West Shore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, March 8, 2017

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Clough’s office prepares official minutes.

The meeting took place at Westlake City Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m. The first half-hour was a closed session devoted to financial matters. The meeting adjourned at 10:39 am.

Present: Mayors Clough (Westlake), Koomar (Bay Village), Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood), Kennedy (North Olmsted), and Bobst (Rocky River).

Also present: Renee Mahoney (fiscal officer)

Renee Mahoney reported on the newly formalized internet banking policy. The mayors have forwarded the proposal to their finance directors and the topic will be discussed at the next meeting.

2016 Financials: There is a total of $300,000 in cash and the checking account. All items were within budget. The cities' contributions for 2017 will be the same as for 2016. Most income comes from seizures.

Mayor Summers testified before the state Ways and Means Committee on the subject of tax collection. The state representatives want to simplify tax collections from businesses, but the proposed bill will not accomplish that. The House wants to enforce centralized collection by mandate. (Business filers currently have a choice.) This would create huge issues for companies in Columbus because of the number of business filings there. The city’s top 50 employers could experience a $400,000 loss. Only 8 percent of filings in Lakewood are business filings. No one from Cleveland has been part of the discussion.

Mayor Bobst reported on S.B. 331, which was passed in December 2016. Effective March 21, the law allows micro wireless facility (MWF) operators, including public utilities and cable operators, to construct and operate facilities (antennas, accessory equipment, and other wireless devices or equipment) in a municipal corporation’s public way. The city must permit MWF attachment to a support structure owned or operated by the city. Mayor Bobst is concerned that this will lead to a city’s inability to control what happens on public right-of-ways. It may also result in maintenance issues for the city. Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo are prepared to challenge the MWF provision in court.

Mayor Patton reported that Fairview Park has extended its moratorium on marijuana establishments. Mayor Summers reported that Lakewood has done the same. Rocky River has banned such facilities. Only 20 licenses have been granted in Ohio for the sale of marijuana.

Mayor Patton is concerned that the Home Blown Glass and Clothing store will begin selling bongs and hemp wear. She also advised the group that the Broke Ass Phone building on Center Ridge Road near Westgate will be demolished.

Westshore COG meetings are open to the public. The next one will be Wednesday, April 12, at 9:30 am in Westlake City Hall.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2017