Pros and cons of Westlake's ballot issues 53, 54

The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland offers the following as commentary on two local issues that are on the Westlake ballot for the Nov. 7 election.

ISSUE 53: Proposed Municipal Income Tax (Continuation), regarding renewal of an income tax for recreational facility upgrades
PROS

  • Will replace 50-year-old Peterson Pool with an extensive outdoor aquatic area
  • Will provide for a senior/community center tailored to users’ needs and supportive of anticipated increases in programming
  • Guarantees a dedicated revenue stream to pay for new and enhanced facilities, parks and fields and covers costs of principal and interest on any related bonds without imposing additional taxes

CONS

  • Spends substantial dollars on an aquatic center that is usable only part of a year
  • Does not anticipate needs for additional staffing and maintenance costs that could affect plans for the use of this revenue
  • Assumes tax revenue from this renewal will not decrease during the time period that it is in effect (1/1/2018-12/21/2045)

ISSUE 54 --Proposed Charter Amendment (by Petition), charter change to an elected law director
PROS

  • Allows city/mayor to seek candidates from a much larger pool than just residents and those willing to run for election
  • Brings Westlake in line with most other Northeast Ohio communities that have long had appointed law directors
  • Eliminates position holder’s time-consuming activities involved in running for election and re-election

CONS

  • Does not provide for majority Council confirmation for Mayor’s preferred candidate and thus could create conflicts that are not in the best interests of the city
  • Did not result from a charter review, which is the usual source of citizen input for major changes in city operations
  • Would allow the appointed Director of Law to assume the vacant office of Acting Mayor if the President of Council cannot do so

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Additional information about the League can be obtained by calling 216-694-8108 or by sending an email to: LWVGreaterCleveland@gmail.com.

Read More on Westlake Election 2017
Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:50 AM, 10.17.2017