Lakewood operates under a City Charter that provides for a Mayor/Council form of government and designates City Council as the legislative branch of Lakewood’s city government. Seven council members (3 at-large and 1 for each of the city’s four wards) hold meetings in open public forums on the first and third Monday of every month (recess in August) at 7:30 P.M. in the City Hall auditorium. Council members serve four-year staggered terms.
A Citizen’s Guide to Lakewood City Council, meeting dockets, minutes and referrals are available to the public by calling (216) 529-6055, visiting the Council offices at Lakewood City Hall, 12650 Detroit Avenue, or by email.
Receive information about meeting dates and times 24 hours a day by calling the Lakewood Legislative Information Line at (216) 529-6055.
Your city council in action
What's My Ward?/Who Is My Council Person?+-
Click here for find your Ward/Council Person. Map is best viewed through Google Chrome
Pursuant to Chapter 121.04 of the Codified Ordinances, appointments of Chairpersons and members to the Standing Committees of Lakewood City Council are as follows:
Standing Committee Chair Members Housing David Anderson Dan O'Malley, Tristan Rader Public Safety Tom Bullock John Litten, Dan O'Malley Finance Dan O'Malley Tom Bullock, Meghan George Public Works Tristan Rader David Anderson, Tom Bullock Rules & Ordinances Meghan George Tristan Rader, John Litten Health & Human Services John Litten David Anderson, Meghan George
Committee of the Whole+-
Chair: Council President Sam O’Leary
Members: All members of Council
The Committee of the Whole addresses legislation referred to it by Council regarding topics of general interest to all councilmembers as well as those related to economic development such as the sale of City property, purchase of new property, re-zoning of parcels, and agreements between the City and private entities. Committee of the Whole also makes recommendations to Council regarding vacancies on the City’s volunteer boards and commissions. Several times per year the Committee invites department directors to provide members with broad updates on the City’s public works and economic development projects. In 2018 and 2019 Committee of the Whole served as a forum for Council to deliberate in detail on Phase 2 of the Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan which the City submitted to the EPA on March 1, 2019.
The Committee of the Whole meets on an as-needed basis on Monday evenings in the City Hall Auditorium. All Committee of the Whole meetings are video recorded and videos are posted on the City’s website the next day. The President of Council serves as Chair of Committee of the Whole.
Health & Human Services Committee+-
Chair: John Litten
Members: David Anderson, Meghan George
The Health & Human Services Committee addresses a range of issues focused on the health and well-being of the citizens of Lakewood, particularly its youth and seniors, along with Lakewood’s overall community health and wellness. Annually, the Committee reviews the City’s contract for health services with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and hears updates from the City’s Health and Human Service Director. In 2019 the Committee took leadership to recommend regulations on food trucks operating in the City and to increase the age from 18 to 21 for the sale of tobacco and nicotine products. The Committee has also been convening a variety of public health entities and city departments with the goal of eliminating lead exposure and poisoning among children.
The Committee meets on Monday evenings on an as-needed basis in the East Conference Room at City Hall with active participation from the City’s Human Services Director along with other members of the administration.
Chair: David Anderson
Members: Dan O’Malley, Tristan Rader
The Housing Committee addresses legislation referred to it by Council related to the status and maintenance of the City’s unique housing stock. In 2018 the Committee worked with the Building Department to streamline the rental housing license process and to incorporate condominium rental units in the application process. In 2019, the Committee recommended changes to the Code to define and regulate commercial light trespass. The Committee also worked to provide new tools to follow up on resident concerns of bright lights and glare coming from commercial corridors.
The Committee meets on Monday evenings on an as-needed basis in the East Conference Room at City Hall with active participation from the City’s Building Commissioner, Director of Planning, and other members of the administration.
Public Safety Committee+-
Chair: Tom Bullock
Members: John Litten, Dan O’Malley
The Public Safety Committee addresses matters that affect the safety and welfare of the citizens of Lakewood such as animal issues, crime prevention, fire response, disaster preparedness, and traffic management. The Committee has recommended substantial updates to the City’s nuisance ordinance to ensure that the law does not discourage victims of domestic violence from contacting law enforcement. The Committee also works to improve traffic safety, aide the City’s response to opioid addiction, and respond to other public safety needs.
In conducting its work, the Committee meets with the City’s Law Director, Police and Fire Chiefs, and other members of the administration. Members of the public are welcome to attend and speak at all meetings of the Committee.
Public Works Committee+-
Public Works Committee Chair: Tristan Rader
Members: David Anderson, Tom Bullock
The Public Works Committee addresses legislation referred to it by Council related to public works such as grant applications and grant awards for public works projects, easement agreements, and plans that require coordination at the regional and state levels. In recent years the Committee has also kept momentum moving forward on the Tree Task Force recommendations issued to Council in 2014. In 2019 the Public Works Committee will be holding hearings to track the progress of the public works related Council budget priorities endorsed by Council during the 2019 budget deliberations.
The Public Works Committee meets on an as-needed basis on Monday evenings in the East Conference Room at City Hall with the active participation of the City’s Public Works Director and other members of the administration.
Rules & Ordinances Committee+-
Chair: Meghan George
Members: Tristan Rader, John Litten
The Rules & Ordinances Committee addresses legislation referred to it by Council regarding ministerial updates to the Lakewood Codified Ordinances. In 2018, the Rules & Ordinances Committee deliberated on a large body of legislation intended to align the Codified Ordinances with the newly adopted Third Amended Charter.
The Rules & Ordinances Committee meets as-needed on Monday evenings in the East Conference Room of City Hall and is usually joined by the City’s Law Director.
Agendas & Minutes+-
Click here for Council’s minutes and agendas.
Click here to see City Council videos.
Click here to view the codified ordinances of the City of Lakewood
Recently Adopted Legislation+-
Ordinances that amend the code
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)
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.
- Create a public records request web portal that is easy to use, up to date and interactive that will allow the public to:
The Role of Council+-
As the legislative arm of Lakewood City government, the chief function of City Council is the making of laws. While serving as the city’s lawmaking body, Council also monitors the operation and performance of the city budget. In addition, Council members serve as their constituents’ links to their local government. When a constituent has a question or concern with city policy or services, they are encouraged to contact their ward Council representative, or any Council at Large member.
The legislative powers of the City, except as limited by the Charter, are vested in City Council. As the legislative body, Council makes and passes the laws governing the city. The legislative process comprises a number of steps, and includes committee action during which the most intense consideration is given to the proposed measures; this is also the time when citizens are given their opportunity to be heard. Each piece of legislation is referred to the committee that has jurisdiction over the area affected by the measure. Council members serve on at least two committees and all serve on the Committee of the Whole. Most committee meetings are held in the Court’s jury room or in the Council Chambers.
Legislation is introduced in the following manner:
- Legislation is proposed by Council members, the Mayor or administration or by citizen initiative (petition). Under Article III, Section 8 of the City Charter, “each proposed ordinance shall be introduced in written or printed form and shall not contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly stated in the title,” with the exception of general appropriation ordinances.
- Proposed legislation is introduced to Council during a regularly scheduled public Council meeting and referred to the appropriate committee.
- A committee hearing is held, during which Council members consider the proposed legislation and public commentary.
- If necessary, the proposed legislation is amended.
- The committee votes on the legislation.
- If passed, the legislation is sent to full Council for discussion and a final vote.
- If passed, the legislation is sent to the Mayor.
- The Mayor signs the legislation.
- The proposed legislation becomes a local law.
If the Mayor disapproves and vetoes it, the legislation comes back to Council with the Mayor’s written objections. Council can override the Mayor’s veto by a two-thirds vote. If the Mayor does not sign or veto the legislation within ten days after receiving it from Council, it is considered approved.
Under Article III, Section 14 of the City Charter:
“On or before the fifteenth day of November in each year, the Mayor, Director of Public Works and Director of Finance shall prepare an estimate of the expense of conducting the affairs of the City for the following year; this estimate shall be compiled from detailed information obtained from the various departments.”
This estimate itemizes the expense of conducting each department, comparisons with corresponding items of expenditures for the last two complete fiscal years, reasons for proposed increases or decreases compared with the current fiscal year, departmental schedules, payroll increases, anticipated revenue from taxes and other sources, debt interest and bond retirement funds, long-term financial obligations of the City and “such other information as may be required by Council.” Upon receipt of the estimate, Council initiates the budget approval process to monitor the operation and performance of the City’s budget, establish priorities and allocate resources for the year, and thereafter pass temporary or permanent appropriation ordinances.
Clerk of Council+-
Lakewood City Hall
12650 Detroit Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
The Clerk of Council, appointed by City Council, maintains records of proceedings of City Council and records of ordinances and resolutions adopted by City Council. The Clerk’s office is the designated repository for all official documents of the City. As official parliamentarian of the City Council, the Clerk conducts council meeting and publishes the minutes to reflect all legislative action. The Clerk also provides notice of regular and special meetings of City Council, directs the activities and programs of the office, provides reference and research services regarding enacted or pending legislation and other Council documents and performs all duties outlined in the 2nd Amended Charter or as directed by City Council.
- Click here to view the current Charter of the City of Lakewood
Committee of the Whole Audio Recordings+-
- Dec. 21, 2015
- Dec. 7, 2015
- Nov. 30, 2015
- Nov. 23, 2015
- Nov. 16, 2015
- Nov. 9, 2015 (part 1)
- Nov. 9, 2015 (Part 2)
- October 12, 2015
- October 7, 2015
- October 5, 2015
- September 21, 2015 (Part 1)
- September 21, 2015 (Part 2)
- September 14, 2015
- August 24, 2015
- August 17, 2015
- August 10, 2015
- July 27, 2015
- July 20, 2015
- July 13, 2015
- July 6, 2015
- June 22, 2015
- June 15, 2015
- June 8, 2015
- June 1, 2015
- May 18, 2015
- May 4, 2015
- April 30, 2015 (Part 2)
- April 30, 2015 (Part 1)
- April 27, 2015 (Part 2)
- April 27, 2015 (Part 1)
- April 20, 2015
- April 6, 2015
- March 30, 2015 (Part 2)
- March 30, 2015 (Part 1)
- March 23, 2015 (Part 2)
- March 23, 2015 (Part 1)
- March 12, 2015
- March 9, 2015
- March 5, 2015
- February 23, 2015
- February 17, 2015
- February 11, 2015
- February 9, 2015
- February 2, 2015
- January 26, 2015
- January 20, 2015
Committee of the Whole Schedule To Discuss Lakewood Hospital+-
City Council FAQs+-
Q: When does Lakewood City Council meet?
A: At seven-thirty (7:30) p.m. on the first and third Monday of every month, or, if such Monday falls on a Holiday, on the Tuesday following. Only Special Council Meetings or committee meetings are held in the month of August. All regular City Council meetings are held in the Council Chambers at City Hall. In addition, there are seven (7) standing committees of Council that meet at the discretion of the appointed chair.
Q: How long is a Council Member’s term? Are they full time? How much do they get paid?
A: Each council member serves a four-year term. They work part-time. In 2014, Council voted to increase their salary from $7,000 to $13,000. This was the first increase in 32 years. This increase is phased in: Four (4) Ward Council members began receiving the new salary in 2016. Three (3) At-Large council members began receiving the new salary in 2018. Council members also have the option to receive full health care benefits through the city.