December began with a good dose of community spirit, and we certainly have some folks to thank. First, to the Kirtland Garden Club for their holiday decorations at City Hall and on our street posts. I am especially appreciative to this group for dedicating their time, resources, and energy to beautify Kirtland. Speaking of hard work, the Service Department once again did a tremendous job lighting both City Hall and the Christmas tree, generously donated by Dominic and Angela Farinacci.

Our municipal center and grounds were ceremoniously lit on Thursday, December 1st in the presence of a very special collection of guests. To kick off the holiday season, the Kirtland High School Football team and its supporters made the tree lighting countdown even more exciting this year. Immediately after the tree was lit, a boisterous and loyal contingent of Hornet fans followed the team as they paraded back to Rogers Field for one last pep rally. The air was brisk but the energy and the community support for the Hornets made the descending artic chill almost exhilarating.

Although the Hornets came just short of another title, I have to say I couldn’t be prouder of the team. My hat goes off to the coaching staff and players for giving their absolute all, right until the last tick of the clock. Not the outcome they were hoping for, but they sure did fight, and once again demonstrated class on the field and commitment to each other. Congratulations, especially to the seniors on the team, and thank you for a great season!

The City’s fiscal year will be closing soon, and we are anticipating income tax receipts to finish well ahead of 2021. The additional revenue is attributed to more Kirtland residents working from home and paying a larger percentage of their income tax to Kirtland, as opposed to the cities they previously reported to for work. We are hopeful this trend continues but will budget conservatively in 2023.

Recently, the City of Kirtland was awarded a grant from Governor DeWine’s office to fund three new full-time firefighters for the next two years. I am proud to report that we worked to ensure the grant did not put any future stress on our City budget. Working with the Finance Director and Chief Hutton, we came to an agreement that includes eliminating an administrative position within the Fire Department, reducing overtime, decreasing part-time personnel hours, and through future attrition. All told, the plan stands to save the city nearly $350,000 over the next ten years.

As I write these community updates each month, I am appreciative of the opportunity to reflect on all that is good in Kirtland. We have a strong and faithful community. A City with residents that care for one another. A City I am proud to call home and to lead.

It is my great privilege to wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season.

Mayor Kevin Potter