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Westlake City Council President

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $23,520 (2018)Incumbent Michael F. Killeen, who has been Council president since 1996, is facing a challenge from Joe Kraft. Killeen has served on Council since 1978.
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    Michael F. Killeen See below

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    Joe Kraft Director / Financial Advisor

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Biographical Information

What should be done by the city regarding the ongoing deer problem? What is your personal view about handling the problem?

What is your opinion of Westlake's exploration of other water suppliers? What should be budgeted to handle related legal costs that could be incurred?

How should the city deal with increased traffic on Center Ridge Road because of the planned elementary school campus?

Does--or can--the city have any input on issues of parking and traffic flow within Crocker Park?

Age 73
Education Graduate St. Ignatius High School, BSBA Xavier University, MBA University of Michigan, Certified Public Accountant (retired)
Current occupation Consultant and/or Board member for both for profit and not for profit organizations. Responsibilities as Council President demand significant amounts of available time.
Qualifications for office My record since becoming President of Council of strong leadership and lasting commitment to help make Westlake a great city speaks for itself. I have the experience, knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to further enhance Westlake's success.
Campaign Phone (440) 331-1910
Email address For issues related to election campaign matters, please contact me thru my election website below. For non political city related matters, please use mkilleen@cityofwestlake.org
I support the state regulated culling of deer and donating the meat to charities. Continued coordination with surrounding communities is also beneficial since deer do not recognize city limits. With over 100 annual deer involved motor vehicle accidents, this is not just a nuisance but a safety issue.
The potential financial and other benefits to Westlake's residents far exceed the costs of pursuing options. We have top quality legal counsel who has agreed to fair hourly rates and meets frequently with the City to monitor status and agree on future work to be performed. Although the findings of both the trial and appeals courts have been very favorable to the City and, at this point, only one technical issue appears to be the only remaining matter, we cannot predict nor control the future actions of the other party.
The City and the School Board are working closely together to make sure necessary improvements, including street widening, new turning lanes and appropriate signalization, will be in place when the new school is opened. The specifics have and will continue to be discussed in open public meetings.
The Planning Commission and the City’s Planning and Engineering departments spent countless hours reviewing these areas with the Developer before each phase of construction began. As a direct result, there are approximately 6,000 parking spaces and a well thought out traffic plan within Crocker Park. Any on-site issues of significance arising, and I have not heard of any, would be discussed with the City, but are the responsibility of the Developer.
Age 52
Education BA Economics
Current occupation Financial Advisor / CFP
Qualifications for office 28 year career in Finance. Current Vice President Westlake Board of Education. Westlake Resident and Activist since 1999. Hattie Larlham Board Member. Milestones Autism Resources Board Member. Autism Speaks Cleveland Walk Co-Chair. Westlake-Bay Rotary Vice President. St Clarence Parish Leader.
Campaign Phone (440) 759-8274
Email address kraft.joseph@yahoo.com
Twitter @electjoekraft
I am a deer hunter and I am a conservationist. Hunters along with conservationists want a healthy ecosystem. Deer populations will continue to grow with an abundant food supply until that food supply disappears. Automobile accidents and near-accidents involving deer occur often and will continue as the deer population grows. Much has been researched and written: a reduction in deer population is good for the deer (a reduction in disease, for example) and good for people (in our city, less accidents and yard destruction). Research has proven that methods like contraception or trapping-and-moving is not as effective nor economical as culling. The city should expand its culling program in numbers and geography. We must think "out-of-our-current-box" on this one as the deer situation is getting progressively worse. We must move forward with a better plan.
We live in a vibrant and gifted City with relatively low taxes providing us with high quality services at an excellent value. As we look to the future and improve, we should demand as much and more from utilities that provide products and services for our City and Citizens. I have a favorable opinion of Westlake's exploration of other water suppliers. Competition in any industry will bring lower costs. Competition will bring innovation, better products and better service. It is important to work with a supplier that will work with and understand Westlake as a complex client that has infrastructure demands and repairs that are interrelated with our water needs - our roads , for example. We must coordinate our infrastructure "updates" and repairs and our utility providers must follow our lead. We do not want our citizens to pay more than they have to. Many questions surround the idea of exploring other water suppliers: Will the water quality be as good or better? Will service ever be interrupted by cold weather or an algal bloom? How will this new source affect the scaling in current infrastructure? Is it safe? What testing has been done? Can I see the results? All questions and concerns must be answered clearly. All appropriate testing and reporting will be shared and communicated. One of the reasons for such a change is to save money. Costs, including legal costs, must be vigorously vetted. If there is no cost improvement, the entire plan will be in question.
The city should "deal with" increased traffic on Center Ridge Road resulting from the planned elementary school campus by continuing a good relationship with the schools. One of the reasons I ran and was elected to the Westlake Board of Education was to improve relationships: with Citizens, Families, OAPSE, Teachers, City Officials, Business. Relationships have improved and we must continue on that path of improvement less we fall behind. A good relationship means good communication. Good communication with the schools means understanding the goals, objectives, opinions of the schools and how those fit into the complete city plan and outlook. I will continue to reach out to citizens, neighbors, city officials, school officials as I have done while on School Board. Understanding the point of view of all stakeholders allows for a proper plan and the communication that must accompany it. Such communication has lead to the Schools' plan to have a quarter mile of queue on the grounds of the new school; an innovative traffic pattern; restricted bus traffic; restricted parent car traffic; City traffic lights; road widening. Like all plans, once implemented, continual monitoring and improvements must always be happening. It will keep Westlake a great City.
The City has input on issues within Crocker Park. Certainly on issues of parking and traffic flow; yet I would expand that to our citizens safety concerns. I support a concept of a Westlake Welcome Center at Crocker Park; a place where visitors can get to know our City and what it is all about. Such a center could also be a place where our safety forces can have a hub: a place where auxiliary police can keep their bicycles; a place where safety personnel can take a break; a place where safety forces can operate from and, from which, can be made available. Such a concept is another way to look forward and to plan best for our citizens as well as our visitors.

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