Well, here we are in March already. Time for daffodils, fish fries, shamrocks and, well, budgets. Maybe not the best introductory sentence, set up and segue, but it’s 5 a.m. and the coffee is just making its way into my circulatory system. Speaking of the need for coffee. I first need to thank our Finance and Assistant Finance Directors for the countless late night and pre-dawn hours they spent working to produce the first draft of Kirtland’s fiscal year 2020 Annual Operating Budget. Mary Kovalchik and Louis Slapnicker are two of the brightest and hardest workers I know. Louis and Mary spent the last year sorting through and unwinding a financial tale that was hardly easy. This laborious effort was necessary so they could first understand and then begin to explain Kirtland’s financial position and help us really begin to plan for Kirtland’s financial future. I am grateful we have Louis, Mary, patient Chiefs of Police and Fire, and a city council all willing and prepared to take on reality and work to secure Kirtland’s financial future. I look forward to working with them all through the month of March to deliver a responsible operating budget and fiscal plan. We will assuredly be asking hard questions of each other and demonstrating our ability to make tough choices when necessary.
I would also like to thank members of city council for their input and participation during the process of securing a new City Engineer. Matt Schulz, John Lesnick and Rich Lowery helped me work through vetting proposals of five engineering firms, narrowing the search to three companies, interviewing those choices and ultimately selecting to enter into agreement with the local engineering firm, C.W. Courtney Company. C.W. Courtney is a locally owned, family run, engineering team that we are all very excited to bring on board. Although Doug Courtney is the lead representative from the firm to the city, we will have the support and knowledge of the entire Courtney team at our disposal.
In addition to a new City Engineer, I would also like to thank Kirtland City Council for confirming the appointments of both Matt Lallo as Law Director and Thomas Lobe as Assistant Law Director. Matt and Tom have already been a great help by answering day to day legal questions and assisting in launching the Charter Review Committee.
Now that we have new legal counsel and engineering in place, Kirtland will be reaching back out to the Ohio EPA and again begin discussions relative to the looming Old Town sanitary and storm runoff conditions. As this process unfolds, we will be sure to keep our affected residents in the loop as to the progress and the processes that will lead to the best solution for the neighborhood and the city.
Being that March envelopes my favorite family holiday of tradition, St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll end with my favorite Irish blessing – “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sunshine warm upon your face, and rains fall softly on your fields.”