Letters To The Editor

When parties become a bore

Next week, the absentee ballots will be going out for the May primaries. On the ballots will be candidates for the Democratic and Republican state central committees, the parties' top-tier leadership. There are 33 State Senate districts in Ohio and each district gets one man and one woman for the committee, per Ohio rules, for both the Democratic and the Republican parties.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:20 AM, 04.01.2014

Let the sun shine in!

March 16-22 is Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means to each of us and to our communities. It is a time to remember the important role that we all have in keeping our towns healthy, vibrant and strong.

We all have the right to know what our government is doing – both its successes and failures. Exercising our right to know gives power to us, the public. It allows us to hold elected officials accountable on Election Day and beyond.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:25 AM, 03.18.2014

Waterboarding Westlake

The leadership of any community has every right to do what Westlake has done to get the best products and services for its residents. And it has the right to do this without threats and intimidation by its suppliers. 

The attempted “waterboarding” of Westlake by the Cleveland Water Department with its planned imposition of outrageous fees is now before a judge with a decision expected in February.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:21 AM, 02.04.2014

Bay Schools superintendent urges parents to take pledge

Dear Bay Village Parents/Guardians,
I urge all Bay Village parents to participate in a very important initiative of our Bay Village PTAs – the Bay Village Parent Pledge.

Whether you have children enrolled in the Bay Village City Schools, other schools, or even if you think your children are too young to be involved in drug and alcohol abuse, this is an important step we can take together to fight substance abuse by children within our community.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.21.2014

Incoming councilman eager to serve

I would like to thank my neighbors in Ward 2 for their vote of confidence to elect me as their representative for Westlake City Council. I also want to express appreciation to everyone who endorsed me and worked tirelessly on my campaign. No one wins an election by themselves. It requires grassroots supporters and a team effort. I look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with my neighbors, Mayor Clough, City Council President Michael Killeen and fellow city council members.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.10.2013

Friends of the Bay Village Kennel thank supporters

Due to continuing support, generous donations and dedicated volunteers, the last six months have been extremely productive and rewarding for the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel who have come to the financial aid of 30 animals in our community.

The Friends of the Bay Village Kennel remind residents that Cuyahoga County Dog License tags go on sale in December. Landmark Lawn and Garden Supply on Dover Center Road in Westlake will have them available for purchase. You may also purchase them on the county's website at www.cuyahogadogs.com. Also on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m., pet photos with Santa will be taken by a professional photographer along with free giveaways and surprise guests at the Westlake Landmark store.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.26.2013

Mayoral campaign brought issues to forefront

To the residents of Bay Village,

I'm so very proud of the hard work that so many people provided during my Bay Village mayoral campaign. I'm proud of the issues we brought to light and the needed recognition that transparency, safety, and public involvement received during this election season. I'm confident that the days of executive sessions and emergency measures will be much fewer and farther between because of our work.

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:14 AM, 11.12.2013

Bay kennel advocates seek public meeting

Regarding the ongoing conversation about the status of the Bay Village kennel, the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel (FOBVK) would like to point out a few things that may not be known to many members of our community.

Members of the FOBVK met with Mayor Sutherland and another city representative in June 2011 to discuss possibilities for the kennel and its operation. While the meeting seemed encouraging, the mayor did not offer a proposal at that time, instead remarking that it looked like the city and FOBVK could work together at an appropriate site within the city. One week later, city administration eliminated the position of Animal Control Officer and, in essence, closed the kennel. Since then, dogs are admitted, but only until they can be picked up by the county kennel or returned to their owners. Cats are not permitted in the Bay kennel.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.15.2013

In memory of a friend

On Sept. 19, 2013, the Knickerbocker community lost one of its own. Clara J. Cuthbert was a longtime resident who was very active in the kitchen and the many events held at the Knickerbocker. She was well known for her potato salad. She spent many volunteer hours cooking for the Knickerbocker family with a smile.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:38 AM, 10.01.2013

Thanks, Partner!

When I opened the last issue of the Observer, tears came to my eyes. There in living color was the League of Women Voters logo announcing Bay's Primary Election Voters' Guide. Our last Voters' Guide, for the 2009 election, was mailed to every Bay Village household. Increased postage and production costs made it impossible to do that in 2011 – or 2013. Yet Voters' Guides and candidates' forums are the League's most basic services.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.20.2013

Drive for Westlake Assistance

Mary’s Food Friends, a.k.a. St. Paul Lutheran Thrivent Hunger Ministry Service Team, has a $1 supplementation for every $3.85 donated through Sept. 15 to assist the Westlake Assistance Program.

This supplement is made possible by the Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Care Abounds in Community Program and will really help fill the cupboards of Westlake Assistance.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 9:57 AM, 08.20.2013

Trip home for Bay Days brings fond memories

The same fields, those flat, dandelion-specked fields along Cahoon Road, have felt hundreds of thousands of soccer balls course across them – these are the fields that transform into carnival grounds every Fourth of July. The same rides, tents, cotton candy every year. The same carnies, the same putt-putt game hosted by the Bay Republican Club.

It’s a vestige of a Norman Rockwell America. The bandstand and the boosters and the veterans and the flags. Every heart in Bay Village breaks a little bit the day that the rides are disassembled. Bay Days is over, which means so much more than just Bay Days is over.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:44 AM, 07.09.2013

Primary win a 'vote of confidence'

Thank you to all of my neighbors in Westlake Ward 2 for your support. I appreciate your vote of confidence to elect me as a candidate for city council. On Primary Tuesday I spent the entire day greeting voters at Holly Lane and Hilliard Elementary Schools for Westlake’s election.

I enjoyed meeting fellow Westlakers I didn’t know already. We should be grateful for the caring citizens in our Ward. The number of candidates in the primary alone demonstrates the sense of community in our Ward and our great city. And I want to thank my opponents, Marie Novak, Steven J. Presley and Brian Thompson, for caring about our community as much as I do to run for city council. I also invite my opponents to join my campaign. Our work has only just begun.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.29.2013

Cancer researchers seek local participants for national study

As it celebrates its 100th birthday, The American Cancer Society is looking for residents of our community to help continue the fight against cancer by reaching full enrollment in a historic research study currently taking place. While tremendous progress continues to be made, the effort to eradicate this disease has never been greater.

Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) will give scientists a better understanding of cancer causes and prevention. The Society is looking for local men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer to help reach a national enrollment goal of at least 300,000.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 10:13 AM, 05.14.2013

Bay Village contracts building department services

After a competitive bid process, the City of Bay Village recently elected to partner with SAFEbuilt, a contract provider of building department services. The City is entering into a three-year contract with SAFEbuilt to provide complete building department services as well as property maintenance and rental compliance services. SAFEbuilt, which provides all the vehicles, technology and the properly licensed, expert personnel, will report directly to the Bay Village service and building director, Dan Galli. The SAFEbuilt Ohio team, which consists of staff members all hired from the local Northeast Ohio area, is set to begin operations May 1.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:33 AM, 04.30.2013

Update on the Bay Village Kennel construction and operation

In the past, Friends of the Bay Village Kennel's meetings with the mayor have not proven to be an effective means of resolving this issue. Further, the mayor has made it clear that she is unwilling to have public discussion on this issue. Until further notice, FOBVK will endeavor in other areas.

FOBVK will continue its efforts to assist distressed animals through the use of generously donated monies for purposes including spaying, neutering, other veterinary care, food, medications, etc.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 10:49 AM, 04.02.2013

Westlake school levy needed to avoid deeper cuts

Once again, I’m a very proud parent volunteer to be co-chairing the levy campaign for Westlake City Schools.

Westlake Schools are excellent, consistently rated in the top 5 percent of Ohio school districts. But without this levy, Issue 16, that excellence is at risk.

It has been seven years since the Westlake Board of Education placed an operating levy on the ballot. In 2006, the school board committed to making that operating levy last four years. Through diligent planning, the 2006 operating levy was stretched three extra years.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:38 AM, 03.19.2013

We have a pope!

As a lifelong (75 years and counting) Catholic I am embarrassed by the royalty-like lifestyle of many church leaders and the outrageous accumulated wealth in the Vatican. My views, including that the Catholic hierarchy resembles King Herod more than Christ, has brought me some support and some condemnation over the years.

With that in mind, I'm well pleased with the selection of the simple, humble man who is now Pope Francis. A man who, as cardinal, eschewed the trappings of his office to live a quiet life, taking care of himself and his people – no palace, no limos, no servants. I believe his appointment bodes well for a papacy more dedicated to its people – especially the poor – than to misguided practices of past decades.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:53 AM, 03.19.2013

Bay councilman announces resignation

Dear Bay Village residents:

I am resigning my elected position of Council At-Large for the City of Bay Village effective Dec. 31, 2012. The resignation is a result of a very significant career opportunity, which will not afford the time necessary to serve as a dedicated council representative. In my new role, I will serve as CEO of All-American Teleradiology, a nationwide provider of radiology coverage based in Bay Village.

The past seven years has given me a tremendous opportunity to work with residents, organizations, fellow council members, city leadership and city workers, all of whom contribute to the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Bay Village. The Observer publication is an excellent example of the quality of people woven into the fabric of our community.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.11.2012

Thanks to voters

Thank you District 16 voters, Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake, for your overwhelming vote of support to return me to the Ohio House of Representatives. It has been an honor and privilege to serve you over the past four years and I look forward to continuing my work to create an environment to retain, create and bring jobs to Ohio.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:20 AM, 11.13.2012

Wary of partisan behavior

After attending the recent forum between Andrew Meyer and Nan Baker several issues came to mind including hyper-partisanship, Representative Baker’s representation of her constituents, and how well-informed she is. These issues solidify my choice in voting for Andrew Meyer. 

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 10:28 AM, 10.16.2012

Bay City Council returns from recess

Bay Residents:

City Council is back in session following its traditional summer recess and has begun the budgetary process for 2013. A fiscally conservative approach, marked by targeted cuts and restructuring of debt, has allowed the city to operate within its means without dipping into reserves specifically earmarked for public improvements to benefit our Bay Village residents. The Finance Committee is meeting frequently as the budget takes shape.

The Public Improvements Committee will soon begin a series of meetings with city administration to layout long-term public improvement plans. An aging infrastructure will require investment in municipal buildings, parks and recreation, roads and continued sewer upgrades.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.02.2012

Bay Village charter amendments on Nov. 6 ballot

The Bay Village Chapter of the League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga Area (LWV-CA) would like to thank the members of Bay's 2012 Charter Review Commission for their diligent service. Once every ten years, a commission appointed by the mayor and approved by city council reviews the entire charter. Their purpose is to ensure that the charter remains a coherent whole and meets the anticipated and current needs of the community. This is a monumental task.

The themes of this year's review were flexibility, streamlining city government and paving the way to regionalization. The LWV-CA is a strong advocate of regionalization and we support "voluntary intergovernmental, collaborative agreements which reduce costs, foster transparency and accountability, improve efficiencies, and maintain service standards." This is an excellent yardstick by which to examine the four charter amendment proposals.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:25 AM, 10.02.2012

In Support of Andrew Meyer

I moved to this area six years ago. I have loved Northeast Ohio from the start, and since moving to Greater Cleveland, I’ve married, developed a career and started a family. The success of the region means as much to me as to anyone, and it’s why I’m supporting Andrew Meyer for State Representative of Ohio House District 16. 

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.02.2012

Examining candidates' positions on fracking

Labor Day celebrates the economic and social contributions of all workers. During this year's observance, I thought about the fact that Rep. Nan Baker voted for Senate Bill 5. How could a representative say “it’s about jobs” but then take away the right for collective bargaining? How could a representative turn on police and fire forces, as well as teachers? Blaming the budget woes on its workers rather than creatively pushing for innovative reform within our state government? Voters found out what Senate Bill 5 was about and overturned this legislation blaming hard working union men and women for the state’s financial woes. 

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 09.18.2012

Leadership to govern

Am I better off than I was four years ago? I’m four years older and five pounds heavier – ergo, no. I face the same question every five years at school reunions. I often wish my private affairs were in fact private and not the measure of the nation.

But I realize personal matters do make a difference on the national stage and so does personal experience and character make a difference in our elected officials. I realize it takes more leadership than community organizing to govern the country.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 9:59 AM, 09.18.2012

Sutton willing to debate

Betty Sutton has invited Jim Renacci to debate at Akron University’s Bliss Institute. Here is it’s mission statement: “The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is a bipartisan research and teaching institute dedicated to increasing understanding of the political process with special emphasis on political parties, grassroots activity, and ethical behavior.”

As far as debate locations go, this sounds perfect. It’s a non-partisan institute dedicated to promoting and educating the public about politics. Sadly, Renacci has not accepted Sutton’s invitation to debate there.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 10:14 AM, 09.18.2012

Group matching donations to Westlake assistance program

Mary’s Food Friends, a.k.a. St. Paul Lutheran Thrivent Hunger Ministry Service Team, announces a $1 supplementation for every $4 donated through Sept. 15 to assist the Westlake Assistance Program. This match, made possible by the Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Care Abounds in Community Program, will really help fill the food cupboards of Westlake Assistance.

If one wants to make a monetary donation, write a check payable to Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter, with "Westlake Assistance" in the memo line, and mail to Hunger Ministry, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 27993 Detroit Road, Westlake, OH 44145. Thank you for joining our Hearts Helping Hunger Campaign for Westlake Assistance.

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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 10:56 AM, 09.05.2012

WHS Class of 1952 holds 60th reunion

On May 25 and 26, members of Westlake High School’s Class of 1952 held a reunion to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their graduation. Theirs may be the longest-running series of class reunions in the past 50 years.

There were originally 40 members in the class, of which 15 surviving classmates were able to attend, and 14 others were either unable to come or could not be reached. Nevertheless, two came from North Carolina, one from Colorado, and two more from California.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:51 AM, 06.12.2012

Healthy lawns help prevent nutrient runoff

As a reader of the WBV Observer at home, and as the president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company at work, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on a recent article by Patrick McGannon entitled “The harmful consequences of fertilizing your yard.”

The article is right on point regarding the importance of keeping fertilizers and other lawn care products out of stormwater systems and local waterways. What I feel should have been included in the article is the fact that a healthy lawn, regularly fed with non-phosphorus lawn food, actually prevents nutrient runoff into streams and lakes.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 11:42 AM, 05.15.2012

Annual hydrant flushing In Bay Village continues through mid-June

The annual Bay Village Fire Department hydrant flushing began April 30 and will be completed, weather permitting, by mid-June. Each year we test and flush every hydrant in the city to ensure proper function, pressure and maintenance.

As in past years, we will keep residents aware of our daily progress through the city by posting temporary signs. We also notify City Hall each morning of our work area for the day. Please note that hydrants are flushed from 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 05.01.2012

Be a good neighbor: pick up after your pet

Pet waste left on sidewalks, streets, yards or other open areas can be washed away and carried by rainwater into storm drains to nearby rivers, lakes and streams and cause many problems. According to USA Today, science has now revealed a more unsavory truth: It's an environmental pollutant.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:28 AM, 05.01.2012

Community supports 501(c)3 organizations

Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations have mission objectives that ultimately benefit the community. Clague Playhouse and Westlake-Westshore Arts Council are two such organizations, whose mission goals enhance and broaden cultural life through the arts. To facilitate the programs that they provide, they rely on community support. 

A Cabaret Night, their recent “sold-out” benefit held at Wagner’s Country Inn, received wonderful support. Products and services for the various benefit auctions came from restaurants, spas, the Indians, the Cavs, Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, florists, chocolate shops and other local donors. Twenty-six visual artists contributed works of art. A complete list of donors can be found at www.w-wac.org and www.clagueplayhouse.org.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:50 AM, 03.20.2012

Bay cancer foundation making progress, needs volunteers

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

In the Jan. 10 issue of the Observer, I announced a team effort to create an entity called "Friends From The Start" Foundation, which is being established to provide resources and services to individuals and loved ones hit with cancer.

The following is an update on where we are at this point in time, as well as a request for help for those who might want to get involved.

First, we are working in collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College to develop a comprehensive website which serves as the information center for anything and everything related to the subject of cancer. For lack of a better term, kind of like a centralized "one stop shop." While I am a relative dinosaur when it comes to the area of technology, we have the right people involved to make it happen.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 03.20.2012

Estate tax benefits few at cost to many

In her Jan. 10 letter to the editor, State Representative Nan Baker listed a smorgasbord of so-called jobs legislation she supported in the General Assembly. But one law she supported – the repeal of the Estate Tax – is not really about promoting jobs or economic growth. It is more about making sure the wealthiest in Ohio remain so, at the expense of Ohio's middle class.  

Most Ohio families – more than 90 percent, according to the nonpartisan research institute Policy Matters Ohio – will never have estate tax due after they die. According to Policy Matters' Feb. 2011 testimony to the House Ways & Means Committee, the estate tax was paid on about 7.5 percent of Ohio estates in 2009. Estate tax was finalized on just about 8,000 estates. This is not a tax on Ohio's middle class, on those  families living, working and sending their children to school in Rep. Baker's District 16.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:00 PM, 01.24.2012

Catholics can come home to St. Raphael's

With this letter, I am hoping to reach out to anyone who has been away from the Catholic Church. About two years ago I felt something calling me back to the Church I had been away from for about 20 years. I wasn’t sure what to do.

Do I just show up one Sunday at Mass? How do I know what church I should go to? Should I call and talk to a priest? Then I saw an article about Catholics Coming Home at St. Raphael Church in Bay Village. Wow...talk about timing!

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:02 PM, 01.24.2012

Petition shows support for dog auction ban

The Ohio Dog Auction Act will be on the ballot come November unless Columbus acts sooner. Only one animal rights bill has passed the House, HB 14 (the pit bull bill), but none have passed the Senate. Speaker William Batchelder says that there is no push for animal rights bills by voters.

The Ohio Dog Auction Act petition was signed by over 154,000 folks from 88 counties. HB 108 Nitro's law has 11,000 supporters on Facebook. This shows the people are behind these bills while the Republicans are behind unwanted bills like HB 136, SB 5 and HB 194.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:03 PM, 01.24.2012

Former Dwyer Center manager says goodbye

I'd like to wish the patrons of the Bay Village Dwyer Center a prosperous and happy New Year.

I worked at the center for the past 15 years, including the past two years as the Senior Center Manager. But in mid-December, I received a letter from Mayor Deborah Sutherland informing me that my position was being eliminated and that I would be placed on administrative leave, effective immediately. I was instructed to collect my personal belongings and leave that afternoon.

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 12:42 PM, 01.10.2012

Westlake resident enters race for state rep

I am excited to announce that I am off and running in my campaign to become the next Representative to the Ohio House from the 16th District; which includes Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River, Fairview Park and North Olmsted.

A native of Cleveland, I am a Westlake resident, a husband, father and teacher. I am a dedicated family man with three young children. During this campaign, my wife, who is also a teacher, and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. I’m a proud Navy veteran of 20 years. My family is the typical middle-class, hard working Ohio family.

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Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:48 PM, 12.13.2011

Westlake renewal levy will continue to assure strong safety force

On Nov. 8, Westlake voters are asked to renew the .9 mill levy that currently supports the salary of eight firefighters/paramedics and eight police officers. This funding source has been in effect since 1966 and has been renewed every five years. Consequently, it is important that we maintain this funding to continue to keep our police and fire personnel properly staffed to meet the everyday demands of our growing community.

Westlake has taken pride in managing your tax dollars in a responsible and effective manner. Your continued support of this renewal (NOT A TAX INCREASE) will assure a strong and responsive safety force for the next five years. Please vote yes on Issue 99 as you cast your ballot for the Nov. 8 election.

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:18 PM, 10.18.2011