As summer comes to a close, the children are back in school, the summer sports leagues are over and we await the brilliant color change of the trees in our yards, I'm sure you reflect like I do on all that has been accomplished over the summer months. In the City of Lyndhurst, we have been very busy. Over nine hundred thousands dollars has been put into the repair, resurfacing and general upgrade to our streets and sewers, making sure that our city remains a desirable place to live and play. We have seen our automated recycling program succeed beyond our expectations, by eliminating over 500 tons of garbage from our waste stream and we now see these recyclables going through the system to be re-utilized….for our part Lyndhurst is looking to help contribute to the Green initiative. With the success of the automated trucks and recycling, we will be instituting a similar program with our garbage pick-up. With the help from a grant from the Bureau of Workman's Compensation we have purchased automated trucks for trash collection. These trucks will work the same way as the recycling trucks do. One man can operate the truck picking up and dumping trash, essentially doing the job of 4 people. Not only is this a more efficient system of trash collection but it is also an economical savings for the City. A very welcomed relief in these difficult economic times.
The City of Lyndhurst has also recently partnered with the National League of Cities to offer our residents a free prescription discount card that provides average savings of 20% off retail price of prescription medications. Now residents who are without health insurance or a traditional pharmacy benefit plan, or have prescriptions not covered by insurance have a solution to obtain medication at a discount. There is no cost to the City of Lyndhurst to provide this program; this is collaboration with the National League of Cities and Lyndhurst. ID cards can be picked up at City Hall, the Office on Ageing in the Lyndhurst Community Center and at local retail establishment in Lyndhurst.
In the next few weeks you will be receiving in the mail an overview of the City financials and a simple explanation on where your tax monies are spent and the services that are offered to our residents. As Mayor, I am often asked, "How is our City doing?" When we look at the big picture Lyndhurst is no different than many other suburban Cities or Villages. We are an upper middle-class city with homes that range in price from $100,000 to one million dollars. Quite a nice diversity. Our schools, though challenged, are rated from effective to excellent. Our neighborhoods are neat and clean, our streets are safe, and our residents are content. What does the future hold for Lyndhurst? Like you, I can't see into the future, but I do know that working together with our City Council, and you our neighbors we have been able to accomplish a great deal. We have a common resolve to do all within our collective means to weather this economic storm. Lyndhurst is our home, it is your home and both your City Council and I sincerely appreciate your support and trust in our stewardship of our "Community of Neighbors".
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at city hall. As autumn, Thanksgiving and winter approach, (oh how that word sends chills through me) let us all take time to enjoy the many blessings we have in our life. I hope to see you around town.
Well, it looks like we made it through the long, cold days of winter and the ever warming days of spring are upon us. If you are like the rest of us I am sure that you are getting out in your yard and doing that spring yard clean up and getting the flower beds ready for all those flowers. It always makes me so very proud of our community as my wife and I walk around the neighborhoods and see all of you out there taking such pride in your home and yards. Here at City Hall we take the vibrancy and viability of our community very seriously. Our Building Department is always on the lookout for homes and yards that are not in compliance with the City of Lyndhurst's housing codes. We are not out to "get ya", just out to make certain that our community is in good order.
Again, as in years past, the city will provide weekend rubbish drop off at City Hall until mid November on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 aAM - 3:30 PM. Pull into the main entrance of City Hall and look for the garbage trucks between the Service Buildings (during construction of the City Hall Parking Lot the trucks will be located behind the Main Service Building.).
Within the next few weeks all residents of the City of Lyndhurst will be receiving an annual "State of the City" letter from me and a brief update on the city financials and how this economic downturn has affected us in Lyndhurst. I can assure you that City Council and my administration are working very hard to continue to provide the services and amenities that we have all come to expect. Not all of the decisions are or will be easy, but we will continue to strive to be good stewards of your tax dollars.
Please know that as always both Council and I are here to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.
I look forward to seeing you around around The Neighborhood.
As Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities "this is the best of times, this is the worst of times". We can all relate to this statement as we reflect over the last year, as we look at the economy both globally and locally, as we begin a historic time in the presidency of the United States, we have hope, we seek wisdom and courage. These are some of the things I reflect upon as we begin looking ahead for Lyndhurst in 2009.
We are in the midst of budgeting for 2009. This has been a difficult and complex budget to put together, but we are working with our work force and establishing new and innovative plans for maintaining the level of service we have all come to expect. As in the past, we remain committed to being good stewards of your tax monies. The downturn in the economy has also affected us here in the City Of Lyndhurst; just as I am sure it has affected your households. We are faced with shrinking revenues in both property tax and income tax while at the same time experiencing increases in expenses, gasoline, road salt, utilities, healthcare, supplies, etc. We have done many things to help reduce expenses. After many discussions with a number of the City Unions we have reached a proactive approach to meet some of the financial challenges we face. The City has asked and received from most of the bargaining units a wage freeze for the year 2010, this along with, an early retirement program that was instituted last year, has proven beneficial to the Cities bottom line. I look forward to automating our garbage pick-up in the same manner as our recycling program soon. We are also scrutinizing every expenditure that comes through, to make sure we get the best bang for our buck. We all need to be proactive in this economy.
Congratulations to our new police chief. Rick Porrello was sworn in as Chief on January 5th. He has been with the Lyndhurst Police Department for 21 years. Chief Porrello is a wonderful asset to the city in this capacity, and comes with many new and innovative ideas. Also promoted were Sergeant Steve DeBow and Lieutenant Jeff Traci, congratulations to you both! I'd like to also welcome our two new patrolmen, Shaun Cameron and Scott Gorski.
The City's Electronic Newsletter, sent via e-mail, now takes the place of the regular printed newsletter that was mailed to your home throughout the year. This has greatly reduced the cost of postage, paper, ink and labor. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the City Newsletter which keeps you informed of the many wonderful events throughout the year. Simply visit www.lyndhurst-oh.com and type your email address into the top right hand corner. The City Newsletter will then be sent to your email address. Tell your friends and neighbors!
While we wait for the spring thaw, have you taken the kids to Brainard Park to sled?
Please feel free to contact myself or any member of Council with questions, concerns or ideas. I wish all of you health and happiness in this new year.
I hope you all had an enjoyable summer, that you had time to spend with family and friends, and to take advantage of the many amenities offered here in your hometown, Lyndhurst.
As the leaves change color and begin to fall and we find that cold nip in the air, it reminds us of the winter to come. With the thought of the snow flying and the cold coming, I would like you to know that we are working hard here in the City to prepare for what's to come (that dreaded four letter word, "SNOW").
As I am sure, you have read in the papers there has been a shortage of road salt this year in Northeast Ohio. The Cuyahoga County Service Directors formed a salt consortium many years ago and through this group, we have been able to bid out our road salt needs in bulk with other cities.
This year for the first time, the consortium received NO BIDS. This is an unprecedented situation. The City of Lyndhurst was forced to go out and find road salt, we were fortunate in obtaining 3000 tons at a price that was considerably higher than what we paid last year. In an average year, the city can go through 5 to 6 thousand tons of salt. So you can see that this presents a problem for us. In addressing this, the City of Lyndhurst, along with the Cuyahoga County Service Directors, is looking into a 2008 Salt Reduction Plan. Rest assured your streets will be plowed and scraped of snow. We need to be prudent with our salt supply, so we will concentrate on all intersections, curves, hills, school zones and main roads.
We have begun the process of budgeting for 2009. As in the past, we remain committed to being good stewards of your tax monies. The downturn in the economy has also affected us here in the City Of Lyndhurst; just as I am sure it has affected your households. We are faced with shrinking revenues in both property tax and income tax while at the same time experiencing increases in expenses, gasoline, road salt, utilities, healthcare, supplies, etc. We have done many things to help reduce expenses, to name a few, we have instituted an early retirement program, that a few of our service department employees have taken advantage of. This has allowed us to revamp the recycling program. You all should have received the new recycling carts and may have seen the "one arm truck" that can pick up these carts at the curb utilizing one employee instead of three. This program alone will pay for itself in 3 years and save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. I look forward to automating our garbage pick-up in the same manner soon. We also have begun looking at alternative fuel sources for our vehicles, by replacing or converting some of our rolling stock to hybrid and natural gas, we can save a great deal of money and be kind to the environment. We are also scrutinizing every expenditure that comes through, to make sure we get the best bang for our buck.
When I took office 5 years ago, I promised to serve the citizens of Lyndhurst, with Honesty, Integrity and Strength, these core values still are my priority. Although we are in a very anxious time in our City, State and Country, we all here at the City are working to maintain our neighborhoods.
Please feel free to contact myself or any member of Council with questions, concerns or ideas. I wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season and a Grand New Year.
I hope that all of you are enjoying the warm summer weather. It seems like we wait so long for this season to come, and when it finally arrives, it passes so fast.
As we have been in summers past, your City Departments are busy. The Service crews are keeping all the parks, ball fields, pools and streets in good shape. The Police Department is out in patrol cars, on bikes, and on foot, keeping our neighborhoods safe and our businesses protected. The Fire Department is busy with equipment maintenance, CPR classes, Fire Prevention measures, and keeping up to date on all of the medical and fire certifications necessary to keep you, our residents', healthy and safe. The Building Department has kept up their vigilance in making sure the housing stock in Lyndhurst remains in good shape.
Lyndhurst Homedays is just around the corner... Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 5th, 6th, and 7th. I am confident that our 2008 Homedays Celebration will again prove to be the highlight of the Lyndhurst summer. We have entertainment in the big tent as well as your favorite foods up and down the midway. I look forward to seeing all of you at Lyndhurst Park in September.
As you all know, our City's tag line is "A Community of Neighbors". Please take the time this summer to get out and say hello to your neighbors. Strong communities are built by the people who live within them. I have been a part of the Lyndhurst community for almost 50 years, and I truly feel that it is a wonderful place to live, raise a family, and retire too.
Only together can we make it even better.
I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable summer. See you around the neighborhood!
Happy New Year! I trust that all of you enjoyed the holiday season and are looking forward to a happy and healthy 2008.
With the long and grueling past election season behind us, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the election process. Now more than ever, it is important to let your voices be heard. For this last election, we saw the smallest turnout of registered voters in Lyndhurst in a very long time. Whatever the reason–the weather or lack of time and interest–I encourage you to re-evaluate your participation and exercise your right to vote. The March 4th Primary is almost upon us, and the November Presidential Election will be here before you know it.
It is easier than ever to take advantage of absentee voting. If you are concerned about the weather or waiting in line, unsure about voting equipment, or have uncertain work, travel or family schedules, this option can fit very well into any lifestyle. You can request an absentee ballot by calling the Board of Elections at (216) 443-3298 or go to the City of Lyndhurst Web site to download a request. Simply mail the request; the Board of Elections will send you an absentee ballot. Then you can vote in the privacy of your own home. Let’s recommit ourselves to the election process and make Lyndhurst a community that participates in our democracy.
In the past, voting in a primary meant you had to declare a political party. This is no longer the case. If you do not want to declare a political party, you can request a ballot for “issues” only. If you want to declare a political party and vote for a candidate, you can and also vote on any ballot issues.
Also, those of you who have voted at Lyndhurst City Hall–Ward 1 precinct 1C and Ward 2 precinct 2A–will be voting at the Lyndhurst Community Center. This change should be in effect for the March 4th primary election. More information will follow to those of you affected by this change.
Over the next few months, there are some activities I would like you to be aware of:
The Lyndhurst Fire Department will sponsor a Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction on Saturday, February 16th to benefit Aluminum Cans for Burned Children. If you would like to attend or contribute, contact the Fire Department at (440) 473-5139.
On Sunday, February 24th from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, the Hillcrest Rotary will sponsor a pancake breakfast at the Lyndhurst Community Center.
On Saturday, March 29th, the Ladies of Lyndhurst will hold their 4th Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Lyndhurst continues to participate in the Hillcrest Relay for Life, which will be held June 13th & 14th in Lyndhurst at Brush High School’s Korb Field. The Fashion Show and Luncheon is one of the fundraising events Team Lyndhurst will sponsor.
As we are preparing the 2008 budget, both my office and City Council are working hard to ensure that Lyndhurst continues to provide you the best services we can. With shrinking revenues and increasing expenses, it is a challenge. But as stewards to our community, we endeavor to do what is necessary for the continued viability of Lyndhurst.
Well, election season is finally over, winter is closing in, and at the city we are busy preparing for that four-letter word: SNOW. If you’re anything like my family, you are gathering supplies for the cold months ahead. Lyndhurst is doing the same. The pools and parks have been made ready, we’ve picked up most of the leaves, our salt bin is full, and the plows are sharpened and ready. So as the saying goes, bring it on—but a nice, mild winter would be nice.
As the holiday season fast approaches, the Fire Department has included some common-sense ideas in this issue of our newsletter. To ensure a safe and happy holiday for you and your family, please take the time to review the article.
We are all very fortunate to reside in Lyndhurst, the amenities and services are tremendous. There are many local organizations and clubs that are
available to you. In the new year, please consider becoming involved in your home town. Being involved in your community is one of the best ways to
keep it vibrant and healthy. I encourage you to look into any organization that will contribute to the community and yourself.
My wife Sue and I and our entire family wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.
I hope you’re enjoying the summer and the opportunities available in our community. Our pools have been bustling, our parks have seen their share of families, couples and neighbors walking and picnicking, and our baseball and soccer fields are busy with our children enjoying the great weather.
We are fortunate that Lyndhurst is able to provide these recreational areas and services for all to enjoy. But wait. There is even more to do this summer in Lyndhurst. New this year is the fitness/walking trail in Brainard Park, completed earlier this year with a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. In additional to fitness equipment, the trail has a rain garden and a wildflower area. My wife and I have taken advantage of the half-mile trail, and it is great fun and really nice. The trail begins and ends at the Brainard pool parking lot.
2007 marks the 90th birthday of our great city. In 1917, the voters, all 63 of them, of what was known as Euclid Township voted to incorporate. On August 7, 1917, the Village of Euclidville was born. A few years later, in 1920, the name Lyndhurst was adopted. But that’s a story for another newsletter. So to honor this milestone birthday, we will celebrate our 90 years at Lyndhurst Home Days, September 7-9 in Lyndhurst Park. On Sunday, September 9, we will sing Happy Birthday and serve birthday cake in the big tent. Please come out and join your neighbors and friends.
Just a few gentle reminders about ways we can keep our neighborhoods looking vibrant and inviting. Because we are all busy making our yards look beautiful and clean, through late fall we will continue our weekend rubbish drop-off (Saturdays and Sundays 11:30 AM-3:30 PM) in the City Hall parking lot. Also, please do not place your rubbish on your tree lawn before 5:00 PM the night before your collection or later than 7:00 AM on collection day. You must remove empty containers from the tree lawn the same day your collection is made (the city is not responsible for these containers). Following these guidelines will ensure that our neighborhoods continue to look clean and nice.
You may be thinking about home repair and improvement projects or purchasing a home for the first time. The city, along with the Cuyahoga County Department of Development, offers a variety programs to Lyndhurst residents. Brochures on these programs — down payment assistance, home rehabilitation loans, and home weatherization assistance, will be available at City Hall. Or contact the Department of Development at (216) 443-7260.
Lyndhurst is our hometown, and we all need to work together to continue to keep it a great place to live, play, and retire too. I hope the remainder of your summer is safe and enjoyable. As always, I hope to see you out in the parks and neighborhoods, and especially at Home Days. Please feel free to contact me or any member of the City Hall staff if you need assistance.
Welcome spring! If you are anything like me, you were happy to see the snow melt, spring burst forth, and the warm days we have had.
All of our departments have been busy getting the city ready for the nice weather. The Service Department is in our parks and on the streets cleaning, fixing and reconstructing. The Building Department is busy with inspections and enforcing our new rental property ordinances. The Police Department is out beefing up patrols by expanding our bicycle patrol. And the department’s new Community Relations Liaison, Kathy Tomaro, is helping and reaching out to those in need during a crisis or difficult time. The Fire Department has been working to develop the C.E.R.T. program, and Firefighter Pam Paalman put together the Lyndhurst Safe Kids Night on May 4. This was an educational forum for residents to learn ways to make their homes and community a safe place for children.
Recently three Lyndhurst groups—Neighbor to Neighbor, C.E.R.T., and the Mayor’s Advisory Panel—came together to discuss a number of issues that affect all of us. These groups believe that the core issue in Lyndhurst is to support the strengthening of our
neighborhoods. With this focus, we can address concerns over disaster preparedness, residents in need, and crime prevention. If we are to continue to grow strong as a community of neighbors, we must become more than residents just living near each
other. We must be available to each other as neighbors, not just exchanging a nod when passing, but a sincere, “Hello, how are you?” Once this first step is taken, it will help create a bond in your neighborhood. Watching out for each other and being aware of
what goes on around you will create a safer and more viable community. For residents who want to move this message forward, there are volunteer opportunities in the groups listed above. There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities in Lyndhurst and no
shortage of people available to listen to you if you have an idea or suggestion.
Council recently hosted a resident’s meeting, and many wonderful ideas and concerns came forward. This is the participation that City Council and I welcome. Yes, we are here to address your complaints, but more importantly we need your ideas and suggestions to bring our city to where we all want it to be. I am working on implementing several of the suggestions we received. Call me or stop by my office, and we can discuss what is good and what needs improvement. Together, we can continue to keep Lyndhurst a great place to live, raise a family and retire.
Happy New Year, I hope that you and yours enjoyed the Holiday Season and had the opportunity to spend some time with family and friends. As we enter 2007, we here at the City Of Lyndhurst are busy with services to you and your neighbors.
Our Service Department has been working hard to make sure all the fall leaves have been picked up and the streets in the neighborhoods are neat and clean. We all take a collective sigh of relief that "Ol Man Winter" has looked to the far west with his snow and Ice and has only touched us a bit with winter. I only hope we can get through the next few months with same luck. (sorry to all you snow lovers).
The Building Department has been busy this fall putting together the legislation that will help maintain rental properties in Lyndhurst, by identifying all the rental properties and putting in place procedures for registration and maintenance. This will help ensure that all properties in the city, be they owner occupied or rental, hold true to the standards of our hometown.
The Lyndhurst Police Department is always out and about town making sure that all is well in our neighborhoods and business district. In 2007 it is my hope that we will be able to increase our community policing effort in the areas of victims advocacy and juvenile diversion, stay tuned for more on this. Over the last few months there have been reports of break-ins in and around Lyndhurst, please be assured that our officers are patrolling your streets. It is a good idea to keep you front and back lights on at night, this helps discourage any possible indiscretion.
Our Fire Department is continuing the efforts in training residents in the CERT program. For those not familiar with the CERT Program it is the Community Emergency Response Teams, these are residents trained by our firefighters in emergency response efforts to aid and assist in the case of a City wide emergency. For more information please contact City Hall.
The Finance Department is in full swing with preparing the 2007 budget, all departments will be submitting their requests for capital and general fund items over the next few weeks, once submitted the Finance Director, Council and I will review, and by March 2007 make recommendations to implement. This process is very critical to the day to day workings of our city. Both Council and I know that in our ever changing economic climate we need to be good stewards of taxpayers' monies.
As many of you know Lyndhurst Councilman Josh Mandel was elected to represent the 17th district of Ohio in Columbus. On behalf of the Administration, Council and the many residents Josh served, we wish him good luck and God-speed in his new position as State Representative. I am sure Representative Mandel will make all of us here in his hometown proud.
I sincerely hope everyone had a relaxing summer and enjoyed some of the many things Lyndhurst has to offer: concerts in Lyndhurst Park, swimming, baseball, softball, Home Days, activities in our parks, or just walking in our tree-lined neighborhoods.
By now you should have received the new Lyndhurst Welcome booklet. It describes our wonderful city and the many amenities we have to offer. Whether you are new to our city or have been here for many years, I know it will be an informative piece that you will want to hold on to for reference over and over again.
As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding our city, please do not hesitate to contact me. I hope to see you at the Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony on December 1st, at 7:00 PM in front of the Fire Station next to City Hall. Please accept my best wishes for a joyous holiday season.
The City of Lyndhurst has been my home for nearly 45 years, and I am proud to say that our community is still a great place to live and raise a family. The charm of our neighborhoods is evidenced by the care that most of us take of our homes and yards. Our pools and parks offer places where we can walk, run, swim, play and gather as family, as friends, or as a community. The many services offered through our Service, Police and Fire Departments are second to none in the area. All of these great things come at a price funded by our tax dollars.
Most of us are subject to paying property taxes, and I think it is very important that you, as residents of this community, know and understand that your tax dollars are working hard for you and that your Council and I are working hard to ensure that the services and amenities that we rely upon are maintained. Unfortunately, that becomes harder every year. The ever-changing condition of our economy continually challenges us here at City Hall. The costs for supplies and the necessities for the daily operation of the city continue to increase at a fast pace — much faster than the growth of our income. In short, the expenses of the city outpace the revenue that comes in, which is not an uncommon situation for municipalities in Ohio and the country. Between our City Council and me, we are watching every dollar carefully because we know the impact that reducing services or cutting programs would have on our residents. We are fortunate that Lyndhurst has strong reserves to carry us through this tough period and must always keep in our sight what is needed to maintain our community as a vital and vibrant place to reside and do business.
Allow me to give you a brief explanation of where your tax dollars go:
The municipal income tax rate is 1.50% on all wages and profits earned within the city limits. Residents are given a credit of 50% of up to 1.50% to offset their liability to the city at year end. Income taxes represent almost half of the revenues needed to fund the city’s general operations. The other large portion of revenue comes from our property taxes — a subject we are all very familiar with. In the grand scheme of things, when we look at our property tax bill, Lyndhurst gets a small portion of the large amounts collected, as I have illustrated below.
The distribution of your property tax dollars is as follows:
To South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools 63.87%
To City of Lyndhurst 12.90%
To Cuyahoga County 20.66%
To Library & Metroparks 2.57%
Source: Cuyahoga County Budget Commission 2005 Millage/Percentage Report
As you see from the list above, the percentage of your property tax dollars that comes to the City of Lyndhurst is only 12.9%, with the lion’s share going to the SE-L Schools and Cuyahoga County.
My administration and our City Council are working closely together to rise to the challenge of finding better and innovative ways to allocate city funds while trying to find more ways to generate new revenue. We realize and accept the awesome responsibility it is to be good stewards for the residents of Lyndhurst and at the same time strive to maintain our high quality of life.
A large part of maintaining the quality of life here is protecting the value of our housing stock and keeping our neighborhoods looking sharp. We accomplish this by reinvesting over $1.5 million of your tax dollars in road, sewer, sidewalk and water line projects. Another part is assuring that all property owners, even those who own rental properties here, are keeping up with the maintenance of their property. This year we have instituted a Housing Department within the Building Department. Mr. Joe Mandato has been hired as our Housing Inspector, with a primary responsibility to inspect and evaluate the exteriors of the homes in Lyndhurst to assure that we are all maintaining our homes in good condition. The homes with violations will be cited, and the owners will have a specified period of time to make repairs. For those residents who have financial concerns, there are many programs, both county and federal, that can assist with low-interest loans, grants, reverse mortgages, etc. These programs will address the many calls we receive — from almost every neighborhood — about the condition of certain properties and will help maintain Lyndhurst as a desirable and viable community to call home. Please contact Mr. Mandato or the Building Department for more information on the various programs available.
The city is also very proud of the two new housing developments being built: River Creek on Richmond Road and Acacia Country Club Estates off of Winchester Road at Kilbourne Road. These will be a tremendous asset to our city and will provide new tax revenue to Lyndhurst.
One of my priorities is to investigate new and innovative ways to bring additional revenue to Lyndhurst. That being said, I will continue to work very closely with the Cleveland Clinic, Legacy Village, our local country clubs, area businesses, the SE-L School District, and local and national developers to find ways to enhance our great city by attracting new sources of revenue to Lyndhurst.
From time to time you may hear rumors or comments about the spending of the city. I hope the above gives you a better and more reliable picture of the strong financial foundation that Lyndhurst has. Working diligently and cooperatively with your City Council representatives, my administration continues to evaluate every program to assure we are getting the maximum value possible for you, the people we serve. Please know that we are ready to answer any questions you may have in this regard.
Rumor and innuendo serve only to tear down a community; facts and truth are the building blocks we need to keep Lyndhurst strong.
Over two years ago, you voted for change in the way city government represents you and all Lyndhurst residents and taxpayers. Last November, you validated the need for open, responsive government with your vote for fresh voices on City Council.
Lyndhurst is a great community of homes, neighbors and neighborhoods. We are a caring community that is continuing to grow in many positive ways as we strengthen our tax base with new economic development and housing options ranging from $100,000 to well over $1,500,000!
In recent months, there has been a lot of conversation about the proposed recreation center project involving Lyndhurst, South Euclid and Richmond Heights. I have heard many different points of view on the subject—both positive and negative—and with many misunderstandings and miscommunications. Here are the facts:
Lyndhurst will remain vital and stable if we work together when considering new ideas. Since 1946, Lyndhurst, South Euclid and the school district have had a recreational coordinating agency called SELREC. Since 2002, SELREC and a grass-roots citizens’ committee called The PACE Group have been studying recreation and community trends and needs and what facilities would be needed to ensure a successful future for Lyndhurst and the region. They have spent countless hours on research, debate and studies. This is a volunteer group that came together in their backyards with an idea. There was no city or School Board participation.
About a year ago, The PACE Group came to the cities and school officials to ask what the next step should be. It was suggested that it would be appropriate to determine what the three communities would like to see and would support. There were meetings in all three communities and in the schools and a town hall meeting on March 23 here in Lyndhurst. We heard you loud and clear. I was elected to serve all Lyndhurst residents and listen to all points of view—on this issue as well as on all city and community initiatives.
It is your choice. While I will always support and consider all points of view, the decision on a new recreation center will be left up to you. As your mayor, I have offered three options to City Council:
Allow Lyndhurst voters to decide if the city should enter a Joint Recreation District (JRD), giving you a say in the first step in the process. If the vote is affirmative and the JRD is formed, a second vote would determine if a tax would be levied to build a recreation center.
Encourage The PACE Group to pursue non-governmental partners, such as the Cleveland YMCA. This option allows a private organization to build and operate a recreation center with no taxpayer monies.
Choose to have Lyndhurst opt out of JRD participation. This would not mean that the recreation center would not move forward. It would mean only that the City of Lyndhurst would not participate, and that anyone who wished to become a member would pay a non-resident fee.
I will support whatever decision council and the residents make. I have heard from many residents and families who are in favor of the project and from many who do not want a recreation center. Regardless, we are all valued Lyndhurst residents and we must debate this proposed project fairly, openly and honestly.
You have voted to elect officials who are open, honest and care about the future of Lyndhurst. Like many other communities, we are competing with newer suburbs, and we must be proactive in our efforts to keep Lyndhurst a great place to live, work, recreate and retire.
I value your trust, support, openness and honesty and will do whatever it takes to make sure that our community continues to reflect our historic values, while embracing changes that keep Lyndhurst vital, vibrant, and caring — a Community of Neighbors.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. With the winter months upon us, you should be glad to know that our Service Department is ready to keep the streets of Lyndhurst clear and safe.
By the time you read this, Council and I will be formulating the city’s 2006 budget. We will do our best to ensure that the many services you receive are maintained and that we truly put your tax dollars to work for you.
I am very pleased to welcome three new councilmen: David Frey – Ward 1; Lane Schlessel – Ward 3; and Patrick Ward – Ward 4. They are eager to work for you as residents. Thank you to Heidi Solomon, Marty Puin and Scott Picker for their service as council members.
Many of you know that Lyndhurst has been my home since I was a toddler. I love this city, especially the people who make it a great community in which to live, work and retire. But I can’t help but think about my predecessors who sat in this office and watched over a growing, prospering city. Now I am watching over a changing, evolving city. I can just sit here and watch or take an active part in managing this change. I choose to be involved, and I hope you will also.
One thing we can do is ensure that Lyndhurst’s housing remains in the best condition so we attract vibrant families, singles and empty nesters. To help maintain our neighborhoods, we are setting up a Housing Division within the Building Department. The age of many of our homes mandates that we take immediate steps to preserve their appearance and value. The Housing Division will be offering many options to fund renovations. We’ll tell you more in future newsletters.
We are fortunate to have two new housing developments going up in Lyndhurst: River Creek Estates, on Richmond Rd. next to Three Village, and Acacia Country Club Estates behind Winchester Rd., adjacent to Acacia Country Club. We greatly appreciate the commitment these developers have made to Lyndhurst. We worked very hard to attract desirable housing to our neighborhoods and look forward to welcoming our new neighbors.
Stay warm and feel free to contact me with any comments, concerns or advice. I look forward to seeing you around town.
On Sunday, October 16, former Mayor Leonard M. Creary passed away. He served the city of Lyndhurst for over 28 years, six as a Councilman in Ward 3 and 22 as Mayor and chief administrative officer. I can honestly say that Lyndhurst is the community of neighbors it is today because of his dedication, honesty, conservative fiscal management, and genuine concern for residents.
Under his leadership, the city saw tremendous growth, a new Service and Building Department complex, additions and upgrades to the main municipal complex, a new community center and many other improvements to our parks and pools. He was instrumental in improving the infrastructure of the city as well as improving and maintaining the city services that have made Lyndhurst a stand-out community on the east side. He also worked hard to enhance the equipment and capabilities of our safety forces to assure the health, safety and welfare of all Lyndhurst residents.
Len never shied away from the difficult tasks, as proven most notably by the construction of TRW’s world headquarters in 1983, which helped maintain the financial future of Lyndhurst, and most recently by the vision, planning and construction of Legacy Village. The Legacy project tested many in the community but none more than Mayor Creary. He saw it as the vehicle to take Lyndhurst into the 21st century and fought long and hard, at the expense of his health, to make it a reality. All of us in Lyndhurst should be thankful to him for fighting that battle. Legacy Village is here and is a tremendous asset to the community.
I served on Lyndhurst Council from 1987 until 2000 with Mayor Creary. I learned a great deal over those years. To say that Len and I always saw eye to eye would be a misrepresentation. There were many times we disagreed and argued over what we both saw as best for the city. He believed strongly in the decisions he made, and he always gave you a fair fight. We may have disagreed, but he respected your opinion, and in turn you respected his.
When I ran for Mayor in 2000, I had a most worthy opponent in Len Creary. Many times during the campaign we both were told that there was not much difference between what we wanted and envisioned for the city. I agree. We both wanted what was best for Lyndhurst. When I came up short in that election, I took it in stride and moved on, but not before learning a lesson from Len. He told me a short while later that the time would come for me to run again and when that time came to look him up. I did that, and I am thankful to him and his guidance the last few years. I only hope I can do for Lyndhurst what Mayor Leonard M. Creary did: serve it well. His dedication and commitment to Lyndhurst will never be forgotten. His knowledge of our community and dedication to good governance will be deeply missed. Our prayers, wishes and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. In honor of Mayor Creary, all Lyndhurst city flags were flown at half-mast the week of October 17.
The warm steamy days of summer are knocking on our doors, school is out, the baseball fields are bustling with activity, our parks are filled and the swimming pools are ready and waiting.
With the warm weather, the city employees are busy preparing the parks, playgrounds and pools for all in the neighborhood to enjoy.
I hope you can get out and enjoy the many recreational activities available in Lyndhurst.
New this year in our Lyndhurst Police Department is a furry face and a few extra wheels. Be on the lookout for our new canine unit and bike patrol. Officer Greg Traci and his new partner Sully will be out in the community, so if you get a chance, make sure you stop and say hello.
Officer Traci and Sully will be utilized throughout the city, in the neighborhoods, retail areas and in the schools. Also, be on the lookout for two of Lyndhurst's Police Officers on bicycles; Officer Chris Cianciolo and Officer Jonathan Willard, who will be patrolling the city during the spring, summer and fall.
All three of these officers have been specially trained for their respective new responsibilities, and we are very proud of these new community policing efforts.
I hope to see you throughout the summer. Join us at our concerts in the park. The first will be held on Wednesday, June 15th 2005, featuring music from The Big Band Combo. Wednesday, July 20th 2005 features The Tony Carmen Band and finally Wednesday, August 17th 2005 will feature the Dan Zola Orchestra.
All concerts will be held in Lyndhurst Park at the Gazebo from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Rain or Shine. (If it rains, the concert will be held in the Lyndhurst Community Center!) Bring a chair! Free ice cream will be available to all!
On Tuesday, July 5th The Hillcrest Concert Band will perform their annual Fourth of July Concert - Weather Permitting - at 7:30 PM in Lyndhurst Park.
As always, I look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood and in the shops. Please let me know if you have a question or a concern. Enjoy your summer!