My notes from last night’s meeting

Service and Valor award – I was proud to deliver awards to four of Stow’s dispatchers who guided two men through the baby-delivery process. They did an “outstanding job under chaotic circumstances,” according to our police. Our community is blessed that we have such poised and talented dispatchers working when we need them the most.

Downtown Stow – We had another hearing on the Downtown Stow proposal. Since the last meeting, we reduced the geographic scope of the Community Entertainment District map–so it only encompasses the City Center property and some parcels that are across the street on Darrow. The district does not expand south of Graham Road. Mayor Kline proposed legislation to spend another $30,000 on consulting fees to gather community information and further refine the plan. My line of thought is to move forward with seeking proposals, and then gathering more community input–after we have detailed proposals on which residents can provide specific input. The $30,000 proposal was defeated in Finance Committee.

2018 budget – The administration proposed a good budget, but council made it better. I proposed an amendment to reduce the Clerk of Court’s allocation by $32,458. Three years ago, we invested a lot of money in technology that the Clerk promised would result in fewer employee hours. Yet the Clerk’s budget requests have continued to increase year over year. Sorry, but there has to be accountability. My motion to amend passed by a 7-0 vote. The budget overall passed by a 7-0 vote. When you have conservative Republicans and Democrats united behind a budget, you can be satisfied that your city’s finances are in great shape. Since 2009, we have made outstanding fiscal progress by balancing the budget without raising taxes, building our rainy-day fund to an all-time high, and paying down our city debt from $31MM to $15.5MM.

Seasons Road/Route 8 traffic lights – Here is some great news for residents in Northern Stow. We are moving forward to install traffic signals at the two Seasons Road exits on Route 8. ODOT is covering 80% of the cost (or about $400K). Hudson and Stow are splitting the balance (about $40K for each city). Those exits are terrible during rush hour. This is way overdue.

Stow Showcase – Make sure to put April 7 and 8 on your calendar for the Stow Community Showcase.

Hydrant flushing – We will begin flushing hydrants on April 1. If you have discolored water, please let it run for a while.

Alleged assault – I didn’t see the incident, although it happened 10 feet away from me. The two parties have widely divergent perspectives on what happened. Hopefully there is video to confirm the truth. Our police are investigating. I don’t expect the incident will distract us from the mission of providing quality services in a fiscally responsible manner.