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Importance of Communication Stressed at Block Captain Meeting

Lakewood's block club program helps keep residents, city officials informed.

Importance of Communication Stressed at Block Captain Meeting

There are 23 ways to communicate.

That was part of the message Mayor Mike Summers expressed Tuesday night at the block captain's meeting, one of the more successful channels of communication for the city. The program's latest meeting, organized by Mike Tuttle, focused primarily on home maintenance and nuisance issues.

The neighborhood officers representing wards in Lakewood were in attendance. Officer Matt Wintrick is new to Ward 3, taking over for Kevin Fischer, who was recently promoted. Lieutenant Gary M. Sprague was introduced – he is assuming the role of Lieutenant Brian Joyce, who recently retired. Sprague will head the neighborhood policing efforts and work with Mike Tuttle on the block clubs.

Michael Fleenor of the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) started the meeting with a presentation that outlined the services offered by the Cleveland Restoration Society and provided advice on subjects such as roof maintenance, wood cladding, window repair and porch repair. The CRS is also happy to recommend a contractor suited for an older home and offers free technical advice.

Summers thanked everyone for their leadership – "it’s important” he said – then opened the floor for questions, which included the use of outdoor fireplaces, parking, speeding and loud cars, traffic lights and patterns on Detroit Avenue near Mars, and recycling.

Summers stressed the importance of effective communication and said that his administration was using a variety of channels to get information out. He recommended the city’s website ( http://onelakewood.com/) and mentioned that the city is also using Facebook and other social media to broadcast messages.

One of the tools on the city’s site that Summers recommended is the “ Report a Problem” tool, which can be used to report problems ranging from tall grass and weeds to graffiti. Summers also stressed the importance of reporting problems or nuisance properties to the city. “We want to know, and we may already know, about the nuisance property," he said. "But your information can help us solve the problem.”

Waterbury resident Marianne Monahan shared her frustrations and suggestions for the east end of Lakewood. She said that businesses and residences, particularly corner properties need to take extra measures to improve curb appeal. Monahan said she has heard some people have a negative perception of the east end of Lakewood, and she would like to see that change. She suggested that better promotion of events on the east end might help change the perception.

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