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Mayor Delivers State of the City Address

Mayor Michael Summers talks about issues ranging from economic development to housing.

Mayor Michael Summers delivered his first State of the City at the on Wednesday.

When he was appointed to the mayoral post in November — when then-mayor Ed FtizGerald was elected to become Cuyahoga County's first county executive — Summers said housing was at the .

He reiterated that goal on Wednesday, but also covered a wide-range of issues — including collaboration with other communities, economic development and keeping city government "lean."

Summers started the address by talking about how the city's demographic makeup has changed over the past 10 years, as .

Here are a few of the highlights:

Financial position

Summers said that from 2008 to present, the city has right-sized the city government, trimming $3.7 million in costs. In addition, the city has . The goal, he said, is to "create a capacity to more effectively influence investing."

Housing

The city will be beefing up its housing, and will be using technology as an asset. Summers also created — and is planning to distribute — a to all of the city's landlords.

Technology

The idea behind improving the city's technology was broken down Wednesday into three categories: creating focus, identifying trends and improving coordination. To streamline the departments that makeup the city government, Summers said there will be adding geographic information systems technology to analyze patterns and trends in the city.

Public works

He said plans in the works to increase the street maintenance — something Summers said has been neglected for the past 20 years. For example, last year only Warren Road was paved. This year, about a .

Shared services

To work with Lakewood's neighbors — and to keep down costs — Summers pointed out a few ways the city is . Among them: SWAT team, fire investigation, narcotics investigation and refuse transfer.

Public safety

Summers — as the director of public safety — talked briefly about the structure of public safety within the city. He has said he plans to continue former-mayor FitzGerald's emphasis on crime prevention.

Economic development

Summers said that strategies equal results. The city's put plenty of emphasis on planning and economic development. Among the key components, he said, are leveraging and investing in revitalization projects; supporting local business; paying close attention to the quality of development.

"Lean Lakewood"

Summers talked about a philosophy known as "kaizen," a Japanese word meaning "many small changes for the better." He said it's a process of introducing "continuous improvement concepts and cost reduction opportunities."

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