Every so often I am asked questions like – “Why would you want to be mayor?” I typically reply with something along the lines of “great question, and it’s not always easy. But when you see hard work pay off and good things happen in the community, it really is worth any amount of effort.” That may sound cliché, but it really is the truth.

On December 23rd, as I watched Congress pass a bill that included $820,000 of funding for the Old Town Sewer project, the notion that hard work does pay off really came to pass. That funding, coupled with a recent commitment of $1 million dollars by the Lake County Commissioners office, will reduce the cost to each homeowner in that neighborhood by more than $13,500.

Over the last three years, whether in public meetings or individual encounters with residents around town, my response to concerned Old Town residents has consistently been “we are working really hard to find money to assist with this extraordinary burden of cost.” Thank you to the residents for their patience. And a big thank you to Eddy Eckart, Kirtland’s Economic Development consultant, for working so closely with Congressman Dave Joyce’s office to make sure our request was included in the bill.

With January already halfway over, we will soon be discussing the 2023 budget with City Council. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll continue to meet with Finance Director, Louis Slapnicker, as well as council leadership, to review fund balances and consider how we best continue to put your tax dollars to work. This annual process is a great exercise in determining wants vs. needs, and I always look forward to it.

Over the course of the next several weeks, we will also be working to finish the ten-year Comprehensive Plan for the city. It has been a pleasure to work with Planning and Zoning these last six months or so, as we have worked to compare the goals from the last plan, ten years ago, to what today’s challenges and opportunities seem to be. To build the document, we’ve used input from our residents ascertained through surveys and public meetings held over the last several years. One major goal of the forthcoming plan is, to make sure it becomes a living document so to speak. Zoning Board members and I have been intent on the creation of annual review mechanisms, so this important work that gets done every ten years is no longer a document that sitting on a shelf or buried on the city’s website. I’m looking forward to completing the exercise and rolling it out to the community.

On January 4th, I had the pleasure of issuing a city proclamation to Eugene DiFranco, owner of Village Outdoors on Euclid Chardon Rd. Mr. DiFranco has been a business owner in Kirtland for twenty-five years and the Proclamation gave me a chance to thank him for his recent expansion and reinvestment in our city. I look forward to continuing working with Mr. DiFranco and so many other Kirtland small businesses. These entities are quite an integral part of our community’s fabric and are much appreciated.

In closing, I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to seeing you all at community events throughout the year.

Thank you,

Mayor Potter