Council chose its leadership at the January Organizational meeting: Steve Richman will replace Monica Sturgis as Council President and Paul Stanard will replace Dan Fritz as Planning Commission Chair. I appointed a new resident member to Planning Commission, John Pogatschnik of Mill Creek Lane. Mr. Pogatschnik previously served the Village on the Charter Review Commission. He is thoughtful and interested in Village affairs and I look forward to working with him. Planning Commission will continue to meet at 6:00PM on the fourth Monday of the month. Gary Sherck was named Chair of the Facilities Committee and Ted Buczek was named Chair of the Roads and Safety Committee. The Committees will meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 and 8:00AM, respectively.
I want to point out some highlights from 2014:
We continue to budget conservatively and limit spending while maintaining a high level of services. We have saved over a million dollars in our “rainy day” fund so we have adequate reserves for unforeseen emergencies. Furthermore we started a capital depreciation fund so we can systematically save for large capital expenses such as snow plow trucks. The Village did not take on any new debt in 2014 and our overall debt burden is very low. We continue to seek grants and matching funding whenever possible.
Council approved the following mayoral appointments: Chief of Police, Kevin Wyant; Executive Lieutenant, Todd Dietzel; and Sergeant, Mike Pinizzotto. In each case the candidates were thoroughly vetted, interviewed and tested to make the process as objective as possible. Furthermore, two new patrol officers were appointed, Jeff Canter and Nick Sidor. I am very proud of our professional and well-trained department. Once again Cleveland Magazine named Moreland Hills the Safest Community in their “Rating the Suburbs” issue.
The Service Department instituted fully automated rubbish pick-up, making their operations faster, cleaner, safer and more economical. They designed and did both the hardscaping and landscaping at Veterans’ Park. This picturesque green space stands as a lasting tribute to the men and women from Moreland Hills who have served their country through military service.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS:
After several years of planning and saving, the Village started to renovate and repurpose a building on our campus. This building was originally the golf shop for the Moreland Hills golf course, a public course which was developed into the Pebblebrook neighborhood. The building was moved across the street onto Village property and originally housed the police department. After the new police department building was constructed it housed Service and Building Department offices. It has been empty for several years since Building and Service moved into the new Service Facility. Minor renovations and updates will allow us to use it for larger meetings, conferences and voting. It will also be available for residents to use for home-owners association meetings, etc. It should be ready for a Village open house in the spring.
We continue to host “Greening the Hills” twice a year at which the Village collects hazardous wastes and shreds confidential documents for our residents. October was the largest event yet.
As you can see, 2014 was a very good year for the Village. I hope 2015 is even better.
Mayor Susan Renda