MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Nearly 900 residents participated in a survey or focus group answering questions about what is most important to them when it comes to city recreation.

The questioning, which took part over the course of four months, comes in the wake of the springtime passage of Issue 9, the city’s .5-percent income tax increase. The city has earmarked 40 percent of the approximately $5 million the tax increase will generate by 2023, or about $2 million per year, to recreation.

“I’m very, very thrilled,” said Krista Rodriguez, of The Impact Group, which performed the survey, in speaking about the 852 residents who completed a survey on paper or online. “That’s a high number for getting a response rate for a city of your size, and that was very good to see.”

Rodriguez gave results of the survey to City Council during a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting held Monday, Oct. 12.

First discussed were a number of questions pertaining to the city’s stated goal of building a new swimming pool to replace the more than 60-year-old Dragga Pool at City Park. It was found that 77 percent of respondents were aware of the city’s plan for a new pool, as well as its plans to use tax money to upgrade roads, sidewalks and parks. Sixty-two percent said that they do not use the pool at all during the summer, but some stated that their lack of use was attached to the condition of the pool which, among other things, needs regular repairs to cracks at its bottom.

In other responses, 56 percent thought it was very or somewhat important that the new pool has a splash pad; 89 percent favored umbrellas or shaded areas; 69 percent, a water slide; 68 percent, a children’s playground in the water; 63 percent, zero-depth

In the nearly six years since Greg Abbott has been governor of Texas, the Lone Star State has been the number one destination for U.S. businesses looking to relocate.

That includes California businesses. In 2018 and 2019, as many as 660 California-based companies pulled their stakes up and moved to greener pastures in Texas, where the cost of doing business is roughly 10 percent below the national average.

Next up is Tesla. The electric vehicle (EV) company is currently in the process of building its fourth factory in the Texas capital of Austin, a growing tech hub with a young, highly educated population.

A city in Texas may also be named headquarters to TikTok, the popular video-sharing app whose fate is still in limbo after Oracle and Walmart struck a deal to jointly buy the U.S. service from TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance. This could bring as many as 25,000 high-paying jobs to the Lone Star State, according to President Donald Trump, who favors Texas as the app’s HQ.

Gov. Abbott touched on jobs, the economy and more during a Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) event I had the pleasure of attending last week just outside San Antonio. He pointed out that the Texas GDP, at $1.9 trillion, is bigger than the economies of Canada, Brazil and Russia.

“We’re bigger than Putin,” the governor quipped, eliciting laughter.

Abbott also briefly addressed the recent protests across the nation, some of which have unfortunately turned violent. Texas would always support people’s First Amendment right to peacefully protest, he stressed, but the moment a demonstration resorts to rioting and looting, it is no longer protected by the Constitution.

I recently shared with you that the multi-city riots between May and June alone are now estimated to be the costliest civil disorders in U.S. history, 

A couple (Credit: Shutterstock)

Traditionally, life settlements – the sale of an unwanted or unaffordable life insurance policy for substantially more than the policy’s cash surrender value — have significantly benefitted seniors by providing them with resources to help pay for rising health care costs, medical bills and other needs in retirement.

(Related: Where the Life Settlement Business Is Now — And Where It’s Going)

For a policy to have value in a life settlement, the insured person under the policy typically needed to be in their mid-to-late 70s and have had a decline in health since the policy was first issued. Health impairments such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer or other serious medical conditions were often necessary in order for the policy to be sold.

But now, even healthy seniors – those whose health has not significantly declined from when they first took out the policy – have the option to sell their policies and generate income that can be used to invest in their retirement or pay for anticipated healthcare, long-term care, and other future expenses.

A healthy senior can qualify for a life settlement by meeting three criteria:

  1. The policy must be a guaranteed universal life (GUL) policy.
  2. The insured typically must be age 75 or older.
  3. The policy’s death benefit must be at least $250,000.

A policyowner who meets these criteria can receive an offer to purchase the policy without the need for a medical record review or underwriting. Offers to healthy seniors are usually made within 24 hours of receipt of the required information from the buyer.

This is good news for healthy seniors with GUL policies when compared to traditional life settlements. First, they wouldn’t typically even qualify for a life settlement. Second, traditional life settlement transactions take several months to complete because of the need