Click here to view public notice.
After 26 years of writing this column, this will be my last Mayor’s Report. To begin with, I’d like to congratulate Bob Fiala on his election as Mayor. Bob is coming into the office with a wealth of experience in business and planning, as well as 20 years of municipal experience as a councilman. Willoughby couldn’t be in better hands and I’m excited for the future of our City.
I’d also like to congratulate Katie McNeill, Ken Kary, John Tomaselli and Dan Anderson on their election to City Council. It’s probably an understatement to say that they have some pretty big shoes to fill. Our four outgoing councilmen have over 70 years of combined experience. I’m confident that this new group, however, will bring some fresh perspectives and, as evidenced by their successful campaigns, a great deal of energy to their positions. The experience that Mayor Fiala and Councilmen Woodin, Harrold and Carr bring to the table should result in a balanced team, well poised to take Willoughby into the future. I’m excited for them and wish them the best of luck as they begin their journey.
It’s appropriate to be writing my last column during the Thanksgiving season because I certainly have much to be thankful for; first and foremost my family. I couldn’t have done this job without Donna’s support and understanding, as well as the support of my entire family, and I thank God for them every day.
I’ve been blessed with City Council members who have been elected and served with one purpose; to do what’s best for the City and the people who live and work here. The unselfish way they’ve approached their jobs is a big reason for Willoughby’s success.
I’ve also been blessed with co-workers who have shown themselves to be committed to serving our citizens in a professional and caring manner. This includes everyone from our Directors and Chiefs to the folks who carry out the day to day activities our citizens depend on. I can truly say that I’ve never worked with a finer group of people and I thank them all for their support and cooperation over the past 26 years.
Lastly, thanks to all of you for your support and friendship for these many years. You have made this a wonderful experience for me and my family. So on behalf of our family; Eric, Nicci, David and Dominic; Dan, Carin, Emily, Anthony, Landon and Ella, Donna and I want to wish everyone the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of Holidays. Have a great month and a great New Year.
I’ve heard it said of some comedy routines that “It never gets old”. That’s how I look at this month’s article (although you may feel differently.) Yes, it’s my annual “leaf collection article”. Some trees lose their leaves starting in mid-October, and our curbside collection service will begin at the end of the month. As we all know, this season can be very trying for workers and citizens alike because so much depends on the weather. If the weather stays dry, the leaves can be picked up fairly easily. If the weather is wet or we get an early snow, it becomes much more difficult.
Please rake leaves to the street, but NOT onto the street or into ditches. Also, keep in mind that it can be a period of a few weeks until City crews are able to get to your street. If you are concerned for the grass on your tree lawn or with the leaves simply blowing away, the leaves can be bagged in paper yard-waste bags and our rubbish hauler will pick these up on your regular collection day through the end of November.
People sometimes ask why we can’t schedule certain streets for certain days. The answer is that we’ve tried this in the past but it was impossible to stay on schedule. The leaves don’t fall on a schedule, people don’t rake them to the street on a schedule, and the weather has no schedule,whatsoever. When the volume increases about mid-November (typically along with winter-type weather), it takes much longer to get from street to street.
We have three crews that operate in a loop around their designated territory. Each has about 50 lane-miles of road to pick up. That is approximately the distance from Willoughby to Pennsylvania. So if you’re wondering where the leaf truck is; it’s somewhere between your house and Pennsylvania and they’re working their way to you as quickly as they can.
With a little luck and a little patience, we’ll all get through the season again this year. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great start to the Christmas Season.
Have a great month.
It’s time again for the return of our Summer Concert Series. This year features many new performers mixed with some favorites from the past. The concerts take place every Thursday beginning at 7:00 pm in Wes Point Park. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the sounds of summer. Here is this year’s line-up:
July 7 – Hampshire Moon Band: Performs songs across all spectrums, including Motown, R&B, Country and Rock.
July 14 – Erie Heights Brass Ensemble: Named for the small crossroads community overlooking the Lake, they were formed on a windy day in March of 1999. They perform about thirty concerts a year. These venues have included parks, malls, churches, libraries, etc. for both community and private events. Once or twice a year, the group performs an educational concert in the schools.
July 21 – Don Disantis Orchestra: Performing “music from the great American songbook,” the Don Disantis Orchestra entertains with songs from the Sinatra era and more.
July 28 – Mayor Anderson presents the Sounds of Willoughby: I’ll be doing some finger-picking on my guitar, featuring songs in the style of Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed and Tommy Emmanuel. The River Street String Band will be back for an encore appearance, as well as Ray and Ron Somich from WELW Radio.
August 4 – Red Light Roxy: Red Light Roxy is a professional band from Cleveland, Ohio that plays an upbeat mix from the Great American Songbook and includes familiar songs made famous by such legendary performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong.
August 11 – The Pop Tarts: The Pop Tarts are ultra cool and loads of fun! They are 4 “groovy chicks” who sing the most popular hits from the 60’s girl groups. Dressed in matching 60’s outfits, they use the original artists’ movements and sing to original sounding tracks.
August 18 – Joe Bell and the Swing Lizards: A critically acclaimed, award winning group, performing rocking swing, jump blues, soul and funk; they are legendary where ever live music delights the soul. When the Lizards hit the stage, they truly funk up the place, filling the room with their rootsy, feel good energy.
August 25 – Alex Bevan: Alex has been sharing his voice, guitar, music and stories with audiences for more than 40 years. Drawing on his deep skill set of imaginative and honest song writing, combined with an agile, improvisational wit that dovetails with his guitar singing, Alex never fails to delight and charm audiences.
I hope to see many of you at these concerts. Have a great month.
I thought I’d write just a short article this month to remind you about an important service that is offered to Lake County residents and businesses. The service is the Reverse 911 Program offered by the Lake County Emergency Management Agency.
This a system in which you can receive a call alerting you to something going on in the county, in the city or even in your own neighborhood. We used this system a few years ago when the county was providing mass inoculations for the H1N1 virus. It can also be used to alert people about weather emergencies or safety and security emergencies.
When the program began every resident’s home phone number was programmed into the system. But things, as we know, have changed. Today, many households don’t maintain a “home phone.” Rather, everyone in the household uses his or her cell phone to communicate. Hence, not everyone is currently programmed to receive these emergency notices.
The EMA recognized this to be a problem and has established a site in which cell phone users can register to receive these reverse 911 calls. To register you will need to go to the County’s website, Lakecountyohio.gov. At the top of the site click on County Departments, and then select Emergency Management Agency. Once on the agency’s website you’ll find ‘links’ on the left-hand side. Click on Reverse 911 Sign-Up and enter your cell number. You’ll then be registered to receive these important emergency notifications.
You can skip all of the above, if you’d like, by going directly to
http://arcgis.lakecountyohio.gov/PublicR911Enroll/. However, I’d suggest you go to the Lake County web site and explore the site a little bit. All of Lake County’s departments are accessible from the site and there is a wealth of information that you may not be aware of. Lake County offers its residents some great services.
I certainly hope you take advantage of the Reverse 911 program and enroll. It can play a big role in your family’s safety and security. Have a great month.
The Thanksgiving season, as always, is a great time to contemplate the things for which we are thankful. During this season I’d once again like to say thank you to a special group of citizens who have dedicated many hours of their time serving Willoughby and its citizens. I’m referring to the folks who serve on our various Boards and Commissions. These people put in a tremendous amount of time during the year helping us carry out the “business of government” in an orderly and efficient manner. Here are the folks which deserve all of our gratitude for their commitment to serving us:
BOARD OF BUILDING CODE APPEALS; Tony Ranallo, Tom Ruple, Michael Gallagher, Randy Vinson; Richard Parker; Jay Byram
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION; Greg Schmidt, Eric Barbe, Jeff Mitchell
DESIGN REVIEW BOARD (HISTORIC PRESERVATION DISTRICT); Dan Volpe, Bill Henrich, John Perkovich, Paul Garcia, Mike Merhar
PLANNING COMMISSION; Greg Patt, Gerald Merhar, Ken Kary, Chuck Cox, Bob Fiala
SHADE TREE COMMISSION; Don Lewis, Lynn Sawyer, Maria Tomaselli, John Forkins, Jason Knowles, Bob Carr
SIGN REVIEW BOARD; Gerald Geisinger, Adam Brown, John Popelka, Tara M. Ward, Joseph Koscovics
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS; Bruno Frate, Al DiFranco, Michael Wildermuth, Harry Siskind, Joseph Palmer
If you see these folks during the Holidays, please let them know that you appreciate their service. They really do a lot to help preserve and enhance the quality of life we all enjoy in Willoughby.
Have a great Thanksgiving.