Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough presented his 31st State of the City address before the West Shore Chamber of Commerce Wed.. March 8.
“It is good to be the Mayor of the City of Westlake. It is a vibrant community. It is a growing community,” he said at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
“The support we get from the community is tremendous,” he added. “We don’t take it for granted. We have to earn it day in and day out.”
His overview of the community included comments on the recent court ruling that allows Westlake to negotiate for water services with agencies other than Cleveland.
“We will be very deliberate,” he said as the city moves forward in talking with Avon Lake Regional Water. “We will always, always have a safe and reliable water source.
“That is why we are doing our due diligence.”
The ruling from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas two weeks ago validated a position the city has held for years – that Westlake is free to negotiate with alternate water suppliers for the community. “That is why we wanted an outside agency such as a judge to interpret the contract,” said Mayor Clough. “It has been in there for 25 years.”
As a CPA, Mayor Clough is pleased to report the city carries the lowest property tax, income tax and sewer rates in the region. Property tax millage has fallen consistently from 1985-present. The city has also held a AAA Bond Rating by all rating agencies for 15 years – an unparallelled accomplishment in municipal government.
Improvements on the horizon include the continued phase development at Crocker Park that includes the opening of American Greetings, and a Family Aquatics Center at the site of Roman Pool in Clague Park.
Safety and service, however, top Mayor Clough’s commitment to community. Last year, Westlake Police responded to over 33,000 calls for service and made over 4,700 arrests. (see slide in attached slide show).
Similarly, he gave an overview of infrastructure projects like upgrading traffic signals throughout town and the yearly street and sewer maintenance programs. “If we don’t keep up our infrastructure, we don’t maintain our desirability,” he said.
Incredibly, the assessed valuation of the entire city is now over $1.4 billion.
Here is Mayor Clough’s 2016 State of the City report (Click on Cover to View Slide Show):