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VOTE NO ON ISSUE 27! NO! TO OUTSOURCING OUR EUCLID TAX DEPARTMENT TO RITA

Welcome to election season!  There is a lot of information coming out seemingly on a daily basis. Some of this is correct and some of it is incorrect. For example, the $1M per year the pro RITA people are claiming RITA can collect from delinquencies has now ballooned to $3M.  This is totally incorrect. Our own mayor has publicly backtracked on ANY increase in delinquency collections from RITA and is on record saying so.

The Save Our Tax Dept. Facebook page is accessible to all and all postings are under true identities. It’s important for people to wade through the misinformation coming from scare tactics, bullet points and hidden identities. The issue with RITA is simply this: if you want to save our local, in house tax department and have your tax service local, then VOTE NO! 

If you have had stellar service, peace of mind and help when you needed it – VOTE NO!

VOTE NO! If you do not want your tax services outsourced to an entity that services 310 plus communities that you can only visit in Brecksville, Cleveland Hts., or Mentor. Sacrificing time and money and at the end of the day will cost us more than our tax department does now.

VOTE NO! If you do not want to lose your local service to an entity that may cause you grief and is not worth your precious time. Check out Yelp and Google to find those reviews.

There is absolutely no way that the alleged $1M pot of gold will be realized (that, now has ballooned to $3M). While it is true that business is coming into the city. It has been said that with the newly opening of Amazon, the city will be rolling in cash – This is simply not so.  As a matter of fact, there are businesses that are leaving the city, with no retention strategy in place.

Something we all can agree on is that the City does need more money. The risk with RITA is not worth the alleged reward. This change would be a much higher cost with no guarantee of increased delinquent collections. More money comes from positive economic development.

The Federal Tax Information that the Pro RITA people claim is the key means nothing.  Euclid’s own tax department obtains that information already from the State Tape that accesses the FTI. The City currently has a subpoena program that realizes collection with an actual attorney in court.  The costs are passed onto the delinquent taxpayer not to our City (RITA has an ala carte cost program that the City would pay for). The City obtains the names and addresses to send letters with a bill for $1,000. This usually brings in the scofflaws. So we don’t miss a beat. We just have an extra step.

E filing can be realized with a low cost upgrade to the software, yet the administration has no interest in spending the money for the program.  Employees that have left our current City tax department have not been replaced (even though they were budgeted for).

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 10.06.2019

Why R.I.T.A. is the Right Choice for Euclid

Why R.I.T.A. is the Right Choice for Euclid

The essential role of any tax collection agency is to collect all taxes due so the City can provide services for its residents. Our current department does what they can, but they are understaffed, paper based, dependent upon manual processing, and lack up -to- date security, data and technologies.  Further, residents have very limited options when it comes to accessing their own tax information and filing. The Regional Income Tax Agency (R.I.T.A.) employs the most complete federal tax data available to identify non-filers and those that underreport their income. This helps ensure that all are paying their fair share. While the City will maintain a local presence to help residents, R.I.T.A also gives us the ability to view our information, file, and pay online.

R.I.T.A Provides More Options for Residents

Partnering with R.I.T.A. provides a greater range of services for our residents. Right now, if you have a question or would like some information, it is very likely that you will be asked to make a trip to City Hall. After joining R.I.T.A., you can still visit City Hall if you’d like, but a full array of service options would be available; not just at City Hall.  To start, R.I.T.A. provides a 24/7 voice response system for straight forward refund, estimate and payment information. You can speak with an agent during regular business hours which are extended beginning in March through the filing deadline. All agents take notes and all calls are recorded for quality, security, and continuity of service. Also, R.I.T.A has confirmed they will come to City Hall for “taxpayer assistance days” several times throughout the year. Lastly, R.I.T.A. makes it possible to view, file and pay your taxes online. This means you can complete your local income taxes from the comfort of your home any time of the day.

Better Information & Technology Leads to Better Results

Having the very best information is critical, because better information, aligned with advanced technologies leads to better results. Unfortunately, the Euclid Tax Department will never be able to access the most comprehensive data or afford the necessary technology upgrades. Euclid only has access to the State of Ohio “state tape”. The “state tape” only provides the name, address and social security number of a person that has a filed a tax return with Ohio- that is it. By contrast, R.I.T.A. uses the “federal tape”. This data also has name, address and social security, but most importantly also includes W2s, 1099s, line by line data from Federal 1040s, and ALL accompanying forms and schedules. R.I.T.A uses the “federal tape” to identify non-filers and those who have filed a tax return but have under-reported their income to a municipality. Identifying those not in compliance leads to more collections and improved City budgets. There is no data available to Euclid Tax Department that is not available to R.I.T.A, but there is a wealth of data that only R.I.T.A can access. R.I.T.A has a proven track record of using that information to find those that haven’t paid their taxes.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 10.06.2019

Message from the Mayor

Fall greetings to all!  It is that time of the year when leaves are starting to turn, fall flavors abound and political yard signs are popping up across town.  Election Day is November 5th – and we have several spots up for elections:  Mayor, Wards 1, 3, 5, 7 and 2 school board seats.  There are also local ballot issues as well as county ballot issues.  Please take time to learn about the candidates and issues.  Please vote!  It is your right and civic responsibility. 

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

The Kent Smith Capitol Update

Hello, Euclid Observer readers. State Representative Kent Smith here. This is the first of my monthly Capitol Update columns. It is my honor to serve you in Columbus as Ohio’s Representative from the 8th House District, and as a new contributor to the Euclid Observer.

As you may know, I am in my third term. I took over from Armond Budish and, before him, Kenny Yuko. The 8th District includes Euclid, South Euclid, Beachwood, Richmond Heights, East Cleveland, Woodmere Village, and a little bit of the City of Cleveland. In this, my first Observer article, I am happy to announce a series of October Ohio Promise Capitol Update Town Hall meetings to be held across the 8th House District.

My 8th District Ohio Promise Capitol Update Tour will be a series of legislative town hall meetings to discuss:

• The Ohio Promise legislative framework

• A review of the state budget

• Bipartisan priority legislation

• The FirstEnergy bailout legislation

• Gun safety proposals

• State-takeovers of public school districts

• An overview of legislation that I have sponsored and cosponsored

• Audience questions

After a busy nine months of this legislative session, I want to get out into the district, answer questions, and be available to my constituents – because I work for you. That’s my promise.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Euclid Hospital Welcomes New Senior Behavioral Medicine Unit

On Tuesday September 17th, Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open their new Senior Behavioral Medicine Unit.  Mayor Gail joined Euclid Hospital President Dr. Teresa Dews, Euclid Hospital Senior Behavioral Medicine Medical Director Dr. Upma Dhingra, VP Cleveland Clinic Behavioral Health Services Brian Tilow, and Senator Kenny Yuko to welcome this investment and cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening.  This unit is located in the space of former Rehabilitation unit and represents a substantial investment at Euclid Hospital.  The brand new, state of the art Senior Behavioral Medicine Unit has 8 private bed, 8 semi-private beds, a specially trained clinical team, and is medically managed by a fellowship trained geriatric psychiatrist.  Thank you Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital for the continued investment in our community hospital facilities and your commitment to meeting the health needs of the Euclid community!  

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

9/11/2019 What it Meant to Us

Most of us remember the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001 very vividly.  It makes us stop with our daily life and remember those who perished and the First Responders who went to their rescue. We keep in mind those who died and those who still suffer. Our country is grateful for all the sacrifices that they made and we stand together with our thanks to all who served.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Cleveland Filmmaker’s Feature about Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols Gets Hometown “Sneak Peek”

Filmmaker, Todd Thompson

The 10th Annual Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival is welcoming Cleveland-born filmmaker Todd Thompson back home with a sneak peek of his much-anticipated film, Woman In Motion. The feature documentary chronicles the life of Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols and her daunting task to launch a national blitz for NASA, enlisting 8,000 of the nation's best and brightest astronaut recruits, including the first women, African Americans, Asians and other minorities, to fly in space.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Shop for Insurance the Smart Way

Because insurance prices and policy options fluctuate constantly, it’s a good idea to shop for the best value every few years, the Ohio Credit Union League recommends. 

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Medicare Open Enrollment Important Dates

Whether you have Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a stand-alone Prescription Drug plan, the fall Open Enrollment period is your once-a-year opportunity to make changes in your coverage.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

St. John of the Cross Parish Cookbooks

In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, St. John of the Cross is selling parish cookbooks. So many delicious recipes from our parishioners.  The cookbooks can be purchased at the Parish Office, 140 Richmond Rd. in Euclid, or on our website; www.sjceuclid.com.  The cookbooks are $10. each

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Clam Bake

Come celebrate with us as we gather as a parish together now for 10 years strong! We will be opening with 4:00 pm mass Saturday, October 12th followed by the Clam Bake in the newly renovated Parish Center (gym). Doors open at 5:00 pm.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 pm
Followed by loads of games of chance and a night of music and fun.

We want to thank everyone who supported our efforts over these past ten years  as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our vision to create a gathering space where our parish and community could celebrate together was conceived by the welcoming spirit of our parishioners. The love and open arms we have seen day after day is the Hallmark of our parishioners and we believe it should be celebrated.
Having a Parish Center we can use for many years to come is not only a symbol of the commitment we have in this parish but the physical space we can use to gather as one.

This event will be the first large event we will be able to use the new space and we want all our parishioners and community to reap the rewards of their dedication. This event will also be one of the last 10-year anniversary funtions and we plan on making a splash!

You can look forward to a Dessert Table, Side Boards, Grab A Clam game, Hermit Crab Races and more. 
All online tickets sales can claim tickets at the door on the day of the event. One drink voucher is inluded with ticket purchase. To purchase tickets go to: https://srweuclid.cc/clam-bake 

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Catholicism

Journey deep into the Catholic Faith in all its richness, history, beauty, goodness, and truth in breathtaking, high-definition cinematograph. The Catholicism Series will have five meetings this fall and start on Monday, October 14 at 6:30 pm and go for five weeks.  Please call the Parish Office to register. 216-731-1515 It is free and open to all adults.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Scars

Scars, everybody has them.  They mean you showed-up for life, and most come with an interesting story.  Your scars may have been received while doing great acts of courage, but it’s more likely they came from doing less noble activities.  Either way, you’re marked and carry a physical remembrance which people can see.  But, there is a different type of scar which isn’t readily apparent.    

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Fall Festival

Fall festival sign on the grounds of the shrine.

Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine will hold their annual Fall Festival on Sunday, October 6th, 2019, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Up-Coming Events

Friends with God Sing at Slovene Home: Thursday, Oct. 17 @6p

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Parish Feast Day Celebrated With Joy

Fr. Joe leading the Marian Procession on the OLL Feast Day The Most Holy Day of Mary, Sept. 12, 2019.

OLL Parish Feast Day, The Most Holy Name of Mary (September 12) began with the OLL School children donning 10 Year Parish Anniversary shirts and after Mass, posing for an all-school photo. The evening celebration began with a hot dog roast at Arcadia Beach Club. Fr. Joe led the community in prayer and then everyone processed with the Marian statue back to the church for evening prayer, singing a Marian Litany along the way.  The evening ended with an Ice Cream Social to cap off an extraordinary day!  Our Lady of the Lake Parish will celebrate 10 years in February 2020.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

International Day of Peace Embraced by OLL Non-Violence Ministry and OLL School

OLL Nonviolence Ministry members passing out peace cranes after Mass.

September 21st was the International Day of Peace. The Nonviolence Ministry of OLL embraced this day with a message of peace by making (and encouraging the school children to make) origami peace cranes. The members of the Nonviolence Ministry distributed the peace cranes at all Masses and invited parishioners and the school children to pray for world peace.  The story behind the peace cranes is one of peace and hope for the future.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Refresh Your Relationships

Deb Dobbs, is a graduate of the University of Michigan Horace Rackham Graduate School. She holds a Green Belt Certification from Purdue University, and has over 30 years of professional experience in process leadership, change management and adult education. She offers Coaching Services for personal and professional development to support joyful, purposeful living. Reach her at: Dobbscommunication.com or at: ddobbs@gmail.com

Have you ever experienced an extreme thirst? In the heat of summer, you might think of a time when a cold beverage felt so satisfying. Or after engaging in heavy physical work, you might recall how a quenching drink of water brought a sense of restoration to your body and mind. Likewise, did you know relationships can suffer from thirst? A cure is to replicate a sense of refreshing to become consistent in your thinking, actions and speech.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

October is Crime Prevention Month

In 1984, the National Crime Prevention Council designated October as Crime Prevention Month.  October has become the official month for recognizing and celebrating the practice of crime prevention, while promoting awareness of important issues such as victimization, volunteerism, and creating safer, more caring communities.  Government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships during this special month. The month-long celebration spotlights successful crime prevention efforts on the local, state, and national levels.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Mourning to Morning Bereavement Support

Someone once wrote, “Grief is in two parts.  The first is the loss.  The second is the remaking of life.”.  If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, consider joining us as we share our losses, learn about the grieving process and  begin the remaking of life. Our Fall sessions starts October 12at 10:30 am and will be held for 6 consecutive Saturdays. There is no fee but registration is requesed. Contact Renee Barber at rbarber@srweuclid.cc for regisstration and more details.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Women's Fellowship

Are you looking to grow deeper in your faith? This is a call to all women to join the Ss. Robert & William Women's Fellowship group for a Day long retreat at the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. Fr. Thom Kowatch will Present on The Sign Of The Cross on Saturday, October 12th, starting at 9:00 am. The Cost is $10 with Lunch included. Register by Monday, October 7th by calling he Parish Office at 216-731-1515

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.06.2019

Donate to the Euclid Public Library Foundation Annual Campaign

Since 1935, Euclid Public Library has transformed the lives of lifelong learners in the City of Euclid and beyond. With the help of funding graciously provided by champions like you, EPL has minimized the digital divide, introduce thousands of readers to their favorite authors, and supported workforce development in the region.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Celebrating Recovery

Moore Counseling and Mediation Services, Inc. is located at 22639 Euclid Avenue in Euclid, Ohio. Call 216-404-1900 for more information. 

National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to shed light on the fact that those with mental and substance use disorders are able to live healthy and rewarding lives with the assistance of substance use treatment and behavioral health services. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from behavioral health and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective, and that people can, and do, recover.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Greater Euclid Kiwanis Upcoming Events & Activities

Greater Euclid Kiwanis activities are in full swing this fall!  Check out the calendar below to learn what’s up next for this exciting new club. There are several fun events and activities in which the community can participate and enjoy.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Early Learning Village to Host LCA October Meeting

Principal Sanya Henley and a companion at the new Early Learning Village

The Lakeland Civic Association will hold its regular October meeting at the Early Learning Village, hosted by Principal Sanya Henley, Thursday evening, October 10 at 7:30pm. This quarterly meeting of the LCA will celebrate the group's return to the venue on Elinore Avenue that it had enjoyed for many years until Euclid Public Schools was forced to renovate and repurpose the old Forest Park facility.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Euclid Avenue Blooms with New Planters, Benches

Euclid residents, volunteers, City officials and staff helped to plant mums in new planters on Euclid Avenue earlier this fall.

In early September a half dozen stalwart volunteers from Keep Euclid Beautiful planted giant, tri-colored mums from Cavotta’s Garden Center on Euclid Avenue. These volunteers were accompanied by Mayor Holzheimer Gail, Councilperson Caviness and nearby residents along with staff from the City’s Department of Planning and Development.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Thank YOU for Making Euclid’s Summer Event Series Awesome!

Thanks to everyone who made the Euclid Summer Event Series a success just by showing up to Movie Nights, the Art Walk and the Euclid Waterfront project construction tours!

From the first Euclid Waterfront behind-the-scenes construction tour in early June to the last Outdoor Movie Night at Bluestone Elementary School just a few weekends ago, summer in Euclid was full of City-sponsored activities for all ages and interests.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019

Aiyanna Martin '21 learns public safety skills

VASJ Junior Aiyanna Martin ’21, left, stands next to her capstone project poster. 

In just six short weeks this summer, VASJ junior Aiyanna Martin ’21 gained valuable professional development and work skills through the Public Safety Career Pipeline Program. The program, now in its third year, focuses on increasing women and minorities in law enforcement and public safety fields to reflect the communities being served. Aiyanna went through extensive training, learned about careers in public safety, created a resume, participated in mock interviews, completed a capstone project, earned CPR certification, and created a website to promote her personal brand. 

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.06.2019