A Solon service worker has an idea to make the city even more inclusive to other cultures.
Solon resident James Orosz, 37, a member of the service department since last year, spoke to City Council recently about his idea to incorporate multilingual information on city services such as recycling and trash collection.
Mr. Orosz, who was a recent mayoral candidate before pulling out of the race, said that he came up with the idea in 2013, but was told it was too ambitious.
He said some residents were not putting their rubbish or recycling out properly and it turned out there was a language barrier.
“(Those) people were not speaking English and I realized there was a communications issue,” Mr. Orosz said.
It was then that he realized the city could do something to overcome that barrier, while at the same time working together to increase efficiency within the service department.
“As a department, we should make the community feel more connected,” Mr. Orosz said.
It was about a month ago that Mr. Orosz wanted to revisit his original idea when he ran into another resident not putting his garbage out properly. The resident’s son had to translate for him because he didn’t speak English.
“In my neighborhood alone, there are so many different nationalities,” Mr. Orosz said of the Oakview Estates area.
“This is a city service we can provide,” he said.
Mr. Orosz’ plan is to have a residential packet for new residents coming into the city of the applicable language, whether it is Chinese, Spanish or another language. The city could create several different language templates.
“It will help them be able to read it more comfortably and understand,” he said.
“This might be something good for the city to look at,” Mr. Orosz said, adding that it may be helpful in other departments besides service.
While it is just an idea, Mr. Orosz’ plan got a warm reception from city officials.
“I like the idea,” Councilman Douglas A. Magill said, especially with Solon being such an inclusive community and technologically savvy.
Councilman Robert Shimits agreed. “This is a wonderful idea and something the city should look into,” he said.
“If you don’t try it, you’ll never know,” Mr. Orosz said. “This could be something of great benefit to the city.”