Last night’s council meeting

Here are my notes from last night’s city council meeting:

Fox Den Rezoning – City council voted 6-1 to rezone Fox Den Golf Course to Zone-O “Conservation.” Adaska voted “no.” This is an important move for the golf course’s neighbors, who can be assured that they will always have greenspace nearby. And when they go to sell their homes, a buyer will have that assurance, without having to delve into the city’s intentions for the course. After all, golf courses are closing across the country and being replaced with residential developments. A family looking to move here from Boston would be immediately concerned about moving next to a golf course that is already zoned “Residential.” No longer.

City Center Committee – Council president Matt Riehl made his 3 appointments to the City Center Committee. The mayor’s 9 appointments were not so simple. … The legislation clearly says that the appointees must either (1) live in a neighborhood adjacent to the City Center property, or (2) have “background or experience” in playgrounds, civic development, or splash pads. The Mayor suggested 9 people while admitting (1) none lives in such a neighborhood, and (2) their only arguable qualification is that they served on an unofficial committee that has met a handful of times. That’s like saying I have “experience” in Calculus after 4 classes. … I’m OK with 2 or 3 people with questionable qualifications, but we make a mockery of the process by appointing 9 unqualified members. And we want people with diverse backgrounds, which this list did not provide. … Now that the committee has members, it can begin meeting.

Fire Grants – The City of Stow has an elite fire department. Sometimes we fail to ask: How did that come to be? One reason is Lt. Jeff Cochran, who has obtained $1.5 million in state and federal grants over the past 10 years. It began when Lt. Cochran volunteered to write grants during his down time at the station in 2009. Thanks to his work, the City was awarded a SAFER grant to hire 5 firefighters. Later grants provided funds for safety and EMT equipment. His act of service has rippled through our community, preserving organs, bones, and ligaments of our firefighters and residents.

New developments – Council approved the Marhofer storage lot on Kent Road by a 5-2 vote. Initially, the neighbors were concerned about the aesthetics. Ron Marhofer worked directly with them, and changed his plans to assuage those concerns. It’s exactly how the process is supposed to work. With Summa Health proposing a new 56,700 square foot medical facility on Fishcreek, it would be great to see another cooperative effort so that the Compton Court residents are satisfied about the screening between their back yards and the medical facility.

Other notes

  • Trick-or-Treat is Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30. Please leave your light on if you’re giving out candy.
  • The City received a $1.2 million grant to improve the Fishcreek and Graham intersection for safety.
  • City Council endorsed Issues 40, 41 and 42 on your November ballot. It was a 5-2 vote, with Costello and D’Antonio voting “no.”
  • Stow will receive some funds from the opioid litigation settlement that you’ve read about in the newspaper. No word as to the amount yet.
  • Stow’s leaf program begins Monday. So this weekend would be a great time to rake–especially if you live in District 2 (west of 91, north of Graham), where the collection process begins. Click here for the map/schedule.
  • Council will meet once in November, on the 21st.