Gina Mace


CUYAHOGA FALLS: Mayor Don Walters addressed about 200 business professionals at the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday.



Just 57 days into his term. Walters used part of his first State of the City address to introduce himself and his cabinet.



Instead of the usual rundown of department accomplishments, Walters also introduced a number of initiatives set to start “in the near future.”



Spontaneous applause followed Walters’ introduction of the Cuyahoga Falls Shop Locally incentive program. It will offer incentives to Falls residents who spend their money at local businesses.



“I look forward to working with many of you to help make this program a success, hopefully bolstering your bottom lines and stimulating the local economy at the same time,” Walters said.



The local business incentive program will be promoted to new Cuyahoga Falls homeowners through a welcome packet, the mayor said.



The city will provide the welcome gift, which will contain discounts and coupons from local businesses as a way to inform the new residents of what is available in the city.



“We want to help encourage our newest residents to get into the habit of patronizing Falls businesses,” Walters said.



Starting with the new school year, Walters plans to initiate the Mayor’s Youth Council, comprised of high school students who can apply to be part of the program. Walters wants to give teens a chance to offer input and perspective on city issues.



A victim of the economic crisis a few years ago, the senior snow removal program will be back next winter, Walters said.



And before the snow flies, seniors in need can take advantage of a new leaf-raking program. Walters plans to use high school students in search of community service hours to provide the labor.



Walters also plans to work with City Council to expand the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative that started last year.



“I urge all Falls residents to help preserve property values and our overall quality of life by ensuring that our neighborhoods are safe and organized,” he said.



Through the unbroken resolve of its citizens, Falls pride will return to the neighborhoods, he said.



“The potential of our town along the winding Cuyahoga River is as boundless as our will to keep the stream of progress and ideas flowing steadily over the rocky challenges ahead, uniting us all in a powerful current that will move our community forward,” Walters said.



“So I am pleased to report that the state of our city is strong, and with the continued help and involvement of the good people of Cuyahoga Falls, it will continue to grow stronger each and every day.”



Gina Mace can be reached at ginamace2@gmail.com.