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Mayor Ed Kelley: It’s Time To Take Our Streets Back Here in Cleveland Heights

Kelley spoke at the Cleveland Heights City Council meeting Jan. 3 about his goals and concerns

voted to as mayor at the Jan. 3 meeting. Council votes on a mayor and vice mayor every two years.

During the meeting, Kelley discussed his concerns and goals. Here is his statement from that meeting:

I would like to thank my family for all their support during the last eighteen years that I have served on City Council. Without your love and support, I could not serve on this City Council. To my wife, Mary Beth, thank you for your continued patience and guidance on this journey.  To my friend and supporter, Judge Anthony Russo, thank you for swearing me in tonight. I want to thank Dennis Wilcox and Cheryl Stephens for demonstrating their support for me by their nominations. I do appreciate it.

To my colleagues on City Council, specifically, Mary Dunbar, Phyllis Evans, Jason Stein and Dennis Wilcox: Congratulations on your outstanding election victories. To Bonnie Caplan and Cheryl Stephens, I look forward to working with you again for at least the next two years.

As we look ahead to the next two years, we as a city council and every city employee must be prepared to meet our challenges head on, and give an effort of 1,000 percent. We must be proactive and not reactive. The status quo is no longer good enough and should not be accepted as we move forward.  We have many challenges ahead.  The most important of these including:

  • Financial – we must continue to focus on our financial situation.  Revenues and expenditures must be monitored weekly.  Additional revenue sources must be identified. Expenditures must be held in check. Our finance department must be more business friendly.
  • Public Safety – we must continue to support our and departments, and make sure they have the proper equipment and training to do their jobs. We must investigate and implement the newest technologies to enable our police and fire departments to provide efficiently the safest environment possible.  New types of must be developed and enhanced to fight crime. I challenge our police and fire chiefs to reach these goals in calendar year 2012. Our residents expect the best and should receive the best when it comes to public safety. More importantly, our residents (young and old) must step up and call the police when things do not seem right in our neighborhoods, business areas, on our streets, and in our parks.  We need our residents to join together with our police, with this City Council and other key city personnel to take back our streets. Finally, we need a zero tolerance with respect to crime in Cleveland Heights. Criminals need to know that criminal activity in any form is not acceptable in Cleveland Heights. If you commit a crime in Cleveland Heights, you will be caught, you will be prosecuted and once you are convicted,  trust me, we will, and we have, lobbied the judges to have you get the most extreme sentence possible. It’s time to take our streets back here in Cleveland Heights. More importantly, we as a city need to hold our Juvenile Court and its Judges and Magistrates more accountable.  We need to get involved.  Too many things are slipping through the cracks and our juvenile court and juvenile justice system is not serving Cleveland Heights well. 
  • Economic Development – We need to reach out to our merchants, property owners, the SIDS and others and help them through these tough economic times. We must also look to help locate new business opportunities for our city. To our Economic Development Director, Howard Thompson: It is time to make economic deals and opportunities a reality. The time for development talk is over, you are charged with the responsibility of bringing new economic development opportunities to every corner of Cleveland Heights. The city is crying out for new development in every business district and . I have and continue to make myself available to you for support and assistance in this task in any way I can, and expect you to combine our talents and abilities to turn this situation around.
  • Housing – we must continue to support housing programs that support our housing stock (both old and new). We must successfully compete to bring new residents into Cleveland Heights. We must also continue to aggressively tear down vacant properties that serve as eyesores on our neighborhood streets.
  • Recreation – we must continue and expand our recreational opportunities and the use of our parks and our community center for our children, our families and our seniors. It is time to re-evaluate the functions of our . It is now ten years old. It is time to redevelop and redesign how our community center serves the residents of Cleveland Heights.  Building upgrades and new programming are desperately needed.
To our friends at University Circle, we need to continue to collaborate and grow together. We appreciate, and we are proud to have the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve, and other nonprofits from University Circle as our neighbors.  ut there is no reason that we can’t do more together for the benefit of all.
To our schools: public, private and parochial, to the arts community, to our local nonprofits, to our churches, synagogues and temples, the City of Cleveland Heights stands willing and able to assist you during these tough economic times. The economy is improving, and we need to stand ready, willing and able to provide and expand services to those we serve.  Let us all work together for strong positive results.

Cleveland Heights in 2012 continues to be one of the most desirable cities to raise a family, work, visit and play in the State of Ohio. I am grateful and humbled to be re-elected mayor of our city for the eighth time. I was born and raised in Cleveland Heights. I have watched Cleveland Heights grow and evolve.  I feel privileged to be able to play a part in the continued success of our great city. I promise to you that I will continue to work had for you as your mayor. I will continue to serve all the residents of Cleveland Heights with passion, dedication and commitment. Thank you very much.

Steve January 15, 2012 at 05:36 PM
It is refreshing to see an elected official take note and make plans for what needs to be done that falls in line with the thoughts of the voting public. I have a question though. Does University Heights and other other communities have neighborhood watch programs and work closely with their police departments?
Elliot Ness January 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM
The speech is great but....as an ex resident...I think many good people are in denial. They are constantly talking about the great restaurants, places to shop etc. Maybe so 25 years ago. What good are these great places if you have to fear walking there or getting out of your car. I have neighbors assulted outside a restaurant on Lee Rd. Cleveland Hts. will never be great again. The ones that hang on either can't afford to move or have their heads in the sand. We all know what the problem is, We also know the parents don't care and the system gives criminals under 18 a pass.
Simon Nash January 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Unquestionably, there are certain parts of CH which are headed in the wrong direction. However, I live in CH and know many, many residents in CH. I have never met one person who has stated or suggested that he or she was afraid to walk down the streets in commercial areas of CH.
Charles Taylor January 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Last I looked, Eliot Ness was already safely interred in Lakeview Cemetery (Section 7 Lot 8-0). The current "Mr. Ness'" comments reflect a similar morbidity, in this instance toward a community of which he is no longer a member. His broad-brush declensionist screed is not at all reflective of the current CH experience of myself, my family and my friends. As to the Mayor, I have now heard his juvenile justice rhetoric over the past many months but have yet to see any specifics regarding what changes need to be made, how those changes will be put in place, and to what effect. What is the specific plan in this instance and how does it compare to the experience of other like communities? As much, in what specific ways have the CH police recently adapted their techniques to the community's specific challenges? I personally witnessed no change in policing the crowd issues presented at the Coventry Street Fair between 2010 and 2011. Perhaps another CH resident could recount the policing changes I evidently missed.
Tara Pesta January 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Regarding the police adapting their techniques, I've heard that they are monitoring social media to stay aware of any potential large gatherings, etc. They also have begun posting updates on Twitter for sharing quick messages with the community. I've personally seen two large groups of teens gathering at Cain Park recently, and there were multiple police cars there just keeping an eye on things. There is much more work to be done, but I think these are steps in the right direction.

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