Council President's Report

It is great to have another newspaper in town to help keep the residents informed on the events and happenings in our fine city. I offer a friendly Brook Park welcome to the Observer.

I want to report to you that City Council experienced an extremely busy first half of the year. As promised, your City Council is working harder for your benefit. We changed the schedule for meetings from being held twice per month to now holding meetings at least four times per month. There are difficult and important decisions that need to be made in today’s economy and your City Council is spending more time looking at the issues that impact your daily life.

I am glad to report that the spirited debates we have at our meetings prove to be beneficial to the community. Working through the different ideas on the City Budget, Council was able to reduce the Mayor’s original operational budget by more than $643,000 yet still find ways to fund programs to benefit the community.

Here are some of the 2016 Budget Highlights:

Grants provided to 3 Brook Park Companies                        Phase 4 of Smith Road Sanitary

Upgrade of Office Equipment                                                Snow Road Improvement

2016 Roads program for 3 streets                              2016 Sidewalk Program

Reinstatement of a Senior Grass Cutting program    Summer Lunches for families of Berea Schools

Collaboration with Berea to provide Railroad Quiet Zone

Home Maintenance Assistance Program designed to assist at least 20 families

Major equipment and facility improvements for Police, Fire, Service, Building and Recreation

Staying within the budget, City Council provided the mayor and his administration with the tools to improve and restore our City and we will provide additional assistance needed to restore the programs to help our residents.

There is a form of communication that has been an extreme disappointment to me and that would be the Mayor's Forum on the city website. Rather than use this valuable communication  tool to keep the residents informed on new city programs and some of the changes we will be making this year, the mayor has chosen to use the video presentation as an opportunity to bash and berate those of us on City Council that raise questions. Rather than get into the back and forth quibbling that has stifled this city for too long, many of us on City Council have chosen to ignore his rants and instead, we try to focus on the problems the City is facing. It is my hope that if we ignore his poor behavior long enough he will join with us in solving problems, rather than constantly trying to pick a fight. Many times I hear the mayor complain about City Council being divided and dysfunctional when it is really his actions that are the cause of the problems. Brook Park would be better served if he knew how to work with City Council instead of launching personal attacks on our members.

The mayor and his supporters complain about Council’s agenda. I do not understand this concern since I believe Council’s agenda to be the improvement of Brook Park in the following manner:

More police on the streets and a safer community        Restoring Senior services

Increasing Home Maintenance enforcement                 More Street repairs

Opposing the privatization of ambulance                     Opposing privatization of garbage pick-up

Rebuilding our recreation program                             Treat everyone with respect during meetings

More transparency in government                             Control spending and eliminate wasteful spending

I am at a loss to understand why the mayor refuses to cooperate with City Council to meet these goals.

I want to close this report by wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Summer. I hope to see you around town and please feel free to contact me with any concerns and/or compliments. If you like something we are doing, or you feel we need to be doing something differently, please give me a call at 216-433-1375 or email me at You can also keep informed on City Council activities by logging on to our web site at

Jim Astorino

Currently President of City Council

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Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 7:30 PM, 07.07.2016