The View from Ward 2: Issue #3

Updated: Feb 24

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has become a day of service and introspection in honor of the life and achievements of Dr. King. I had the opportunity to join the Lakewood H2O youth volunteers as they reflected on the service they performed in the community that day. Students from the Race and Diversity Club led the group in a discussion about how Dr. King's teachings apply to our everyday lives. I am always impressed by our students' thoughtfulness and commitment to service. It is no surprise that many Lakewood High School graduates have served on City Council and as Mayor over the years.

City Council Meeting

Monday night's meeting began with the swearing-in of the Public Works Director, Roman Ducu, and the Director of Law, Brian Corrigan. Council unanimously approved their appointments and I look forward to working with the new directors.

The Director of the Lakewood Public Library, James Crawford, provided Council with an overview of the planned $2.9 million investment into the Madison Branch location. The planned renovations will honor the past and make the library meaningful for patrons in the 21st century, by improving technological offerings and by bringing back some of the library's original architectural features. This investment is going to be paid for by the Library's own funds. In fact, we pay the lowest effective millage to our library in the county, even though our library is the only one in Ohio that is open seven days a week until 9:00 PM. The project is expected to begin this Spring and hopefully open at the start of next year. The history of the Madison Branch is fascinating. Originally located on the second floor of a dance hall, the library moved into the structure where Mahall's is now located. The construction of the current library began in 1928 and was designed by the architectural firm Walker and Weeks. Walker and Weeks was the firm responsible for some of Cleveland's most iconic structures including Severance Hall and the Hope Memorial Bridge! The Madison Branch has historically served our City's children and immigrant population - most books checked out are children's books and over 2,000 students participated in the Homework Help program at the branch last year.

We unanimously approved the purchase agreement between the City and Scalish Construction for the Trinity Lutheran Church property. I am excited about this project and you can review the full proposal along with sample renderings of the project here.

The committee appointments were announced, which may change when we are joined by the new At-Large member. They are as follows:

Additionally, President O'Malley introduced an ordinance that will amend the name of the Housing Committee to the Housing, Planning, and Development Committee and amend the name of the Public Works Committee to the Public Works and Sustainability Committee. I am honored to serve as Chair of the Housing Committee, and I am looking forward to crafting legislation that will contribute to Lakewood's vibrancy, affordability, and safety.

As always, you can watch the entire meeting by clicking here.

13th Annual Lakewood Diversity Potluck

On Thursday, Michelle and I joined our neighbors at Lakewood's Diversity Potluck. This community gathering is spearheaded by the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Committee and allows us the opportunity to meet new neighbors and sample food that represents their heritage. Michelle made Knishs, which are a classic Jewish American snack food that consists of a potato filling covered with dough. Over 120 people attended to enjoy dinner and conversations with our wonderful Lakewood community.

Free Reusable Bags!

In light of the recent County Plastic Bag Ban, the City has ordered reusable bags to give away. You can pick yours up at City Hall to use on your next Lakewood shopping spree!