We had a great October and hopefully the rest of the Autumn season will be like we enjoyed in October.
My sincere appreciation for all those who volunteered for our two neighborhood Halloween events at the Collinwood Recreation Center and the 5th District Police Headquarters. These are always great events for our kids. My sincere appreciation as well to the Staff at the Recreation Center and to Commander Morris and his Officers for helping to make these events fun and memorable.
A lot has happened since my last report. Five more abandoned and derelict structures have been removed and we are up to 230 for the year with more in the pipeline. As a result of this action, plus the fact that individuals are purchasing vacant properties for rehabilitation or yard expansion, we are seeing property values not only stabilize but starting to appreciate. That is good news for our neighborhood. Let’s keep the momentum going into the next year.
Talk about momentum, 2018 will be a critical year for both of our neighborhood development corporations (CDC’s); Collinwood Nottingham (CNVDC) and Northeast Shores (NSDC). Both have seen major changes, some good and some bad. However, I finally feel that the community is becoming more and more aware of just how important these two groups really are to our ward. Remember, the City, nor the Mayor, nor the Councilman are developers. We look to the CDC’s, who are separate corporations, to partner with private individuals, non-profits, businesses and developers to do just that. Our two CDC’s are funded by the City, private foundations and this councilman for most of their general operations. It would be an understatement to say that the city and my office have been happy with the performance of either group over the last year. However, with recent staff changes, more neighborhood participation, and the engagement of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), a city non-profit group whose sole purpose is to provide guidance and help to CDC’s across the city, they are both now poised to get back to business; and, that is to provide development and job creation activities. Stay tuned for future major announcements and developments.
As I reported last month, the City Law Department has reached out to the US and Ohio EPA with regard to the former National Acme Site at East 131 Street and Coit Road. As of this writing we have received no word of any official action forthcoming to address this critical property and the inherent issues at the site.
I am glad to see, like everyone else, the construction work going up and going again at the historic LaSalle Theatre. As many of you know, the project had stopped temporarily due to financial issues. However, due to the help of new Executive Director at NSDC, CNP, outside funders, the City’s Department of Economic Development, and this councilman, the project is back up and running. I, like all of you, look forward to the completion and opening of this critical project for our community.
Work on the new O. H. Perry Elementary School is well underway and I am surprised to see how fast the building is going up. Let’s hope the weather stays relatively mild to allow work to continue on this important elementary school throughout the winter. Once it is completed, all of the CMSD elementary schools in the Collinwood and Nottingham neighborhoods will have been rebuilt.
My congratulations to St Jeromes, VASJ, St Marys, St Casimer and Holy Redeemer on their successful clambakes this fall. St Mary’s Fall Festival is coming up on Sunday, November 19. Please support all of our churches, institutions and groups who work on behalf of our community. Any church or neighborhood institution having an event- get us your information to my office and we can help promote your event or activities throughout the year.
Don’t forget that there is a General Election on Tuesday, November 7 for not only Mayor but Judicial Races, County and Statewide issues as well as local Ward 8 and Ward 10 Council races. You have all heard the old saying “that you get the government you deserve.” That saying is more true today than ever before in this country. We only need to look to Washington to understand that. On Tuesday, September 12th, Primary Election Day, only 13% of registered voters in Cleveland cast their ballots. When 87% of the registered voters didn’t vote, they abdicated their basic right to a small number of individuals city-wide. Remember, whoever is elected this time for Mayor and Council will preside over the Council ward redistricting, once again. We all know what we faced last time. We need strong and committed leadership at City Hall. That is a given.
I urge all concerned citizens to remember all those who have given their lives so that we can have the right to vote. Don’t sit on the sidelines – become a stakeholder in our community and in our city. Anyone needing an absentee ballot or poll information can call the Board of Elections at (216) 443-8683 or visit their website at firstname.lastname@example.org. The polls open on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, at 6:30 AM and remain open till 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.
May you and yours have a HAPPY AND BLESSED THANKSGIVING.
Michael D. Polensek
Councilman, Ward 8
Michael D. Polensek
Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.