A week ago, one of the newspaper’s “building” mates — she works in the office below the West Life in an historical Avon Lake home on Moore Road — came bursting into our office. She had to tell me a story. Her name is Dawn Pruitt. She lives in Sheffield Village, but works as a Home Health aid for Healthland Home Care.
“I just have to share this,” she said excitedly. “I am so impressed with Mayor (Gregory) Zilka.”
I asked her to write down her experience so that it was properly conveyed.
“I have a Home Health client who resides in a complex in Avon Lake that houses only disabled and handicap tenants. She received a notice in the mail from the complex on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, that there would be a contractor coming into her apartment to paint at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21, 2021. They also had asked that the walls be cleared and small furniture and electronics be moved away from the wall. They also requested that she not be in the apartment during the time they are painting.
“This was very upsetting to our client as she is non-ambulatory (unable to walk). She is unable to do many of the things herself (with her) limited mobility and has to reach out to others for help. She has to set up transportation two days in advance to be taken anywhere. I would have offered my home to her, but due to the steps to get into my home this was not an option. She also has an emotional support service dog to consider as well. Our 91-year-old client was going to sit outside in the hot humid weather in the picnic area while they painted.
“I was scrambling to think of options due to transportation etc. I decided to call the office of the Avon Lake mayor in hopes that he could address this issue with the property manager to give these residents time to properly prepare for the types of things such as this. I placed my call in the early afternoon on Sunday, Aug. 22, and received a call back from the mayor in less than two hours. I surely did not expect that. He was so very kind in trying to help me find resolutions to these issues. He then asked me to call him that evening while I was at the client’s home to assure him we had a safe plan for her, so that she was not outside in the heat. He then called again Monday morning to check on her as well.
“To me this was above and beyond, especially on a Sunday. This shows compassion and concern for residents of his city, and it had nothing to do with politics.”
Beyond her letter, Dawns shared some other details in person, including that she heard the 91-year-old had been desperate enough to go in her scooter to Walmart and try to solicit help in the parking lot. She was telling people she would pay for them to help her.
“I know politicians get a lot of bad publicity, so I just want people to know how our mayor went above and beyond his duty.”
Plus, she added, he called the senior to say he was sorry she had been distressed and let him know if there was anything else he could do.
Kudos to Mayor Zilka! And a special thanks to Dawn for also going above and beyond to help her client.
Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-871-5797.