It is not often when we find an opportunity to praise some of our local politicians. Most are either party hacks or spineless and it is often a combination of both.
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough and North Olmsted Mayor Thomas O'Grady are one step closer from freeing their residents from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's tyrannical control over single largest unregulated utility negatively affecting 1.5 million people in four counties -Cleveland Water Department.
From the PD --
Discontent with Cleveland water service has North Olmsted and Westlake thinking of buying their water from a Lorain County source.
North Olmsted Mayor Thomas O'Grady said the cities are ready to start on the second phase of a study to set up a water district. North Olmsted has requested $36 million in federal stimulus money to build the system.
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough said the system could be financed without stimulus money, mainly because buying water from Avon Lake would be much cheaper than from Cleveland.
O'Grady said North Olmsted residents are frustrated by the Cleveland department. "We're not getting the service our taxpayers deserve," he said. He listed among complaints: slow emergency response, fights over bills and rate increases. More...
Mayor Clough has been the one Mayor not afraid to speak out about the failings of Cleveland Water Dept. It is nice to see O'Grady at least appear to be in support of removing the North Olmsted residents from being continually victimized by the incompetence and monopoly of CWD.
Other municipalities serviced by Cleveland Water Dept. would love to be from under their control, but due to logistics and existing infrastructure are unable too.
It should be noted that Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland, who was defeated in her bid for County Commissioner, also had a chance to be part of this study. Sutherland, never the one to be a free thinker, chose not to be involved in this study. In fact, she stated she would just wait and see what happened in the above study. While Sutherland deserves credit for working hard on her campaign, she apparently lacks leadership qualities.
So until more area leaders like Clough & O'Grady start doing what is right for the residents by challenging the Gestapo-like control of Cleveland Water Dept. - any hope of true regionalism is just empty talk by empty headed politicians and the hacks at the Plain Dealer.