Mayor-elect of Wickliffe has ‘a lot to focus on’ in the New Year – News-Herald
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series that examines what communities in Lake County went through in 2021 and what they are facing in 2022.
Giving people reasons to come to Wickliffe will be one of the many goals Mayor-elect Joe Sakacs will have when he takes on this role in January.
âThe locals say to me, ‘How are we going to attract people to our city?’ We have SweetBerry (Fresh Market) and Jerry’s (Dari Pride), which people come from other cities for, âSakacs said. âAll the other mayors have told you about things they have in their town – Willowick Beach Park, Willoughby Hills to the Metroparks, downtown Willoughby is fantastic and the Captains of Eastlake. I try to focus on an amphitheater if the funding is adequate and we can find grants for that.
Since the start of the pandemic, community events have exploded, Sakacs said, whether it be movies in the park, concerts or popular events that people have attended for many years.
âPeople want to be in the community,â Sakacs said. âI’m a new mayor coming in, so I have a lot of things to focus on. The other mayors greeted me and I want to thank them for being there, for reaching out to me and knowing that I could reach out to them. They are all like father figures.
Among the big things that happened in Wickliffe in 2021, Truline Industries has arrived, which has been a big boost for the city, Sakacs said.
âThey have a nice new building and there are more people going to our restaurants,â Sakacs said. âWe don’t have a lot of them. Euclid Avenue faces a time when revitalization needs to happen, so we have a company that is going to do a study on this, but ultimately it will be up to the mayor and council to implement these things.
Another “big win” for Wickliffe in terms of development was the referendum zoning change, Mayor John Barbish said.
“There is still a lot of work to be done, but the change of referendum area, the outsourcing of city functions and the overall improvement in the workflow have made it easier for administrators and staff to do their jobs,” said said Barbish. “Joe has his work cut out for him, but I know he’s going to work hard to keep up.”
Speedy’s Grub Shack is another new venture that has moved to Wickliffe, at the corner of Lakeland Boulevard and Worden Road.
âWe really don’t have a fast food restaurant in Wickliffe,â Sakacs said. âThey have authentic Mexican food, and it’s quick and so many people love it. It was another addition and we had Lake Nutrition, a popular tea, shakes, and healthier (business) items.
Another highlight was the opening of the senior center this year.
Wickliffe will win a new K-12 school campus for the 2023-24 school year. The middle and elementary school buildings on Euclid Avenue will eventually be demolished.
âThey are looking to install 30 houses there. It’s going to be fantastic, âsaid Sakacs. âWe are all on the cusp of great things. “