Report: Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, June 11, 2014
This report, which contains observations and selected highlights of a WCOG meeting, is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Official minutes are prepared by Mayor Patton's office and posted on Fairview Park's website.
Present: Mayors Bobst (Rocky River), Kennedy (North Olmsted), Patton (Fairview Park), Sutherland (Bay Village), and Summers (Lakewood).
Absent: Mayor Clough (Westlake)
Also in attendance: Dave Greenspan, District 1 representative, Cuyahoga County Council; outgoing Fiscal Officer Steve Presley; and incoming Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney.
RTA: Mayor Summers described progress on widening Clifton Boulevard and installing upgraded transit stations. A Next/Connect tracking system will enable riders to check stop-specific bus arrival times. He also expressed interest in the proposed bike pathway from W. 66th Street to downtown Cleveland.
NOACA: Mayor Bobst reported that a firm has been contracted for the Marion Street ramp study. She also discussed the Brighton Chase "resort living" apartment development on Center Ridge Road, which will open in July.
Land Bank: Three mayors discussed potential projects: the Hilliard-Madison Avenue triangle in Lakewood, the large hill on Lake Road north of the Rocky River Wastewater Treatement Plant, and land near Fairview's Gemini Center.
Cuyahoga County Mayors & Managers Association: Mayor Sutherland reported on a successful May 28 meeting with Ohio legislators over House Bill 5. Only one issue of concern remains: a 5-year carryforward that primarily affects southern Ohio municipalities. A requirement that cities track income tax receipts by residence versus employment has been deleted. State Auditor Dave Yost reported that GASB 68, which changes pension accounting, may be delayed.
Tub Grinder: No update.
Fire District: Bay Village, Westlake, Fairview Park and North Olmsted city councils have accepted the grant. Mayor Clough is developing a project manager job description and will call a meeting shortly.
PSAP: Mr. Greenspan stated that participation in Cuyahoga County's Public Safety Answering System (PSAP) is a local decision. One issue motivating cities to host a PSAP is potential payroll tax receipts.
Ready Notify: Bay Village's Nixle setup is unable efficiently to reach all residents who have signed up for emergency alerts. They plan to convert to Ready Notify, the county's new system.
Fiscal Officer: The mayors thanked Steve Presley for having served since 1998. Renee Mahoney, Bay Village's finance director, was introduced as the new fiscal officer. Ms. Mahoney announced a city employee retirement seminar to be held Aug. 8 in Bay Village. She invited other cities' employees to attend.
County Council Update: Mr. Greenspan explained the county road repair materials reimbursement program. Roads most in need of repair will be funded first. The county is working on a master agreement for landfill rights for communities cleaning up from emergencies.
Mayor Patton reported on a successful city/school district conference to educate realtors about Fairview Park. She also discussed the value of the NEO CANDO database for analyzing demographic trends, as well as a report on Northeast Ohio migration and its implications.
The council voted to recess for July and August.
The WCOG was founded in 1971 "to foster cooperation between municipalities in all areas of municipal service." All meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will be Sept. 10, 9:30-11:30 a.m., in Fairview Park Gemini Center's Birch Room.