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City Council Candidates Field Questions on Housing at Debate

Candidates for city council took turns answering questions on housing from audience members at Tuesday's debate.

The found the number of vacant houses in Lakewood nearly doubled since 2000.

That certainly caught the eye of city council members.

Candidates for in the Nov. 8 election met for a public debate Tuesday at the Woman’s Club Pavilion in . The event was hosted by the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area.

Council At-Large said he plans to work with Mayor Michael Summers’ administration to inform homeowners of the programs and assistance available to help them take care of their homes.

“We live in a neighborhood full of beautiful century homes that need a lot of tender loving care,” Nowlin said.

Nowlin is being challenged by , a small business owner. In response to an audience member’s question, Zappala said he would support legislation encouraging bed and breakfasts in Lakewood.

“Anything to encourage free-market capitalism I think is a beautiful thing, whether it’s bed and breakfasts or the West End project or ,” he said. “It’s important it gets done in the proper fashion, and listen to people.”

is also challenging Nowlin. Davis, who’s campaigning on “reducing citizen apathy and engaging residents to become more informed,” did not attend the debate.

Ward 1 Councilman , who is being challenged by , said residents are complaining to him about nuisance properties.

“We have a lot of junky property here in Lakewood,” he said. “We need to figure out a way to partner with these owners to get these properties where they need to be, and hold standards so we can preserve our neighborhoods.”

Metzger, however, bucked the trend and said the single biggest issue facing Lakewood is the proposed cut to revenue from the state, including the halving of state aid over two years and the elimination of the estate tax.

“Government’s not a business, we can’t just sell stock to generate funds,” he said. “But we can introduce more efficiency.”

and council members , and are all running opposed, and also fielded questions.

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