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Mayor's Corner

KEVIN HURST
Mayor, Safety & Economic Development Director 

Dear Residents,

As most of you know, the Walton Hills Journal has provided useful information to its readers during the last several years. It has been recognized as a credible, accountable, and transparent publication. We have reduced our operational costs by more than $1.3 million during the last several years while keeping more than 75% of the Walton Hills Journal paid for with advertisements. The journal is delivered by the US Postal Service to more than 100 businesses, to all of our residents,and to other communities. The production and distribution of the journal costs less than what was ever paid prior to my tenure, for a Village publication. The Walton Hills Journal,compared to other communities’ publications, has turned the page when it comes to keeping residents/businesses informed of the goings-on of Walton Hills. The Village has reduced operational costs and saved money, all while offering more services to our residents and businesses. We have reduced the 2017 budget by $300,000 with reductions in:

1. Administration – 15.4%
2. Service Department – 10.6%
3. Police Department – 9.2%
4. Recreation Department – 4.2%

We have reduced our employment to 29 full-time personnel because of the failure of the police levy. The police department has been reduced to 10 full-time officers. The reduction of officers complies with the current police contract which states that we should have seven patrol officers and three sergeants. A full-time officer and all five part-time officers have been laid off. The safety of the people who live in Walton Hills, work here and travel through the Village is priority one to our administration. The officers in the police department will continue to provide adequate assistance to everyone, despite the outcome of the levy election.

Despite the cutbacks, there is growth happening in Walton Hills. I’ll take a more in depth look at the economic development in Walton Hills on page 4. We expect more production in the future to grow our economy and sustain our community over the next decade. Village Council members continue to develop good-working relationships with our business partners in order to renew the positive leadership roles once demonstrated during the 1980s and 1990s. Our community is committed to building quality relationships and providing a central location primed for businesses to thrive in Northeast Ohio. Walton Hills has a solid foundation to build on due to our tax base, services provided, our bottom line and the commitment from our safety forces. Council members continue to search for ways to improve our community now and in the future.

Please join us in honoring the men and women of Ohio who have given their lives while serving our nation with the War on Terrorism. The Ohio Flags of Honor traveling memorial will be in Walton Hills on Friday, August 25th through Sunday, August 27th. The opening ceremony on August 25th will begin at 6:00pm. The Hard Rock Rocksino is sponsoring the Ohio Flags of Honor at no cost to the Village of Walton Hills. 

God Bless,
Kevin Hurst
Mayor/Safety Director