June in Kirtland means at least one thing – the Kirtland Kiwanis Strawberry Festival and Parade will bring the community and guests from all over in droves. Year after year, it still astounds me how well Kiwanis organizes and operates the festival, and I’m sure this year will be no different. The festivities begin on Thursday and at 5:30, several Western Lake County mayors will join me in the strawberry shortcake eating contest. In addition to the local mayors, we’ve invited Lakeland Community College’s new President, Dr. Sunil Ahuja. President Ahuja is a newcomer to our community event, but I have no doubt that he will be impressed by the spirit and volunteerism that is so pervasive in Kirtland.

Congratulations are once again deserved for the Kirtland High School Flag football team as they won their third championship in four years. Led by Coach Tiger LaVerde, the hornet ladies have once again staked claim to Kirtland having some of the best and brightest athletes in Northeast Ohio. Kirtland athletes, musicians and scholars continue to make our city proud.

Thank you to former Zoning Inspector, Rick Loconti, for his service to our city over the last several years. Rick did more at the zoning position than anyone in recent memory with his balanced approach to zoning enforcement and oversight. Rick’s experience and knowledge greatly served our residents, businesses, Zoning Board and contractors working in the city.

I also want to thank all the volunteers that made Safety Town at City Hall another huge success this past week. At the helm of this effort is my wife, Jeni Potter. Jeni puts in dozens of hours each year to make sure children entering kindergarten or first grade are taught some of the most basic yet important life safety skills. This truly is a great program and is well supported by volunteers and donations from local businesses and residents.

This month, City Council will be evaluating legislation that would give Kirtland voters the option to fund a road repair plan for the next twenty years. Once passed by Council, the legislation would take form as a City Charter Amendment issue on the November ballot. If passed by Kirtland voters, the amendment would enable up to an additional one quarter of one percent income tax to be levied and spent on road projects only. The ballot language mandates the additional quarter percent would expire after twenty years.

After several months of discussion, the Administration and Council members agreed on asking voters to consider an income tax adjustment vs a property tax levy to fund a comprehensive road paving and repair program. For me, as well as many of our council members, respecting the fact that an additional income tax does not impact retirement income for our seniors is very important. In the next weeks and months, I look forward to discussing the potential City Charter change that can finally put the road funding question in Kirtland behind us.

On a final note, thank you to the American Legion, Kirtland Kiwanis, the Kirtland High School Marching Band and Scout Troop 286 for their annual dedication to Kirtland’s Memorial Day Ceremony. This year was no exception in that the fallen men and women of the United States military were respectfully honored thanks to the efforts of these groups.

Thank you, Mayor Potter