Welcome to Beachwood! Recently named Ohio’s eighth most livable city, Beachwood provides outstanding municipal services, a strong economic base, low tax rates and award-winning schools. 2018 was a year of new beginnings as we welcomed a new mayor, two new councilpersons and a communications coordinator. Our city leadership is exploring city management projects in light of new technology, changing demographics and a desire to be more efficient as we expand services to our residents, businesses and visitors.
All of this is being approached with respect to the core values that make Beachwood a superior city. Safety, fire and rescue services are our highest priority. Our public works department continues to provide unmatched programs for street maintenance, snow plowing, rubbish pickup and city beautification. Our community services department provides the broadest range of programs available to residents of all ages, from summer camps and a world-class aquatic center to upperclassmen lunches and trips. And our economic development department continues to aggressively market our city, develop new incentives to attract businesses and look at big-picture projects to redefine our commercial development for years to come – all with the goal of keeping our taxes low and our service level high.
We strive to improve the lives of all Beachwood residents, employees and visitors. Our police department has added five new officers and two K-9 units. BPD is continually increasing patrols in high-traffic areas. Our fire and rescue department opened a new public safety center that replaced an outdated station with new training facilities, a new dispatch center and an emergency operations center. The department also recently welcomed a new fire chief. Another exciting new project is the dog park underway at Beachwood City Park East. Weather permitting, we look forward to opening “Barkwood” later this summer.
With the help of our new communications coordinator, our city website was entirely redesigned. We are increasing our reach through social media with daily postings of news from and around our city. To create a sense of community and celebrate our diversity, we’ve introduced “block party in a box,” a wildly successful program that provides residents with a trailer containing chairs, tables, tents, coolers and games, plus administrative assistance to help coordinate the festivities.
Beachwood is progressive in its management. I have proposed that we adopt Smart City concepts for energy efficiency and data-based decisions. We are evaluating plans to replace older street lights with energy-efficient and brighter LEDs. We are reviewing proposals to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs in our city buildings – everything from improved heating systems to the use of solar panels. We are exploring the creation of a GIS (Geographic Information System) to help every department make more informed decisions. Looking to the future, we are developing fleet-management plans that will include hybrid and electric vehicles.
Economic development is the lifeblood of our city. To make Beachwood even more attractive to developers, we are comprehensively amending our zoning code for the first time in 20 years. Beachwood Place is home to Northeast Ohio’s only Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom department stores. We recently welcomed the Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy, Apple Growth Partners, Diamonds Direct, Lindey’s Lake House, BOMBA Tacos and Rum, City Barbeque and Sipt Café. We are proud to have representation from all four major health care systems, including the new Lake Health Beachwood Medical Center, and look forward to the expansion of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.
Beachwood is innovative, dynamic and progressive. We are building on past successes, expanding our commercial base and continuously improving the quality of life for our community.
Martin S. Horwitz is mayor of Beachwood.