Wow! What a crazy winter! Cold, snow & ice and then rain with the warming trends. I cannot remember the weather being so crazy. Nonetheless, “it is what it is.”
Cleveland City Council and the City Administration has been in budget hearings for three weeks; first, Block Grant Hearings and then the last two weeks in the City’s General Fund Budget hearings. All of us are keenly aware of the issues that we are dealing with from diminishing property tax receipts due to the number of abandoned homes and buildings to our “so-called friends” in Columbus who had decimated the Local Government Fund and other sources of revenue which resulted in a loss of revenue to the city of Cleveland over the last five years of approximately $112 million. So, you can see, and hopefully understand the challenges we then face for this coming year and heading into 2017.
Nonetheless, under State Law the City of Cleveland MUST have a balanced budget. We will have that come April 1st. However, basic City services remain the number one concern of our citizens in our neighborhood and across the city. With revenue being tight, there MUST be greater accountability within the various departments and divisions. I am looking forward to the Mayor and his support team getting a better handle on basic city services and holding his directors, commissioners, and employees responsible for the jobs they do or don’t do. It is one thing not to have the revenue stream but it is another thing to see some city employees not working or being disciplined for questionable behavior. That is unacceptable.
On a local note. We lost two outstanding residents over the last month due to illness; Mr. Joseph Morgan and Ms. Doris V. Jones. Joe was a businessman, a community activist, and a friend. Doris was an advocate for our elderly citizens in her role as a CMHA Commissioner and a dear friend to many. Both will be sorely missed. Please keep their families in your hearts and prayers.
Walls are going up at The Salvation Army’s new community center located at 17625 Grovewood Avenue. What a great addition this will be for our community. Construction on the long awaited replacement for the I-90 Pedestrian bridge hit by a truck over two years ago should begin this Spring according to Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). I will keep you apprised as this project moves forward.
The final design for the new Oliver Hazard Perry School (PreK-8) between Schenely and Harland, just west of East 185th Street should be finished shortly. We are hoping for a roll out of the design to the general community as soon as Landmarks and CMSD Board approve the final design. We are looking forward to the groundbreaking. Watch for future notices for that upcoming date.
On neighborhood services, with this freeze/thaw cycle the potholes are already beginning to pop up like dandelions in the Spring. Please report all chuckholes and road repair issues to (216) 664-2510. Once again, any car that has not moved during this winter season please call this in to the Commander of the 5th District at (216) 623-5505. There should be no abandoned cars on any of our streets in Ward 8 now or throughout the year. Please be proactive.
Finally, MARCH 15th is PRIMARY ELECTION DAY. Regardless of your views or your political party, it is your right and duty as an American Citizen to cast your ballot either at the voting booth or in the privacy of your own home. We as Americans see daily on our TV screens people throughout the world being brutalized and having to flee their country for lack of basic rights. We have an obligation to all those people who have fought and died for this country to stand up on Election Day and cast our ballot. I, like many of you, am not happy and sometimes disgusted with the name calling and petty politics in this Presidential election cycle. However, my friends, Democracy is not free nor pretty at times. Please let your voice be heard and vote on election day.
You may always reach me at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at email@example.com.