At the risk of taunting Old Man Winter and Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring; our city roads, salt reserves and Service Department overtime budget, sure are getting a break this first half of winter. This newly elected mayor sure appreciates it.

Speaking of roads and budgets, I want to thank the Lake County Commissioners for passing a Road Grant Funding resolution that will allocate $52,000 to the city of Kirtland for a 2020 road paving project of our choosing. I will be working with Kirtland City Council to pass our own resolution that identifies cost and scope of a single road project that these very welcomed funds can be used toward. Leading into that effort, I am pleased to say that the city will be issuing a $5,500 road analysis purchase order to SME, an engineering and consulting firm right here in Kirtland. The project is the first step in identifying pavement conditions for a select five miles of city roads. The report will identify conditions and make specific recommendations for further sub-base pavement analysis and targeted core sampling. By obtaining the best picture of what is under our roads, we can better anticipate the true cost to repave or reconstruct each of the analyzed roads.

I am also happy to announce the development of a Kirtland resident professional Road Paving Task Force. The volunteer committee will be comprised of Joe Petraus, Premo Panzarello, Dave DiCillo and Dan Laux. Having made their careers in the world of civil engineering and road paving construction, I am elated that these gentlemen are willing to offer their time and knowledge to assist Kirtland in developing an immediate and long-term strategy for our city roads.

While we are on the subject of resident volunteers, I want to thank City Council members for their input and recommendations as it relates to our upcoming Charter Review Committee. The appointed Kirtland residents to the committee will be Rick DeMarco, Kathy Knaak, Jim Young, Larry Allen, John Clapacs, Sheila Dikowicz, Mike Young, Dave Freeburg and Kat Torok. This group couldn’t be more talented and thoughtful, and I sure appreciate their willingness to offer their time and energy.

February also brings with it, the city budget. Our Finance Director, Mary Kovalchik, and Assistant Finance Director, Louis Slapnicker, worked hard to closeout 2019 and are now laboring to prepare our revenues and obligatory expenditures for 2020. Working closely with them and the Finance Chair of City Council, John Lesnick, we will have the budget proposal before City Council in the coming weeks. Knowing that we have challenges, I look forward to thoughtful and respectful dialogue that works toward efficient and responsive government.

In closing, I would like to thank Dan Richards for his many years of service to the City of Kirtland as our Law Director. Dan is the ultimate gentleman and I am thankful that I had the chance to work with him. Dan will be replaced as Law Director by Matthew Lallo of the firm, Lallo & Feldman. I look forward to introducing Matt to all members of City Council and to a smooth transition.

Thank you,

Mayor Potter