Councilman Update

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “buckle up, hang on, we are in for a bumpy ride!” Well, folks, I think we are on an interesting ride both in this country and maybe locally. We have a new President and

As the old saying goes, “the proof will be in the pudding.” Locally, we are all watching as to what federal and /or state programs could be affected by the possibility of federal departments being eliminated/ combined or the reduction in funding for economic development initiatives and capital improvements. Only time will tell. I can assure you that this year will be very interesting and one we will not soon forget.

Just when you think you are prepared for “almost anything” we get the word on Sunday, January 22, that our dear friend, the Honorable Judge Raymond L. Pianka, of the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court, died suddenly. Just as we were not prepared for the death of our neighbor the Honorable Senator George V. Voinovich last summer, Judge Pianka’s death was a real blow to our neighborhoods. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife, Karen, and their family. Besides losing a personal friend we lost an advocate for housing code enforcement, not only on the prosecution side, but for restoration, preservation, and advocacy on behalf of our neighborhoods. May he rest in Peace.

The death of Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey, killed in the line of duty on Tuesday morning, January 24, 2017, should remind all of us to be mindful of what we are doing at all times when we are behind the wheel, and to pay attention to sirens and emergency lights of our safety forces whenever they are out protecting us or responding. Things happen quickly out on the road and Tuesday morning’s incidents are a perfect example of how a simple accident turns into an all-out tragedy. On behalf of the residents of the 8th Ward our condolences to his family and fellow officers at his loss. “Officer Fahey answered his last call. Gone but not forgotten.” Let us keep in our hearts and prayers all our “Men and Women in Blue”, our Police Officers, as well as firefighters and EMS personnel, who work daily on our behalf and many times in harm’s way.

As we move through the month of February the annual budgetary process for the city begins in earnest. I don’t have to tell you how critical this process is this year. Community Block Grant Hearings will be held on February 7th - 9th beginning at 9:00 AM each day and then City of Cleveland’s Capital Fund Budget hearings begin on Tuesday, February 21 and will run for two weeks again beginning at 9:00 AM each day. You can watch them on City TV20 or via the internet live. I encourage you to follow the process. Whatever is set forth during these budget hearings will impact all of us this fiscal year as to what programs and services will be offered. As I have stated before, my number one priority is improving and restoring basic city services and addressing “quality of life” issues. I am looking forward to seeing what initiatives the Mayor puts forth to address the growing concerns city-wide about the lack of quality services and the fact that we are all paying 25% more in city income tax for these critical and much needed services.

Once again, we have a new boss of the 5th District Police. Commander Sammy Morris, a longtime resident of Ward 8 has taken the helm. We look forward to working with him so that we can continue to keep the Ward 8 community the safest in the 5th District.

There are major changes under way at the Northeast Shores Development Corporation (NSDC). Several new board members have been elected and a new Executive Director will be appointed to take the helm since Brian Friedman stepped down. I wish Brian well in his future endeavors. I encourage all residents and businesses north of I-90 to become a member in NSDC, your local development group, who may be reached at (216) 481-7660. The same holds true for residents and businesses south of I-90 in the Collinwood and Nottingham Villages areas; become a member of the Collinwood Nottingham Villages Development Corporation who may be reached at (216) 383-9772.

Remember, if there is a concern or issue in the ward feel to call me at my office at (216) 664-4236 or email me at Looking forward to seeing you at all the upcoming neighborhood meetings and events.

Michael D. Polensek

Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:05 PM, 02.08.2017