The Bay Village Chapter: Founded 1947
The League of Women Voters of Ohio was one of the first state Leagues founded in 1920. A local League is first established as “provisional”; once it has met membership and activity criteria, the state League grants a charter. In 1947, a provisional League was started in the Village of Bay, with Mrs. James J. Austin as president. The state charter followed in 1948. Mrs. Ervin Luecke was elected president and led the group on its first study, a city charter form of government for the village. Voters approved the charter on April 12, 1949, and the Village of Bay became the City of Bay Village.
According to the late George Serb, long-time League member and community historian, the first League candidates night was held in the Bay Community House in October 1948. Because of a heavy snowfall, the audience was sparse, and few candidates showed up. One who did come was Anthony Celebrezze, later Ohio State Senator, Mayor of Cleveland, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Judge in the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Over the years, the Bay LWV has faithfully observed local government bodies, studied a variety of public policy issues, and provided voter information on candidates and issues critical to the community. Although the names and faces have changed — along with its name — the Bay Village Chapter of the League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland is committed to continuing the tradition of education and advocacy begun in 1947.
For more information about the Bay Village Chapter, click here to send email.
In memory of long-time Chapter Chair Joan Hirsh, the Bay Chapter is donating $10,000 for microphones in City Hall. This project began in a conversation with LWV member and Council President Paul Koomar about how Council could be more visible, open, and transparent to citizens. Under Mr. Koomar’s leadership, Council has since offered a series of town hall meetings covering timely and important topics. He also initiated posting meeting packets on the city’s website, so citizens can review many of the materials behind agenda items.
Microphones are the capstone. They will of course help people in the room hear better. But by making high-quality recordings possible, they will also allow people who cannot attend the meetings to hear what was said. Finally, voice-to-text software will enable efficient and complete production of minutes for all meetings. Council President Koomar, along with LWV member and Councilman Paul Vincent, who chairs the Services, Utilities and Equipment committee; Council Clerk Joan Kemper; and Bay’s LWV chapter treasurer Alex Dade are to be commended for their hard work. It was not a simple project, but for years to come, it will improve access to – and we hope involvement in – city government.
For a July 7, 2015 Westlake/Bay Village Observer article on this project, click here.
Chris Gepperth and Martha Swanson
Chris and Martha are the 2017 winners of the George Serb and Maxine M. McQuate Good Citizen Scholarship, presented by the Bay Village Chapter of LWVGC. Chris will be attending the University of Akron, majoring in mechanical engineering. Martha will attend Samford University in Alabama and plans to major in special education.