I thought Spring was here last month. What a surprise. Nonetheless, it will get warm sooner or later. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the residents and friends of the community who turned out on Saturday, April 21, for the “Big Clean” and the “Cleanin’ with Cops” at Humphrey’s Park. We narrowly lost the Big Clean contest with the City of Euclid but the real winner was both of our communities; for when you looked at the amount of litter and debris that was hauled back to the dumpster at the VASJ parking lot, it was amazing. My sincere appreciation to our Ward 8 residents, Stephen and Ali Love, for their spirit and willingness to spearhead this much needed project.
With that being said, I hope we all take the opportunity to take a look at our own property and how we can dress things up for this spring and summer. Many of our yards are full of winter storm debris, whether it be twigs, leaves or other debris. If we all do our part, we can make our community shine. As I have said before, if there is a property on your street where the owners just refuse to address unsightly or unhealthy yard conditions, please call Environmental Health Department at (216) 664-2300.
One of the more frequent calls I am getting into my office lately is the issue of dead or dying trees on private property. Under the Codified Ordinances of the City, the property owner is responsible for the maintenance, trimming or removal, if need be, of the dying or dead trees. This can be costly, though, so you need to get several estimates from several reputable tree service companies. By law, you can cut any limb or branch which hangs over your property, just as long as you don’t kill the neighbor’s tree. A major problem is where there are dead or dangerous trees on abandoned properties. These trees have caused major problems especially during these most recently rain and wind storms. If there is a dangerous tree on an abandoned property call the Mayor’s Action Line at (216) 664-2900.
Another frequent call, for some unknown reason, is the issue of cars being parked on vacant lots, in the yard of a vacant property, on front lawns of occupied homes or on the back yard grass. Once again, the code is very clear; you cannot park a car, in the City of Cleveland, on a vacant lot even if that lot is owned by you. All vehicles MUST BE PARKED on a hard surface. Besides, it is totally unsightly to have cars parked in this manner. All complaints for cars on vacant lots or on front lawns should go into the Commander’s Office of the 5th District Police. Call (216) 623-5505 during the week and you may call (216) 621-1234 afterhours and on weekends. Cars parked on the back yard or are unlicensed/inoperable may be called into the Housing Hotline at (216) 664-2007. If we all do our part and respect city codes our community will look better and be safer.
If you have been down to the MetroParks at Euclid Beach along our magnificent lakefront, you probably have seen that work has begun in earnest on the reconstruction of the historic Euclid Beach pier. Obviously, it is a construction site and access is limited to pedestrians in that area. There will be some inconvenience to park goers especially to our friends in the senior high rises during construction. However, this is a project that has been long sought and my sincere appreciation to the Board and Staff of Cleveland Metroparks for continuing to fulfill our vison for the lakefront in Ward 8. We are one of two neighborhoods in the city to have direct access to the lakefront and beaches and we are very protective of this wonderful asset.
Speaking of the Metroparks I have had the pleasure, once again, of being involved in the planning of the Euclid Beach LIVE concert series which kicks off on Friday, June 1 at 6:00 PM and runs every Friday evening this summer to August 3. The line-up has been set and will be printed in the Collinwood Observer as well. It is also on line at www.clevelandmetroparks.com/euclidbeachlive. The opening act on June 1st will be the Classic rock band “Faith & Whiskey” and on June 29, we will have, once again, the award winning Kinsman Dazz Band.
My continuing thanks to all those residents who have been turning in the bad road conditions and potholes. Please continue to call those into (216) 664-2510. There is no doubt that the Division of Streets has to come up with a better game to address potholes, road conditions and dirt/ debris from the winter season. We are all hoping city wide to see more permanent street repair and see street sweepers out on a regular basis. Our residents don’t ask for much, but pothole repair and street sweeping are basic city services which need to be improved upon.
As I am sure you are aware the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has begun work on the I-90 overpasses at East 200th Street, Neff Road and East 185th Street. Watch for ramp closures, lane shifts and in general, reduced speeds in the work zones. Be very careful when navigating these areas. This work will continue throughout the remainder of the year.
I have been working very closely with the Cleveland Restoration Society regarding the possible redevelopment of the former Longfellow Elementary School located on East 140 Street at Darley. The building, which was in Ward 10 at the time, which should have never have been closed, has been abandoned for many years. As a result of a working development team, proposals have gone out to possible developers and now comes the hard work of seeing if the proposals are not only meaningful but have the financial wherewithal to be able to develop this entire block in the East 140th Street corridor. Stay tuned for future updates.
We all know the importance of public safety and the growing concerns that have been expressed citywide with the increase in violent crime especially juvenile crime. Since late last year, I have been working with the U.S. Marshall, Pete Elliott; Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Michael O’Malley; and representatives of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s office, U.S. Attorney’s office, the Ohio Highway Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies to come up with a strategy to identify individuals who have been involved in violent criminal activity, including gang members and those with outstanding felony warrants in the 5th District. Included in this are registered sex offenders, as well. My frustration peaked in 2017 with the CPD Command Staff’s inability to adequately ramp up basic police patrols on our streets due to their lack of staffing and deployment issues. As a result of this working group, I am hoping to see a new and creative approach in identifying those who are preying upon our citizens and businesses alike. Watch for future announcements.
I look forward to seeing everyone in the community this Spring and summer. Remember, as always, I may be reached in my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councilman Michael D. Polensek
Councilman, Ward 8
Michael D. Polensek
Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.