Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, Nov. 15, 2017
This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Clough’s office prepares official minutes.
Present: Mayors Clough (Westlake), Koomar (Bay Village), Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood), and Bobst (Rocky River); Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney
Absent: Mayor Kennedy (North Olmsted)
Fiscal Officer’s Report: Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) wages: 2% increase, beginning 2018. This is the going rate. Mayor Bobst said police get 2.5%.
WEB Budget: 1.08% increase due mostly to wages. Grants pay for 40% of operations. Cities pay the remainder based on population (90%) and home valuation (10%). Mayor Clough wondered how home valuations relate to services provided and suggested a formula based on population and services used. WEB provides a bomb squad, police officers, SWAT, and hazardous materials handling. Westlake has three drug dogs, Lakewood two, and Fairview Park one.
Changing the formula requires each City Council's approval. Usage is difficult to establish due to the collaborative nature of WEB and the movement of drugs and WEB officers across city lines. Mayor Summers stated many of the narcotics offenders apprehended in Lakewood are not residents. Mayor Koomar said narcotics affect us all. What comes into Cleveland affects all of the ring suburbs.
RTA: Mayor Clough’s term on RTA’s board of trustees is up. He will seek re-election and hopes he has WCOG support. RTA is no longer getting money from the Medicare tax. Most of their funding comes from the federal government. The State of Ohio is backing off, and no legislators are stepping up. NOACA (Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency) is supportive.
NOACA: Mayor Bobst described a presentation about Hyperloop, a high speed train. Denver is building one that cuts a one-hour train ride to 9 minutes.
County Planning Commission: Planning Commission oversees solid waste. Contamination of recyclables is a major problem: when trash is mixed in, the recyclables must be thrown away. Rocky River is two-thirds of the way through its Master Plan.
Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association: Representatives from 90 communities throughout the state met to discuss microcell communications. A lawsuit claims home rule rights are being violated. AT&T U-Verse lost a statewide franchise and their boxes sit, unused. These need to be removed.
New Business: Mayor Bobst reported the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center (DVCAC) was once free, but there are funding problems, so they are asking for money. Something needs to be done collectively. Staff advocates manage the steps for people moving through the court system and beyond. They can also train police. DVCAC is attached to municipalities, not the courts.
Mayor Patton brought up Cuyahoga County's proposed $5 vehicle registration fee increase. Two-thirds is supposed to go to infrastructure. She wants to make sure WCOG cities are on the list for repairs. Cities already pay for some county road repairs. Mayor Summers pointed out this is an example of other funding sources available after Local Government Support Fund cuts. District 1 County Councilmember Nan Baker is strongly supportive of the money going to infrastructure. Mayor Patton will be in contact with her.
Fairview Park will have a license plate-reading camera installed at the corner of Lorain and Story roads.