Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Part III: Mayor Williams answers readers' questions

Q. We the COP while on Patrol make note of street lights out, traffic signals out, etc. We report the outages to the proper maintenance group by phone, email, fax. In the case of the traffic signal lights, Norwood Public Works does the repairs very quickly. But when it comes to street lights not working, we report the outages to Duke Energy Repair by fax and phone. The problem is nothing gets repaired; The last contact I had with Duke Repair I was told, "The street light repairs are Norwood Problem.” When did the street lights become the responsibility of Norwood Public Works?

A. Duke Energy is responsible for street lights, even in our parks, because we pay for them. The City is responsible for traffic control lights. Either Public Works makes the repairs or we contract for them.

Q. Can anything be done to decrease the amount of pan-handling and begging for money around Surrey Square. I have had a few come to my front door also. Is there an ordinance in place?

A. Any individual who comes on your property to solicit money must get a Solicitor’s Permit from the City in advance. Nonprofits like the Girl Scouts and religious groups are exempt; they can raise money door-to-door for charitable and religious causes. Call the Norwood Police Dept. immediately if the individual soliciting money is not with a legitimate charity or religious organization, and they will remove the solicitor from the premises.

Norwood police officers will get panhandlers who become aggressive and/or intimidating to move on, but the police must operate within individuals’ rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. If you are approached by an aggressive panhandler at Surrey Square, call 911 immediately if you have a cell phone or alert Kroger or one of the other retailers to make the call.

Q. I attended a public meeting on Oct. 28 discussing the Natural Gas Aggregation Program that is coming to Norwood. My understanding is that the company providing the gas is going to try to lock us into a low price for at least a year. What is the status of this program and when is it scheduled to go into effect?

A. I have signed the Natural Gas Aggregation Program ordinance City Council passed at their February 23rd meeting. The original ordinance stated the City would do part of the work. The version City Council passed amended that section so the City is not responsible for any of the work. Now the ordinance goes to PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio) for approval. It will become effective later this year, but I can’t give an exact date for when the approval process will be complete.

Q. from CBN: What do you hope to accomplish in the last two years of your current term in office?

A. I want to make sure we don’t go into debt and find ourselves back where we were a few years ago. Our financial stability is number one. We have a reserve, and I hope we don’t have to use it. Our situation is not doom and gloom, but we have to be careful about spending.

At the close of the interview, Mayor Williams had some words of praise our hometown newspaper Norwood Star and its publishers, the hardworking Clark family. He sees the monthly publication as a real asset and hopes community members are showing appreciation, too, with subscriptions to the paper.