Northfield Village Councilman Keith Czerr Irate Over Vacant City Property & Park Conditions
Northfield Village Ward B Councilman Keith Czerr is irate over the lack of a definitive plan for the vacant bank property on the Route 8 corridor adjacent to city hall. He is also upset with the conditions of the two parks in Northfield Village, referring to them having "the appearance of a third world country." In a letter to Nordonia Now, Czerr comments that "Mayor Nehez should be ashamed and embarrassed that under his leadership, Northfield has become the laughing stock of Nordonia Hills community."
Councilman Czerr's concerns are that the vacant property will be used as a parking lot. The parking lot concept has been the choice of Mayor Nehez, Service Department Director Jason Walters, and a few Councilman. Councilman at large Gary Vojtush also doesn’t want the land to be paved and used for overflow parking from the town hall / businesses across Route 8. Russo's Pizza owner Tommy Russo doesn’t want to be mentioned as a business that will use the proposed parking area, citing safety concerns and people illegally tempted to jay walk across Route 8. Northfield demolished the vacant bank property a few months ago, citing many options for the property that included a Veterans' Memorial Park and a parking lot as the favored options to be considered.
Councilman Czerr and others plan to picket in front of the vacant parcel over the next few days during prime hours to draw attention to the unsightly parcel. As previously stated, Council has not come up with a definitive solution or plan for the property. There was a building and grounds meeting prior to the regular council meeting last night to discuss the parks and vacant property situation. Mayor Nehez and Walters were quick to point out that Czerr didn’t attend the meeting, missing the opportunity to voice his concerns.
Councilman Czerr is also disgruntled over the appearance and conditions of both parks, calling them similar to parks in third world countries. The playgrounds, built prior to Mayor Nehez's term, are "still structurally sound" according to Service Director Walters. Walters offered Nordonia Now pictures (see below) taken a few days ago of service department workers painting and making repairs to the playground at Smith park. Czerr points out with the newfound millions coming into Northfield, new playground equipment should have been put in the budget. "The children of this town deserve better than hand me down, used equipment. We can no longer say that we don’t have the funds to make improvements.” retorted Czerr. Walters points out he can only do what the Mayor and Council direct and approve him to purchase. Walters is proud of the work his department has accomplished, with what little funding he has had in the past.
Czerr will perform the song “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley” continuously with his guitar over the next few weeks while picketing, to draw attention the "shame and embarrassment" the parks have brought to Northfield Village by Mayor Nehez.