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So what has my administration accomplished in the last 4 years?

Housing

  • Passed ordinances to monitor vacant and foreclosed properties. Brooklyn is now one of the lowest foreclosure and vacancy rates of all first-ring suburbs.
  • Taxable values of all properties have increased more than 13%
  • Obtained a $50,000 grant from the County to provide a Home Exterior Maintenance Grant Program with a $50,000 match by the city. Obtained a grant from the Cleveland Foundation to have a graduate student help run the program. Awarded over 36 residential properties money to perform renovation to their homes.
  • Held the first Home Improvement Fair to allow residents to meet vendors on discounted utility programs or ways to help them improve their home.
  • Worked to Habitat for Humanity take a vacant and tax foreclosed property to renovate and sell to a homeowner.

Communication & Safety Services

  • Increased community policing
  • Updated the City Website to make it easier to use.  More planned in 2020.  
  • Added electronic sign-ups at the Recreation Center for sports programs and credit card machines at all location where the city is doing business to make it easier for residents to use our services.  
  • Streamlined the Building Department permitting process. More planned in 2020. 
  • Obtained a grant from University Hospital to have employees learn CPR.
  • Created a Financial Transparency Tool on the city’s website for residents to understand how we are spending the city’s revenue.
  • Completed the city’s first public survey to prioritize services based on resident responses.
  • Introduced new community events like Fall Festival, Concerts in the Park, 55 plus events at night, and Doggie Swim Day.
  • Created a citywide emergency response plan.
  • Started Employee and Citizen of the Year.
  • Used shared services where it made sense – ACO with Parma Heights and moved regional Dispatch to Chagrin Valley for a better service.
  • Updated and modernized our city printed content and social media. 
  • Felony arrest (more serious crimes) have decreased over 20% since 2015. 
  • Increased safety training - active shooter training; added officers to the Regional Mobile Field Force Team; implemented Critical Incident Training, advanced Emergency driving training, and regional accident investigation team. 
  • New safety equipment - partnered to purchase forensic cell phone examination software and added body cameras.
  • Increased access to the Mayor's Office - Neighborhood meetings, office hours and coffee with the Mayor. 

Infrastructure & Technology

  • Increased road maintenance funding and put more money towards preventative maintenance.
    • Secured a $150,000 grant from the County to assist in Roadoan Road and Alley
  • Worked to fix some major sewer and sanitary issues because of our city’s outdated infrastructure. More to come in 2020. 
  • City-wide network upgrades
  • Upgraded the Building Department Software to allow inspectors to do in-field work onsite with tablets to avoid redundancy.
  • Implemented the MySeniorCenter kiosk to streamline active reporting for programs and open the city up to future grants using the use data more effectively.
    • This move helped secure a $50,000 grant from NOACA to purchase a new Senior Van.
  • Added Wifi to all municipal buildings.
  • Installed or replaced all security cameras throughout most of municipal buildings.

Financial Stability

  • Despite losing 21% of the city’s income tax when American Greetings left in 2017, the City now has 21% more in the General Fund since taking office. 
  • Cut General Fund Expenditures by 17% by re-negotiating outside service related contracts, reviewing department budget for areas of savings, and investing in technology to lower utility bills
    • Negotiated all union contracts in-house saving over $100,000 from the Law Department budget compared to 2015 prior to Mayor Gallagher taking office.
    • Upgraded Mayor’s Court Software not only saved $7,500 per year, but it allowed a more streamlined process with the Police Department.
    • Updated the City’s phone system to voiceover IP saving over $70,000 per year on the city’s telephone bills.
    • Upgraded the Finance Department’s Software streamlining the purchase order process and budgeting process
    • Implemented citywide electronic payroll.
    • Changed Ambulance billing vendor saving 1% on all billing.
    • Changed Emergency alerts system to the County program saving $20,000 per year
    • Negotiated with NEORSD to take over the Ridge Road sewer line saving over $500,000 in infrastructure improvements.
    • Re-negotiated Property & Casualty contract saving over $58,000 per year
    • Re-engaged employees about healthcare costs helping push educational programs and wellness fairs. We have achieved lower renewal rates as a result.
    • Shopped healthcare brokers saving over $8,000 per year.
    • Invested in mechanic equipment to bring basic car repairs in house saving money.  
    • Consolidated the purchase of office supplies and copier leases for all departments saving over $20,000 per year.
    • Increased sponsorship opportunities at the recreation and senior center. 
    • Re-negotiated the city’s billboard agreements obtaining a $250,000 signing bonus and guaranteed payment of $3,350,000 for 20 years. The previous contract was $871,175 so this is a substantial increase.
    • Leased the city’s closed and capped landfill which only permits very limited uses under state law. This earned the city a $360,000 payment in advance for a 20-year lease.
    • Passed ordinances to allow residents to rent the community center and fire station community room to produce rent.
    • Updated the Record Retention Policy which has not been done since 1996. This allowed the city to eliminated a yearly cost of $6,000 in document storage. In the process of scanning and releasing all electronic records for city council, planning, zoning, civil service and charter review. 
  • Advocating for Best Practices - Created a purchase policy, updated investment policy, created a debt policy and re-aligned funds to create more accountability for department directors.

Economic Development

  • Since taking office, new construction and renovations have increased by 292%.
  • American Greetings old property - 8 new businesses, over 1,700 committed employees and over $38 million in improvements. Welcome to Brooklyn - HKM; HMI; National Safety Apparel; RhinoSystems; Inogen; TRG Studo; Taylor Group and Medical Mutual. 
  • Others - Tap Packaging; Brooklyn Pointe; American Fleet Services; and Valley College
  • Investing in our City’s future
    • Purchased several parcels on the corner of Memphis and Tiedeman for future planning opportunities.
    • Purchased two parcels on the south end of Tiedeman near I-480
    • Secured Demolition money from the county to take down all structures acquired.
    • Secured a $50,000 grant to update the City’s Master Plan that has not been updated since 2006. This updated plan is in the process with the hope of being completed by the end of 2019 or early 2020. 

Parks & Green Space

  • Obtained over $700,000 in funding to perform stream restoration work in Memorial Park. This will not only help reduce flooding, it will help the area to become more naturalized which is better for the environment, the animals and scenery.
  • Secured a grant for a new playground in Memorial Park.
  • Pending grant for extended trails and footbridge.
  • Working towards bringing back Safety Town in 2020.
  • Secured a grant for over $41,000 to add 250 trees to the city’s tree canopy.
  • Created Solar Farm on capped landfill producing over $360,000 in rent. 

Implementing Best Employee Practices

  • Updated the City’s Employee Policy Manual which had not bee done since 2004.
  • Created a training schedule for public records, policy manual review, ethics and harassment training.
  • Created and implemented performance reviews for staff.

Why are you running again? My plans for the next 4 years!

  • A 2016 Municipal Building Assessment indicates we are in need of over $18 million in municipal building improvements. A new police station has been desperately needed for some time. We need to get moving on this investment immediately. We are in a good financial position to do this investment and the upgrade will help improve the safety services we are providing residents.
  • Finances – The City of Brooklyn has weathered the huge storm of the loss of American Greetings. Nevertheless, we need to remain diligent about continuing wise investments so we can maintain high quality services.
  • Construction & Streets – Our infrastructure, both on the ground and under, are just as important as our municipal buildings. We need to keep investing in this infrastructure at a high rate to retain and attract residents and businesses.
  • Greenscaping – Cleaning up Brooklyn is key to marketing. Do you want to live in a city where there is trash on the streets or where entrance ways and city corners look ragged? I will continue placing high emphasis on cleaning up this community as a place you are proud to call your home.
  • Home Renovation Program & Inspections – Keeping our housing stock strong is vital to a strong community. I will continue to place a high emphasis on this area.
  • Partnership – Great partnerships lead to great progress. Whether this is with the schools, churches or local hospitals, we need to maintain and increase these partnerships to provide high quality services at affordable rates.
  • Vacant or run down commercial space – continue advocating to business owners on ways or opportunities to improve or lease their privately owned spaces.

 



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