As I said last month – what a crazy winter! What an understatement that was. Over the last month, I have dealt with countless water leaks in the streets, potholes, frozen pipes, power outages and trees down. I hate to think what else is around the corner. So, stay tuned. SPRING IS AROUND THE CORNER.
As always, we need our residents to be our eyes and ears as to what is going on in the neighborhood. Please don’t assume that someone else has turned in a city service concern. Be proactive! If you see something or experience an issue that is affecting you or your neighbors – please turn it in to the appropriate department or the Mayor’ Action Center at (216) 664-2900.
As I mentioned before, potholes are showing up like daffodils in the Spring. For street repairs, call (216) 664-2510. This is also the same number to be used for snow and ice related problems on your street or in the neighborhood.
As you all know we have all experienced extremely strong winds along the lakefront and beyond. If after or during a storm there are electrical wires sparking or hanging please call CPP (216) 664-3156, for trees that are dangerous or where limbs have come down please call (216) 664-3104. As always we get through these difficult winter months. If we all do our apart, services for the most part will go undisrupted and safety concerns will be addressed.
On the public safety front – there have been some well-publicized incidents over the past month in our community involving violent felonious assaults. Once again, in virtually every one of these cases, the perpetrators were not even from our neighborhood or the victims knew the attacker. I, like all of you, am sick and tired of individuals coming into our community or having their associates perpetrate their violent crimes. I want to thank the 5th District Commander, Sammy Morris, and Lt. Ali Pillow of the Homicide Unit, both ward residents, for their due diligence along with their respective staff in identifying and arresting the perpetrators. Once again, due to residents, engaged citizens, and security cameras the police were able to obtain vital information which led to arrests. We saw this in the violent case against Fr. John Kumse over at St Mary’s, where four of the five young adults involved have now been sentenced and the three involved in the robbery and homicide of Mike and Trina and their dog at Mr Cars on East 185th Street. That trial is finally coming up in mid-March. One of the individuals involved plead “guilty” in Common Pleas Court on Thursday, February 21 and will be sentenced after the main suspect’s trial, which is a Capital case, is completed. The court case for the third suspect will begin in April. Please watch for future updates.
Once again, the theme in our neighborhood should be – “if you see something – say something.” For, you or your family could be the next victim. In Ward 8 – it is not about vengeance – it is about justice. Those who perpetrate violent criminal acts in our ward, must be apprehended and prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law. There is no doubt that an engaged citizenry leads to a safer community.
As I reported last month, the new O. H. Perry Elementary School is now officially open. We are still looking to hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony in May; I am awaiting final word from CMSD as to the details. What a great addition to our community. The old school building will be coming down once environmental remediation is finished and summer recess begins for the students. Once the site is cleared, the remaining improvements, including a new parking lot and a new playfield, along with a new playground area will be completed along with the rest of the landscaping and learning gardens.
Another school project that I have been working on with the Cleveland Restoration Society and CMSD is the conversion of the historic Henry W. Longfellow elementary school on East 140th Street at Darley into senior citizen housing complex. Council passed legislation authorizing the transfer of the property to the developer. This project must still go before Design Review and City Planning, which are public hearings. Watch for future updates and announcements. This project is critical to the entire East 140th Street corridor and I wish to thank all the residents who have been very supportive of this project, thus far.
Talking about positive developments, the three long vacant and dilapidated storefronts located at 702 East 185th Street at Hiller have been purchased by the owners of City Desk. I am waiting to see what the new owners are proposing to do with this critical commercial stretch of East 185th Street. We are also working with the City of Euclid on developing the former Lakeshore Chevy site. I am hoping, like all, that 2019 will bring positive developments to our commercial districts.
Most of you know that we have a wonderful partner in our community, that being the Cleveland FoodBank, located on S Waterloo Road, just east of East 152nd Street. I wonder how many of you know that they have a Help Center located on the 2nd Floor open to the public. They can help you with a wide variety of programs and services, ie SNAP, Medicaid, food programs and a whole host of other initiatives, for residents who need guidance or assistance in running the obstacle course of County and Federal services. They may be reached at (216) 738-2067 and are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. No one in our community, who needs assistance, should have to go outside of the neighborhood. Please feel free to give them a call.
Continue to support our community neighborhood associations, businesses, organizations and institutions. By supporting these we strengthen our community. I look forward to seeing you about the community and at our many events and meetings.
As always, please feel free to call me at the office at (216) 664-4236 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael D. Polensek
Councilman, Ward 8