Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, Jan. 14, 2015
This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Sutherland’s office prepares official minutes, which are posted on Bay Village’s website.
Present: Mayors Sutherland (Bay Village), Bobst (Rocky River), Summers (Lakewood), Clough (Westlake), Patton (Fairview Park)
Absent: Mayor Kennedy (North Olmsted)
Also present: Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney; District 1 County Councilman Dave Greenspan; Legal Advisor Gary Ebert; Jason Phillips (Clean Fuels Ohio), Christina Yoka and Scott Sanders (Clean Cities Coalition); and Fire Chiefs Lyons (Bay Village), Hughes (Westlake), Hernen (Avon Lake), Raffin (Fairview Park) and Leonard (Rocky River)
RTA: Increased sales tax collections are improving RTA's budget outlook. Bay Village's Lake Road bus shelters have been replaced.
NOACA: Cuyahoga County is 86th of 88 counties in license plate fee retention. NOACA is considering hiring a lobbyist to increase funding from these fees and ODOT.
Land Bank: Mayors Bobst and Sutherland are working to resolve vacant property issues.
County Planning Commission: Lakewood is using the Commission on active living facilitation. The Commission is helping Rocky River and Fairview Park update their Master Plans. Bay Village is seeking a grant to update its Master Plan.
Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association: CCMCMA is consulting with ODNR on controlling urban deer. North Olmsted is planning a helicopter survey, which must be completed during winter.
Clean Fuels Ohio: This nonprofit promotes cleaner domestic fuels and efficient vehicles. Jason Phillips gave a presentation on alternative fuels. The recent drop in gasoline prices has reduced the immediate advantage of converting many vehicles. However, savings can still be realized by converting large diesel trucks to compressed natural gas.
Clean Fuels Ohio leverages DOE, EPA and state funding by writing grants and helping with feasibility studies. The mayors expressed interest in a feasibility study, which requires a 10 percent match. WCOG is unlikely to meet this quarter's March 8 application deadline.
WeShare: This collaboration among fire departments, the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals provides medical oversight by defining protocols and training paramedics. Lakewood and Fairview Park fire departments requested better support for SWAT medics. These two cities have decided to leave WeShare and obtain medical oversight from Metro Hospital. Mayor Bobst expressed concern about deterioration of a 40-year collaboration. Fairview Park Chief Raffin stated there would be no effect on the cities working together. Bay Village Chief Lyons urged the cities to maintain "associate" status within WeShare.
Westshore Enforcement Bureau: Ms. Mahoney proposed a 2 percent pay increase for WEB's six employees. They have received 0 percent over the past couple years. The workload has increased with area heroin abuse. Mayors Patton and Bobst stated they could not support 2 percent when their law enforcement employees received 1.75 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. The measure passed 3-2 with Mayors Patton and Bobst voting against.
Mr. Greenspan: Bay Village and North Olmsted received funding from the County Road Reimbursement Program. Mayor Clough said improvements should continue to an intersection rather than stopping at the city line (as done on Bradley Road). Mr. Greenspan will look into the policy.
The Westshore Council of Governments 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 Feb. 11, 9:30 a.m., in Bay Village City Hall.