Here are my notes from last night’s meetings:
Fire Department Annual Report – In 2015, the Fire Department responded to 3,823 calls, which was a 3.44% increase over 2014. Of those calls, 74 were fires, and 2,776 were medical-related. The Department delivered to council its annual report last night. The report really drove home how elite our Department is. For instance, the average response time for calls is 4 minutes and 22 seconds. That’s just incredible. And, in those 74 fires, the Department was able to preserve 95.7% of the property value (i.e., only 4.3% of the property value was lost). This statistic speaks to the response time and the skill level of our firefighters.
School Board Lease – The School Board and Council held a joint meeting and toured City Hall, in particular the part of the building that is proposed to be leased to the School District. (I took video of the tour, which residents were able to watch live–as it happened–on my Facebook page. You can view the recording here.) After the tour, all five Board members expressed that they were unhappy with the economic terms of the lease. And a majority of the Board did not think the space was suitable for any amount of rent whatsoever. I asked Board President David Licate to come to a consensus as to whether the Board wants to move forward with additional negotiations. If not, this issue will be deep-sixed.
Next Meeting – Council will meet next on June 23.
Here are my notes from last night’s council meeting…
Live video – We experimented with using Facebook Live at last night’s meeting. For those of you who are not tech-savvy, Facebook Live allows someone to provide a live video feed, from their phone, to the rest of the Internet. With the help of a skilled videographer (my wife), we captured several videos (click here to see them). Hundreds of people who follow my Facebook page watched the meeting as it happened, in real time. If you click here, you can “like” my Facebook page, and you’ll be notified (if you want) when live videos are happening in the future.
Police Annual Report – One of these videos was Lt. Snively, who provided the Stow Police Department’s annual report. You can click the link above to watch his video. You can click here to view the actual written report. Here are some key takeaways:
- 2015 saw a 13% increase in calls for service, and a 13% increase in serious crimes. The department arrests about 5 people per day on average.
- The busiest month for the department was May. The busiest day of the week was Friday. The busiest time of the day was 4 p.m.
- There was a 17% increase in traffic crashes. In 2015, the department issued 2,960 traffic citations and gave 5,109 warnings.
- There was a stunning 83% increase in juvenile crimes, and a 40% increase in the caseload for our diversion program, Stow Youth Services.
- There were 20 serious crimes per 1,000 Stow residents. In Akron, that number is 53; Barberton, 41; Kent, 20; and Hudson, 6.
School Lease – I held a committee meeting to discuss the school lease. It is apparent that there will be an opposition by at least 2 council members and at least 2 school board members. For example, Brian Lowdermilk said he wants a shorter term of the lease (10 years, instead of 20), shorter termination period (6 months, instead of 2 years), and he wants an estimated cost of the school district’s build-out of the City Hall wing. In the coming weeks, we will attempt to organize a tour of the space subject to the potential lease, for a joint meeting of the council and school board. Overall, we are still in the information-gathering process, and I think it’s too early to say whether the lease will be adopted by either party.
Memorial Day – I wish everyone a happy Memorial Day weekend. On Monday, I will emcee the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery across from Holy Family. It begins at 10:15 a.m. It will be my first time as emcee, and I will be honored to do so. Memorial Day is always a time for me, personally, to remember my friend Joe Tomci who gave his life in service of our country.
Next Meeting – Council will meet next on June 9.