Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, Aug. 12, 2020
This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Koomar's office prepares official minutes.
Present: Mayors Koomar (Bay Village); Bobst (Rocky River); Clough (Westlake); Cooney (Fairview Park); George (Lakewood). Guests: State Rep. Dave Greenspan; Michelle Pomerantz, Director, Cuyahoga County Dept. of Regional Collaboration.
The meeting was held at Bay Village City Hall, Mayor Koomar presiding. It was called to order at 9:30 a.m.
Fiscal Officer’s Report, Renee Mahoney: Financial statement was produced. Nothing new to report.
RTA, Clough: Will receive $111 million from federal government, which will cover recent loss of revenue. State Rep. Greenspan is working with State Sen. Matt Dolan to increase state funding, which was cut. General manager has been on maternity leave, but will be back in September, and will be invited to a WCOG meeting.
NOACA, Bobst: Board and staff have finished an equity statement, posted on their website, that recognizes its role in creating some of the problems it will address. They are looking for community information and involvement in creating a long-range transport plan.
Land Bank, George: Nothing to report.
Planning Commission, Bobst: The leader’s position is open; Mayor Bobst is on the selection committee. A county datebook has been released, using data from outside sources; it will be updated periodically.
Mayors and Managers Assn., Koomar: Cities may use CARES funding for salaries related to sanitizing and other COVID-related work. They will need authorization by their councils. All departments have had losses that need reimbursement.
Rep. Greenspan, capital and legislative update: He has submitted some 54 projects to the State Appropriations Committee, including projects for community colleges and schools. They are making small gains in school funding. The deficit is less than projected, because revenues were up before the pandemic. Greenspan stated that Ohio is well positioned to bring industries such as pharmaceuticals into the state. The goal is to reach 4% unemployment.
Michelle Pomerantz, census and election: The County has some offices open, and many people still working from home. Email is the best way to reach people now. Greenspan noted that the deadline for renewing driver licenses, etc., will probably be extended.
The County is working to increase response to the Census. West Shore communities are doing well; other areas are harder to reach, so it’s hoped the West Shore will help to make up for them. The County qualifies for CARES money based on Census.
They are also working to promote a fair election. Greenspan supports HB 680, which will require the Secretary of State to send absentee ballots to every voter at least seven days before the election. Council agreed to allow County workers to take Election Day off in order to work at the polls, if they wish.
LWV observer Judith Weiss
LWVGC-Rocky River Chapter Chair. Retired librarian, writer, volunteer. Rocky River resident for 11 years.