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From The Mayor's Desk
RELEASED: 4/12/2006

Dear Neighbors,
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 citizensí 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:
  1. 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.

  3. 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.

  5. 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.
Joseph M. Cicero Jr., Mayor

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