May 14, 2019 Public Comments on Ordinance 2019-0005 before Cuyahoga County Council

Good evening members of the Cuyahoga County Council. My name is Dan Langshaw and I am the Ward 3 Councilman on the North Royalton City Council. Thank you for the opportunity provide comments regarding proposed Ordinance 2019-0005 the county disposable bag ban on behalf of my residents.

The sponsors of this legislation mean well. However, my residents have three key points they would like for you to take into consideration before you vote on this ban tonight. First, the timing of this legislation seems to be a smoke screen to avoid dealing with serious issues of alleged county corruption that is being investigated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The perception is a concern as well as the need for increased oversight in county government.

Second, the priorities of this council is a concern. If you ask my residents their top priorities are seeing additional county assistance for residents dying of the opioid epidemic, battling poverty, and addressing urgent infrastructure needs. For example I have an intersection of York Road (a county road) and Albion Road in my ward that desperately could use Issue One funding for a traffic study to help in making it safer and less congested. However, we must battle against cities like Cleveland for years to come even close to scoring for such funds. The environment is a concern but council needs to focus on other urgent priories as well county-wide.

Third, this bag ban seems to be pushed down our throats. Why isn’t this on the ballot for a vote? No one from the county has even reached out to local elected officials like myself in the other 58 municipalities to see how we could work more collaboratively together towards addressing this issue regionally. As well as exploring ways to expand existing education, environmental, and sustainability programs in our communities.

In closing, I agree with my residents that County Council should put this issue on the ballot for November. Give ALL residents whether they live on the east or west of this county a chance to collaboratively have their voices heard regarding this issue. A more collaborative approach such as this gives more time to educate residents, advocate to state lawmakers, and work with local elected officials toward a common goal of protecting our environment.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you.