Councilman Update

Wow! Have we been lucky with this weather.  There is still some winter to come with snow and ice.  As always, hazardous road conditions on city streets should be called into (216) 664-2510 along with all the potholes that are popping up.  Be proactive and drive carefully.

The contractor working on the East 185th Street Marcella Road Storm sewer project is now working 24 hour shifts in order to move this much needed and critical project along. Completion is still set for the end of the year – if everything goes according to schedule.  Please continue to support the businesses along East 185th Street; many have been severely impacted by the project. Thanks, again, to all for your patience and understanding during this construction period. It has been like root canal but we all know it is needed to address the wide spread basement flooding in the area. Work is continuing as well on Holmes Avenue and areas adjacent to and off of St Clair Avenue to address storm sewer issues in the St. Clair corridor and beyond.

Demolition of the properties adjacent to the historic LaSalle Theatre has taken place. The three structures are down and work will commence soon on the new LaSalle Theatre parking lot. This is a joint project involving the CDC, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the Northeast Regional Sewer District and the Cuyahoga County Landbank. My thanks to all for their involvement. The additional parking for the LaSalle Theatre is critical in ensuring the success of this entertainment complex.

As I reported last month, our community, along with the entire city, was facing Issue 3 and 4 pertaining to the reduction of Cleveland City Council and pay reduction. These two issues are still on the Tuesday, March 17 Primary ballot.  However, wiser heads prevailed and the two issues were officially withdrawn.  Even though Issues 3&4 are still on the ballot, for the ballots had already been printed, these issues will not be counted. My sincere thanks to the Greater Cleveland Clergy Coalition and the Committee who circulated the petitions for the ballot issues for working together and realizing that Issue 3, specifically, would divide the city. We all know, unfortunately, what happened with the last council reduction and redistricting.

The west side Council leadership drew ward lines that tore up the entire eastside, specifically, the St Clair-Superior neighborhood, Glenville and portions of Collinwood. Had Issue 3 passed, the damage that would have been inflicted on the entire northeast side would have been devastating. I have always maintained that reasonable people can come up with reasonable solutions. In this case, reason prevailed.

Regardless, there is still a Primary Election on TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020, St. Patrick’s Day. Since this day is very special in our own community, I urge everyone to vote by ABSENTEE ballot to ensure that your vote will be counted.  There is still time to request an absentee ballot. You can do so by calling the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at (216) 443-8683 or by going online to  

Very shortly, all Americans will be receiving your invitation to participate in the 2020 CENSUS.  I cannot begin to tell you, how critical this census is.  For, not only will it shape the congressional districts in Ohio for the next ten years, it will impact how the Cleveland City Council wards are drawn. What is even more critical is that this Census will determine how approximately $700 billion will be distributed to the cities, counties and states for critical services and programs based on populaton. In the last Census, it has been estimated that a minimum of 40,000 Cleveland residents did not respond to the Census. That is the equivalency of almost two council wards, and as a result, the city lost substantial federal funding.  This time there will be no corrections or adjustments to the final figures. Whatever the final count turns out to be for the city that will be the official count.  When you receive the “invitation” to participate in the 2020 Census – respond immediately. You will be able to respond online, by phone or be able to request a paper census form.  If you don’t participate initially – then you will be called and maybe even payed a visit to your home. Not participating is not an option, my friends; if you don’t participate, it is taking money out of your wallet and that of your children and grandchildren and losing representation.

Think of all the senior and childhood programs that would be cut.  Community block grant funds for housing and restoration programs would disappear and highway, bridge and roadway improvements that would not take place. The Census is that critical and it is up to all of us to do our part as American citizens. Do not delegate your responsibility.

As always, I may be reached at (216) 664-4236 or via email at

Michael D. Polensek

Councilman, Ward 8

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 5:26 PM, 03.09.2020