Westlake has 3 municipal issues on November ballot

In addition to the candidates for the Board of Education and the county and state issues, voters in the city of Westlake must decide on three municipal issues. Here is a brief explanation of the issues on the Westlake ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election.

Issue 116: This proposed charter amendment, if passed, will renew the existing 0.9 mill levy for five years to pay for salaries and other expenses of the Police and Fire departments of the City of Westlake.

Westlake voters first approved a tax levy to supplement police and fire personnel in 1966. This 0.9 mill levy was renewed in November 2011 for five years and thus is expiring. The levy proceeds are additional to expenditures made from the General Fund. In 2015, the City has used the levy funds to pay for seven police and seven fire personnel as well as related expenses. These levy monies cannot be used for capital equipment purchases. The total cost of safety forces makes up almost two-thirds of municipal budgets in Ohio’s cities. As Local Government Funds from the state have been cut, special-purpose levies (such as the one on Westlake’s ballot for decades) have been introduced in many communities in efforts to keep employment levels for police and firefighters at levels deemed necessary.

Issue 117: This proposed charter amendment would result in a change to the filing deadline for candidates seeking elected city offices from 60 days before the primary election date to 90 days before the primary election date.  

If this amendment passes, the Westlake charter will be in compliance with federal election regulations that changed deadlines in the voting process for members of the military. State legislation has already changed these deadlines for unchartered cities. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has requested that charter cities make such a change to provide a common set of filing deadlines throughout the county

Issue 118: This proposed change to the zoning map of the City of Westlake would reclassify five parcels of land on Center Ridge Road and Westwood Road. 

Currently these properties, primarily a trailer park, are in the categories of “Multi-Family-40 District” and “General Business District.” Passage of the proposal would reclassify all to “Multi-Family-24 District.” Westlake’s city charter requires voter approval for any rezoning proposal that would change population density. 

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:46 AM, 10.06.2015