February 2019

During the past months, I’ve mentioned that last year was a “learning year”. The first order of business as a newly-minted Mayor was to understand the structure, policies, and procedures of our City. Equally important was becoming familiar with our departments and our staff as well as becoming fully acquainted with residents’ issues and concerns.

As we enter the new year, we are looking forward to growing our many outstanding events and adding a few more. We will also place additional emphasis on assisting the Downtown Willoughby Organization (DTWO) in order to support the growth o four merchants, restaurants and bars. For our Lakeshore District, we need to develop erosion control strategies for city-owned properties, For our residents living on the lakefront, we will continue to identify funding sources for erosion control measures by assisting in the creation of a Special Improvement District (SID). It would also be the appropriate time to evaluate land-use along our lakefront and begin to develop long-term plans for our shoreline.

Another important task for this year is to refresh our website to make it more user-friendly. This will include better navigation and more resident-requested features. The effort will take months, but we believe better and easier access to important information will make this effort worthwhile. Also, the expansion of our presence on social channels will be a priority in order

Finally, we will be evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of our many Boards, Commissions, and local organizations. I have been approached by many residents asking to become more involved in the city government and this is what makes Willoughby a great place to live, work and raise a family. Being a member of a Board or Commission is an excellent way to become an engaged citizen and we are always in need of community-minded citizens to fill positions within these groups. Specifically, those with planning, financial, business and development experience that will help foster thoughtful decision making. If anyone is interested in becoming a member of any of our Boards, Commissions or local organizations, please feel free to contact me via email at rfiala@willoughbyohio.com or at City Hall at 440.953.4124.