As we near the end of 2018 it is a great time to reflect on the challenges and successes Willoughby encountered in the past months. Change always brings excitement and concern and with a new Mayor, four new councilpersons and four new directors the past year has witnessed the remarkable resilience of our City. The encouragement from our residents for the administration has been overwhelming and has helped the transition to be smooth and effective. Our new councilpersons have eagerly assumed their responsibilities with the support and guidance of the three veteran council members. In all, our city government has continued to function at the same level of excellence expected by our citizens for decades. Collectively we are looking forward to an exciting New Year.
In looking back at 2018 we’ve had an emphasis on “branding” our Historic Downtown as and Arts, Entertainment and Cultural District. The effort was advanced with the creation of the Willoughby Arts Collaborative. This group of volunteers has been working to establish our Downtown as a premier location to experience the arts with the goal to increase traffic for our merchants and continue the success of our bars and restaurants. We have had outstanding cooperation from the downtown stakeholders and we are looking forward to a great collaboration in 2019. The City is also strengthening our relationship with the Fine Arts Association and their wealth of talented students and teachers to provide additional emphasis on the arts. Finally, we are delighted to see the start of construction of Courthouse Square, the much-anticipated residential development adjacent to the Willoughby Municipal Court, and the sale of the former Memorial Junior High School which will be remodeled into office space. We expect these projects will add new life to our city center.
In North Willoughby we have invested in more amenities at Osborne Park and we have been adding banners and flowers to match the character of our downtown. A private developer has started construction on a manufacturing warehouse facility at Lost Nation Airport that will add more jobs for our city and help sustain the airport. Also, we are getting increased interest in new commercial construction along the Lost Nation Corridor and we will continue to solicit others to invest in convenience retail to support the new housing in this area.
Overall this has been another great year for Willoughby. While we have challenges ahead of us we are blessed with dedicated professionals at City Hall, Service, Police and Fire as well as intelligent and cooperative Council members committed to serving their constituents. It is wonderful time of the year to give thanks!