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Mayor Summers' Address: Safety, Development and Staying Young

Of course, housing was wrapped up in all of them.

In his second , Lakewood Mayor got right to the point, tackling some of the key issues facing the city.

Summers talked about safety, economic development and the young and middle class demographic of the city.

And he managned to tie them into the issue of maintaining and repairing the city's aging housing stock.

Summers also briefly discussed "Lakewood's Dirty Secret."

(Curious? Keep reading)

Here are a few of the other highlights:

Key trends: Lakewood’s — 48 percent of the population is between the ages of 25 and 49. “They bring an enormous amount of energy,” Summers said. “Lakewood is a middle class class community. We think that’s a great strength.” Summers didn’t dodge the fact that the city — along with the nation — are still recovering from a recession. “We are seeing folks who used to be volunteers, who are themselves now in need.”

Safety: “We can’t talk enough about safety,” he said. “It’s not just that we’re safe, but that we feel safe. “ Summers touted the that shows that crime continued to drop in 2011. Most of the crimes, he said, are related to alcohol and drug abuse. “The statistics show that were holding our own with the muscle we have,” Summers said. “But not for a second can we let our guard down. Each of us have to take our game up.”

Development: Summers shared that there’s a projected $20 million in private commercial development coming in 2012. He also highlighted some of the newer businesses such as , and . “It’s not going to be a Fortune 500 company that makes Lakewood successful — it’s going to be a startup."

Housing: “There isn’t an hour or a minute that we don’t’ think about housing,” he said, adding that the city is coming out of one of the greatest housing crises since 1932. “We’ve got a big challenge.” is enforcement — the other is prevention, which includes the city’s mandatory

Core services: It’s no secret that keeping up with the city’s services requires cash. That’s something that the city doesn’t have much of these days. On top of that, Summers pointed out that the city is getting as well as . He said the city looks to protect services involving police, fire and EMS; 74 acres of parks; 93 miles of streets; 17,000 structures; and 166 miles of sewers. Summers said the city will continue to provide the core services, “with less than we have ever had to do it.”

Summers said as technological advances shift the healthcare industry, the city must be ready to reposition the hospital for its next century. He said that the city must look to make the hospital more of a “preventative care” facility. “We need to take a 100-year view.”

Lakewood’s “dirty little secret”… Sure sounds juicy. And it sure got the crowd’s attention, and then some laughs. But the reality is that the city’s sewer system is getting old and, in order to meet US EPA guidelines, the to get it in compliance during the next few years. 

Pat Ballasch March 28, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I agree housing preservation is essential. I'm curious how progress will be measured. To be efficient & effective we need know what's working and what needs to be tweaked.
Steve March 28, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Doing away with the bully breed ban. Reason, simply put it is the young profesionals that are doing rescues to bully breeds at an alarming rate. They have good jobs, buy houses and respect dogs as dogs. They are just like ME. How is that for a tweak, Pat. We need them here in Lakewood, not West Park, RR, Westlake, Avon ect, ect, ect...All 48% agree, Time to end the ban, and let us responsible people control our own destiny...Go after the bad ones, all 48% agree with that...
Pat Ballasch March 29, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Anything that makes a city more efficient, attractive and a good value will draw residents. Personally I'd prefer the city decision-makers spend the majority of their time solving high priority items. I hope you can make a persuasive case for the non discrimination of certain breeds based on hard facts. Something that can give your politicians a way to defend that position. If not fear & emotion will probably rule the day. Good luck Steve.

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