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TWINSBURG -- I enjoyed attending Mayor Ted Yates' informative and detailed State of the City speech on Feb. 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn of Cleveland/Twinsburg.
This was Yates' second State of the City address, but as he pointed out, he had only been in office a very short time when he gave his inaugural talk last year. It was clear that he felt a bit more strongly prepared this time to speak about the city's year in review, having been closely involved in each endeavor he mentioned.
The mayor touted several economic positives for Twinsburg over the previous 12 months, most significantly Cornerstone Business Park with its addition of Amazon.com's distribution facility and other businesses. The city has done an admirable job in recent years in its efforts to recover from the difficult hit it was dealt when the Chrysler Stamping Plant closed in 2009.
Gleneagles Golf Club continues to be a highly visible and important part of the city, and the mayor noted some significant improvements there over the past year. This year, construction on a new clubhouse is going to get under way. It sounds like it's going to be really nice when it comes to fruition.
The mayor, not surprisingly, spent some time talking about the controversial roundabout at the intersection of Darrow and Glenwood. He got several chuckles when he recalled using a very rare case of (slightly) off-color language at a November City Council meeting -- "I just want to get the damned thing open," he recalled saying. It's been a long and admittedly frustrating process for him but he sounded pleased with the progress.
I appreciated that, in addition to providing necessary updates on road work and finances, Yates took a few moments in his speech to point how much fun there is to have in Twinsburg. The Rock the Park concert series at Perici Amphitheatre, just one example he mentioned, is a draw for residents and non-residents. One of the bands in the high quality 2016 lineup featured a high school friend of mine on saxophone. I'm looking forward to seeing what acts will be on deck for this summer's concert series.
Audience members rose to their feet to applaud the mayor's special guest, Wade Wooten, who saved his neighbor from a Feb. 11 fire at Whitewood Apartments. It was a reminder that heroes are everywhere.
As Executive Editor of Record Publishing Co.'s weekly newspapers I am very fond of all the different communities our publications cover, but I have a particularly close connection with the Twinsburg area, having been both a reporter and editor of the Bulletin in the past. It's been quite a journey watching the changes that have occurred in the past two decades since I first covered the area in 1999. I really enjoyed meeting some new people at the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce's Feb. 16 event, as well as reconnecting with some former (and in some cases still current) city officials and public figures who I'd gotten to know a bit during my time as Bulletin reporter and editor.