Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vibrant NEO 2040

You’re Invited to Create a More Vibrant, Resilient and Sustainable Northeast Ohio

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Weekend it’s Classic Cars, Great Music and Little League Bliss

Photo courtesy of the Chronicle Telegram.
The skies have cleared and the weather has cooled down a few degrees, and that means it’s going to be a great weekend to spend some time in downtown Elyria!  A couple of annual events have lined up again this year to provide all the entertainment you need on Sunday, July 28th.   Donna’s Diner Classic Car Show starts off the day and runs from noon until 3:00pm.  If you have a classic car you want to show off or just want to see some vintage Detroit steel, bring your friends and family downtown on Sunday.  Cars will be displayed on the street around Ely Square, and Donna’s Diner will have hot dogs, a 50/50 raffle, and music by Johnny Aces and the Wingmen.

At 6:00pm on Sunday, The Elyria Parks and Recreation Department is proud to bring you “Rockin’ in the Park,” a FREE CONCERT in The Square featuring Massillon-based band LA FLAVOUR in the Ely Park Gazebo, performing a medley of favorites from the 50’s, 60’s,  Disco Era and more!  Hershey’s Ice Cream will be on site to keep everyone well-fed and full of energy for the show. 

 Finally, we want to say congratulations to the Elyria East 11 and 12 year-old Little League Softball Allstars.  They won two big games on Thursday to secure a Regional Championship and a chance to play in the Little League World Series!  They have a few weeks off before heading to Portland, Oregon to play the host-team on August 8th.  Great job, girls!  The entire City of Elyria will be rooting for you!

PS- There will be some parking/driving changes downtown on Sunday to accommodate the car show.  Second Street between Court and West will run as a two-way street on the day of the show to give access to Ely Square, similar to the setup for the Apple Festival. Have a great weekend!     

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

UPDATED: ELYRIA FERAL CAT PROJECT LAUNCHED (and don't forget the Lake Erie Crushers Cash for Kitties Night on August 1!)

Elyria Feral Cat Project Launched

With an estimated 14,000 feral cats roaming the streets of Elyria, ignoring the problem is no longer an option.  To help address the growing issue, Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda, Lorain County Friendship Animal Protective League Director Greg Willey, and a group of compassionate neighborhood-level citizen volunteers are starting the Elyria Feral Cat Project. 

Members of the Elyria Feral Cat Project are dedicated to humanely controlling the growth of the feral cat population in the City of Elyria through a combination of educational programming and using the humane technique of Trap-Neuter-Return, often called TNR.   

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Sort 4 Elyria – that’s the new recycling and refuse collection campaign message that is being shared by a group of volunteer actors turned cable television celebrities as part of the City of Elyria’s efforts to encourage residents to follow four easy steps to proper recycling and refuse disposal.  Thanks to two grants totaling over $100,000 over 2012 and 2013 from the Lorain County Solid Waste District, the City of Elyria has launched an educational and awareness building campaign to help residents and other property owners make better choices about how to keep Elyria beautiful. 

The latest awareness building activity involved a casting call to all Elyrians to audition for a series of videos that are being aired on Cable Channel 12 and the City’s website.  The brain-child of Sanitation Manager Rodney Eye, the educational videos feature volunteer Elyria citizens playing out various scenarios that help demonstrate what one should do with regular garbage, recycling, compost and hazardous materials – and why making the right choices is so very important to both the environment and the city’s bottom line.  “I hear many of the same questions from residents talking to their neighbors or other family members about how to dispose of their waste and I just thought it would be more understandable and accepted by residents if they heard the message from their friends and neighbors,” explained Mr. Eye.  “We hope the videos will help answer unanswered questions and encourage residents to call at 322-3895 when they need more information or guidance.”

Mr. Eye worked with Scott Buzaleski, an administrative assistant in the Mayor’s office, and they wrote the scripts, advertised the auditions and auditioned citizens that participated in the casting calls.  Many thanks are extended to the following volunteer citizens for their hard work in developing these important Sort 4 Elyria videos: Andre Cato, Raven Hairston, Ronald Hairston, Crystal Morgan, Leah Weese, Alison Nowack and Pam Christian.  To view the new Sort 4 Elyria videos, go to www.cityofelyria.org, www.sort4elyria.com, or tune into Cable Channel 12. 

At the end of 2010, the City of Elyria switched over to the new waste and recycling program that we use today. With the introduction of different colored cans (black for garbage, green for recycling), and other changes related to the disposal of grass, brush, recyclables and hazardous waste, the city understands there is a need to offer more information about how to process these materials.  In addition to the new videos, the city is also making available through the grants brochures, informational coloring and activity books, new and more trash and recycling cans in public spaces, signage that encourages recycling, and last but no least – a new Mascot in Sir Sortsalot – the knight of recycling for Elyria that you now see in parades and at special events.  The information is being shared at community events, schools, civic and social organizations, and by mail.  A Sort 4 Elyria Speakers Bureau has also been developed so organizations can requests speakers to address their groups.  To book a speaker, call the Mayor’s Office at 326-1402.  

Sort 4 Elyria Videos

Click below to watch the Sort 4 Elyria videos explaining our waste and recycling program!

Monday, July 15, 2013

City of Elyria Is Doing Its Due Diligence on LifeCare Contract

By:  Holly C. Brinda, Mayor of Elyria
As Elyria’s Mayor, I have an obligation to make sure that you and any other person in the city have access to high quality, timely, affordable emergency medical care and transport to the hospital.  The city can choose to provide one or both of these services itself, or contract with a vendor.  In Elyria’s case, the city chose to contract with LifeCare Ambulance in 1996.  In a Voluntary Performance Audit by the State of Ohio this past year, it was discovered that the LifeCare Ambulance contract has not been monitored or updated in 17 years.  To help insure accountability, quality and affordability – my administration is currently working with LifeCare Ambulance, as we do with all of our vendors, to provide the best possible service to the citizens of Elyria.  (As part of our due diligence process as a new administration, all contracts in the city are being reviewed, re-negotiated or re-bid.)            
Here are the facts regarding the City of Elyria’s negotiations with LifeCare Ambulance:
  • The Brinda administration’s intent is to make a good faith effort to re-negotiate the emergency medical service contract with LifeCare Ambulance. If our negotiation efforts are successful, as we hope they will be, it will not be necessary to re-bid the contract to other outside vendors.   
  • We have requested LifeCare Ambulance provide information to demonstrate they are in compliance with the existing agreement.  To date, they have complied with a portion of our request. We have clarified what additional information is needed for us to assure the citizens of Elyria that we are properly executing the current agreement and we are protecting citizen rights related to service, timing and billing.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank LifeCare for their cooperation.
  • Further, the requested information will help the city (1) create provisions for an updated or new contract; and (2) assist the city in making good decisions about how to better use the fire department first responder program.  At the request of 9-1-1, we send first responder units comprised of trained EMT and paramedic firefighters, to assure that help arrives as quickly as possible in serious medical and trauma emergencies.
  • A total of 70 percent of the fire department’s workload is for first responder calls and to assist LifeCare Ambulance.  Given the current economic conditions, the city can no longer afford to respond to the majority of these first responder calls in costly fire trucks that consume large quantities of fuel and depreciate with each trip, not to mention the cost of medical supplies.  The city’s average annual cost for this service to the public is approximately $200,000.
  • It is the intent of the Brinda administration to begin to limit the use of the fire department first responder program to the most critical emergencies as a means of reducing costs. However, we can only do that once we are assured that LifeCare Ambulance has the capacity to handle the current work based on the data the city has requested and further adjustments to the contract. 
  • Despite what you have read in the newspaper, as Mayor I have never stated my intent is for the fire department to take over EMS from LifeCare.  I do not have enough data to make that determination. The State Auditor did recommend that the City of Elyria further explore providing fire-based EMS itself to potentially generate revenue from insurance collections to off-set costs in the fire department.  Similar cities have created revenue streams by doing this.  The Audit also recommended exploring three other options for EMS delivery.   While I agreed with the Auditor in May that the city should at least explore the costs and benefits of ALL four options outlined in the Audit, my administration has only explored the re-negotiation or re-bidding option because Elyria City Council has said it will not approve fire-based EMS.   
  • While the city Charter does give me the authority to make final determinations on contracts, I have and will continue to, invite members of Elyria City Council to the table to join in the discussions and provide their input relative to this matter. 
The Brinda administration values all of our vendors and the investments they have made in our city, including LifeCare.  That being said, as a vendor of the city, LifeCare has an obligation to work under the terms of the contract with the city – and the city has an obligation to monitor and update the contract.  As your new Mayor, I inherited the difficult situation of a contract that had not been properly monitored, enforced or   updated in 17 years.  As your agent, I have an obligation to remedy the situation to assure your rights are defined and enforced.  My intent is to be fair, balanced and honest in the process.  If you have questions or comments about this issue, please feel free to contact me directly (440) 326-1402.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kerstetter 5K Run and a Benefit for Feral Cats

This weekend is the annual Kerstetter 5K Run in the City of Elyria.   Officer James Kerstetter was a proud and valued member of the Elyria Police Department for 15 years before being killed in the line of duty on March 15, 2010. Join your fellow Elyrians as we remember one of our heroes and raise money for the Kerstetter 5K Scholarship fund. Go here for more information on the event.  Registration starts Saturday, July 13th at 7:00am and the race beings at 8:30.  Please come out and support our police officers and our community as we take a few more steps towards getting healthy!