Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, October 31, 2011

NPD officers nab, arrest Huntington bank robber this morning

We just received the following press release from Lt. Williams:

Today at 9:44 a.m., The Huntington Bank in Rookwood Pavilion was robbed. The suspect entered the bank and passed a note to the teller demanding money and provided her with a sandwich baggie to put the money in. The teller put the money in the baggie and the suspect fled the scene. After a description was put out on the suspect, Norwood Officer Tim Brown, spotted a subject matching that description walking on Smith Rd and followed him to an address on Duck Creek Rd, not far from the scene of the robbery. Officers followed up there and arrested Matthew Easter M/W, 31 for Aggravated Robbery. Easter was cooperative and admitted to the crime to investigators.

Lt. Tom Williams
Norwood Police Department

August/Sept. Report for Keep Our Property Safe Program

In August and September 2011 the KOPS (Police, Building & Property Maintenance, Fire and Health Departments visited the following twelve problem properties that were selected by the Norwood Police Department as habitual offenders:

5297 Montgomery Rd.
2614 Norwood Ave.
1823 Mills Ave.
2012 Delaware Ave.
2005 Delaware Ave.
3822 Floral Ave.
3820 Floral Ave.
1933 Hudson Ave.
2558 Duck Creek
3744 Elsmere Ave.
2123 Park Ave.
4925 Forest Ave.

These inspections resulted in all properties being issued orders, with two properties being issued orders of intent to vacate.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gerry Stoker, Building Commissioner
City of Norwood

November 8 City Council meeting canceled

The Norwood City Council meeting for November 8, 2011 has been canceled. The next regularly scheduled Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, November 22.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Steve Thornbury: status of Millcrest Parks improvement ordinance

Yesterday, Councilperson Steve Thornbury, who serves on the Parks and Recreation Committee, sent us the guest blog directly below with this note attached: “There’s been some confusion about the Council meeting this past Tuesday regarding the Millcrest Parks improvements. I’d like to summit the attached blog entry to keep folks up-to-date on the status of the ordinance.”

As many people know and have read about on this blog, the City of Norwood has been working with residents in the neighborhood of Upper Millcrest Park on proposals to improve various aspects of the both Upper and Lower Millcrest Parks. The timing couldn’t have been better. Council is currently engaged in the application process for what is known as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a three-year grant program managed by Hamilton County that can be used for any number of purposes, including park renovation and upgrade.

After two public hearings and a meeting of the Committee of the Whole to discuss which projects to include in the grant request, it was decided to submit a request for $50,000 per year for the next three years to be put toward the general category of “Parks.” The request also included grant requests for $15,000 per year for the Norwood Service League, $10,000 per year for the Norwood Health Department’s school dental program, $20,000 per year for “Streetscapes” that are supervised by the Norwood Tree Board, $100,000 per year for street improvements and $55,000 for potential clearance and demolition of derelict properties.

There are, of course, no guarantees of the City receiving all the funds we’re requesting.

Eager to get the ball rolling on grant-funded projects, an ordinance was submitted at the most recent Norwood City Council meeting (October 24, 2011) that sought approval for, as the ordinance caption states:


Although the cover letter that Council requires be part of an ordinance submission was not available, I assume the ordinance was submitted by the Administration.

When presented with the ordinance, Council voted 4 to 3 to send the ordinance to the Parks and Playground Committee where it will be considered by Committee Chair John Mumper and committee members Joe Sanker and myself, Steve Thornbury. While in Committee, Council members will be able to review the funding schedule, the proposed equipment purchases and shelter upgrades and discuss other opportunities for using the available grant money to improve our city’s many parks and playgrounds.

The schedule for the Parks and Playground Committee meeting has not yet been posted but if you are interested in learning the time and place, please contact the Clerk of Council’s office at 458-4594.

Steve Thornbury
Norwood City Council, Ward 2

Last weekend for 2011 Computer & TV Recycling Drop-off Event

Identify theft brochures available at City Hall

From the Clerk of Council’s Office…

Following his Identify Theft Presentation Tuesday evening (see 10/25/11 blog below), County Commissioner Greg Hartmann left behind several handouts and brochures that can picked up at the Tax Office on the 1st floor of City Hall during regular business hours, or you can visit the county’s website for more information.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A little good news for the City’s budget

During Tuesday night’s council meeting Mayor Williams announced that Norwood’s insurance broker Horan Associates was able to negotiate remarkably low changes in health care costs for 2012. For City retirees’ health care costs, the increase will be 3%, and for City employees, the costs will not rise all. Nationally, health care costs are rising 10-15% annually.

Rabies in wildlife continues to pose risks to pets, people

Norwood Health Commissioner Brad King sent us the press release below to share with our readers:

Columbus, OH – The Ohio Department of Health wants to remind Ohioans that rabies in wildlife continues to pose a risk to pets and people. Rabies is almost always 100 percent fatal once a person or animal begins to show symptoms. Protecting pets by keeping them current on their rabies vaccine is an important buffer between wildlife rabies and human exposure. Indoor animals should also be vaccinated as rabid bats are frequently discovered by pets in the home.

Over the past two decades, ODH laboratories have confirmed two dogs and seven cats with rabies. The most recent dog report occurred on Oct. 13 when it was confirmed that a Siberian Husky from Twinsburg Ohio in Summit County was infected with rabies. The dog has since died and was not current on its rabies vaccination.

“Although this is only the second confirmed dog case in Ohio since 1997, the risk of household pets coming into contact with wild animals is ever present,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Smith, who oversees the ODH Zoonotic Disease Program. “We highly recommend that all domestic pets be kept up to date on vaccinations.”

So far this year, 43 animals have been confirmed rabid in Ohio (32 bats, 5 raccoons, 5 skunks, and one dog). With the exception of bats, all were infected with the raccoon variant. ODH continues to work with local health departments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services to contain raccoon rabies and prevent further spread.

In addition to vaccinating your pets for rabies, there are several things Ohioans can do to protect themselves and their pets.

• Avoid wildlife and animals you do not know.
• Teach your children that they should tell you if they were bitten or scratched by an animal.
• Call your doctor and the local health department, if bitten.
• Contact your veterinarian if your pet was exposed to a bat, raccoon, skunk, or other wild carnivore.

It is important to remember that cats, as well as dogs, should be vaccinated for rabies. According to the latest published data by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cats continue to be the number one domestic animal confirmed with rabies: 300 cats confirmed in 2009 compared to 81 dogs.

Learn more on the Rabies page of the ODH website: You can also contact the Norwood Health Department with any questions at 458-4600.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just in: Norwood Rec night at Angilo’s Pizza tonight

Tonight is Norwood Recreation night from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Angilo's Pizza at 2649 Robertson Ave., phone # 631-4300. Norwood Rec will get 10% of what you spend, so tell them you support Norwood Recreation when you dine in or call in your order and pick it up.

Invitation to “Color Your Block” art project at Xavier

Guest blog by Molly Robertshaw

You don’t need to be an artist to make your mark on a community-wide mural coming to Xavier’s campus this Saturday, October 29th. “Color Your Block” is a collaborative, public art project led by Xavier professor Jonathan Gibson and his students that will come to life on the back of the McGrath Health & Wellness Center overlooking the NEXUS Community Garden (1714 Cleneay Ave.). From 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Norwood community members are invited to work alongside Evanston residents and Xavier students to come ‘paint a block’, or two, or three as part of this colorful mural. Participants are also welcome to help “put NEXUS to sleep” for the season during this same timeframe. We hope to complete the mural and put the garden to rest all by 1:00 p.m., so come ready to contribute what you’re able! All supplies and food will be provided to volunteers. Contact Molly at 745-3560 or with questions.

Molly Robertshaw, M.S.W.
Assistant Director, Service & Justice
Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice
Xavier University

Community Celebration at Upper Millcrest Park this Sunday

The Friends of Upper Millcrest Park, a group of neighbors in West Norwood, will be hosting a community celebration in the Upper Millcrest Park on Sunday, October 30 from 12:30- 2:30 p.m.

The event will include lunch (while it lasts), pumpkin decorating, games and an opportunity to see preliminary master plan drawings for the long term improvement of the park. The drawings come as a result of community input on desired uses for the park, a series of meetings with the park board and recreation department employees and input from Norwood’s city council and Mayor Williams.

The “Friends” group began meeting with the City of Norwood and planning for park improvements in early 2011. Park improvements were envisioned in three stages. Over the summer, a garden was planted in the abandoned tennis courts, a new picnic area was created, and simple landscaping improvements were implemented. These improvements were a collaborative effort between residents of the neighborhood and the city government.

Phase II was a community input phase. A successful community meeting was held on August 11, 2011 at the Norwood Community Center. Twenty nine neighborhood stakeholders gathered and expressed desires for the space, including a paved walking path, safe access to Lower Millcrest Park, handicapped accessibility, and play equipment for both pre-schoolers and older children. Residents also supported plans to connect the park to the neighborhood and Xavier University by turning adjacent rail lines into a trail. Architect Ben Eilerman, a member of the “Friends” group, took the input and created a preliminary master plan.

Phase III will be the implementation of the plan, creating a park unlike any other in Norwood. The Friends group has advocated for their cause to local media, city council and reached out to additional neighbors. They have also formed a collaborative relationship with Xavier University’s Community Building Institute. Noting Norwood’s challenged city budget, they have asked the city to allocate “Community Development Block Grant” funding over the next three year cycle to see this project become a reality. Current cost estimates are $500,000.

Additional financial support will be sought from private donors, local foundations and Norwood based corporations. In response to these advocacy efforts Mayor Williams has publicly committed $40,000 from existing community development funds for immediate improvements.

For more info please email

Mary Ellen Mitchell
Friends of Upper Millcrest Park

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dangers of Identity Theft presentation at City Hall tonight

We just opened an email from Clerk of Council's office with an announcement about an extremely useful presentation for residents about identity theft:

WHEN: Tonight, October 25 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Council Chambers, 4645 Montgomery Road

WHAT: According to the FBI, identity theft is the fastest-growing white collar crime. From seniors to students to small businesses, almost any population can be targets of identity theft. Worse still, identity theft can be committed any number of ways, including mail, telephone and online schemes – which makes the crime that much harder to detect and prevent.

PRESENTERS: Commissioner Greg Hartmann, President of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, and Leslie Kish of Better Business Bureau

About the Hamilton County Coalition to Stop Fraud, Scams & Abuse
The Hamilton County Coalition to Stop Fraud, Scams & Abuse is a partnership of social service agencies, business leaders, nonprofits and local law enforcement united to pro-actively educate Hamilton County residents on the dangers of consumer fraud, identity theft and scams in our community. The Coalition developed a Comprehensive Community Plan to help consumers, created a website and conducts monthly community outreach events to educate citizens in our community to detect, prevent and report fraud and scams.

Proposed Projects for Community Block Grant

A Public Hearing on Community Block Grant Proposed Projects is scheduled during tonight’s 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting in Council Chambers. Clerk of Council Casey Brown sent us the following communication from Committee of the Whole Chairperson Donna Laake to all members of COW, which we failed to publish days ago. Our apologies to everyone.

COW met and finalized the requests for the next 3-year funding cycle. Remember that we are likely to get $200,000 per year at best, perhaps less. We decided to go with projects that had been funded in the past and that were dependent on CDBGF funds. The request will be the same each year for 3 yearsas follows:

  1. Norwood Youth Dental Program $10,000
  2. Norwood Service League $15,000
  3. Streets/Curbs/Sidewalks $100,000
  4. Park Improvements $50,000
  5. Clearance/Demolition $55,000
While there were several worthy additional projects, there simply isn't funding to do everything, and we wanted to make sure that the above projects had a good chance of funding.

Donna Laake, Chair
Committee of the Whole

Casey Brown added for our readers, “You will notice that the numbers add up to more than $200k. Council decided to ask for a little more than the $200K; if the funding is cut off at $200K they would reduce the "Clearance/Demolition" category and not the others in order of importance.”

Pedestrian injured by vehicle at Sherman and Montgomery Rd.

At approximately 8:15 a.m. yesterday, a pedestrian was struck near the intersection of Sherman Ave and the east side of Montgomery Rd. near the McDonald’s at Surrey Square. The man was apparently attempting to cross the street. The pedestrian, a male white in his sixties, sustained serious head injuries. He was transported to University Hospital by the Norwood Fire Department Medic Unit where he is currently being treated. The vehicle involved in the accident was a white van and did remain at the scene. The accident is under investigation by the Major Accident Team. Further details will be released as they become available.

Lt. Tom Williams
Norwood Police Dept.

10/26/11 UPDATE: Lt. Williams says the pedestrian that was struck has been identified as Lawrence Daley Male White 66 years old. His last known address was downtown Cincinnati. His condition remains stable at University Hospital. The accident remains under investigation by the Norwood Police Department Major Accident Team.

WLWT News 5 airing Issue 2 debate today

At 7:00 p.m. today, Channel 5 is airing an Issue 2 debate moderated by NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd. Channel 5 is soliciting viewer questions for the hour-long debate. Questions can be emailed to or added to the comments on station’s Facebook page.

State Senator Keith Faber of Building a Better Ohio will be defending Issue 2, and former Ohio Congressman Dennis Eckart of We are Ohio will be opposing it. Click here for Ballotpedia's detailed description of the issue and the ballot language.

3 injured when car hits Robertson Ave. home

Fox 19 reports that yesterday morning around 10:30 a.m., Ward 3 candidate Joseph Geers’ wife and 3-year-old son Joseph were placing campaign lit on the front porch of a Robertson Ave. home when a car suddenly drove through the yard and crashed into the front of the home. According to neighbor Tracy Napier, the mother and child were pinned in by the car. The driver had to be cut out of the car, and a building inspector called to the scene to assess possible structural damage to the home. The home’s occupant was not injured.

Joseph Geers tells us he and his wife rode in the ambulance to Children’s Hospital where their son was treated and released with scrapes and bruises. Even though little Joseph looks like he was actually hit by the car, he was far more concerned about the fact that his “Geers” campaign t-shirt had anti-freeze on it, which ate through it and had to be thrown away. He added, “At that point, we knew he was starting to feel better!”

Tracy Napier told Fox 19 that people often speed on Robertson Ave. at 60 and 70 miles per hour, and we recall our City officials talking about the problem at a council meeting or two. Like everyone else, we’re relieved the Geers family members were spared serious injuries or worse (the driver’s injuries are unknown), but the speeding problem on Robertson Ave. needs to come to an immediate stop. What are the best ways for the City to slow down the traffic?

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 Leaf Collection Schedule

Pete Tepe at Public Works gave us the leaf picker schedule through 12/1/11. After each date is the garbage route day the leaf picker will be on your street. There may be some variance at times from the schedule, but this is basically what Public Works will follow:

24 - Thursday route
25 - Thursday route
26 - Friday route
27 - Monday route
28 - Monday route
31 - Tuesday route

1 - Wednesday route
2 - Tuesday route
3 - Tuesday route
4 - Tuesday route
7 - Wednesday route
8 - Thursday route
9 - Friday route
10 - Monday route
11 - OFF - Veterans Day
14 - Tuesday route
15 - Tuesday route
16 - Tuesday route
17 - Tuesday route
18 - Wednesday route
21 - Wednesday route
22 - Thursday route
23 - Thursday route
24 & 25 - OFF - Thanksgiving
28 - Tuesday route
29 - Friday route
30 - Friday route

1 - Tuesday

Flu shot clinics this week at the Norwood Health Dept.

Following is this week’s schedule for flu shot clinics at NHD:

Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

The discounted cost for the flu vaccine is $20 at the time of the visit. If you have health insurance, we may be able to bill for the vaccine. However, you may want to check with your insurance company to make sure you’ve met your deductible and that your co-pay does not exceed $20. Otherwise, you may wind up being billed for the full price of $25 for the vaccine. If there are any questions, please contact NHD at 458-4600.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Friday, October 28
Glow in the Dark Window Clings
Make your own window cling! Makes an excellent Halloween decoration!
4:00 p.m., Ages 6-12

Saturday, October 29
Understanding Social Security Benefits
Learn about Social Security basics, how to maximize benefits, and advance planning options. Medicare will also be discussed.
1:00 p.m.
Presented by Premier Living

Friday, October 21, 2011

Protect Your ID Shred Day tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 22, you can take up to 5 boxes of the following documents for shredding to UC Blue Ash College, 9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, OH 45232. The location is the former Raymond Walters College Parking, and the hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The following document types will be accepted:
  1. Bank statements and credit card statements
  2. Canceled checks/voided checks
  3. Credit and debit card receipts
  4. Expired passports and ID cards
  5. Insurance and tax documents
  6. Legal documents and mail with address labels
  7. Medical and dental records
  8. Pay stubs
  9. Utility bills
You can also bring old cell phones to be donated to the 911 cell phone bank. Items that are prohibited: binders, plastic & pre-shredded paper.

Please note: Limit 5 boxes per vehicle.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Carl Lindner’s last drive through Norwood tomorrow morning

Mayor Tom Williams told us he received an important message for the Norwood community last evening from a spokesperson for Carl Lindner’s family. The family invites everyone in the Norwood community to help them celebrate Mr. Lindner’s life and his Norwood roots when a small funeral procession accompanies his hearse for a final drive through the City tomorrow morning, Friday, starting at approximately 10:00 - 10:15 a.m. Accompanying the hearse will be the old Lindner milk truck that appears in the Norwood Parade each year and 2-3 vehicles with Mr. Lindner’s family members.

The procession route through Norwood will start on the south end of Montgomery Rd. at Dana Avenue, pass the dairy on Montgomery Rd., turn left on Hopkins and go by the Masonic temple to a right on Allison, and then a right on Wanda back to north on Montgomery Rd. past City Hall.

The family and Mayor Williams hope we can all help spread the word about this celebration.

Needed: volunteer driver at Norwood Service League

A volunteer driver with a pickup truck is needed for Norwood Service League’s Food Closet as soon as possible. 8-10 hours a week for weekday mornings. The driver will need to pick up commodities, deliver them to NSL site and then unload them. S/he will possibly pick up donations from various locations as needed during NSL's holiday assistance season in November and December. Must be dependable and of good character. Please call Misty at 924-1200.”

Lupe A. González Hoyt
Executive Director
Norwood Service League
2071 Lawrence Avenue
Norwood, OH 45212

Halloween in the ’wood

Halloween at Lindner Park

Starting at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, 10/22/11, Norwood Recreation is hosting its annual Halloween at Lindner Park on Cypress Way. The Rec. office tells us the costume contest with surprise prizes starts at 6:30 p.m.. Then there’s a walk along the very scary Haunted Trail and other fun activities. But be forewarned, we understand the trail gets scarier and scarier the later it gets, so don‘t start too late for the wee ones.

Halloween night Trick-or-Treat
Norwood City Council has established 6:00 -8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 31 as this year’s citywide Trick-or-Treat hours.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Norwood Amnesty for unpaid fines underway

Starting on Monday, October 17th through Monday October 31st, 2011, the City of Norwood is having an amnesty period for any unpaid fines through the Norwood Clerk of Courts. During this period, any legally issued citation in Norwood through Norwood Magistrate Court may be paid at the current payout amount established by the Clerk of Court. This includes parking citations, moving violations, and minor misdemeanor citations. This does not include any charge that required a mandatory initial court appearance. All warrants, bench warrants, and doubling requirements on qualifying charges will be waived.

Individuals who have had their driver’s license forfeited must pay the forfeiture fee as required by the State of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Anyone wanting to participate must appear in person to the Norwood Clerk of Courts between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. If fines are not paid for parking citations, a registration block will be placed on your vehicle and you will not be able to register it. For unpaid moving violations, a forfeiture of your driver’s license may be imposed through the Bureau of Motor vehicles. For more information, please contact the Clerk of Courts at (513) 458-4535.

Lt. Tom Williams
(513) 458-4545

Norwood wins school’s first boys’ soccer division title

Norwood athletic director JD Foust posted the following announcement on the Cincinnati Enquirer website:

Norwood Boys Soccer wins the 2011 FAVC Championship. This is the first boys soccer championship in school history. The boys had a great Senior core of 10 Seniors that led the team to the championship. The Seniors are: Justin Schleben, Matt Davis, Donovan Brown, Ryan Ho, Max Rosiles, Scotty Reno, James Crocker, Gabe McAdow, Casey Jones, and Tyler Wise. Head Coach Don Jackson (2nd Year as Head Coach) received the FAVC West Coach of the Year. The team record was 13-2-1 and FAVC 6-1.

This Championship means a great deal to the School and Community. Being the smallest school in the conference and able to compete day in and day out with bigger schools, shows the pride and dedication our kids have. There is no better way to leave the FAVC than on top!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mayor Tom Williams: Carl Lindner was my friend

Aware that he knew Carl Lindner, Jr., we asked Mayor Williams to share a few of his recollections of and experiences with this well known Norwood native. He told us that Mr. Lindner began calling him on his cell phone after he was elected mayor 8 years ago. One of the interesting things about this was Mr. Lindner had never requested the cell phone number. When Mayor Williams later asked Mr. Lindner’s assistant how his cell phone number was acquired, his inquiry was met with only a smile.

In addition to large unsoliticited contributions Mr. Lindner made to maintain Lindner Park and purchase Norwood Police radios, he also provided funds to improve the basketball and tennis courts at Waterworks Park as well as the bathrooms and lighting. There is now a bronze statue of 2 children, the Carl and Edith Lindner statue, on the left of the driveway into the park.

One day as the park improvements were about to get underway, Mayor Williams met Mr. Lindner and his assistant at Waterworks Park to discuss the plans. Nearby was a little 9-year-old girl who asked if she could approach Mr. Lindner because she wanted to thank him for the computers he donated to her school. The mayor emphasized that Mr. Lindner cared deeply about children and education.

Although Mr. Lindner’s gifts to our community were substantial, Mayor Williams told us (and we’ve heard him state this publicly) that there was a not a single occasion he ever approached Mr. Lindner for a donation. Mr. Lindner, he said, knew the needs because he stayed very informed about Norwood and even made a habit of driving through our city at the end of his workdays. He was sometimes spotted at Frisch’s on Montgomery Rd. Mayor Williams added that despite frequent media stories about Mr. Lindner, he knew him to be an extremely private individual. Many of his donations to Norwood causes and organizations are not known to the public.

Mayor Williams closed by saying that he is going to miss his friend. And how did he know Carl Lindner was his friend? “Because he told me.”

Norwood native, financier Carl Lindner, Jr. passes away

The Cincinnati Enquirer and other local media are reporting that Norwood native Carl Lindner, Jr. died at Christ hospital yesterday after being transferred there from Jewish Hospital. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance from his Indian Hill home at about 3:30 a.m. because he was having trouble breathing and had a weak pulse.

Born in 1919, Carl Lindner dropped out of high school to help run his family’s Norwood milk and ice cream store. He and his brothers grew that business into United Dairy Farmers, a chain with more than 200 stores.

Lindner then moved beyond ice cream into financial interests in 1959, acquiring savings and loans and then moving into the insurance business in 1971. His corporate empire, American Financial Group, bought Chiquita Brands International in 1984. Lindner ran Chiquita until 2001. He is Chairman of Great American Insurance Company and was last seen at the dedication of the Great American Tower in January of this year.

Mr. Lindner never forgot his Norwood roots. He expressed his love and support of our city by making numerous financial gifts to various causes. We’re going to try to get a more complete list of his contributions, but we do know of a few. Several years ago, he paid for new Norwood Police radios after seeing a media report about the need, and he contributed a sizable amount of money to help maintain Lindner Park. He also made annual contributions to a local nonprofit that we were told he did not want publicized.

Click here for Channel 9’s story about Mr. Lindner, click for Channel 5’s coverage, and click here for the Business Courier's article.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Public Hearing on Community Development Block Grant

Public Hearing
Community Development Block Grant
for 2012, 2013, and 2014 funding cycle

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Time: 7:30 PM

Council Chambers
During the regular meeting of City Council.

On the agenda will be a public hearing regarding the City of Norwood’s Community Development Block Grant Application for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 funding cycle. The public hearing will allow an opportunity for citizens to comment on proposed CDBG projects.

Committee of the Whole meeting today

City Council's Committee of the Whole will meet today, October 17, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss proposed projects for the Community Development Block Grant funding.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Tuesday, October 18
National Chemistry Week Demonstration
See cool chemistry tricks!!
6:00 p.m., All ages
Presented by Xavier University

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finance Committee meeting next Tuesday

City Council's Finance Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, October 18, in Council Chambers to discuss city finances.

Public Hearing for Community Development Block Grant

Public Hearing

Community Development Block Grant

for 2012, 2013, and 2014 funding cycle

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Time: 7:30 PM

Council Chambers
During the regular meeting of City Council.

On the agenda will be a public hearing regarding the City of Norwood’s Community Development Block Grant Application for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 funding cycle. The public hearing will allow an opportunity for citizens to comment on proposed CDBG projects.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Candidate blog series, Tom Williams, Mayor (D)

The basis for an election is quite simple. First, as an incumbent, what is your record? Why should the voters re-elect you and what will you accomplish if re-elected?

I have been in office during some of the most challenging financial times. During these times my message has always been the same, “work together and stay positive.” As Mayor of Norwood, I have worked with the Treasurer, Auditor, Law Director, Finance Committee and the bargaining units to put the City on the right course.

As tough as the financial position has been, we have taken action to not only reduce our costs but we have also been able to bring in businesses worth $150,000,000.00 in new and expanding construction slated to begin. Examples are Rookwood Exchange, the new Urology Group building, Central Point on the Lateral (former Norco site), Norwood Professional Center, Liberty Dialysis, Davita Dialysis, Marshalls, AT&T in Surrey Square, Seek Research, Rheumatology Doctors’ Office on Norwood Avenue, Cinna Research, School Outfitters, Linden Point which includes Brown Macke College, SHP Architectural and Cumulus Radio Stations, and Mercy Health will be going to the Planning Commission soon.

I, as Mayor, must also explore options to improve our City with very little costs to the taxpayers. For example, we will be resurfacing Park Avenue including new curbs and water lines. The cost of this project is $1,000,000.00 but the City’s portion will only be $100,000.00. Payment for this project will take place in early 2012 in two installments not paid out of the General Fund.

In the area of building and property maintenance, we have removed 20 pieces of run down property that lowered the quality of life in your neighborhood. Our KOPS (Keeping Our Property Safe) program has been a huge success. We are also working with a group of landlords who came to us with their idea of “The Good Landlord Program.” This program was presented and discussed by the Council Committee of the Whole and was endorsed by the attending Council Members.

I have stated in the past that I would do everything necessary to have safe, clean streets. We will use every resource available not only to maintain but also to improve our quality of life. That includes building enforcement, law enforcement, fire service and public works.

Although, I would like to consider myself a compassionate person, I have no compassion for those who contribute nothing to our community and conduct themselves in a manner that disrupts our neighborhood and puts a drain on our City services.

It is hard to condense four years of service into one column, let alone eight years but I feel that I have covered several important issues.

If you decide that you want me here, I will be here for you.
In closing, I would like to state, as I have done in the past, that I will continue to serve you full time with the same passion I have had for the 44 years I have served this City.

Thomas F. Williams, Mayor

City of Norwood

Candidate blog series: Michael Gabbard, Mayor (R)

Gabbard for Mayor

Every day I am asked, “Why do you deserve my vote?”

Voting for Gabbard for Mayor is the vote YOU will want to make because;

· It is time for new Leadership, Vision and Direction.

· I have faithfully served this city, as a Councilman at Large, for 7+ years.

· I have taken strong stances and voted to represent the people,
And I will take that leadership to the Mayor’s Office.

· I will form a Mayor’s Budgetary Advisory Board.

I will seek out budgetary professionals & business leaders from our community to analysis the city budget, for advice, and to lend financial expertise to your city leaders.

· I will push for an AGGRESSIVE Economic Development Plan.

· I will develop and nurture a positive relationship with the other main entity in our city, the Norwood City School District.

· I will demand and promote an employee-friendly workplace for our city employees.

· I will focus on maintaining strong public services, with a strong emphasis on those that are community-strengthening services, such as the Senior Center, Recreation, Health and Norwood’s own social service agency the Norwood Service League.

· I will build relationships with our business owners and managers, so they can become a part of our community, not just an employer we collect taxes from.

· I will diligently work to make appropriate hires and appointments.

· I will represent ALL citizens of Norwood.

· I will work hard to return THE SHINE to the Gem of the Highlands.

No Promises just True Leadership

Michael Gabbard, Candidate for Mayor

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Celebrate: Norwood named one of 100 Best Communities for Young People again!

Competition Recognizes Norwood’s Efforts to Reduce High School Dropout Rates

Norwood has achieved national recognition for the second year in a row as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING for its initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.

Norwood, a two-time 100 Best winner, continues to make young people a priority by developing initiatives to reduce the dropout rate, support youth activism and offer a range of educational programs. Over the past decade, the community has increased its graduation rate by 13 percent and has focused students on post-graduate goals by filling the high school walls with college banners, photos of alumni who went to college and posters about post-secondary studies and careers.

Norwood schools are also committed to offering a range of services to students of all ages including a Freshman Academy to help ninth graders with the difficult transition to high school. Local schools are using a 21st Century Learning Grant to expand services—including 70 different clubs—to elementary, middle and high school students. The community also engages students to prevent bullying and teach tolerance. This year, students from the high schools Gay/Straight Alliance sponsored a Stop Hate marketing campaign.

“We are proud of Norwood for being named one of the America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best,” said Deb Robison, Family and Children First Coordinator. “This award recognizes the hard work of many community members that have dedicated their time to making a difference in the lives of our young people.”

“In a nation where 7,000 students drop out of high school every day, we hope Norwood’s initiatives inspire other communities across the nation to take action to solve the challenges facing their young people,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Norwood is especially deserving of this recognition due to their efforts to ensure that their young people graduate high school and go on to lead healthy, productive lives. Norwood refuses to let the challenges they face determine the future for their young people. Instead, they are helping their youth prosper and become contributing members of society.”

Today at noon EST, Kondracke will join America’s Promise Alliance Chair Alma Powell and ING Foundation President Rhonda Mims at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to officially announce the 100 winning communities in a live webcast.

Norwood will receive a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources.

First held in 2005, the 100 Best competition is one of the Alliance’s signature initiatives and is part of its Grad Nation campaign, which is a 10-year initiative to mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. The 100 Best honors communities large and small, rural and urban, that are making progress to help young people achieve their potential, which includes earning a high school diploma, securing a good job, and playing an active, productive role in America’s economic vitality.

All communities entering the 100 Best competition completed a rigorous application where they provided details on how their existing programs and initiatives help deliver the Five Promises—resources identified by the Alliance as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others. Applicants were also asked to describe how different sectors of their community work together to help children and families overcome challenges. Most importantly, communities were judged on the strength and innovation of their efforts and programs to help young people graduate from high school prepared for college and the 21st century workforce.

9/13/11 ADDENDUM: Click here for the Business Journal’s article about Norwood, and click here for Fox 19’s story.

Invitation to 100 Best Communities Watch Party today at NMS

WHAT: NORWOOD, OH has been selected as one of the America’s Promise Alliance 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING, a national competition to recognize local communities’ programs and initiatives aimed at supporting youth and ending the high school dropout crisis.

To celebrate this achievement, city officials, community members and students will hold a WATCH PARTY of the national announcement, which be The press release is under embargo until October 12, 2011. Students and community members have been advised that Norwood is a finalist for the 100 Best award as one of the nation’s top communities for children and youth.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 12 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Norwood Middle School auditorium, 2060 Sherman Avenue

WHY: Among the reasons Norwood, OH was selected a second year in a row as a 100 Best Community: Norwood continues to make young people a priority by developing initiatives to reduce the dropout rate, support youth activism and offer a range of educational programs. Over the past decade, the community has increased its graduation rate by 13 percent and has focused students on post-graduate goals by filling the high school walls with college banners, photos of alumni who went to college and posters about post-secondary studies and careers.

Norwood schools are also committed to offering a range of services to students of all ages including a Freshman Academy to help ninth graders with the difficult transition to high school. Local schools are using a 21st Century Learning Grant to expand services—including 70 different clubs—to elementary, middle and high school students. The community also engages students to prevent bullying and teach tolerance. This year, students from the high schools Gay/Straight Alliance sponsored a Stop Hate marketing campaign.

WHO: Participants might include:
· Mayor, city council and board of education
· School superintendent
· Civic group leaders
· Principals, teachers, parents and students

If you can't attend today's event, you can still watch the 100 Best presentation live webcast by clicking here.

Candidate blog series: Donna Laake, President of Council (R)

“Working for the Good of the City.” It’s much more than a campaign slogan. It’s been my way of life since moving to Norwood in 1975. From the Norwood Tree Board, Norwood Business and Professional Women’s Club, Norwood City Schools PTA/advisory councils and School Health Advisory Council to Norwood City Health Commissioner and current member of City Council, I have tried to serve this community that I love to the best of my ability.

I previously served on Norwood City Council from 1980 – 1983 as the representative of Ward 5, during some of the bleakest times financially in the City during the “Fiscal Emergency.” I was the first woman elected to office in Norwood and took that very seriously, wanting to make sure that I did my homework and could pave the way for other women to get involved in making our city better. I also served as Clerk of Council from 1986 – 1987.

Folks probably know me best as the former Health Commissioner at Norwood City Health Department. I began working at the health department in 1992 as an RN doing home visits, and eventually became the health commissioner in 1995. Upon my retirement in 2008, I knew that I needed to continue in another capacity to serve Norwood, so I ran for City Council Ward 3, winning with over 63% of the vote. I serve as Chair of the Committee of the Whole where issues affecting the entire city are discussed. I am a member of Law & Ordinance and Health & Safety Committees as well as the Clerk Pro Tem.

As a member of Council over the past 2 years, I have had to make some tough decisions regarding budgets, union contracts and city services. I did not back down from those tough decisions, despite being unpopular with some folks. I did what I thought was right for the citizens that I represented. I was pleased to hear from people throughout the city that they respected the hard stands that I had to take – it was what sustained me during that difficult time.

Two years ago, I said that citizens should hear from their Council person other than at election time and that we needed to do something to improve the condition of our rental properties, especially those with absentee landlords. During my tenure, residents of Ward 3 have received my news letter letting them know about issues that are important to them. I have also answered phone calls and emails and have spoken to many of you about problems in our neighborhoods. Many times, I have been able to solve those problems; other times it may not have been possible. I have also been an integral part of working with a group of good landlords to develop a proven program to assist in making our rental units more desirable, better maintained and filled with renters that will obey our laws and be a part of our community. Look for this new program to be presented to City Council in the upcoming months.

This year, I was asked to step up and run for President of Council. I accepted that challenge after receiving the support of Jane Grote, the current President of Council. When I think back to those who have served as President of Council - Bill Cosgrove, Ron Pennington, and Jane Grote – I am humbled to be asked to follow in their footsteps. Each has served with distinction and assured that Council meetings were run in an orderly and professional manner. I promise to do everything within my power to keep that tradition.

On a personal level, I have been married to Bob Laake, a lifelong Norwood resident, for over 39 years. We have two grown children who are both married: Kevin (Norwood class of 1995) and Rebecca (Norwood class of 1999). I am an active member of Holy Trinity Church and am employed part time as an RN/Injury Prevention Coordinator at a local hospital.

My only promise is this: to be PROFESSIONAL when representing you as President of Council. I ask for your vote in November to help me continue “working for the good of the city.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Candidate blog series: Jim Stith, City Auditor (R)

Hard Work and Common Sense is not just a slogan for me as Auditor for the City of Norwood. I am accustomed to providing excellent service to others through my many roles in the Southwestern Ohio community, of which I have been a part of for most of my life.

As Auditor for the City of Norwood I was first appointed in January 2008, and was then elected Auditor by Norwood’s residents in November 2009. By applying my values of Hard Work and Common Sense I have modernized the City’s financial systems and technologies, appointed a professional staff with accounting and technology experience and prepared and filed the financial reports for the years 2006 and 2007, which were past due when I took office.

For the first time since 2003, the City of Norwood’s Auditor’s office filed Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for 2008 and 2009, for which my staff and I received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). GFOA, a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals, presented the award to me as City Auditor for preparing the award-winning CAFR’s for 2008 and 2009. The 2010 CAFR, which has been given a clean audit by the State Auditor, is currently under review for the same award.

My professional experience doesn’t stop with the Auditor’s office. As a Physician Assistant, I practice Emergency Medicine with Premier Health Care Services, working locally at Mercy Fairfield Hospital’s Emergency Department. I am Board Certified in Surgery and Primary Care and have 17 years of service in Emergency Medicine. I attended the University of Cincinnati, Kettering College of Medical Arts and LaSalle High School in Cincinnati.

I am especially proud to have served my Country and community as an honorably discharged United States Marine, where I served in the infantry. I also served as cub master for Norwood Pack 9 and Assistant Scoutmaster for Norwood Troop 9; I am a Former Faithful Captain of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree SIJA, and a current Member of the Norwood Moose Lodge 301. My wife of 22 years, Jennifer, and I have lived in Norwood for 11 years with our 3 children.

Simply stated, I think the problem with the government is not that there are too few taxes; it is that there is too much spending. It is impossible to dig yourself out of the bottom of a hole with more spending; we must continue to demand a responsible budget and begin paying off our debt.

When re-elected, I will continue to work for transparency in government, as well as for a smaller, more effective government which is accountable to the people.

I am not a career politician or a government employee. I am a husband, a father, a hard worker, a community volunteer, and a servant in local public office. I know what it takes to meet a payroll, pay bills, and manage cash flow. My experience in the private sector also serves me well, and provides me with a strong sense of the relationship between government and private citizens.

With your help this November, I will continue to bring these values of Hard Work and Common Sense to the Norwood Auditor’s office.

Jim Stith, City Auditor Candidate

Candidate blog series: Lynn Ellis, City Auditor (I)

Write in Lynn Ellis for City Auditor, (I) Endorsed by the Norwood Democratic Party

Community Involvement Past and Present: Organized West Norwood Clean-up, West Norwood Neighborhood Assoc. past secretary and presently president, was Ohio Reads Tutor, past P.T.A., past Superintendent’s Advisory Board, Neighborhoods of Choice, the first West Norwood Police Substation, Finance/Business advisory Committee (Norwood City Schools), past Historical Society, Vice President Democratic Club, past secretary for the party.

Let me get right to the point, now is the time to work together for the good of Norwood. It is time for change in the Auditor’s office. Norwood is still facing challenging times. I won’t sugar coat the fact that Norwood is still having its share of financial problems. As your full time auditor, I will be highly accessible and hands-on to ensure accurate and timely information.

I will fight to keep city services intact! As your auditor, I will ensure that the numbers/information coming out of my office will be timely and accurate. Council, department heads and the administration cannot make the tough decisions with unreliable data. Inaccurate numbers would jeopardize services, jobs and ultimately the quality of life for Norwood Citizens.

I went to many budget meetings held by Finance and Audit Committee earlier this year. In the first meeting, the majority leaders of the Finance Committee talked about raising the earnings tax by .1%. During the question and answer period, I asked how much revenue would be generated by implementing .1% increase. None of the majority committee members or the auditor could answer that question. In fact, they asked Tim Molony (democrat) treasurer to answer the question. Why did he have to answer that question? He wasn’t proposing the idea. Why didn’t the (majority) committee members or the auditor do their research? As your auditor I will do my research and understand any changes and their impact on the city before I make them public.

I was also distressed to hear the cuts to services the majority proposed, cuts that would essentially have closed the health department, crippled the senior center, closed our coveted 911 system and the list went on and on. In my opinion, basically closing down our city. The cuts and additions to the budget flew in and out so quickly, that many, including myself, lost confidence in the revised budget numbers. This simply cannot happen! Data needs to be accurate to make the tough decisions that need to be made. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together for the good of our city. It’s time to set aside political ideology and fear. It’s time to do what is necessary to keep our city and its services intact. It is time for change, and I am committed to that change. As President Harry Truman said, “the buck stops here.” I am asking you to Write In Lynn Ellis for Norwood City Auditor on November the 8th.

Bio: Married to Kent for 24 years, 2 children Zachery 22yrs (2007 NHS and 2011 U.C. Grad.), Micah 16 yrs. 10th NHS
Graduated: ’78 NHS; later received Assoc. degree and BA; taught math (algebra, geometry, business math, accounting etc.), some English and Science in a private school

I am asking you to Write in Lynn Ellis on November the 8th!

Lynn Ellis, City Auditor Candidate

Monday, October 10, 2011

Candidate blog series: Jessica Wiles, Council at Large (D)

My name is Jessica (Green) Wiles and I am so excited about having this great opportunity to run for Council-at-Large for the City of Norwood. I am a Norwood High graduate and am so proud to be part of the future of this amazing city. Three generations of my family have been educated in the halls of the Norwood City School system. I know first hand what great teachers and students we have here in Norwood, and I am committed to supporting our schools. As a Registered Nurse at University Hospitals Emergency Department I work with Norwood's world class Firefighters and Police officers. I know what hard work they do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I am also committed to supporting our city's professional services. I believe in building on the strong community we already have and fighting to make sure we have a safe and clean neighborhood for our children to play and learn in.

To let you know a little about me I graduated from the Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science where I earned an Associates of Science in Nursing degree. I also graduated from the University of Cincinnati where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I am currently earning my Masters Degree at Xavier University in Health Care Law. I work as the Clinical Education Program Developer at UC Health University Hospital's Center for Emergency Care. My husband Kyle is a teacher at Williams Avenue Elementary and is also a Norwood High School graduate. We have 2 children, Hank and Cecilia and Hank is a proud Norwood View 6th grader.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the people of Norwood if elected to Council. Vote for Wiles on November 8th!

Jessica Wiles, Council at Large Candidate

Candidate blog series: Mary Yeager, Council at Large (R)

My name is Mary Yeager and I’m running for Norwood City Council At Large. We moved to Norwood in 2007 when my husband was offered a teaching position at Immaculate Conception Academy in Norwood. I’m 33 and have been a CPA for 8 years. My work history includes Big 4 to small firms including operating as a sole proprietor specializing in fraud examination. My husband is Travis and I have 5 beautiful children - Joseph, Rita, Cecilia, Theresa and Veronica.

This past June I became a Board Member of the Norwood Service League and am serving on the Finance Committee. The past four weeks I have been attending the Norwood Community Leadership Training Institute that runs through October. We have a great group and I look forward to working with them to help Norwood move forward. In addition I have joined the Norwood Chamber of Commerce and the Norwood Business & Professional Women’s Club.

In the fall of 2009, the Ohio Society of CPAs gave a report to then Governor Ted Strickland regarding recommendations on fixing the projected 8 billion budget deficit. Last summer I volunteered with the Ohio Society of CPAs on the Ohio Budget Reform Speaker's Bureau to learn and tell others about that report and other similar reports. Because of that work, I realized that I needed to become more involved with the City of Norwood. I began attending Council meetings, talking with people, and researching to learn more about Norwood's financial situation.

While Norwood's financial problems are a primary concern, I am also interested in the continued improvement/development of other services provided by the city, especially with having to raise a family here. Please contact me through email, facebook, phone, or letter mail. I would very much like to hear about what's most on the minds of other Norwoodians and ways to help Norwood become even better.

Mary Yeager, Council at Large Candidate

Candidate blog series: Andrew Clark, Council at Large (R)

I am excited to be running for a seat on Norwood City Council. I love the City of Norwood and know I can help take our city to the next level. Norwood needs a combination of all ages on city council. A combination of wisdom and experience with new and fresh ideas is powerful. I promise you that I will never be outworked.

Here are some facts about me you may want to know:
  1. I am a life long resident of Norwood and attended North Norwood for preschool, Sharpsburg for kindergarten through 5th grade, the middle school for 6th through 8th grade and the high school for 9th through 12th grade.
  2. I graduated from Miami University (Oxford, OH) with a B.A. in Political Science with a focus in English Literature and Creative Writing.
  3. In February of 2009, my mom, Vicki (life long resident and NHS graduate c/o 1977), and I started the Norwood Star Newspaper after the loss of the Norwood Times. I was writing for the Times when it shut down and knew Norwood needed a newspaper to keep the positive news flowing.
  4. In my professional life, I work at the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS. I hope to bring the tools I have learned about real estate to Norwood and help us attract more businesses to fill our vacant developments and new families to fill our vacant residences.
Here are more specific things I hope to do for Norwood:

Improve Norwood’s Reputation

My experience with the Norwood Star and at the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS has shown me the importance of positive press. I will work with the media to ensure that we receive more coverage on the good things rather than just the bad. I am willing to take on anyone who thinks Norwood is an awful community-even Tracy Jones!

Improve and Maintain Norwood’s Infrastructure

I will work to improve our roadways, parks, and public facilities to ensure that Norwood has better roadways and great facilities for us to use.

Ensure that Public Safety is a Top Priority
I will work to make Norwood the safest place it can be. I will work closely with the Norwood Police Department and the Norwood Citizens on Patrol to find ways to build upon the great work they are already doing and find new ways of making Norwood safe.

Help the School Board to Improve our Schools
As a NHS graduate, I was given a great education, which landed me in a top public university. I want to ensure that every child in Norwood has the same opportunity and better. We are on the right track and I want to see us get even better.

I am excited for what is in store for our community. We have a lot of great people here in Norwood who are willing to work hard to make our community better. I am excited to work with these great people. I promise I will never forget that I serve you and I will always be available by phone (706-6893) or email ( to address any concerns you have or any suggestions you have to make our city a better place.

Andrew Clark
Council at Large Candidate

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Norwood Health Commissioner Brad King sent us the following message to share with our readers:

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time to promote regular mammograms and increase early detection of breast cancer. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. Mammograms can help find breast cancer early when there is the best chance for treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women. The American Cancer Society recommends Yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40. However, individuals should talk with their doctor about their personal risk for breast cancer, especially if breast or ovarian cancer runs in your family. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often you should get a mammogram.

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Saturday, October 15

Unrecognized Signs of Teen Depression & Suicide
Parents often have difficulty telling the difference between normal teen angst and real depression. This program will help parents better recognize what behaviors may be a sign of teen depression & suicide.
1:00 p.m.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Candidate blog series: Josh Berkowitz, Council at Large (R)

Hello, I’m Josh Berkowitz, and I’m running for Council at Large. First, I’d like to thank Susan Knox and the other folks at CBN for giving me this opportunity to introduce myself and my campaign to you, and for all the other valuable work they do.

I’m new to Norwood politics. Indeed, this is my first run for office. However, that doesn’t mean that I lack the experience necessary to be an effective member of City Council. As an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the problems our communities face. I have previously served as an Assistant Prosecutor in Franklin County, in Columbus, Ohio and currently, in the office of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. I’ve prosecuted a wide variety of cases, from minor misdemeanors to very serious felonies, in Juvenile, Municipal, and Common Pleas Courts. Currently, I serve in Municipal Court, where I work with officers from each of Hamilton County’s 42 police agencies, including Norwood’s outstanding police force. I work with these officers every day, so I know the problems and criminals they face. I also work with the victims and witnesses of crime. I see the destruction that it causes our community. I also see how hard Norwood’s officers work to keep us all safe. We are very fortunate to have the police department that we do, and it’s important to remember that.

As a prosecutor, I do my part to make our neighborhoods safer places to live and work. This isn’t easy. We face many entrenched problems, and there are thousands of cases in court each day in Hamilton County, from Disorderly Conduct and traffic citations to Aggravated Murders. As a Trial Prosecutor, I make decisions regarding how each of the 50-60 cases per day on my docket is handled, and I must make them quickly. I have the responsibility of determining how best to prosecute these cases to ensure that the community is protected and that justice is served in each case. This responsibility demands a person willing to make tough decisions, like gauging the quality of evidence, credibility of witnesses, and the strength of arguments. I’m never going to please everyone affected by these cases, because no matter what happens in court, a crime has already been committed. Victims have been injured and harmed, and that can’t be changed. But justice can’t be done if those difficult decisions don’t get made.

It is this experience making the tough choices that will help me serve on City Council. Norwood needs leaders that are willing to address our problems squarely and openly. It will take many difficult decisions to help grow our economy and balance the budget. Government must become leaner and more efficient. Put simply, we must all do more with less. At the same time, it takes more than cuts to solve the city’s financial problems. City Council must work aggressively and creatively to promote economic development. We need to market the wonderful aspects of our city that we all know and value: the prime location, outstanding real estate, work force, and the rated “Excellent” schools. In the competitive world of real estate and business, Norwood has huge advantages over surrounding communities. I know, because my wife and I chose to buy our first home in Norwood early last year. We looked far and wide, throughout Hamilton County, and after many months of searching, we chose a house here to call home. City Council needs to lead in putting the word out that homeowners and small businessmen get more bang for their buck and better peace of mind in Norwood. We cannot simply wait for the economy to improve. We must take advantage of the opportunities now, to increase home and business ownership, and thereby expand our tax base, raising revenue and balancing the budget without raising taxes.

It won’t be easy to tackle the problems that Norwood faces. To be successful, we’ll need to work together, and we’ll need leaders willing to make tough decisions, and stand by them. I am willing to make those decisions, and to stand up for my community. That’s why I’m asking for your vote on November 8. Thank you.

Josh Berkowitz
Council at Large Candidate

Candidate blog series: Keith Moore, Council at Large (D)

Dear CBN Readers –

I’m Keith Moore, and I’m running for Council at Large. I’d like to thank the residents of Ward One for giving me the opportunity to represent them on Council.

I live on Carter with my wife Lisa and two sons, Nathan (almost 12) and Elijah (2 3/4). I work as a Legal Editor and Author. Before that, I practiced law in areas like criminal defense, employment discrimination, and landlord/tenant law. For several years, I was the Prosecutor in New Richmond’s Mayor’s Court. I have a BA in Political Science from Indiana University and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati.

I have been on Council since 2002, serving mainly on the Community Development Committee (several years as Chairman), the Law and Ordinance Committee (Chairman until 2010), and for the first several years, on the Finance Committee. We made a lot of progress during those years: working through the last financial crisis, addressing neighborhood problems, improving streets and infrastructure, attracting new and better businesses, etc.

After years of hard work moving the City from deficits to surplus and starting a real pay-as-you-go street program, the economy took our legs out from under us. Several new developments that were under discussion or active negotiation fell apart as the credit markets collapsed. Revenues have plummeted, putting our progress in jeopardy. These are tough times (again), but we can get through them.

Putting together a budget when there’s not enough money is hard. I spent years on the Finance Committee when we had huge shortfalls. We moved from $2 million shortfalls to surplus, while maintaining services. I believe we need people on Council who understand the budget, understand the process, and understand what it takes to get through tough times. We also need to stop focusing on “this year” and ignoring the future. Instead, we need long-term budget planning. My experience will be useful as we work through these tough times and position ourselves for the future.

Community Development
During my tenure on the Community Development Committee (part of that time as Chairman), I think Norwood made great strides forward. Some of the highlights of that time include:

■ CRA Tax Abatement for improvements to property and new construction (a big factor in Urology Group choosing Norwood for their new facility)
■ Comprehensive Housing Study (at no cost to Norwood)
■ Vacant Building License Program
■ Blighted property demolished
■ Linden Pointe
■ New Medical Buildings at the old MAB and on Sherman and Norwood
■ Seek Research’s first class rehab on Norwood Avenue

Now that we are in a troubled economy, the Committee should be working to position the city for the future. We should be exploring new ways to attract business and deal with foreclosed property, updating the Zoning Code, and marketing Norwood to businesses and homebuyers. Since the new Chairman took over, we have not addressed these issues. In fact, we hardly meet at all. The Committee needs to get back to work building a better Norwood, and I have something to offer in these endeavors.

For the first time in decades, we instituted a pay-as-you-go street maintenance and repair program. Until this year. As so often in the past, streets and infrastructure took a back seat to everything else. I believe we need a new approach. We need a separate revenue stream to pay for street repair that cannot be raided to cover other expenses. Over the summer, I requested that Council put a street levy on the ballot. As I recall the numbers, at a cost of $60 a year for a $100,000 house, we could put almost $800,000 into the streets every year.

Maybe you disagree. I thought you should at least get a chance to vote on the idea, but I couldn’t get enough votes to put it on the ballot this November. There may be be better alternatives, but we should no longer accept that the streets just get whatever’s left after everything else.

I welcome your comments and questions. You can reach me at

Thank you for the opportunity to work on making my community a better place.

Keith Moore
Council at Large Candidate

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Candidate blog series: John Mumper, Ward 4 (D)

To the Citizens of Norwood:

I am seeking re-election to the position of Norwood City Council for the Fourth Ward. I believe that I am best qualified to represent the Fourth Ward for the following reasons:
  1. I have demonstrated that I am a conservative who wants to maintain Norwood services.
  2. I have proven that I want to keep Norwood moving in the direction of providing our city with a reputation as a family-oriented and kid-friendly city.
  3. I encourage citizens to contact me with their complaints and problems and guarantee that I will respond in a timely manner.
  4. I have often proclaimed that being a member of Norwood City Council is "Living a Dream" that I had since I was a young man, (I must add that I never wanted to be a politician).
My background:
  1. My Mumper grandparents came to Norwood from Austria-Hungary and raised two sons, Jacob and John. I am the son of John and Alvina (Gilligan) Mumper.
  2. I attended Sts. Peter and Paul Grade School, Purcell High School,and graduated from Xavier University with a BSBA in Accounting. I have over 41 years of experience in accounting and finance, and I am currently working for Wayne Coates, Hamilton County Recorder, as his Finance Director.
  3. My wife, Kathy (Dettmer) and I have been married for forty-one years and have been blessed with six children and eleven grandchildren. Most of our family still resides in Norwood.
  4. I have been active in our community my entire life and enjoy meeting residents and talking with them about their visions for Norwood.

I believe that the following are signs that the City of Norwood is moving
  1. The Ohio Department of Education has rated our Norwood City Schools EXCELLENT. This is a distinction that we should be proud of. It is an honor that we deserve, and the recognition is long overdue.
  2. The Urology Group is constructing a 15 million dollar facility in Norwood, at the Northeast corner of Section Ave. and Joseph Sanker Blvd.
  3. Rookwood Partners is ready to begin construction on Rookwood Exchange, a 100 million encore to its Rookwood Commons and Pavilion developments in Norwood.
  4. Mercy Health Partners have committed to construct a 20 million dollar facility at the Northwest corner of Williams Avenue and Edwards Road.
These developments come to Norwood because of our location and because of our city services.

We must continue to provide excellent services if we want to continue to attract quality developers to our city. We need to build our tax base if we hope to survive.

During the present time we are suffering, as are you, from the downturn in the economy. We have been told by our Auditor that we can expect a 1.3 million dollar shortfall in revenue for 2012. We must adapt and devise ways to get through these times.

Let me know what you want for Norwood and what your dreams are for your city.Call me at 513-531-3863 or email me at

Please remember to vote on November 8, 2011.

I want to maintain city services and keep Norwood...Norwood.

John T. Mumper
Ward 4 Council Candidate

Candidate blog series: John Breadon, Ward 4 (R)

Moving “4” Forward is my focus as I run for council in Ward 4 in Norwood.

I’ve been a resident of Norwood, Ohio since birth, with a genuine love for the community. Being a part of this community throughout my life has been important to me. I have always strived to move forward, and to move others forward in the various community causes that I’ve been involved in. As a coach for Norwood High School and for the Norwood Community Center, I strive to instill teamwork and sportsmanship in the student athletes that I work with so they have the skills to move forward in their lives. As an enthusiastic Norwood High School Marching Band volunteer/dad, I’m able to get other parents to participate, as well as help the band organization move forward. As a Cub Scout leader/dad, I enjoyed helping instill the qualities and life skills that scouting provided into the lives of the youth. I also had a great time helping organize and run the Pinewood Derby and the Space Derby each year!

For over 15 years, I’ve owned and ran my small home improvement contracting business. I take seriously the responsibility of managing my client’s projects, from staying within their budget to providing quality work they can be proud of. Success and integrity in my business is important to me and moves others and myself forward.

My family is also important to me. My wife, Tonya, and I have been married for 20 years and we have two great sons, John and Justin. John is a 2010 graduate of Norwood High School, and Justin is currently a junior attending Norwood High School. My wife has also been a life-long resident of the city of Norwood.

Ward 4 needs to be represented on Council by a person that has a can-do attitude. I feel that someone with my experiences, knowledge, and energy would provide Ward 4 with the representation that it needs. I will push for infrastructure improvement, as well as safety and security improvements for Ward 4. If you are interested in someone who can bring to Ward 4 what it may be lacking, who has lived in the Norwood community since birth, who is raising their family in the community and in the Norwood City School system, and who will bring “New Energy” to Council, I am your candidate to vote for. It’s time to elect a councilperson that wants to improve our part of the city.

My pledge:

· To represent my neighbors
· To return your phone calls
· To answer your questions
· To represent your interests on Council
· “New Energy” for Council

John Breadon
Ward 4 Council Candidate