Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, Dec. 12, 2018
This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Kennedy's office prepares official minutes.
Present: Mayors Kennedy, Clough, Bobst, Summers, Patton and Koomar, along with fiscal officer.
Fiscal Officer’s Report: WCOG can’t receive Federal Equitable Sharing funds for drug enforcement; instead, funds go to Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB).
2019 Budget: Less than 1 percent change from last year. There is some cash balance left due to CERT refocus. Westshore Young Leaders is partially funded. WEB received $190,000 in grants, mainly for salaries. Bay Village applies for these grants – group agreed proposals don’t need WCOG’s approval.
November Financials: Wages of Narcotics Units were covered by other operations within the budget. Report was approved.
Wages in 2019: Cities’ average police wage increases are 2.3 percent – tending toward 3 percent raises. Motions to approve raises and virtually flat budget passed unanimously.
RTA (Clough): Greater Cleveland Partnership is loaning executives to review operations. CSU is studying economic impact. There is an active national search committee hoping to have hired a new executive director by February, but they won’t hire anyone until the right candidate is found. NOACA would like to contribute some money to RTA, but will wait until there is a plan in place.
NOACA (Bobst): There is some controversy over a $22 million water line in which Wadsworth invested, anticipating growth in Medina County. The county is instead bringing water in from Avon, which seems counter-intuitive. There must be some backstory missing.
Land Bank (Summers): Turning attention to renovation versus demolition of empty houses.
County Planning Commission: A solid waste plan has been approved by the EPA, must now be approved by the 59 communities.
Mayors & Managers Association: There is discussion over whether cities can tax SERPs (windfall retirement bonuses) or "golden parachutes” as income. Apparently no ruling has been given on this yet. State Senate has passed SB51 creating an authority over Great Lakes erosion control. Funding for infrastructure is uncertain.
New Business: Westlake is raising the upper age limit of police department applicants from 35 to 40, because the number of applicants is dwindling. It is assumed that a new recruit can work for 25 years before retirement. One reason it may be hard to attract applicants is scheduling of Civil Service exams. Lakewood has tried using a testing service, so test takers could schedule themselves instead of having to appear on a certain date. WCOG should keep an eye on each city’s applicants.
Mayor Summers assumes chair in 2019.
The next WCOG meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 9:30 a.m. in the Lakewood Women’s Pavilion in Lakewood Park, 14532 Lake Ave. All meetings are open to the public.
LWV observer Judith Weiss
LWVGC-Rocky River Chapter Chair. Retired librarian, writer, volunteer. Rocky River resident for 9 years.