Our New Year’s resolutions are incredibly ambitious and forward-looking. I am thankful for what we accomplished last year and looking forward to a successful 2022. Willoughby continues to be a desirable place to live and visit, and we will redouble our commitment to a family-friendly city while promoting new business.
Last year, while still in the throes of the pandemic’s variants, we increased community programming to include Sunset Concerts at Osborne Park. We are hoping to expand these concerts in the coming year. We also saw new business open in the Lakeshore District and new housing. Both are critical pieces to stimulating growth in this area. Our Parks and Recreation Department increased programming at Lost Nation Golf Course, and for the first time, we did not require a fund transfer to cover debt from previous renovations. We are looking forward to additional improvements to both the course and programming.
Our Historic Downtown continues to welcome new tenants, and our Economic Development team is working to seek quality merchants to complement our bars and restaurants in creating a DTW “experience.” We are also looking to expand our downtown across Mentor Avenue to enhance that experience. Of course, we always look forward to our third Saturday summer events and Gazebo Concerts.
Lakefront and riverfront access will also be a priority this year, and we have retained design consultants for both a reimagined Osborne Park and the Chagrin River Trail. Thus far, and with the assistance of area environmental groups, we have successfully obtained 3 million dollars to protect and enhance these assets. We encourage our residents to become involved in planning our lakefront and riverfront. Both projects will take years to realize fully, but we are excited to start this journey.
Finally, this year, we will continue to support our local manufacturing and professional services businesses by developing an outreach program to better understand their needs and goals. We are hopeful we can assist in their growth and success with this information.
All the goals for this year will require a concerted and cooperative effort between our city government and our residents. City Council has provided guidance and support on critical initiatives, and our directors are committed to continuing and increasing the excellent services they have provided over the past years. I look forward to working with them and our residents in 2022.
Happy New Year!