Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, Feb. 11, 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), Kennedy (North Olmsted)

Also present: Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney; District 1 County Councilman Dave Greenspan; Bay Village Fire Chief Lyons; North Ridgeville Fire Chief Reese

RTA: New buses will be in service soon.

NOACA: Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grant applications are due in March; workshops will be held. NOACA has hired a lobbyist to increase awareness with ODOT and the state.

Land Bank: The Land Bank has responded to property concerns of Bay Village. Rocky River has also been in contact regarding vacant properties.

County Planning Commission: Meetings are scheduled on water issues and government efficiency.

Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association: CCMCMA is focusing on working with legislators after the emphasis on SB 5. A bus trip is scheduled for March 18 to lobby legislators.

WESHARE: The WestShore Area Rescue Association is a fire/EMS medical command/continuing education consortium of 7 area fire departments and 3 regional hospitals. By the end of February, Mayor Sutherland would like feedback from the communities that had been “stakeholders” in the past and those who are currently involved in this program. These “talking points” should focus on the issues and concerns with training. Chief Reese identified two important points: the program has gotten away from its mission that was established over 30 years ago; the hospitals involved do not have the same goals as the cities.

Clean Fuels Ohio: Consensus favored establishing an inventory of usage to establish need before seeking grants, perhaps by summer, on the transition to cleaner, domestic fuels and energy-saving vehicles. Information would be gathered by individual cities and used by the group. Mayor Summers stated that this grant for a feasibility study should focus on long-term goals: the cleaner environment is laudable, but the price of retrofitting may not be in the cities’ best interest while the price of petroleum is low, and there is no urgency at this point.

WCOG 2015 Budget: Presented by Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney, the budget was adopted.

Mr. Greenspan: 

  • County Commissioners' Association of Ohio will promote sharing of taxation and finance information with all cities.
  • $3 million is coming to the Land Bank for existing inventory. More is needed and is being pursued.
  • Eddie Kraus, Vice Mayor of Solon, has been appointed Interim Director of Regional Collaboration for Cuyahoga County.
  • The County may hire a grant writer to be a liaison for cities seeking Community Development Block Grant awards – understanding the process, changing language to reapply, why awards are denied, etc.      
  • Community Development Supplemental Grant legislation was sent to committee.

The Council was abuzz with the information that public safety answering point (PSAP) phones were out of service for 45 minutes at 3 a.m. on Feb. 10. Councilman Greenspan stated the situation should be addressed by the County Council since so many communities were affected.

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 March 11, 9:30 a.m., in Bay Village City Hall.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:05 AM, 02.17.2015