Councilman's Corner: Holiday Greetings
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted in new Ward 8 for the support you gave me on Election Day, November 5th. To have received 98.5% of the votes cast in new ward 8, is very humbling. Furthermore, to have the third highest vote total in City Council says a lot about the support I have received from our community over all the years. As someone who was raised in this community and a proud product of Collinwood High School, I wish to say, once again, “Thank You;” and I will not let you down. No councilman in this city has ever had the kind of support I have had. I am honored to represent the present Ward 11 community and God willing, come January 1st, the new 8th Ward. I look forward to working with my colleagues Kevin Conwell, in new Ward 9, and Jeff Johnson, in new Ward 10.
Updates on neighborhood projects:
Lakeshore Boulevard resurfacing project is virtually complete from East 140th Street to East 174th Street, even though there are some sewer lids and other items that need to be resolved weather permitting. Work has begun in earnest by the Northeast Regional Sewer District on the historic pump house at East 174th Street Lakeshore Boulevard at Euclid Creek with the installation of new lines and underground connectors. Work at the Triangle continues in connection with this project. NEORSD will go out for re-bidding on the $10.5 million Lakeshore Boulevard Relief Sewer Project which should get underway sometime in early 2014. All of these projects, including the Euclid Creek Tunnel Project, are part of an historic effort to address flooded basements and to clean up Euclid Creek and our lake front beaches.
The Waterloo Road Streetscape project has been very difficult, to say the least. This project, which has been in the works for a long time, has had its share of challenges from running into undisclosed underground utilities to just dealing with the size and scope of a complete tear out and rebuild of the roadway while trying to maintain traffic flow. My sincere appreciation to all the businesses, residents, and property owners who have to endure this massive construction project. I urge all residents to please support the businesses and institutions associated with Waterloo Road; for they have suffered dearly as a result of the disruption and yet, have been strong advocates of the project for they see the long term benefits and the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Cleveland Range/ Manitowoc project is in the home stretch and my sincere appreciation for their investment in our community. St Clair Avenue was opened for east/west traffic at Euclid Creek ahead of schedule and thank you to the NEORSD getting their work done in an expeditious manner.
As we end 2013, the biggest challenge I find myself dealing with on a daily basis is abandoned and foreclosed properties. I find it absolutely incredible that the Federal Government bailed out all these financial institutions only to have them turn their backs on “the American dream of home ownership.” These financial institutions virtually have walked away from their responsibilities and have shifted the burden on clean up and demolition onto the backs of the taxpayers of Cleveland and every other urban area across the country. However, the City Administration has to come up with a better gameplan as to how to enforce the basic building code, Cuyahoga County needs to come up with a more aggressive plan of attack on abandoned tax delinquent properties, and the City’s Law Department needs to take a far more aggressive approach when it comes to dealing with absentee and slum landlords. “We don’t need to re-create the wheel.” The Code and the Laws are in place but they need to be aggressively enforced; that is not happening to the liking of our community and this councilman. All of us should make this a priority for the new year especially our civic organizations and neighborhood groups.
We have faced many challenges this year; however, by working together we made significant progress in many areas. Who would have thought just a year ago, that the Cleveland MetroParks would be operating our three (3) lakefront parks? I can tell you – not many. However, we did it. In this upcoming new year let us continue the progress we have made. Get involved and become a stakeholder in your neighborhhod. Together let us make our greater community the best it can be.
On behalf of the Ward 11 community, my family and staff, I would like to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY, SAFE AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.
GOD BLESS THE CITIZENS OF THE GREATER COLLINWOOD AND GLENVILLE COMMUNITIES.
As always I may be reached at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.