressively looking at opportunities in the area. A logical first-step in this process is to evaluate the zoning codes of all three cities in an effort to make them consistent.
Another collaborative initiative will be to investigate opportunities for our lakefront from Willowick to Willoughby. Willowick has already secured a grant for a study and Mayor Regovich is assisting Mayor Morley and me in securing additional study funds for our cities. This is extremely important for all three communities as one of our most important assets is our common lakefront.
Finally, we have started discussions with Mayor Barbish of Wickliffe to identify common economic development strategies. The challenges of growth in our four cities are similar, but different from other communities in Lake County. We share similar aging housing stock, underutilized industrial sites and commercial properties needing improvement. We believe that a thoughtful and consistent plan of action can be employed to help each city.
All of the efforts mentioned will require immense effort and patience. Federal, State and local funding for studies is extremely competitive and city revenues are stable or declining. It will require the combined resources of all western Lake County communities to make a significant impact.
So a contractor, a steelmaker and an architect walk into city hall…
Stay tuned for the conclusion.
January 17th was Pearl Richards birthday.
This may seem unimportant to some, but it is important for Willoughby. Pearl was 100 years old the first of the year and she and her family represent the stories of so many of us who came to our city, raised families and over the years created the rich tapestry we call Willoughby.
Pearl has lived through the terms of 13 presidents and 8 mayors (including me). She was born at the end of one world war and lived through another. Her family endured the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Pearl has experienced the invention of television, mobile phones, computers, social media and fake news. Through this, Pearl has maintained the grace and wisdom that 100 years bestow on people. She is alert, self sufficient and happiest in the company of her family of three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Moving to Willoughby from Georgia through Cleveland in the late 1940’s, Pearl was not one to take a decision as to where to raise a family lightly. She researched many communities before deciding to move to our City. A few years later Pearl and her husband built a new home. One of her daughters remembers getting “dressed-up” to go to the bank and meet with the bank president (who was also the mayor) for a loan. With a growing family and limited budget, they couldn’t afford to finish the interior or a heating system the first winter. Pearl speaks of this not with contempt, but with pride. She is also proud that her children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren attended and attend Willoughby schools. Pearl represents what thousands of young couples before and after yearn; a great community to build a home and a family. As Pearl’s daughter stated “Living in a great neighborhood with wonderful neighbors, and being a wonderful neighbor herself, has enriched her life and probably added years to her life.”
Today, Pearl stays active with gardening and quilt-making. She has given away over 90 quilts to families and missions.
Pearl Richards’ birthday is important. It is a home-grown story of a woman and her family, their devotion to each other and the community in which they live. It is a story that we want to see recreated in the coming years, with new young families moving to our City, becoming established community members, and raising their children and grandchildren.
Thank you Pearl and Happy Birthday. I look forward to seeing you again next year on January 17.
The past month brings some new faces to City Hall with the promotion of others. We are pleased to announce that Diane Bosley, our Assistant Finance Director has been promoted to Finance Director. Over the past years, Diane has worked closely with our retiring Finance Director Ray Rogowski in maintaining our reputation for excellence in accounting. She brings an intimate knowledge of our budgeting process, business systems and staff that will insure continued stability in this department.
We are also pleased to announce the selection of Lee Bock as our new Service Director. Lee brings 30 years of experience as a member of Euclid’s Service Department and is familiar with every department and task associated with a large and complex service team. He has certifications in waterline, highway and sewer construction as well as storm water management. While at Euclid, Lee was successful in obtaining significant grant funding, and we are hopeful he will continue those efforts in Willoughby.
Finally, we are delighted that Tom Thielman will be our new Director of Economic Development. Tom is a Wickliffe resident where he started his career in Economic Development before working for the City of Parma. Most recently, Tom spent 12 years as an Economic Development Administrator for the City of Mentor. Tom earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Our goal over the next months is to help our new directors become more familiar with Willoughby and, more importantly, understand the qualities that make our city unique and special.
As we leave the holidays and move through the worst days of the winter season please remember a few things. Our service crews are obligated to plow main roads first. This insures safe passage of emergency vehicles. In a heavy snow event, this may cause a delay in plowing side streets. Please be patient, they will get to your street. Also, our plows may push snow onto your apron. This is difficult to avoid and may require cleanup by the homeowner. Finally, if you are using a plowing service, please make sure you neighbors know when and where you will be pushing the snow.
While we endure the coldest days of the year, please remember we are only about 6 weeks from the first day of Spring!
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!
For the upcoming November 7, 2017 General Election, Ohio voters will decide a number of local issues and races. Click here to see the LOCAL ISSUES.
Ohioans will also vote on two statewide ballot issues. Click here to see the STATE ISSUES.
Willoughby Residents can click here to see the Candidates for Mayor, City Council seats and Willoughby Municipal Judge.
The Willoughby-Eastlake School Board issue can be viewed here.
URGENT — POLL WORKERS NEEDED — URGENT — CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The 2017 Pavement Repair Program has been bid and awarded to Chagrin Valley Paving and TC Construction. Work has already begun and will continue through the month June, weather permitting. The program will provide asphalt pavement resurfacing and concrete slab repairs on sixteen streets throughout the City.
The streets included for asphalt resurfacing are; Riverbend Road, Riverside Drive, and Code Avenue. Streets included for concrete repairs with an asphalt overlay are; the northern portion of Beidler Road, Glenbrook Road, Nantucket and Cheltenham Drives.
Streets requiring full depth concrete slab repairs include; Oak Ridge Drive, Beacon and Colonial Drives, Topps Industrial Parkway, Biltmore Place, River Road (SR 174), Polo Park Drive , Ramona Street, Westminster and Drury Lanes, Heritage Court and Western Parkway.
Residents and businesses are asked to refrain from parking in the street during this time.