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Photos of Richfield Village mayors on display in Town Hall

3/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Familiar faces greeted residents and Richfield Village Council members at Town Hall March 19, as portraits of the village’s first four mayors are now on display in Council chambers.

Kenneth Swan was Richfield’s first mayor when the village incorporated in 1967, according to village officials. He was followed by Paul Wulff in 1972 and E. June Feiber in 1980.

Ralph Waszak, a current Council member, served as mayor from 1988 to 1995.

“We still need to put up pictures of Don Larsen and Mike Lyons,” said Mayor Bobbie Beshara. “Mine won’t go up until after I’m out of office.”

Beshara also said she and Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz met with Team NEO and Jobs Ohio representatives about economic development.

The mayor also attended a recent Garden Club meeting. The group is looking for new members, and its current members are excited about getting more involved in community planting projects, Beshara said. To join the group, call Kevan Hudak at 330-659-3056.

Beshara also told residents to watch the village’s website and Facebook for “weekend walks with the mayor,” coming in the spring.

In regards to the proposed rezoning of the Richfield School property area from R-2 (Single Family Residential) to R-3 (Cluster Residential), Council President Richard Hudak said Council wasn’t ready to make a decision yet.

“We talked to the property owners and went over some plans with them,” he said. “We need some more discussion with Mr. Frantz and [Law Director] Mr. [Bill] Hanna.”

Council Vice President Andy Ellis said no residents have told him that R-3 zoning is needed in Richfield.

An April 15 deadline looms over the decision, so Council must make a decision at the April 2 meeting, or it will have to schedule a special meeting.

In other news:

  • Council approved an agreement with FirstEnergy Solutions to supply electricity to the Richfield Safety Building at a rate of 5.45 cents per kilowatt hour.
  • Council granted Police Chief Keith Morgan’s request to trade in three police cars with model years 2009 and 2010 to Montrose Ford. The village will receive a total of $10,000 in trade for the three Ford Crown Victorias.
  • Fire Chief Jason Mihalek said his department was switching medical partners from Akron General Medical Center to University Hospitals (UH).
    “We’re very excited,” he said. “They have more aggressive protocols, a vast array of drug therapies, state-of-the-art medical equipment, a paperless system and free training.”
    He also said UH’s Ahuja Medical Center is 3 minutes closer to Richfield, but he said a patient can still be taken to Akron General Medical Center by request.
  • Frantz said he was working on a project of mapping the village’s nonconforming lots, and he showed his progress to the Planning and Zoning Commission at the March 12 meeting.
  • Waszak discussed the idea of an extension of Lake Forest Drive to connect to Kinross Lakes Parkway. This would allow McDonald’s patrons to turn left onto Wheatley Road from Kinross Lakes rather than trying to turn left out of the parking lot.
  • Councilman Mike Wheeler said he, Waszak and Councilwoman Barbara Lanford met with the park board to discuss ideas for a “community center with a recreation center component.”
    The park board will meet again April 1 at 7 p.m. at the recreation center, 3333 Brecksville Road.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for April 2 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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