If the calendar were to be compared to an at-bat in baseball, I’d say February feels like a long single to left field. Noticeably longer days, purple clouds that sparingly give way to glistens of sunshine, we might be tempted to try for second base and begin thinking about heading outdoors to turn over a garden or flower bed. Living in Kirtland though, a thousand or so feet above sea level and often in the sights of the lanky left fielder with a giant arm, otherwise known as Lake Erie, we’re wise to the ways of winter and take heed. We return to the bag, knowing the big bats of March, April, and May are coming up to bat and, between the three, we have the confidence they’ll knock us home and into June’s gathering splendor and warmth.

Abandoning baseball analogies and briefly, but inadvertently, shifting to football, February in Kirtland kicks off our annual city budget process. True as it may be that the budget, for as long as I’ve been following Kirtland government, has been delivered to City Council at the second meeting of February, the product is really developed through spending decisions made in the months and years prior. At City Hall, we’ve worked hard over the past several years to build trust with our taxpayers, not only in what but in how we spend your dollars.

As every city government must do, Kirtland considers: the ongoing need for vehicles and equipment that keep our roads and residents safe, hiring and retaining the best personnel, and of course patching and paving roads to the extent a budget allows. The good news is, instead of the projected $58,000 General Fund carryover balance we were faced with in my first budget as Mayor, we entered 2023 with a carryover of more than $1.7 million.

Along the way, a lot of hard work, a few tough decisions with the support of most of the Council, and increased income tax receipts gives us a bit of breathing room today. That said, it remains our conviction to work with Department heads to be disciplined in our spending and strike the best balance between road repairs, ongoing drainage concerns, and building upkeep, as well as vehicle and equipment maintenance or replacement. The good news is, we have many smart and hardworking people focused on what is best for Kirtland and I am proud that they are on the team.

Before signing off, I do have to mention how proud I am of one of our Kirtland Councilman, Scott Haymer. Scott was recently given the distinguished honor of Kirtland Kiwanis Citizen of the Year. I can say with certainty, I’ve not met an individual that loves and cares about this City more than Scott. Most people will never know the work he does behind the scenes for the community. Scott has given hundreds of hours of his personal time, often taking him away from his successful plumbing business and more importantly, family time. In all his effort, Scott does none of it for acclaim or recognition. Scott Haymer has taken civic duty to a level not approached by most and should be well congratulated and thanked.

Thank you, Mayor Potter