Veteran Bay Village Law Director Gary Ebert was sworn in as the city’s interim Mayor the morning of Oct. 3 at Rocky River Court by Judge Donna Fitzsimmons.
Later that day, he shared his views with City Council to update listeners on current issues.
“Everyone knows my intention is to be interim mayor. I am not running for mayor,” said Ebert. He will man the post until such time as Council President Paul Koomar decides to move forward as per City Charter succession rules.
Here is a summary of topics addressed by the interim mayor:
ReadyNotify: “I want to make sure we actually utilize this process,” he said of the digital communication network used for emergency public information.
Bay Library: “I’d like to resurrect those talks because I’m not aware that there has been a discussion among council concerning that or the public input other than the one meeting – a lot of people didn’t even know what was going on as far as the Metroparks. I’d like to resurrect that. I think it’s vital and I’d rather see a new library built in some location – whether it be by the Metroparks or some other location…Plus it also dovetails with the Bay Village Board of Education because that would be a great location if they could take over that building and move from the current location of Dover and Wolf.”
Sunset Road Improvements: “I’d like to resurrect that quickly and move forward so the residents know what our game plan is moving forward. Same with Bruce, Russell and Douglas.
Cleveland Water: Ebert would like to consider hiring a consulting engineer to look at the city’s future with the City of Westlake and the Cleveland Water Department. “I think now that the City of Westlake has won their litigation, we at least ought to look at it and see what long range plans, long range savings or costs are going to affect us before making a decision and moving forward.”
West Shore Council of Governments: The Council of Governments is a means to share equipment and training of safety forces. More importantly, it keeps our air space quiet, thanks to an agreement established in the 80’s (see “The West Shore ‘No Fly Zone'” story).
Animal Control Officer: Ebert is considering a part time, 20-hour per week ACO. “I will turn it over to (Police Chief) Mark Spaetzel – it’s under the police department. I think this would help moving forward – it would not have prevented what happened (dog bite attack on Pellett) but you’ll have an ACO that’s used to people who have dogs who have issues.”
Cahoon Park: “I’d like to see if we can apply for some grants again to resurrect the restoring of the Community House…ADA accessible and things like that…I know there was some talk about why I handed out those historical maps…”
“The maps can just serve as a footprint going forward when we do improvements over at Cahoon Park. But that’s the only purpose. I’m not proposing the library in Cahoon Park or anything of that nature.
Cuyahoga County: “I’d like to have a joint meeting with Mr. (Armond) Budish (County Executive) to talk about issues that we can share as far as accounting, assist us in various types of situations, along with even the library issue…”
School Board: “I’d like to see if there’s any interaction of some of the activities they do and we do that maybe we can consolidate.”
Law Dept: “It’s been mentioned to me several times about the law department. I am going to avoid a conflict. I’ve had on two occasions so far where there is an issue I feel concerning a conflict of the administration and the law department, I’ve asked another law director – I’ve got two of them – one writing opinion right now on a BZA matters before them from a potential conflict and going forward.”
Service Department: Director Scott Thomas has resigned Oct. 1. Ebert wants council members to meet and run the department by committee, relying on the veteran employees of the Department. “They’re a very competent group of people out there, they all have their expertise. I don’t think it’s fair to appoint a service director when in a year and a half you will have a new mayor elected and that person should have the option to appoint who they like.”
About Gary Ebert
A former Bay Village councilman, Gary Ebert has served as the city’s Law Director since 1986. He has an intimate knowledge of the city’s issues enhanced by a veteran perspective. “It’s my hope that with my historical knowledge and some of the projects going forward – that’s the reason that I’m willing to assume this position as an interim as far as try to move these projects forward,” said Ebert. “I’ve already talked to a lot of members of council, it’s going to be open communication and I’m looking for a team approach going forward here for the next period of time until such time as there is a new mayor elected.”