Mayor’s Report: March 8th, 2021
GOLF MANOR (3/8/2021) — Submitted by Mayor Stefan Densmore
COVID Update: On 03/04/2021, Governor DeWine held a Statewide address where he announced the criteria for the removal of all COVID-19 public health orders. When the State achieves a rate of 50 cases per 100,000 residents and maintains this rate for two weeks; all public health orders will be removed. As of 03/03/2021, Ohio has 179 cases per 100K; this is down from 445 on 02/03/2021 and 731 on 12/03/2020.
Women’s History Month. This month is Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month is designated as an educational endeavor to increase awareness not just of the contributions but also the unique experiences of women in our history.
Women’s History Month is officially recognized in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day (March 8th). International Women’s Day was first designated to commemorate women successfully championing their right to vote (e.g., New Zealand 1893, South Australia 1894, Soviet Russia 1917, Sweden 1919, the United States 1920, Canada 1929), but is now more so a commemoration of the right to fair treatment with dignity in all one’s self determined endeavors. I have a separate report highlighting Women’s history month at https://www.golfmanoroh.gov/womens-history-month/
Alabama Tunnel Name Change. I signed a petition this past week as Mayor, to support those on the Mobile Alabama City Council who are considering changing the name of the George C. Wallace Tunnel to the Vivian Malone Tunnel. George Wallace you may know was the Alabama Governor who proclaimed in 1963 “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” He went against federal justice department orders when he attempted to deny access to the University of Alabama to two students, one of which was Vivian Malone.
Vivian Malone became the first African American student to graduate from the University of Alabama, despite all the opposition she received from Governor Wallace. The tunnel was built 10 years later in 1973, and in spite of Wallace’s blatant racism, the tunnel was named after him. Ms. Malone’s determination and hard work in the face of all the adversity demonstrates a character that represents the best of America. In the opinion of many, her name should therefore be the name we commemorate on infrastructure, not Wallace’s. As the Mayor of a predominantly African American community I’m asking that those interested join me in supporting the council members in Alabama fighting for this change. If you would like to do so, a link to the petition is here: https://www.change.org/p/mobile-city-council-change-the-name-of-the-george-c-wallace-tunnel-to-the-vivian-malone-tunnel
Ridge Acres Residents Asking for Support. I received several calls from a resident of Ridge Acres, about code violations that she and her neighbors are having trouble getting addressed by their property management company. I was subsequently briefed on the history of the situation by our Village Administrator, Mr. Hirth. I also did a walk through with several residents of Ridge Acres today, and saw what they are talking about. I intend to do all I can to make sure our residents are being treated fairly.
I summarized for these residents our intention to hire a Code Enforcement Officer that may be able to help with the situation and answer questions that our residents have about code enforcement. One of the complications that our residents on Ridge Acres are having has to do with the way their condo association is structured. There are about 88 units in total, with some owners owning one unit, other owners owning multiple units; the condo association is controlled by whoever has a majority share of ownership. That majority share determines association fees required of all residents as well as determines which problems the property management company should consider priorities. As a result, the residents of Ridge Acres are collectively having their fees increased to take care of problems that are only selectively addressed; for example, fees go up for everyone but only the majority owners’ property gets fixed (that’s one of the allegations). There are also allegations that some of the fees raised are being invested in interests outside Golf Manor; specifically that the residents have not been provided a detailed financial record of how their fees are being spent.
The Village Council and I don’t want any of our residents being taken advantage of. I have advised the residents I met with that I will help them obtain (for any residents of Ridge Acres that want to be represented as a group) legal counsel from the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. One of the things they do is represent tenants. They also help deal with consumer fraud, which might be apt here. And they provide advocacy to create policies that we can write, if appropriate, to help protect our renters and condo owners (that aren’t majority owners). I told the residents I met with that if Legal Aid identifies any legislation that Council can pass to help these folks out, I’ll run it by our Village Solicitor and certainly do all I can to champion it. I’ll keep everyone up-to-date on how this all progresses– Our Village Administrator has already interviewed 3 individuals for the Code Enforcement position, and I’m told we’re ready to move forward with a hiring decision.
College Scholarship Opportunities. I’ve recently become aware of a number of college scholarship opportunities available to our residents. I’ll be passing this information along to Ms. Chaney who is our education liaison, and asking anyone who learns of scholarships available to our residents to please pass that information along to us. A lot of the deadlines for college applications are coming up, and if there are opportunities for the youth in our community during these unusually rough financial times to obtain scholarships we certainly want to spread the word about it. Here are the three scholarship opportunities that have most recently come to my attention:
AJC Community Intergroup Seder. The American Jewish Committee of Cincinnati is hosting a Community Intergroup Seder Celebrating Freedom for all People next Monday March 15th at 11:45 am. This Intergroup Seder will be hosted via Zoom and led by Rabbi Matthew Kraus, who is the head of the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. I have verified that anyone who wants to participate is invited. The Seder celebrates the ageless ritual of the Jewish Holiday of Passover, celebrating freedom for all. I encourage anyone interested to attend with your families– the deadline to register is Wednesday March 10th.
Acknowledging the Heroism of Medical Professionals. I’m still collecting names of healthcare professionals living in Golf Manor who have been serving during the pandemic. Please reach out to your neighbors in the community and share the word of my intention to honor these individuals with a framed copy a proclamation acknowledging their heroic service to the greater community.
Status Update for Implementation of the NDO. I received an update from our Solicitor Mr. Donnelon on the status of implementing the Non Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) that our residents passed this past November. Councilman Pridenoff, Vice Mayor Boettcher, the Village Administrator and myself should be receiving an email this week that summarizes his most recent work on this, addressing the concerns raised by the opposition. We will meet together again following this, whereupon I will ask the administration to prepare an official implementation plan for council review.
This report is respectfully submitted to the Village residents of Golf Manor. Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor.
Stefan Densmore, Mayor, Village of Golf Manor