As we enter this new decade, I want to extend the best possible wishes to Kirtland’s residents, businesses and city employees. I look forward to working with all of you in this new year, and beyond, to make Kirtland the best it can be.

2020 promises to be an action-packed year. This month I will be working with our Finance Director, Mary Kovalchik, and Assistant Finance Director, Louis Slapnicker, to get a true picture of our city’s finances. As this process unfolds, our department leaders’ and city council members’ input and innovation will be integral to how we best decide to deliver services to Kirtland’s residents out of our 2020 budget appropriation. We will all be working hard, together, to ensure that safety is paramount, roads are plowed and popular services such as brush pickup remain.

In addition to our budget, with the help of city council, I will be naming a Charter Review Committee. As our City Charter dictates, every ten years, our charter must be reviewed by a citizen committee. After such review, if the committee recommends changes to the charter, the committee will hold a public hearing to inform residents of any suggestions for alteration. If there are recommendations, those will be submitted to the Lake County Board of Elections to be placed on the November 2020 ballot. It will be here that our voting residents will have the ultimate say as to whether or not they believe change is needed.

Utilizing our Service Department labor and the ingenuity of our residents, I also look forward to helping make outdoor pickle ball a reality for our seniors. They have been plenty patient and deserve to have an outdoor court of their own. In addition, with civic groups and volunteer recreation league leaders leading the way, we are in the early stages of seeking grant opportunities and other funding sources to bring playground equipment to the community center.

The first month in office as mayor has been both exciting and eye opening. With the help of a dedicated administrative staff, I have been able to get quite acclimated and am learning to reprioritize as needed. We will be working together to quickly develop a much-needed employee handbook as well as ensure that all policies and procedures for departments and staff are up to date and implemented. Good organization and structure are critical building blocks to any organization’s success. Getting these in order early in my administration will help us to focus on moving forward effectively and efficiently.

Looking forward to the promise and hope of good things to come in the New Year, I wish you all the best health, peace and prosperity.

Kevin Potter