Mayor highlights how the City continues to meet high demands of the community
Westlake Mayor Dennis M. Clough presented his 2017 State of the City address to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce at Carrabba’s Italian Grill today with more than 80 people in attendance.
One of the keys to the City’s continued success Mayor Clough identified was the financial stability it enjoys. The City’s AAA bond rating by all rating agencies has continued for past 16 years and has received numerous annual awards for financial reporting for as long as 33 years. In addition, the City maintains a general fund reserve balance that allows it to be virtually debt free.
The Mayor also highlighted the great services provided to the more than 32,000 residents by strong City departments working together to meet the high demands of the community. With operational summaries provided by each of the departments and ongoing efforts to improve service delivery and cut costs using the LEAN philosophy, a few examples listed in the presentation include the time required for issuing building permits has been reduced, fleet maintenance streamlined, reporting and inspections from the field increased, and the purchasing process for office supplies centralized. Other process improvements are being identified and will be implemented by each of the departments.
Westlake has benefited from a diverse and strong business community. The presentation listed 34 businesses that have opened, expanded or relocated within the city in 2016, including the opening of the American Greetings Corporation’s new headquarters and the City’s new meeting and entertainment venue Market Square at Crocker Park. A total 189,858 square feet of new commercial development was approved, up from 138,937 square feet in 2015.
The City also is monitoring its capital plan and reprioritizing as necessary. Projects being developed are a new community center and aquatics center, the latter as part of the Recreation Master Plan. In addition, he explained the series of exchanges of land and buildings in the recent agreement between the City and the Westlake City School District. In particular the City will obtain 42 acres contiguous to the Meadowood Golf Course and Bradley Nature Park. This land could be used for a sports complex, athletic fields and hiking trails. The City expects to present an extension of the one-eighth percent (1/8%) income tax on the ballot in November to fund the projects mentioned above.
Mayor Clough concluded his formal presentation by acknowledging that the City’s success has been made possible by a very supportive constituency and involvement of its citizens. He expressed his thanks to City employees and residents for their support.
To view the 2017 State of the City presentation document, visit www.cityofwestlake.org/State-of-the-City.
About The City of Westlake
The City of Westlake, Ohio is located on 15.97 square miles in the western edge of Cuyahoga County, approximately one mile south of the southern shore of Lake Erie and founded in 1811. Its more than 32,000 citizens, vibrant businesses, and many visitors enjoy outstanding restaurants and shopping including Crocker Park, scenic parks and recreational areas, a highly rated school system, college campuses, and exceptional city services and safety forces. The city’s largest employers include Hyland Software, American Greetings, Equity Trust, Nordson Corporation, TravelCenters of America, USG Interiors, and Q-Lab. University Hospitals St. John Medical Center and satellite operations for Cleveland Clinic Health System and University Hospital Health Care System are also located in the city. Westlake’s location provides easy access to most of Northeast Ohio via I-90 and I-480 and beyond with a short ride to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. To learn more, visit www.cityofwestlake.org/.