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Mayor's Corner

KEVIN HURST
Mayor, Safety & Economic Development Director 

Dear Residents,

Your voice was heard after the police levy election on May 2nd. Although the levy failed, it is the responsibility of our Village leaders to move forward and stay focused on our goal of keeping the Village of Walton Hills economically sound. For record keeping purposes, I would like to remind residents that there were several opportunities for you to learn the facts about the levy and the long term goals of the Village. We had four town hall meetings to discuss the proposed levy and to answer any questions you may have had regarding the levy and the operations of the Village of Walton Hills. The attendance at each of the first three meetings was around 110 residents. The last town hall coincided with the open house of the Walton Hills Community Center; approximately 256 people attended the last event.

It was the goal of the Village leaders to make sure you were informed about the goings-on of Walton Hills before casting your vote; we want all residents to feel that they understand the truths about how the Village of Walton Hills operates. I’ve mentioned it before,we are a transparent administration, aiming to keep residents in the loop of what’s going on in our community. We have been transparent for the last six years, and will continue to be transparent now and in the future. We have made reductions throughout the Village’s operations during the last six years to sustain our Village; we have also made improvements and investments with the goal of increasing our footprint.

Because of recent events, we will re-evaluate all of the factors of our operations and make adjustments that will sustain our community for the long run. Residents will be informed of any major changes in the Village in the upcoming issues of the Walton Hills Journal. There are several options on the table, and they are simply options, that will be presented to the Village Council this month and voted on for approval shortly thereafter. Listed below are some of the proposals and possibilities that will be discussed and under consideration for the Council’s approval:

• Some long-term employees will be removed from our operations; all full-time and part-time police employees will be considered for the possibility of layoffs and reduction in hours of operations

• Dividing the house, garage, and the one acre lot from the community center to possibly sell

• Allowing the Village administration to package and promote the 16 acre parcel located on Walton Road directly across from Jefferson Drive to possibly sell; we will also discuss the possibility of selling all vacant lots owned by Walton Hills

• Allow zoning changes to commercial development around the Village to potentially generate more revenue

• Discuss selling the Village’s old service garage on Krick Road

• Reducing each department by 10% to 15% by the end of 2017

• Having all employees pay 20% of their health insurance instead of the 10% that they currently pay

• Reducing all full-time administration and service department employees to 7 hours - 5 days a week to make all work weeks 35 hours instead of 40 hours

• Lockout services that the police department provides will be eliminated

• The animal warden service that is provided to residents will be eliminated

• House-checks will be limited by our auxiliary officers

• All tow release fees and criminal fines will be increased to follow suit with our surrounding communities

• Possibly suspend our Walton Hills detective services and instead use an outside contract and/or use the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department for that service, which could prolong all Walton Hills’ investigations

• We could research the possibility of having the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office policing our Village

• Residents would pay a $200 fee for ambulance services, beginning in August 2017

• Possibly increasing all fees associated with the Recreation and Community Life Department’s programs

• Community Day expenses could be drastically reduced like not having fireworks and having less vendors

• Residents will pay for rubbish pickup at a cost of $17 per month

• Raise the inside millage for 2018 by 2 mills

• Canceling the Walton Hills lake Contract for 2017

• Possibly reducing the number of Journals published yearly, reducing the number of pages in the Journal, or completely stopping the production of the publication altogether for the time being

Again, these are simply considerations that will be discussed at this month’s C.O.W. and Council Meetings to improve the economic outlook for the Village of Walton Hills. Residents are encouraged to attend those meetings, as they are public. Again, we will have an update on any decisions in the upcoming issues of the Walton Hills Journal.

Finally, just as a reminder: If you’re interested in viewing any of Walton Hills’ financial reports, you can do so by logging onto www.waltonhillsohio.gov. When you logon, scroll over the word“Services” at the top of the page and click on “Finance Department” in the drop down menu. From there, you’ll notice a blue “Useful Links & Info” box on the right side of the screen. Click on “Financial Reports.”You can also request to see our financial reports at the Village Hall. Per Ohio Revised Code 117.38: It is necessary for your entity (Village of Walton Hills) to publish notice in a publication circulated in your political subdivision or taxing district indicating the full financial report has been completed and is available for public inspection at your entity’s office.

Thank You,

Kevin Hurst
Mayor/Safety and Economic Director, I.G.I.T.