Founded February 16, 1954
Ernagene Sonenfield, Westlake City Council member, founded the Westlake League of Women Voters on February 16, 1954, with the help of Betty Frederick of the Lakewood League. Dues were $3.00 per year.
A North Olmsted unit began in the fall of 1955, and a joint League, Westlake/North Olmsted, began in 1964. Subsequently in the early part of the 21st century, Westlake/North Olmsted became the Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter of the LWV of Greater Cleveland.
Long time Leaguer Lois Van Auken recalls issues discussed in the l970’s included school levies, recreation, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, appointed judges and the county charter.
2015 issue endorsement:
The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the LWVGC recommends a YES vote on Issue #5 to approve the Westlake City Schools bond issue.
The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland endorses Issue 5, a 1-mill levy for the Westlake City Schools. We urge Westlake voters to vote “YES” on May 5 (or by absentee ballot before that date) to protect their already-substantial investment in the schools and to assure that technology needs and building repairs are adequately funded. The issue should bring in about $1.3 million per year, with an annual cost to homeowners of $35 per $100,000 of valuation.
This levy will provide Westlake schools with a dedicated funding stream to maintain buildings and equipment while continuing the high-quality academic programs the community expects. Its proceeds will be used for “permanent” expenditures—those with an expected useful life of five years or more. The school district’s operating funds from the state have been reduced $14.9 million over the past 10 years. Although the district has worked hard to overcome this loss, the juggling act should not be expected go on forever.
The City of Westlake now has the seventh lowest residential and the fifth lowest commercial property tax rate among 80 taxing districts within Cuyahoga County, according to Mayor Dennis Clough. Superintendent Geoff Palmer has noted that Westlake’s school taxes are the third lowest in Cuyahoga County and can be expected to remain so upon passage of this levy. Westlake is considered one of the most stable housing markets in the U.S. We believe Westlake’s citizens should declare solid support for its educational enterprise by approving Issue 5 on May 5.
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