LORAIN — Voters could see a parks levy on the November ballot.
Council passed a resolution Monday, allowing the city to get the measure certified by the County Auditor. Another resolution would need to be passed to put the issue on the ballot. It is looking at either a 1-mill or ﾽ-mill property tax levy, depending on the revenue generated.
Mayor Joe Koziura said he and Safety/Service Director Dan Given are talking to Police Chief Cel Rivera concerning a recent spike in violence — with a shooting Sunday afternoon at Central Park — and are looking at solutions and trying to address the city’s parks.
“I get more and more complaints from everybody ‘the kids have no place to play, our parks are in terrible shape.’ Well, this is the chance to put our money where our mouth is,” he said.
The levy would fund capital improvements and maintenance, not salaries, Koziura said.
Council members were largely in support of the issue.
Beth Henley, D-Ward 1, said she was pleased to see the issue go to the voters.
“We hear all the time about the parks and what poor condition they’re in,” she said. “Right now there are a lot of people volunteering, we’ve got people that open up the bathrooms at Century Park, volunteer to do that, clean them, people have been out in my ward cleaning up parks, removing graffiti, mulching, edging, cutting grass. We need this; we need this for our kids. They have to have a place to go, and these kids are our future.”
Law Director Pat Riley noted there are between 52 and 54 parks in the city, and his office has the location and legal standing of each on file, following a call for a deep-dive into the issue by Mary Springowksi, D-at large.
Pride flag at City Hall?
Resident Josh Garcia requested Council approval for an LGBTQ pride flag displayed at City Hall.
While some council members agreed with his request, Riley clarified the issue is not up to Council, as the building and grounds are controlled by the Safety/Service Director.
Angel Arroyo, D-Ward 6, said he personally didn’t care whether or not the flag was there, but said the LGBTQ community has been attacked “just as much as any other nationality.
“I’ve seen the persecution that is personally put on my brother and my family and he’s openly lived that way, so I’ll support him and anybody that wants to live that way, let it be that you live with your partner, let it be that you’re African American, let it be that you’re Latino, it’s a group of people that have been picked on and I’ll stand with them.
Koziura said he personally felt City Hall didn’t need any other flags, but it is no reflection on the group itself. He suggested placing a flag at Black River Landing, alongside the NAACP flag.
“My only concern would be is once we put up a flag for any worthwhile group, you might have 72 other groups that are going to want the same thing,” he said.
Following the meeting, Garcia said he plans to pursue the issue further, posting later on his Facebook page that he will be writing another letter to Council. Garcia ran for Council-at large in May and for the U.S. House of Representatives 9th Congressional District against Marcy Kaptur in May 2018.
Monday was Tony Dimacchia, D-at large, first day on Council, having been appointed to Koziura’s unexpired term by the city’s Democratic Central Committee last week. He is uncontested for the seat in the general election.
The Lorain Board of Education will vote to replace Dimacchia, who served most recently as their vice president.
The next regular Council meeting is 6 p.m. July 15. There is a Federal Programs committee slated for 6 p.m. Monday; a Police, Fire and Legislative committee is 6 p.m. July 22; and a Street/Utilities committee meeting for 6 p.m. July 29.