First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR to all. I hope 2015 brings good health and good times to all Collinwood Observer faithful readers.
On that note, we are very fortunate in Ward8 and in the greater Collinwood community to have the Observer. We are one of the few wards in the city that have our own neighborhood newspaper. Please support the newspaper by reading it and contributing to it through ads and/or articles. This is our neighborhood voice. Let’s promote our neighborhood!! My sincere thanks to the Observer staff for promoting the greater Collinwood community.
In 2014 we had many successes and 2015 looks to be an equally exciting year. The Waterloo Streetscape Project will be completed and the Lakeshore Boulevard Relief Sewer will be completed with resurfacing of the roadway to follow. Engineering work will begin for the rebuilding of East 152 Street from Waterloo Road to the East Cleveland line and we should be seeing the design of the new pedestrian bridge to go over I-90 which will replace the one that was destroyed. Water Pollution Control is working on the engineering for the rehabilitation of Euclid Creek south of Lakeshore Boulevard to Villaview Road, which could get under way later this year.
The MetroParks will be presenting their final designs for the new Pedestrian Bridge over Euclid Creek which will link Villa Angela Beach to Wildwood Marina. Construction should begin before Summer. They will also be presenting the designs for the new Pier at Euclid Beach Park. We are still having discussions regarding our desire to have life guards stationed at Euclid Beach and Villa Angela Beach. We believe this is critical in light of the increased usage of the parks. MetroParks needs to understand that this is an issue of safety and security for our children and the general community.
The City of Cleveland and the City of Euclid are working closely on a plan for the East 185th Street corridor called the “Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative.” This is the same type of planning we had to undertake prior to the Waterloo Streetscape project. The East 185th Street corridor is critical to both of our communities and our goal is to see a streetscape redevelopment project implemented sometime in the near future.
A key component of the redevelopment of East 185th Street, and for that matter, the entire Ward 8 community, is meaningful building & housing code enforcement. Many have heard me comment at neighborhood meetings throughout this past year that I am extremely disappointed in the Jackson Administration’s response to code enforcement. The laws are in place and must be enforced. There is no reason in 2015 for absentee and slum landlords to continue to “thumb their nose” at the city and continue to suck rent out of our community without maintaining their properties. In addition, to have abandoned and even fire damaged properties sitting there for years is outrageous. Enforcing the code and putting them in Housing Court sends a message that “the party is over.” We in Ward 8 are watching very closely how the City Administration will be responding this year to these concerns. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! You cannot maintain and rebuild a community without meaningful code enforcement.
I also want to make it perfectly clear that I support the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Report regarding the Cleveland Police Department. The Mayor and the Administration of the Cleveland Police Department should embrace this report and use it as a blueprint to create the best police department in the nation. Community Policing must be a priority. We must collectively work to put more police officers out on the street. Remember, the men and women in uniform are truly “the thin blue line” who protect us each and every day in our city. We need to support them while at the same time demanding accountability and professional conduct. That is not too much to ask.
Finally, and by all means not least in our thoughts, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the untimely passing of a dear friend both personally and of the community, in Father Anthony Cassese, Pastor of St Jerome Catholic Church. Fr. Cassese will be missed greatly but never forgotten. To ensure that his memory and his commitment to our community is not overlooked I sponsored legislation, which was passed unanimously in City Council, to add the honorarium of FATHER ANTHONY CASSESE WAY to Ridpath Avenue between East 149th Street and East 152nd Street. Remember Fr. Cassese every time you pass Ridpath Avenue and see his smiling face looking down on the neighborhood he came to love.
As always, feel free to contact me. I may be reached at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at email@example.com.
Michael D. Polensek
Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.