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Community Engagement News

Thursday, March 31, 2011


City of Lakewood Office of Community Relations

March 31, 2011

Scene Magazine Names Lakewood Best Suburb

In the March 30, 2011 issue, Scene Magazine named Lakewood the Best Suburb in their Best of Cleveland 2011 article. "Nowhere in Northeast Ohio do so many cultures mesh so harmoniously as they do in Lakewood. It's the perfect gathering place thanks in no small part to its wonderful restaurants, its rollicking bars and clubs, and its quirky small businesses that line every major street. And it's the perfect home thanks to its bountiful and hardy old houses and apartments, for its overachieving schools, its bucolic parks and its pervasive sense of neighborhood pride and unity," states Scene Magazine.

“We are thrilled that Lakewood was selected Best Suburb by Scene Magazine,” stated Mayor Mike Summers. “The article describes why so many people are choosing to call Lakewood home. Those of us who live here know how great Lakewood is but it’s nice for others around the region to recognize it. Congratulations to all of the Lakewood organizations and businesses that were honored.”

Lakewood also received the Best Playground for Kids and the Best Skate Park designations. "Expansive Lakewood Park, perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie in the center of town, is a wonderland of kid enticements, from the wooden playground with the pirate ship, to the regions best Skate Park, to the regular family friendly parties, concerts, and movies that take place during summer weekends and evenings," states Scene.

Many Lakewood businesses and organizations also received top honors in the Scene issue including:

Best Local Theater Company: Beck Center for the Arts

Best Director: Scott Spence of Beck Center

Best High School Team: St. Edward

Best Entrepreneur: Matt Fish of Melt

Best Jewelry Maker: Erika Originals

Best Restaurant, Best Sandwich Shop, Best Taste of Cleveland & Best Local Food Champ: Melt Bar & Grilled

Best Restaurant for Romance: Pier W

Best New Restaurant: Deagan's Kitchen & Bar

Best Pizza: Angelo's Pizza

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Aladdin's Eatery

Best Health-Food Store: Nature's Bin

Best Locally Owned Hardware Shop: Lakewood Hardware

Best Chocolate Shop: Malley's Chocolates

Best Wine Shop: Rozi's Wine House

Best Bicycle Shop: Spin Bike Shop

Best Florist: Brennan's Floral Gift Shop

Best Hospital: Cleveland Clinic

Best Discount Store: Marc's

Best Sporting Good's Store: Geigers

Best Sports Bar: Winking Lizard

Best Beer Selection: Buckeye Beer Engine

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Council Cmte of the Whole


The Committee of the Whole will meet Monday, April 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM in the Jury Room of Lakewood City Hall, 12650 Detroit Avenue. The agenda is outlined below:

Administrative update regarding Clifton Boulevard Enhancement and General Discussion of State Budget Impact on City’s Budget – Mayor Summers.

April 4, 2011 Council Meeting Agenda (Procedural Review only)

Mary Louise Madigan, Chair


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011




Melissa Garrett

March 29, 2011

In recent months as construction drawings for the Clifton Enhancement Project were being further developed, it had become apparent to Lakewood officials that the realities of engineering coupled with federal and state regulations would make it impossible to build the wide median imagined by the 2005 Clifton Streetscape Study. “In fact”, said Mayor Summers, “we were facing something more like a five foot wide concrete median without any landscaping, nothing like our residents envisioned.”

Over the course of the past year, the City of Lakewood, in partnership with Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and the City of Cleveland, has been developing engineering plans to implement a range of enhancements for Clifton Boulevard. In January 2010, Richard L. Bowen Associates was awarded the work through a competitive proposal process facilitated by RTA. The development of construction drawings was funded by federal dollars at no cost to the participating cities and the process was kicked off last April with a series of community meeting.

The original plan was a strategy for Lakewood to bring the Boulevard back to Clifton and implement the community’s vision established with the Clifton Streetscape Plan. “Hundreds of volunteer hour went into that process of developing a thoughtful vision for Clifton,” said Mayor Summers. The crux of the plan was a wide landscaped median that would accommodate trees and public art while providing traffic calming and make crossing Clifton safer for pedestrians.

Out of respect to the hard work and expectations of so many citizens during the planning process and in light of financial demands facing the city, the Mayor publically announced that Lakewood would no longer be participating in the project as it stood. The local match required of Lakewood for the $8 million enhancement project would have been $486,000.

Last week, the Mayor and his staff met with officials from RTA to discuss the possibility of a revised project that would not include a median but focus on the transit related upgrades to Clifton. As a result, Lakewood has agreed in principle to a refined scope that will not alter the roadway and respects recent investments made in the corridor such as the new asphalt, decorative traffic signals and ADA ramps.

These enhancements will focus on transit elements like brick bus stations that will include GPS arrival monitors as well as pedestrian safety video-phone and traffic signal synchronization, better spacing of stops and new bicycle and pedestrian amenities.

If the new version of the project is approved later this spring by Transportation Review Advisory Council, a division of Ohio Department of Transportation, the Lakewood local investment will be capped at $50,000 for nearly $950,000 of improvements. The City will redirect other existing transportation dollars to fund its share. “This is an opportunity to improve Clifton with a much smaller investment while keeping our options open for future projects funded by state and federal dollars,” said Summers.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Mayor Summers: Heideloff Estate

March 18, 2011

Dear Neighbors –

As you may be aware, over the past several weeks the future of the Heideloff estate at 13474 Edgewater Drive has been discussed and debated. In late January, the administration was approached with a concept from Abode Living to redevelop the two and a half acre, bank owned property for single-family homes.

Though only a rudimentary concept and nothing more, I felt it important to ask the neighbors to weigh in on this early discussion, and held a public forum on February 24th at Emerson Elementary. At that meeting, City staff outlined the history of redevelopment in the neighborhood over the last one hundred years, the rights afforded to all property owners under zoning law and the public process required for development in Lakewood. Andrew Brickman from Abode Living then presented their concept for fourteen bungalow style houses that proposed first floor living and targeted the empty nest and senior populations.

On March 4th, I and my staff met with the developer to recap and have a frank conversation about the proposal and whether it met the long term best interests of our city. Acknowledging that the comments we received at and since the forum were varied and wide ranging, we shared with Abode that as a community and an administration we’ve generally come to consensus on two key points.

The first is that the type of housing proposed is significantly lacking in Lakewood’s market and it will be necessary to cultivate opportunities to fill that need. The second is that the proposed density of fourteen houses was not only beyond what the zoning permitted but more importantly would not be compatible with the neighborhood context.

Our obligation as local government is to always be good stewards of the community’s health and well being. Part of that responsibility involves evaluating development opportunities as they arise by consistently balancing the property rights of an owner, neighborhood stability, good design, market demands, population changes and public safety.

We learned yesterday that Abode Living, upon reflection of our discussion, has decided that the economics of the project will not work with fewer than fourteen houses and will no longer be pursuing this opportunity. I appreciate Abode’s consideration and effort and would welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. Brickman in the future.

I would like to thank the residents of Lakewood and our community partners who contributed to the discussion with thoughtful comments and ideas.


Mayor Mike Summers

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chas Geiger: Charges Dropped

Dear Friends of LakewoodAlive - many of you are aware of the unimaginable experience that Chas and Patti Geiger have lived through during the past two weeks.

Throughout their lives, Chas and Patti have been widely known as model citizens and public servants. Seeing someone so beloved and so well respected falsely and publicly accused of wrongdoing has been a shattering experience for the Geiger family and the Lakewood community.

Below is a news release confirming police acknowledgement of Chas' innocence.

Please join us in a shared effort to maintain the stellar reputation so well-earned by three generations of Geigers in Lakewood. Please forward this news to your friends and neighbors.

We love you and are proud of you, Chas and Patti!


CONTACT: William “Bud” Doyle



(Cleveland) A series of charges brought by Cleveland Police against Lakewood businessman and former Lakewood Board of Education President Charles Geiger have been dropped, according to police sources.

“The investigating detective informed me that, after further study of video tape evidence, they have concluded that there was a faulty identification of Geiger and that any further proceedings against him are going nowhere, “said Geiger’s attorney, William “Bud” Doyle.

“The car in question was not Geiger’s car.”

Police indicated they were continuing the investigation in another direction and that they had sent the video evidence in question to NASA for possible further enhancement.

Geiger, who owns several retail stores in the area, is well-known community supporter serving the Lakewood Board of Education for 22 years, and also serves on the Lakewood Hospital Foundation Board and the Board of LakewoodAlive.


  1. Cleveland Police have dropped all charges against W. Charles Geiger.

  1. A faulty identification of Geiger was the basis for the charges; the police, after detailed examination of videotape evidence, have concluded that the car involved in the incident was not Geiger’s car.

  1. The investigating detective in the case informed Geiger’s attorney, William Doyle, that all charges are dropped and that the department will continue to search for the car and the individual involved in the incident.


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Public Works Meeting - Pools


The Public Works Committee will meet Monday, March 14, 2011 at 6:30PM in the Jury Room of Lakewood City Hall, 12650 Detroit Avenue. The agenda is as follows

1) A report on 2010 municipal pool operations and deliberation about actions the City should consider to keep our pools operating optimally in the near and longer-term future.

2) An update on City and Recreation Department coordination on activities beyond pool operation and maintenance.

Thomas R. Bullock III, Chair

Mary Louise Madigan, Ryan Nowlin; Members


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Friday, March 4, 2011

"Startup Lakewood" Initiative Announced

Startup Lakewood Helps Bring New Ideas to Life
New program launches to help Lakewood residents catalyze business ideas

The City of Lakewood announced today the launch of Startup Lakewood, a new initiative geared to help Lakewood residents bring their business ideas to life. Startup Lakewood will be overseen by Mike Belsito.

“Startup Lakewood is an important new program,” stated Mayor Michael P. Summers. “Our future economic vitality depends on our ability to nurture and grow entrepreneurial enterprises. Startup Lakewood is a valuable resource to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable business opportunity.”

Startup Lakewood will produce programming and events that will be open to all Lakewood residents, but will be especially beneficial to those that have ideas for new products or businesses, yet need additional support and resources to bring their idea to life.

“Often times, the hardest part of starting a business is getting started,” says Mike Belsito, Startup Lakewood’s Director of Ideation. “Our goal is to help individuals move along their ideas and provide them with resources that can be helpful in getting started.”

Startup Lakewood will launch with two specific components:

Ideation Sessions: Focused brainstorm sessions where Lakewood residents can openly discuss their ideas with Belsito, special guests, and other soon-to-be entrepreneurs. These sessions will take place bi-weekly at varying locations, and are free and open to the public. Ideation Sessions will be held on March 10 and March 17 at 6:00 PM at Bela Dubby, 13321 Madison Avenue.

Startup U: Programming relevant to soon-to-be entrepreneurs looking to turn ideas into real businesses. Each Startup U session will be hosted by Belsito and will feature various entrepreneurial stakeholders. These programs will take place monthly at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design and are free and open to the public. The first Startup U will be held on Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 PM at Virginia Marti, 11724 Detroit Avenue. The topic will be Resources for New Entrepreneurs.

Startup Lakewood is a collaborative effort between the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, LakewoodAlive and Pillars of Lakewood.

For more information on Startup Lakewood, visit

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