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City Council News


City Council News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2019

Councilmembers Tristan Rader and Meghan F. George to Propose Public Records Chapter

LAKEWOOD, OH – Councilmembers Tristan Rader and Meghan F. George are set to propose an ordinance to establish a public records chapter within the code of the City of Lakewood. The ordinance proposes to create a chapter of the code that would reinforce important portions of the city’s current Public Records Retention Policy into law.

New objectives contained within the proposal include:

  • Create a public records request web portal that is easy to use, up to date and interactive that will allow the public to:
    • Easily and quickly submit specific requests in once place
    • Allow for anonymity
    • Track requests in real time
    • Fulfil the request timely
    • Store all request for review, reporting and public search
  • Two-day response time to initially respond to a request
  • Strengthen provisions around redactions and exemptions, to make sure we are withholding only what is absolutely necessary
  • Appoint a city employee as Public Records Administrator
  • Mandate public records training for top officials
  • List types of records and information open to the public (non-exhaustive)

Councilmembers Rader and George emphasized that open government leads to a better informed citizenry and greater public participation in government. Additionally “Having a chapter of our code dedicated to public records would not make Lakewood unique. We feel strongly that not only should we have a chapter in our code dedicated to the extremely important topic of public records, but that we continue to leverage technology to make the public records request process more transparent and easier to use.”

The Public Records Chapter ordinance is on the docket for the May 20, 2019 Council meeting held at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of Lakewood City Hall. It is expected that upon introduction the ordinance will be referred to a Council committee for further deliberation. Council meetings are also streamed live on the City’s website here: http://www.onelakewood.com/councilvideos/

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For more information please contact Councilmembers Tristan Rader 440-315-2852 and Meghan George at 216-544-6745.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2019

Lakewood City Council Raises the Age from 18 to 21 to Purchase Tobacco & Nicotine Products

On Monday, March 18th, Lakewood City Council unanimously adopted legislation to raise the minimum age for sale of all tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21. In doing so, Lakewood joins seven states and over 450 municipalities across the country, including twenty-one Ohio communities which have passed similar laws since 2015.

The legislation was proposed by Ward 3 Councilmember John Litten in response to the recent nationwide surge in use of alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes among youth. “After considering that 95% of addicted smokers initiate smoking before age 21 and seeing how similar laws have reduced rates of tobacco use in other communities, I was compelled to bring this proposal before my Council colleagues,” said Mr. Litten.

“This change strikes the right balance by raising the age, but also decriminalizing our enforcement. Council worked hard to make sure that this law isn’t about punishing small businesses or kids, but is instead about making a meaningful difference in the health of our community and our young people’s future,” Council President Sam O’Leary said.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Mayor Summers’ administration worked collaboratively with Council over two Health & Human Services Committee hearings and three readings at Council Meetings to craft legislation specific to Lakewood’s needs. Mayor Summers endorsed the legislation with his signature the day after passage. This new policy is consistent with our opportunity to think anew about becoming and staying healthy,” said Mayor Summers. “I am grateful for City Council’s leadership on this initiative. Forward-thinking communities across the country are stepping up their protection of our youth. Lakewood now joins these cities.”

The City will partner with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to enforce the ordinance. Prior to implementation, the Board will proactively reach out to all Lakewood tobacco and nicotine retailers with information and education about the new requirements and provide the required signage. “The Board really sees this as a long-term partnership with retailers. We are prepared to provide the materials and invest the time necessary working with them to ensure that they have everything they need to be compliant with the new requirements,” said Rick Novickis, Director of Environmental Public Health at the Board.

The new ordinance imposes fines and the revocation of a retailer’s permit to sell tobacco and nicotine products if they fail to comply with the new requirements.

Visit http://www.onelakewood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/76-18-Tobacco-21.pdfto view the legislation. For additional information, please contact the Cuyahoga County Board of Health  at (216)201-2000 ext.1200.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2019

COUNCIL PRESIDENT SAM O’LEARY ANNOUNCES TOWN HALLS

LAKEWOOD, OH – City Council President Sam O’Leary will be hosting his first two town halls of the year on March 5th from 7:00PM-8:30PM in the Lakewood Library Main Branch multimedia room and Thursday, April 18th from 7:00PM- 8:30PM in the Lakewood Library- Madison Branch conference room. Councilman O’Leary invites all Lakewood citizens to come for meaningful discussion and to hear about the City’s progress moving forward.

“In my eight years of serving this community, these town halls are an excellent opportunity for citizens of Lakewood to engage directly with their local government and I’m excited to hear feedback from the community,” Council President O’Leary said. “This community is full of good ideas and insights, and we make this community better every time we have these conversations.”

Councilman O’Leary’s upcoming town hall events follow in the footsteps of Mayor Michael P. Summers’ “Listening to Lakewood” events held at different locals throughout the city. “We recognize the fundamental importance of meeting our residents where they are, which is out and about in the community. Most people don’t have the time or the interest to come to a City Council meeting, but that doesn’t make their voice any less valuable or their input any less insightful,” President O’Leary said. “Often when making a decision, we have the data, but we need the perspectives of our neighbors to make sure City policies make sense for them.”

Who: Councilman Sam O’Leary
What: Town Halls- Open to the Public
When: Tuesday, March 5th 7:00PM-8:30PM & Thursday, April 18th, 7:00PM-8:30PM
Where: Lakewood Public Library- Main Branch conference room (March 5th date); Lakewood Public Library- Madison Branch meeting room (April 18th date)

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Contact: Councilman Sam O’Leary; [216-200-8002 / Sam.OLeary@lakewoodoh.net]

About Council President Sam O’Leary: Sam O’Leary is a lifetime resident of Lakewood and graduate of the Lakewood City Schools. Sam grew up on Clarence Avenue, but moved to Clifton Boulevard when he returned to Lakewood after studying public policy at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

From early involvement in numerous political and civic campaigns, to serving on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Tax Incentive Review Council, Sam has committed himself to knowing Lakewood, its residents, and the issues we face as a city. These experiences inform Sam’s vision of Lakewood as an historic and unique residential city complimented by vibrant commercial corridors that comprehensively serve the shopping, dining, and recreational needs of our citizens. To that end, Sam strives to develop and support partnerships between public, private, and non-profit stakeholders that turn eyesores into economic engines, while preserving our delicate balance of residential and commercial interests.

Sam has been representing Ward 2 on Lakewood City Council since 2014 and was elected Council President by his colleagues in 2016 and 2018.