Politics

Quicken Loans Arena expansion critic to speak

Rev. John Rinehart, an activist in the group that protested the expansion of Quickens Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland, will be a guest speaker at the Oct. 16 meeting of the Bay Democratic Club.

Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) has been widely credited with influencing the Cavaliers, Cleveland city leaders and county officials to make neighborhood improvements at the same time The Q is expanded and modernized.

GCC was formed in 2011 after more than 2,000 people met to discuss improvements in education, criminal justice reform and health care. Today, members represent 39 houses of worship among Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:10 AM, 10.03.2017

Westlake residents invited to forum on Issue 53

The League of Women Voters invites residents of Westlake to attend a forum regarding Issue 53. The Friends for Seniors, Parks and Recreation will share information about the proposed renewal of the one-eighth of 1% recreation levy followed by a question and answer session.

Presenters will include Mayor Dennis Clough; Dale Smith, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission; Lydia Gadd, director of Community Services; and Bud Tetzlaff, former chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The forum will take place at the Westlake Porter Public Library on Monday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:10 AM, 09.19.2017

All city candidates invited to speak at annual Bay Dems corn roast

The Bay Village Democratic Club has invited all candidates for mayor and city council to speak at the annual Democratic Club Corn Roast on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 6 p.m., at the Bay Lodge.

The corn roast will be the first public event following the primary election on Tuesday, Sept 12.

In Bay primaries, the top two finishers will face off in November. Because only two candidates filed in certain contests, they automatically advance to the November election.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:40 AM, 09.06.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 3: Sara Byrnes Maier

After serving with other dedicated residents on the steering committee to develop the city’s new Master Plan, I hope to continue work to help implement elements of this plan and to give back to my community by serving on Council.

I am a graduate of the Bay High School (Class of 1997), as is my husband, Nic (Class of 1996). We chose to move back to Bay in 2013 so that our children, Oliver and Charlotte, could receive the same excellent education we did and the opportunity to grow up in this very special community.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:40 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 3: Cheryll McCarty

I am so honored live in Bay Village with my family. There are many wonderful things about Bay Village, including our schools, neighbors and friends, and the security and safety of our city.

Since moving to Bay in 2006, I have been very active in the community. I have coached soccer and served as concessions director for Bay Baseball. I was PTA president of Westerly and Bay High School. I am currently president of PTA council, a board member of Bay Rocket Boosters, a Kiwanis member, a volunteer and parishioner of St. Raphael’s church, and a Bay Village Community Council member.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:34 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 3: Michael Smith

I look forward to representing the interests of the residents of Ward 3 in the upcoming election. Having grown up in Bay Village, I have come to appreciate and understand the importance of community, and it is the primary focus of my candidacy to become more active in helping to strengthen such community. It has been a pleasure to be a resident and member of the Bay Village community for almost 30 years, and I hope that my time here helps to make me a better councilman. 

My wife, Tess, and I live on Debbington Drive, with our 5 children. After graduating from Bay High School, I attended Miami University, studying history and comparative religion. 

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 4: Alex Dade

A bit about me:

  • 1972 Texas A&M University engineering degree 

  • 20-Year Air Force pilot, Lieutenant Colonel, squadron commander 

  • 25-year telecommunications executive 

  • 16-year Bay resident 

  • Married 42 years to BHS 1969 graduate Karen Hansen 

  • Two daughters, two grandchildren 

  • Multiple rescue pet owner
  • Retired, so City Council will be my full-time focus 

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 4: Rick Timm

I make things happen. In fact, I have been successful at making things happen my entire career. 

I work as a corporate attorney and I create paths to make things happen. The easy path is to say “no” to challenges, but the more difficult and courageous path is to find a way to say “yes.” For the past 20 years, I have helped my company say “yes” and in those same 20 years, we have quintupled in size.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 4: Jennifer Wamelink

It would be my privilege to be your Ward 4 Councilwoman. My family and I have lived in Ward 4 for nine years. While I am a lawyer by trade, a skill set that will serve me well as your Councilwoman, it is the last several years that I have spent primarily as an at-home mother that set me apart and make me the best candidate for Ward 4. 

As the mother of three children I have immersed myself in all Bay has to offer. You will see us talking to residents as we are enjoying the parks and pool, at Cahoon fields for soccer, taking classes at Emjaez, the nature center, and BAYarts and refueling at Mojo's. I was the President of the Early Childhood PTA, will chair my third Normandy Teacher Appreciation Luncheon this spring, and my third Holiday Homes Tour in November.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 4: Peter Winzig

I’ve always had a lot of ideas and energy, especially when it comes to being active in our community. Now that my kids are grown and off building their own lives, I jumped at the opportunity to continue my civic involvement and join city government. I think it’s a good fit.

I love Bay Village - been active locally for nearly 30 years, as a coach, volunteer, fundraiser, levy supporter, committee member, church leader, drug education advocate and most recently as Board President at our beautiful BAYarts. I know how to get things done. And done right.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:38 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 2: David Barker

I am proudly running for the Ward 2 city council. My background is in managing maintenance departments. I am accountable for creating and meeting budgets, personnel, physical property, capital expenditures, and project management. This experience will help guide me in working with the mayor and city employees to resolve these problems. I will give you the dedicated representation you deserve.

My reason for running for city council is a civic duty along with the civic pride that comes from hard work and dedication to the core values that are Bay Village. I enjoy helping people and know I can make a difference. As an active Bay resident, I have volunteered as the Cub Scout Pack 729 Den leader, Bay Recreation soccer coach for many years, Bay Recreation basketball coach, member of the Bay Boat Club, fields director for Bay Soccer, and logistics coordinator for Bay Challenge Cup.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:40 AM, 08.01.2017

Meet the Candidates, Bay Village Ward 2: Lydia DeGeorge

Four years ago, when I began attending meetings, the room was nearly empty. If people wouldn’t go to City Hall I decided I would bring City Hall to the people. I started writing a blog, then a Facebook page that has become the go-to for information, answers to questions, and lively conversations about Bay Village politics. Transparency and participation are my cornerstones for good government.

This is a time of momentous decisions for Bay. Do we want houses that cover entire lots? Townhouses? How are we going to pay for sewer improvements? How to curtail power outages? You need effective answers. As a Council representative my work will be defined by your input.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:40 AM, 08.01.2017

Gerrymandering and coffin alarms

The 19th century brought us coffin alarms. A bell on the headstone was attached to a string which went down into the coffin so that if the buried person “awoke,”  she or he could ring the bell and be retrieved. Symptoms and side effects of some epidemics, coupled with Gothic fiction, led to fears of being buried alive, so this seemed like a reasonable solution. Healthcare has come a long way since then and coffin alarms have disappeared.

The 19th century also brought us gerrymandering. Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry developed it in 1812 when he approved a redistricting map which consolidated voters in such a way as to disproportionately benefit his party. One district in the Boston area was so oddly configured that it looked like a mythological salamander. Thus was born the practice called “Gerry-mandering” which continues to this day.

Every 10 years, following each national census, our congressional districts are redrawn based on population changes. Currently the party in charge at the time can draw the districts as they like, in whatever shapes will create the most favorable number of votes for them.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:30 AM, 08.01.2017

Bay Village Democrats elect officers

Gerry Horning was re-elected president of the Bay Village Democratic Club for 2018 in an unanimous vote among about 20 club members at the June 12 meeting. Horning is a Bay Village city leader in the county Democratic organization and a personal injury lawyer.

Other officers re-elected were Mary Ann Cronin, vice president; Harriet Gannon, secretary; and Ann Sartin, treasurer.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:23 AM, 06.20.2017

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 1: Lynda Appel

I have enjoyed representing the people of Ward 1 for nearly 4 years and I am seeking re-election. I want to continue in the role for the following reasons: 

  • Build on the email and social media communication I implemented. I love hearing from you and sharing what the city is working on.
  • Continue fiscal responsibility and exemplary community services. I’m proud to have supported the textile recycling initiative; so far over 23 tons have been recycled, reducing landfill waste.
  • Work with interested businesses to continue to expand and promote economic development. I look forward to seeing the finished product that replaces the trailer park.
  • Advocate for further collaboration between the city and our schools. I attend School Board meetings to stay informed about the issues and the spending of our tax dollars.
  • Be a voice and represent the needs of Ward 1 in conjunction with the city’s goals.
  • Be a presence in the community at large to foster communication and responsiveness. You've seen me at city events, rec events, school events. All opportunities for you to talk to me about your concerns.
Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:27 AM, 04.04.2017

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 1: Brendan Delay

I will make Westlake safe from conflicting loyalties. I am a self-employed local attorney. My wife is a real estate agent. My children grew up in Westlake. I do not work for the Westlake School District or the City of Westlake.

The City Law Director John Wheeler will be retiring. His 20 years of experience as prosecutor and law director leaves a vacuum. Having an attorney next year on City Council will assist its decisions on land topics, zoning, contracts and litigation of the serious cases now filed against Westlake. The City of Westlake has engaged in negotiations with the Westlake School District to swap different large parcels of land and a building. The future will hold zoning variances, road and traffic signal modifications by the City of Westlake – with some conflicting interests. 

Westlake needs a safer new Community Center. If designed with resiliency principles the future Community Center could handle windstorms, tornadoes and ice storms. With backup generators and batteries, solar panels, and sliding window covers, and a covered walkway to the Recreation Center, it would serve as a refuge and temporary housing for those with a damaged house, or no power or the elderly.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:28 AM, 04.04.2017

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 1: Duane Van Dyke

My name is Duane Van Dyke and I am running for Westlake City Council, Ward 1. I grew up in Ward 1 and returned 14 years ago to raise my family here because of the high quality of life Westlake has to offer.

I want to ensure that it stays that way. Across Ohio, we see once thriving communities that are now struggling to compete. We are fortunate that Westlake is currently in a strong position because of vision and sound planning. However, trends in where we work, what people want in a home, and how we shop are changing. We should consider updating our city’s master plan, with input from the community, so we remain competitive.

Implementing the recreation plan for the city will be an asset for current residents of all ages, as well as a tool for attracting new ones. Similarly, our freeway entrances could become landscaped gateways that would set a welcoming tone for our whole city – good for both residents and businesses.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:28 AM, 04.04.2017

West Shore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, March 8, 2017

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Clough’s office prepares official minutes.

The meeting took place at Westlake City Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m. The first half-hour was a closed session devoted to financial matters. The meeting adjourned at 10:39 am.

Present: Mayors Clough (Westlake), Koomar (Bay Village), Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood), Kennedy (North Olmsted), and Bobst (Rocky River).

Also present: Renee Mahoney (fiscal officer)

Renee Mahoney reported on the newly formalized internet banking policy. The mayors have forwarded the proposal to their finance directors and the topic will be discussed at the next meeting.

2016 Financials: There is a total of $300,000 in cash and the checking account. All items were within budget. The cities' contributions for 2017 will be the same as for 2016. Most income comes from seizures.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2017

State leaders meet constituents in town hall gathering

Sixty constituents made up a standing-room-only crowd at Ohio District 16 Representative Dave Greenspan's first "Donuts with Dave" town hall meeting in Westlake Porter Public Library on Feb. 25. In a 2.5-hour marathon, Greenspan fielded tough questions on a wide range of issues, from gerrymandering to reproductive rights, Lake Erie water quality to safety for ethnic and religious minorities, and human trafficking to gun control. The state budget was also a hot topic, in particular provisions that affect schools.

Greenspan outlined several measures he will use to gather constituent input as he settles into his new job. He expects to hold Donuts with Dave sessions every other month on Saturdays, with the next one scheduled for April 29, 10-12:30 at the Fairview Park Library. In addition, roundtables will feature issues before each of the 22 Ohio House standing committees. The first roundtable, on March 6, focused on the opiate crisis.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:29 AM, 03.07.2017

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, May 11, 2016

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Bobst's office prepares official minutes.

The meeting took place at Memorial Hall, Rocky River, with Mayor Pam Bobst presiding.

Present: Mayors Bobst (Rocky River), Summers (Lakewood), Sutherland (Bay Village), Patton (Fairview Park) and Kennedy (North Olmsted). Mayor Clough (Westlake) was absent. Also present were Mary Ellen Umerley, Chris McNulty, Jeff Capretto and Kevin Bednarski.

Two extensive reports were presented. Chris McNulty, Director of Political and Community Affairs for the Republican National Convention Arrangements Committee, briefed the mayors on his office’s responsibilities relating to the July 2016 Republican National Convention. Jeff Capretto, Special Agent in Charge, Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB), presented the 2015 annual report orally and in print.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.17.2016

League of Women Voters to study city charters

City charters will be the topic for discussion at the Thursday, April 21, meeting of the Westlake/North Olmsted chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. The program will take place at the North Olmsted branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 27403 Lorain Road, and will begin at 10:30 a.m. 

Since the chapter’s jurisdiction involves two cities, a comparative review of charter provisions is helpful to members in observing and supporting municipal services. Member Janice Patterson, who has served on charter commissions in two cities in Cuyahoga County, will lead the discussion. The public is welcome to attend.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:09 AM, 04.05.2016

Drunk-driver legislation passes house committee

Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Nan Baker to strengthen penalties on drunk drivers passed unanimously by the Ohio House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 2. The committee’s passage sends the bill to the House floor for a full chamber vote.

House Bill 300 would prevent drunk drivers from reclaiming their driver’s license immediately after their release from prison. The bill protects innocent people by keeping aggravated vehicular homicide offenders, those who cause the death of another as a result of driving while intoxicated, from behind the wheel.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:20 AM, 11.17.2015

Zephyr Teachout to speak on corruption in the 2016 election

League of Women Voters is bringing campaign reform activist Zephyr Teachout to town on Nov. 5 and 6 to speak on the history of corruption in the United States from its founding to the present day. Teachout will examine the various issues surrounding corruption from their constitutional origins through the Citizens United ruling, and expose the sources of power behind it.

Teachout will deliver two lectures during her visit. Both lectures are free and open to the public. On Thursday, Nov. 5, she will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River. She will speak again at noon on Nov. 6 at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, 1801 Euclid Ave.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.20.2015

Westlake has 3 municipal issues on November ballot

In addition to the candidates for the Board of Education and the county and state issues, voters in the city of Westlake must decide on three municipal issues. Here is a brief explanation of the issues on the Westlake ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election.

Issue 116: This proposed charter amendment, if passed, will renew the existing 0.9 mill levy for five years to pay for salaries and other expenses of the Police and Fire departments of the City of Westlake.

Westlake voters first approved a tax levy to supplement police and fire personnel in 1966. This 0.9 mill levy was renewed in November 2011 for five years and thus is expiring. The levy proceeds are additional to expenditures made from the General Fund. In 2015, the City has used the levy funds to pay for seven police and seven fire personnel as well as related expenses. These levy monies cannot be used for capital equipment purchases. The total cost of safety forces makes up almost two-thirds of municipal budgets in Ohio’s cities. As Local Government Funds from the state have been cut, special-purpose levies (such as the one on Westlake’s ballot for decades) have been introduced in many communities in efforts to keep employment levels for police and firefighters at levels deemed necessary.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:46 AM, 10.06.2015

Meet the Board of Education Candidates: Joe Kraft

My name is Joe Kraft and I am a candidate for Westlake School Board. My wife, Jacki, and I have been married over 22 years. We have lived in Westlake with our three sons since 1999. All three sons have been through Westlake City Schools, kindergarten through grade 12. What a wonderful experience for them and their parents! I want such an experience to continue for all. 

I have been encouraged by many including my pastor to bring about positive change. Now seems to be the right time as my sons grow older and my life experiences lead me in the direction of school board. Those experiences include that of a director at a private, national, financial firm. As fiduciary and financial advisor, I review the balance sheets and budgets of corporations, foundations and families. I can do the same for the schools.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:46 AM, 10.06.2015

Meet the Board of Education Candidates: Robert Stoll

I am Dr. Robert Stoll and I am running for the Westlake School Board.

I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and the community at large, encouraging an open dialog. The board must take input from all groups and weigh all the facts before making a decision.

A Board member is a trustee of the community that elects him or her. That Trustee must be accessible and willing to collaborate with all members of the community; that includes all District staff. Anyone that comes before the board has the right to be heard, not just to speak. A school board member must build public understanding, support and participation.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:45 AM, 10.06.2015

Meet the Westlake Board of Education Candidates: Carol Winter

I’m Carol Winter and I am honored to have served Westlake students and our entire community as a member and past president of the Westlake Board of Education since 2008. Additionally, I’m humbled at the opportunity to work with the board and community for another four years to provide excellent educational programming for our students at a great value to our taxpayers!

A Westlake resident for 14 years, my husband, Kevin, and I are proud parents of Marty, a 2006 WHS graduate, and Gwynnie, a sophomore at WHS. My background in education includes experience as a teacher and principal. I am also a KSU doctoral candidate in educational administration.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:45 AM, 10.06.2015

Are you ready to vote?

It is less than a month until General Election Day, Nov. 3, and there are a number of steps voters need to take right away to be ready to cast their ballots.  

Step 1: Make sure you are a registered voter. Oct. 5 was the last day to register, to change your registration to your new address, or to change your name in the voter rolls. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections makes it easy for you to check your voting status online.  Go to boe.cuyahogacounty.us and click on "Am I Registered?". While it's too late to register for the General Election, you may want to take this opportunity to register or update your registration information before the Primary Election on March 15, 2016.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:42 AM, 10.06.2015

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, May 13, 2015

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Sutherland’s office prepares official minutes, which are posted on Bay Village’s website.

Present: Mayors Sutherland (Bay Village), Bobst (Rocky River), Clough (Westlake), Kennedy (North Olmsted), Patton (Fairview Park) and Summers (Lakewood)

Also present: Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney; Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration Ed Kraus; Karlton Laster, staff assistant, Department of Regional Collaboration.

Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB): March and April financials were received.

RTA: Public Square traffic issues under study; project on target. Completion of new Brookpark station projected for 2016, in time for the Republican National Convention.

NOACA: Deer issues a “hot topic” in some communities. Grant awards to be made in June for Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) program. Rocky River and Fairview Park jointly applied for a planning grant in this program.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:42 AM, 05.19.2015

Rep. Baker applauds bipartisan passage of biennial budget

State Representative Nan Baker applauded the House passage of Amended Substitute House Bill 64, the biennial state budget bill that allocates funding to schools, community projects and government initiatives, as well as providing significant tax relief to all Ohioans and small businesses in the state.

As part of Am. Sub. House Bill 64, Ohioans will see a sizable tax cut totaling $1.2 billion over the biennium with a 6.3 percent across-the-board income tax reduction beginning this year, lowering the top rate to just under 5 percent.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:27 AM, 05.05.2015

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, March 11, 2015

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Sutherland’s office prepares official minutes, which are posted on Bay Village’s website.

Present: Mayors Sutherland (Bay Village), Bobst (Rocky River), Clough (Westlake), Kennedy (North Olmsted), Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood)

Also present: Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney; District 1 County Councilman Dave Greenspan; Donovan O'Neil (Ohio Auditor's Office); Mayor Greg Zilka (Avon Lake); Service Directors Scott Thomas (Bay Village) and Paul Quinn (Westlake); Fire Chiefs Chris Lyons (Bay Village), Jim Hughes (Westlake), Chris Huerner (Avon Lake), Tony Raffin (Fairview Park), and John Reese (North Ridgeville); Westshore Enforcement Bureau officials Jeff Capretto (Narcotics), Patrick Fiorelli (SWAT), and Gordie Polando (Hazmat); and Westshore Central Dispatch Center acting supervisor Ronald Barlowe.

Duration: 9:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m.; Mayor Patton excused herself at 10:40, before the WEB presentation.

RTA: Public Square bus stops are being relocated. Service interruptions due to ice have been a problem. The Board is wrapping up CEO Joseph Calabrese's periodic evaluation.

NOACA: External Affairs is doing legislative outreach. A lobbyist is working to obtain ODOT funds. ODOT recently shifted $1.7 million from other Metropolitan Planning Organizations' unfinished projects to reward NOACA for proven efficiency and efficacy. Mayor Summers noted that it is a challenge not only to put projects together, but also to complete them.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:43 AM, 03.17.2015

Nan Baker to chair workforce development committee

State Representative Nan Baker has been named the chairwoman of the Ohio House Economic and Workforce Development Committee for the 131st General Assembly.

"I am excited to again chair the Economic Development Committee with a focus on workforce training. Since I began my service at the Ohio House, creating an environment to retain, create and bring jobs to Ohio has always been our goal,” said Baker.  “In this 131st General Assembly, we will also focus on encouraging our Ohioans to obtain the skills they need to obtain a good paying job."

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:57 AM, 01.20.2015

BOE announces new drive-through ballot returns box

It is now easier than ever to return your Vote by Mail ballot for the Nov. 4 General Election if you prefer to drop it off at the Board of Elections. There is a new drive-through ballot drop box. The drop box makes voting more accessible and convenient when returning voted ballots. It eliminates the need to find a place to park and walk to the building in inclement weather.

“The secure drive-through ballot drop box allows voters to deposit ballots at their convenience, any time, day or night. The ballot drop box was designed specifically for ballots and is monitored 24/7 by video surveillance, as well as checked and cleared out several times a day,” said Pat McDonald, director of the Board of Elections.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 22, Posted 9:42 AM, 10.28.2014

You Have A Choice!

When the race for State House District 16 began in the spring, many voters had never heard of me. I’ve never held an elected office; my life experience has been raising my family, serving my country, teaching kids and paying my bills. But I’ve also been paying attention to what goes on in Columbus. 

What I see are representatives in the Ohio General Assembly who seem to be most interested in taking care of special interests, raising campaign contributions, and furthering their own political careers. I am running for State Representative because I feel that we need a representative who will support our public schools, local governments, seniors and middle-class families.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 10:03 AM, 09.30.2014

It's All About Jobs!

Thank you to the Westlake | Bay Village Observer for giving me the opportunity to share some of the exciting work we've accomplished in this 130th General Assembly. I am serving my sixth year at the Ohio House as your District 16 State Representative representing Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake. 

I currently chair the Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee and serve on the Ways and Means and Labor and Commerce Committees. In 2011, we were faced with balancing a budget with an $8 billion budget deficit. Our budget is now balanced and we enacted pro-job legislation, making us now a much stronger, productive Ohio.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:53 AM, 09.30.2014

I Want To Earn Your Vote on Nov. 4

January 1, 2011, was the day in which a voter-supported referendum designed to transform our government from a three-member Board of County Commissioner structure to a County Executive and Council form of representation went into effect. I am honored to serve you on our inaugural County Council. 

This was not the first time that I was elected to serve on an inaugural legislative body. In 2005, I was elected to serve on the first City Council of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This experience and more importantly, this relative experience of forming a new governmental structure has proven invaluable as we forge forward in Cuyahoga County. This experience coupled with my professional executive background has afforded me the tools necessary to effectively represent this district and county.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 10:02 AM, 09.30.2014

League of Women Voters offers 'hands-on' voter guide help

What good is an online voter guide if you’re uncertain about how to use it? The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland will tackle this dilemma in two public sessions during October.

The free hands-on sessions will take place on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Computer Lab at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. Attendees from all local communities will be able to take home a printout of their selections to use as they cast their ballots for the Nov. 4 election.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 10:04 AM, 09.30.2014

Your Vote: Use it or lose it

Anyone who watches election returns knows that we Americans take our right to vote for granted. But just how fragile is that right?

Are you a white male landowner who's over 21 years old? When the United States was founded, that's what it took to vote in most states.  By the Civil War, most states had removed the wealth requirement, but you still had to be male, white and, in most states, 21.

Are you a naturalized citizen? You couldn't have voted until the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1868.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:04 AM, 09.16.2014

Report: Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) meeting, Sept. 10, 2014

This report, which contains observations and selected highlights of a meeting of the WCOG, is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Official minutes are prepared by Mayor Patton's office.

Present: Mayors Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood), Bobst (Rocky River) and Clough (Westlake)

Absent: Mayors Kennedy (North Olmsted) and Sutherland (Bay Village)

Also in attendance: Dave Greenspan, District 1 Representative, Cuyahoga County Council; outgoing Fiscal Officer Steve Presley; incoming Fiscal Officer and Bay Village Director of Finance Renee Mahoney; Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration Jennifer Scofield

Mayor Patton called the meeting to order 9:35 in the Birch Room at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park. It adjourned at 11:00. The minutes of the June 11, 2014 meeting were amended and approved. Renee Mahoney was appointed Finance Director of the WCOG, and Steve Presley was thanked for his service.

Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration Jennifer Scofield:

Ms. Scofield spoke for most of the meeting. She has been employed in the office of the executive since December 2010. Previously, she served as Cuyahoga County Deputy Fiscal Officer. Her prior experience with regional collaboration includes the County Health Alliance, LakeStat involving the Lake Erie watershed and the Cuyahoga River, and the Center for Excellence in Local Government. She replaces Ed Jerse, who retired in December, and she will continue his economic development initiatives.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 11:18 AM, 09.16.2014

Area Democratic clubs combine forces for candidates night

The combined western Cuyahoga County Democratic clubs will join forces for a Tuesday, Sept. 30, Candidates Night and early voting kickoff at 7 p.m., at the Don Umerley Civic Center in Rocky River. The sponsoring clubs include Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Rocky River, Westlake and Cleveland Stonewall. The Civic Center is located at 21016 Hilliard Boulevard. 

You treasure the right to vote, but are unfamiliar with the candidates? You care about your community and have questions? You are a responsible citizen and love Ohio and our country! Here's your chance to meet the candidates in person and ask questions. Let them know about your concerns and what you think. Speak up, speak out, be an informed voter!

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 10:02 AM, 09.16.2014