View from the Cheap Seats: Resolutions

It’s that time of year. New Year's resolution time. We’ve been discussing ours and I think we’re finally settled. The wife plans to get more exercise – walk more, ride less. She’s never been an exercise fanatic and I have. She’s never had a weight problem and I do. Go figure.

My resolution is to eat less eel. Yep, eel. I mean, I had to come up with something I could actually accomplish. One year I vowed to lose 25 pounds, and that lasted till the end of January. The year I pledged to clean out the garage was a disaster when everything ended up in the driveway covered in snow. So this year, no eel. No problem.

So what is your New Year’s resolution? I have a suggestion: Get involved in what’s going on in city government. There’s something for everyone.

For the mathematicians in the class, there’s the city budget. It’s one point one million dollars in the red. Spell that $1,100,000, or almost $200 per household! Come to city council meetings and watch the mayor and council try to unravel THAT ball of yarn!

For you architects, there’s the mayor’s recommendation to spend $12.8 million on building renovations. City Hall, the fire station, the Community House, Dwyer Center. Huh? Where’s THAT money come from? Come to council meetings and see.

For you numerologists, there’s 1158 (commonly called “eleven fifty eight”) – that’s the ordinance that spells out what the requirements are to convert single family lots to condos. There’s a move afoot to change the minimum lot size from five acres to one. Several builders and developers are pushing to pass this change and another that some contend would avoid the charter-mandated voter OK before zoning is changed.

You know nice little Mrs. Fermadiddle who has that one-acre lot across the street from you? When she goes to the nursing home, her son in San Francisco wants to develop the lot into a condo complex and make a pile. How’s that sound to you? Bet that’ll help your home value! Show up at planning commission and council meetings and make your views on that situation known.

The athletes aren’t left out either. Ever hear about the skate park? Council told the kiddies if they raised the money, council would find a place to put it. Trouble is, in five years, they’ve had no luck. Portions of Cahoon Park used to be a dump – EPA problems. Historic district? NOOOOO… what now? You want a skate park next to your home? No? Show up whenever it’s on the Council agenda and tell them what you think.

There are more issues (like sewers – egads!), all of which have a good chance of coming to a head in 2010, and your views will be ignored. Unless you show up. All you have to do is call Joan Kemper at 899-3406.  Joanie (she’s a sweetheart) will arrange for you to get the agendas and you can plan to be in attendance whenever an issue you’re interested in is discussed.  And (normally) you’ll get a chance to say your piece. Try it. It’ll drive you nuts, but it’ll make things better.

Come to think of it, I’m changing my resolution. I’m not going to avoid eel. I’m going to try to make things better. How about you?

Alex Dade lives in Bay Village.

[Editor's note: What's YOUR take? Continue the conversation in the Bay Village General Discussion forum on the Observation Deck!]

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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 8:37 PM, 12.18.2009