While 2012 didn't end exactly the way Westlake mayor Dennis Clough anticipated, as American Greetings put the brakes on the construction of its planned Crocker Park world headquarters, he's not letting that get in the way of his optimism for 2013.
"There's going to be a lot going on around town," he said in a recent interview.
Clough has said that he remains optimistic that the American Greetings project will happen.
He said that business news around town is good.
Business Coming, Growing
Hyland Software is building a new building on the former Nordson property. That project could bring as many as 600 new jobs to Westlake. It is expected to be open later this year.
Equity Trust is expected to move to Westlake sometime in 2013. That move benefits the city two ways, Clough said.
"We'll be getting about 250 jobs coming in," he said. "Also, they're moving into the old Cleveland Clinic building that's been empty since the Clinic moved to Avon. So we have one less vacancy in town."
Projects to improve traffic and ease congestion around town will start in 2013.
The realignment and improvements at Crocker and Clemens Roads, and the Crocker Road interchange, remain on track to begin this winter. City engineer Bob Kelly said at the Dec. 20 meeting of City Council that the hiring of contractors should happen by February.
Kelly said that project will be completed by the end of 2013.
The Detroit-Bradley Roads intersection is also slated for improvements, including widening Detroit Road and putting in new traffic lights.
Clough said that the city hopes to begin replacing all the traffic lights in Westlake in 2013.
"We want to put in 'smart' devices," Clough said. "They can respond to real-time information, like if a signal is out or if there's a traffic jam."
The plans for the lights should be submitted by summer, Clough said.
Clough is also seeking re-election for a seventh time to the office he has held since 1986. Clough, who was last re-elected in 2009 after running unopposed, is currently unopposed. The filing deadline for candidates in Westlake is March 8.
"It's going to be a busy year for us with elections," he said, pointing out that city council and law director John Wheeler are also up for re-election.
Clough also mentioned the changes coming for Westlake City Schools, with the new Westlake High School and Lee Burneson Middle School both set to open for the 2013-14 school year.
There will also be a change in at least one city department. Westlake Police Chief Richard Walling has said that he intends to retire by the end of the year.