By Jeff Gallatin
Bay Village administration officials plan on extending a cooperative hand to other Cuyahoga County officials in early June.
Mayor Debbie Sutherland said she plans to introduce legislation to have Bay Village join 31 other Cuyahoga County communities in an anti-poaching agreement. The move comes shortly after Ed Jerse, director of regional collaboration for Cuyahoga County government, made a presentation to Sutherland, other administration officials and City Council at the May 21 council meeting.
Sutherland said the move is a win for both Bay Village and Cuyahoga County.
“There’s no downside to this for Bay Village,” she said. “With only a 3 percent commercial element, it’s not real likely that we’re going to go looking to poach some other business or someone’s going to look to come into here and take one of our businesses.”
Noting that there is some office space within Bay Village, Sutherland said that one of the few commercial areas where Bay could add some businesses is in the white-collar area. She said by signing the agreement and becoming eligible for the Cuyahoga County Economic Development Fund developed by County Executive Ed FitzGerald and the new county government, Bay could derive some benefits by gaining access to the fund.
“You could have a public-private partnership develop, or a white-collar-type business could tap into that fund and decide that it would like to locate in a community like Bay Village. You never know when something like that could happen, and this would at least make that type of opportunity available to us.”
Sutherland readily acknowledged that she also is an advocate of strong regional cooperation between cities and other governmental bodies. She cited the fact that other Westshore cities like Fairview Park, North Olmsted and Westlake have signed the anti-poaching agreement.
“I am an advocate of regional cooperation between governments and others,” she said. “It makes all of us stronger and provides better resources in instances like this. It just makes sense to work together when it can make you stronger.”
Mike Young, chairman of City Council’s Finance Committee, also sees the agreement as a good thing.
“I like that it requires that someone is designated as the lead economic development person, which is good for a community,” he said. “I think the mayor is handling that for us, and I think it’s also good because it shows that Cuyahoga County is coming together and working on things together. Since I’m in sales, I look at projects going on in Cuyahoga County like the medical mart downtown, the growth out at Eaton (Corp.) and other projects, and I see good things happening in northern Ohio, and that’s good for all of us.”