Sam O’Leary for Lakewood mayor

The plain dealer/
October 13, 2019

Despite its stumble regarding hospital transparency, Lakewood is one of the most competently run cities in Northeast Ohio. It ain’t broke; the citizens don’t need to fix it. Yet it also is facing an important, long-term challenge in finding both the municipal will and an equitable financing plan to upgrade city sewers before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency comes calling with a consent decree to force change.

Lakewood residents should cast a vote for continuity and elect Sam O’Leary as their next mayor. Early voting in the Nov. 5 election has begun. Click here to read the full endorsement.

Lakewood invests in trees, benches and parking at St. Charles Green pocket park
September 25, 2019

It’s not every day that city leaders can find new green space. Yet that’s exactly what happened with leftover Lakewood Center North Project parcel St. Charles Green, which is about to receive a slight makeover.

For roughly the last five years, the .75-acre parcel, which is located south of the railroad tracks between St. Charles and Belle avenues, has become a popular neighborhood recreation spot.

Initially established as a City Council priority during last year’s budgetary discussion, the $25,000 park expenditure was included in the 2019 budget.

“Improvements slated for the park are related to adjacent parking, with new bump-outs and curbs, as well as installing new benches and seating,” City Council President Sam O’Leary said. Click here to read more.

Phones down in Lakewood: most cellphone use while driving will soon be a primary offense

WEWS News Channel 5
September 24

Drivers in Lakewood will soon have to put down their cellphones, as a new law makes most cellphone use while driving a primary offense.

Lakewood joins North Royalton, Beachwood and other northeast Ohio cities with similar laws. Lakewood's new ordinance, which is set to go into effect December 2 after it was passed by city council in early September, makes the offense a minor misdemeanor, resulting in a fine of up to $150 for a first offense.

Sam O'Leary, Lakewood City Council president and current mayoral candidate, said he introduced the legislation earlier this year to make Lakewood's law tougher and broader than state law.

"I personally have witnessed far too many close calls in Lakewood, and elsewhere for that matter," O'Leary said. Click here to read more.

Lakewood City Council passes texting and driving ordinance
September 6, 2019

City Council on Tuesday (Sept. 3) passed a texting and driving ordinance in which distracted drivers are subject to a minor misdemeanor charge with a maximum $150 fine.

City Council President Sam O’Leary called the legislation an important step for public safety in the city.

“This prohibits the use of handheld devices,” said O’Leary, who introduced the ordinance earlier this year. “Distracted driving has been a major scourge in Lakewood. Elevating distracted driving to a primary offense in Lakewood sets the groundwork for a cultural shift around this issue.” Click here to read more.

Council President Sam O’Leary Receives Democratic Party Endorsement in Lakewood Mayoral Run

Press Release
June 17, 2019

On June 15 at 3:00 p.m. at the Lakewood Public Library, 29 members of the Lakewood Democratic Executive Committee met to endorse this year’s candidates in Lakewood’s Council and Mayoral races. Current City Council President and Ward 2 Councilman, Sam O’Leary, overwhelmingly won the endorsement in a 25-4 vote Saturday.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled that Lakewood’s Democratic leaders are confident that I have the right experience to be the next Mayor of Lakewood. As Council President, it has been my mission to serve all of Lakewood’s citizens. As a life-long resident, I am committed to running a campaign to keep Lakewood’s future bright. Each day I am knocking on residents’ doors, listening to their concerns, and I am committed to delivering results for our city.” Click here to read the full press release.

Lakewood raising age to purchase nicotine and tobacco products

News 5 Cleveland
March 26, 2019

Lakewood is joining 21 other communities in Ohio by raising the age to buy tobacco and nicotine products in the city. Last Monday, Lakewood City Council unanimously voted to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21. Lakewood joins seven states and over 450 municipalities across the country who have passed similar laws since 2015, according to a press release.

“This change strikes the right balance by raising the age, but also decriminalizing our enforcement. Council worked hard to make sure that this law isn’t about punishing small businesses or kids, but is instead about making a meaningful difference in the health of our community and our young people’s future,” Council President Sam O’Leary said. Click here to read more.

Council President Sam O’Leary Announces Bid for Lakewood Mayor

Press Release
February 28, 2019

City Council President Sam O’Leary has announced that he is running for Lakewood Mayor.

“I’m running for Mayor because I believe in Lakewood and the possibility of our city’s future.  By working together, we can build on the incredible progress our city has made by investing in our neighborhoods and critical services, welcoming and supporting all residents, embracing our unique identity and the core values that make Lakewood a truly special community. I’m proud of my eight-year record of service to Lakewood, and I’m confident I have the experience, ideas, and energy to continue working with our residents and businesses to move Lakewood forward.”

Click here to see the full press release.

Lakewood City Council President Sam O’Leary announces run for mayor
February 28, 2019

Less than 24 hours after Mayor Mike Summers announced that he would not seek a third term in office, City Council President Sam O’Leary officially threw his hat in the ring to become the city’s next mayor.

“Lakewood has always been and will always be home for me,” said Ward 2 City Councilman O’Leary, 29, a 2007 Lakewood High School graduate who, more than three years ago, became the community’s youngest council president.

“That’s why I’ve been driven to serve my fellow neighbors for the past six years on City Council and then two years before that on the Board of Zoning Appeals," he said. Click here to read more.

Lakewood City Council President Holding Town Hall Meetings

February 26, 2019

Lakewood City Council President Sam O'Leary will host a pair of upcoming town halls. The first session will be March 5 at the Lakewood Library Main Branch multimedia room and will be open to all. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

"In my eight years of serving this community, these town halls are an excellent opportunity for citizens of Lakewood to engage directly with their local government and I'm excited to hear feedback from the community," O'Leary said. "This community is full of good ideas and insights, and we make this community better every time we have these conversations." Click here to read more.

Lakewood seeks Youth Council Planning Task Force applicants
February 11, 2019

City officials last year announced the creation of the Lakewood Youth Council as a way to increase teenage presence and input within City Hall.

The first step toward bringing the group to fruition is the Youth Council Planning Task Force, which will feature high school-age volunteers tasked with designing the framework -- mission and vision, by-laws, recruitment plan and application -- for the future Lakewood Youth Council. Click here to read more.

Lakewood City Council eyeing extensive 2019 budget process
August 22, 2018

City Council may be on summer recess, but its members are gearing up for the 2019 budget process. This includes a Sept. 5 deadline to submit proposals, followed by two finance meetings to review and discuss them before council introduces a resolution with its final list of priorities on Oct. 1.

"I hope council members are taking time to study what their priorities are and the resources that it is going to take to implement those priorities in a realistic way," said Council President Sam O'Leary. "Historically, our council has done a great job with that. Click here to read more.

World Refugee Day: Lakewood's Welcoming History

June 20, 2018

More than 7,600 refugees resettled in the Cleveland area between 2000 and 2016, according to info from the Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland. This past weekend in Lakewood, many of those refugees and their families attended a "getting to know" each other event -- aimed at converging cultures. That was in anticipation of World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20.

Sam O'Leary, president of the Lakewood City Council, joined ideas to discuss Lakewood's strong history of being a welcoming community. Watch the video here.

Lakewood Hoping for Financial Boost From Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

90.3 WCPN
June 6, 2018

Lakewood’s city council president Sam O’Leary says he is very excited that two of the 56 medical marijuana dispensaries licenses awarded in Ohio will be in Lakewood.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced the locations of the dispensary sites around the state this week -- following a lengthy application and approval process.

Nearly 400 applications were submitted to the state for consideration.

Lakewood city council passed regulations last year, in case the local company, GTI Ohio, LLC, was successful in the application process, O’Leary said. Click here to read more.

A New Generation takes Office
April 6, 2016

Millennial politicians aren't yet old enough to be president, but they've got plenty of opinions about the tenor of the presidential race, particularly on the Republican side, where Cleveland awaits what is likely to be a contested -- and potentially ugly -- convention in July.

Cleveland City Council Monday swore in a millennial member. Twenty-eight-year-old Kerry McCormack will represent Ward 3, which includes downtown and several West Side neighborhoods.

What do he and other public servants under 35 bring to the public table that elders don't? We asked a series of question of a handful of local millennial officeholders. Click here to read more.