If the North Akron neighborhood looks a little brighter after dark this winter, it could be the result of newly elected Akron City Councilman Phil Lombardo’s “Project Light it up."
Prior to his election last November, Lombardo had been asked by a business owner for help getting a street light repaired in the Tallmadge Avenue business district.
Lombardo, who’s been an accountant at FirstEnergy for nearly 40 years, decided he would drive all 217 streets in Ward 2 to check on the status of other street lights.
“It ended up, when all was said and done, I tagged 352 poles,” he said. “There were certain streets, some main drags of the city that had 20 and 30 lights out.”
Lombardo then contacted Ohio Edison’s street light division and offered to assist in organizing a program to replace the bulbs or repair the street lights.
As Lombardo attends his first meeting as a city councilman, about 80 percent of the lights on his list have been repaired, he said. Among his goals is to help residents understand how they can take action themselves to get streetlights repaired.
“ It’s as easy as calling 311, it’s as easy as going online at FirstEnergycorp.com or it’s as easy as having this form I’ll have at my ward meetings that you can fax in,” he said.
Lombardo also plans to launch a reading program for students at Forest Hill and Harris Jackson elementary schools called “Read a Book, have a Ball.” In the program, students who read a book and return it to their teacher will earn a new rubber ball.
Along with a monthly newsletter, “the Ward 2 Word,” Lombardo will also host Ward 2 meetings with featured speakers each month throughout the year at Patterson Park Community Center, the North Hill branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library and a location to be determined. Visit the Ward 2 website for times and locations.