Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Amberley Women's Forum

Mary Lennard, Amy Rubenstein, Ilene Ross, Wendy Saunders
Monday evening was a first for Amberley Village. It was the inaugural meeting of the Amberley Women's Forum. The group was conceived in the week after November's election to address the needs of the women of Amberley Village that may not be served by virtue of women being a distinct minority on Council and all committees, especially the Ad Hoc Budget Advisory committee and the Board of Zoning Appeals. As stated by resident Abbie Youkilis, women often value things differently than our male counterparts. Also, I think we can all agree that the fall election brought to the foreground some of the bad feelings that still exist among residents that have fractured us in the past. We are a small community of less than 3400 residents - 1500 households - so it is essential that we try to get along with each other. My idea is to bring back the village feel to the Village.

Ilene Ross enjoys a cupcake
The meeting took place at the home of former councilmember, Peg Conway, and was hosted by Peg, Amy Rubenstein, Mary Lennard, former mayor Merrie Stillpass, and myself. About 25 women attended, from a cross-section of Amberley neighborhoods. The women also represented a cross-section of ages as well, from women with young children to one woman whose grandchild had just become engaged. What we had in common was a desire to meet other Amberley women and to become informed about the news of the Village. Because there is a tax levy coming up on the March 6th ballot, it was agreed that the group should meet again in about a month, perhaps after attending some of the informational meetings at Village Hall. By now, you should have received a postcard from the Village with the dates of the meetings. The first meeting is on January 24th and is a Town Hall meeting at the JCC beginning at 6:30. Additionally, if you will be out of town on election day, it is not too early to request your absentee ballot from the Board of Elections. You will need to download and print the form and mail it to the the BOA as they are still not as tech savvy as the rest of us.Board of Elections  . 

This Police Levy is extremely important to the Village because it will enable us to fund

our excellent police force. Amberley residents have been fortunate to have not had the need to vote for additional property taxes since 1955, but due to the change in economic conditions, loss in property values, and a severe loss in relied-upon revenue sources from the State of Ohio, it has become necessary to reevaluate that need. As Amberley residents, we have chosen to live in an idyllic community where we have virtually no commercial industry to mar our  views and landscapes. We are fortunate to live on large lots, often surrounded by woods, and receive excellent service from our police, fire, and maintenance departments. Because we only collect earnings tax and no income tax, many of our residents pay only property tax for the privilege of  this beautiful life. The tax levy is an equitable way for our residents to pay our fare share.

Please take a minute to click on the Village website and sign up to receive news and meeting notices. You are welcome to attend all committee meetings and see first-hand what is happening in your local government.

Elizabeth Kuresman and Nimet Jerusalami

Merrie Stillpass and Peg Conway

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