Stow Patch asked residents for feedback on what people in Ward 2 like and dislike about their "patch" of town and now Ward 2 Councilman Jim Costello is also offering his feedback.
Not sure if you live in Ward 2 or visit the section of town frequently? Take a look at the ward map included in this post.
According to the 2010 U. S. Census, there are 9,161 Stow residents that live in Ward 2, making it the largest ward in the city. But, according to Costello, it's also one of the most fun places in Stow.
Grin: There's Plenty of Fun in Ward 2
Costello describes Ward 2 as the "Family Entertainment Center" for the city.
"We have great park in Silver Springs that has plenty of sports areas, picnic areas and an overnight camping area," he said. "We have a renown golf course [Fox Den] and for our 'four legged' friends we have Bow Wow Beach. In addition, we have great access to the city bike trails."
Speaking of family entertainment ... Patch is asking readers for nominations for our latest Readers' Choice poll: Best Place to Staycation in Stow. Add your suggestions here.
Gripe: Banks, Take Care of the Foreclosed Homes!
Costello said his ward was built in the city's "heyday" and boasts the newest and youngest homes in the city. But, that also means there's a few homes in foreclosure that the banks aren't necessarily keeping up on.
"I receive probably two to three calls a week from residents and their concerns over a gamete of topics ... the biggest complaint right now is the lack of care by the banks on their foreclosed properties and why the city can't do something about that."
Ward 2 resident Debbie Schinker said there is a foreclosed home on Saybrooke Boulevard that should be better maintained.
"It really needs to be mowed more often, as it is getting to be a regular eyesore," she said. "Trust me, mine is not the best kept house on the street, but that lawn is even bugging me and I'm sure the people who live adjacent to it are dismayed by its condition."
Costello said there really should be a better way to handle maintenance and care of foreclosed properties.
"It is very difficult to find the 'true owner' of the property which makes enforcement by the city a problem," he said.
Grin/Gripe: Roads Need Improvement, But They Will be Fixed Soon!
"Like all the areas in the city we need to improve our road repair program, but that is revenue dependent and actually Stow is in better shape then some of our neighboring communities," said Costello.
The city budgeted a lot of money to replace, resurface or repair quite a few streets in Stow. Is yours or one of concern on the list? Find out here.
Grin/Gripe: More Police Officers, Please
The Police Department is currently staffed at the same level as it was in 1998 — 36 sworn officers.
"Many believe we need to add to add additional police officers to combat the increase in 'crimes of opportunity,' and I agree we could probably use more police officers," said Costello. "This also is revenue dependent, I do not believe that the 'crimes of opportunity' will decrease until the economy approves, but individuals can help by being more proactive and protective of their surroundings."
When council passed the 2012 budget, included was an additional $116,000 for two new police officers this year.
Stow Police Chief Louis Dirker said determining the number of officers needed to adequately staff a police department is a "complex undertaking."
"Many departments compare their staffing levels to cities with similar populations, but this is not a scientifically valid approach due to the many variables that are relative to each city such as: commercials areas, major thoroughfares running through the city, number of violent crimes per thousand population, etc.," said Dirker. "We will be working on coming up with a realistic number later this year as we are looking for a valid method of assessing our staffing needs."
There is also the possibility of getting two additional officers through a grant program.
Because of an ongoing hiring freeze, council will need to approve hiring two additional officers. The process will begin during tonight's meeting at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Contact Your Councilman
Councilman Jim Costello lives in the Hidden Lake Apartments and his phone number is 330-673-9781.
Feel free to leave comments about Ward 2 on this story too!
Editor's note: On May 14, look for a post for readers to discuss their likes/dislikes about Ward 3. Patch will then followup with Ward 3 Councilman Brian Lowdermilk the following week.