Mayor Clough presents State of the City address

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough gave an overview of the state of the city on May 12. Photo by Denny Wendell

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough shared a snapshot of each of the city’s departments, its financials and upcoming projects in his annual State of the City address to residents at the Westlake Community Center on May 12. The event was sponsored by the Westlake | Bay Village Observer as part of our commitment to making news and information accessible to all in the community.

Clough offered a shortened version of the presentation he made in March to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, in order to allow more time for audience questions.

In his 38th annual address, Mayor Clough again emphasized the city’s focus on controlled growth and conservative fiscal policies, as well as his administration’s commitment to maintaining Westlake’s infrastructure.

Over the past three years, Westlake has spent $36.6 million on infrastructure improvements, from the new Community Center, to water and sewer lines, to road resurfacing.

“We continue to reinvest in the city of Westlake,” Clough said. “If you don’t invest in your infrastructure, you’re going to pay down the road. If you can maintain it and take care of it when it needs taking care of, you’re going to save money.”

A strong, diverse tax base and friendly business environment make those investments easier to manage. Westlake’s total assessed valuation continues to climb, with a citywide real estate value in 2023 of nearly $1.78 billion. The city also offers limited incentives for businesses looking to build, expand and/or create jobs.

“On occasion we have to offer incentives for businesses to encourage them to come here because sometimes we’re in a competitive nature with other cities,” Clough said, explaining that such moves can help increase the city’s tax base and keep residential taxes low. “We’re not a big fan of offering the incentives, but if we feel that the business is right for Westlake and we want them to be here, we’ll be competitive.”

Hyland was one of the businesses receiving a tax credit, and their recently announced downsizing has drawn the city’s attention. From a peak of 2,000 employees, Hyland is reducing its workforce to 200.

“We’re going to have to watch our income tax to see how that’s affecting us,” said Clough, responding to a resident’s question about the layoffs. “One good thing is that we have a reserve fund, but we’re not happy about [the situation] either.”

Another topic of interest to the audience is the future of city-owned Meadowood Golf Course. The mayor explained that they have received prices in the $10-$11 million range to upgrade the course and they are currently evaluating whether Westlake will see a return on that investment. A strong possibility is installing a driving range first, which Clough said definitely makes money.

To see a slideshow from the presentation, visit

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 05.16.2023