October 2018

Summer 2018 has been great for Willoughby! On August 31st we celebrated the groundbreaking for Phase I of the Courthouse Square Apartments. This project will eventually include 64 luxury apartments near our Downtown. On the same day, we sold the Willoughby Middle School property to a development team that will construct 6 new ranch-style duplexes and 7 new townhomes. The former Middle School will be renovated as office space and is fully leased. These projects will help grow both our income tax base as well as our property tax base. We are excited and pleased to see these projects underway.

November 2018 also brings the mid-term elections. This election includes four charter amendments for consideration. Every six years the Mayor and council appoint a Charter Review Commission to identify any changes, updates or corrections suggested for this document. A brief description of each amendment follows:

Issue 7

Proposed Charter Amendment – Shall Article III, Section 1 be amended to provide that the term for each member of Council shall commence on the first day of January following the council member’s election?   The January 1st day was recommended by the Commission to ensure no time gap in the event of an elected Council member’s change or retirement.

Issue 8

Proposed Charter Amendment – Shall Article III, Section 5 be amended to provide for the Vice President of Council to have the authority to perform the duties of the President of Council in the absence of the President of Council?   This recommendation expressly formalizes the role of Vice President of Council.

Issue 9

Proposed Charter Amendment – Shall Article IV, Section 1 be amended to provide that the Mayor of the City of Willoughby upon election shall commence and assume office on the first day of January following the Mayor’s election?   This recommendation to a January 1st date was recommended to close potential time gaps when there is an elected Mayor change and/or retirement from the office of Mayor.

Issue 10

Proposed Charter Amendment – Shall Article VI, Section 5 be amended to delete and eliminate in its entirety this Section 5 and its language reading “This article and all ordinances, rules, and regulations shall be liberally construed to give effect to the beneficial distribution of population, and the orderly development, improvement and general welfare of the City”?   The Commission believes this language to be confusing and subject to varying interpretations.  As such, the Commission recommends its removal.

Thank you to the Charter Review Commission for this excellent work. Members include Jim Ralston (Chairman), Greg Patt (Secretary), Steve Norris, Joe Farroni, Brian Lutz, Al DiFranco, Bruce Shade, Jeff Mackey, and Lawrence Gradwell.