A video of the LWV Candidates candidates forum held on Thursday, October 3, at 7 pm at the Cleveland Heights Community Center is now online at the LWV site. The format was for City Council candidates to introduce ourselves for two minutes, answer questions from the audience, then have a minute for closing remarks. You’ll have to watch the video for my answers to the questions, but here is what I said for opening and closing remarks.
Opening Statement: I’m Mary Dunbar. I’ve had two terms on City Council, and I’d like one more, because I believe we are at a turning point for our community – one that can have a very positive outcome. Because I’ve been on City Council for eight years, I can be effective now in steering our course in a positive direction.
Thanks to the Master Plan that our City Manager spearheaded and Council adopted, we have many pieces in place to reinvigorate Cleveland Heights. And we’ve made a start. The numerous economic development project under way in our City can ultimately boost our tax base and ease the tax burden on residents. We have Top of the Hill, the College Club and Medusa Building projects, the Meadowbrook-Lee project that now has spread to Cedar, new ideas for Severance…
We have partnered with Future Heights to have a Community Development Corporation (also known as a CDC) which this year is renovating five or six vacant and abandoned homes, with the aim of selling them to home owners at market rate. Next year, the CDC will renovate a dozen vacant and abandoned homes.
Almost nothing major happens at the municipal level without first completing a study, because the studies enable funding. We now have plans for Mayfield Road, Noble Road, Taylor Road, Compton Road… As these plans are implemented, they will cut swaths of renovation through our City, and I fully expect renovation to spill over to surrounding streets.
Also under development are plans for in-fill housing. We have 170 vacant lots, especially in the northern part of Cleveland Heights, that are owned by the County or City Land Banks. Rather than these lots being a liability, we have a great opportunity to add new housing to our stock and attract those who prefer new!
These are just a few highlights. Vote for Mary Dunbar to keep Cleveland Heights moving in positive directions.
Closing Statement: Residents come up with some of the best ideas for changes in our City. But these ideas need a Council champion to be adopted. I have worked with residents and been that champion for numerous pieces of legislation and developments. Since I became Chair of a Council Housing and Transportation Committee a year ago, Council adopted a Local Historic District ordinance that enables the Medusa Building Project. This legislation was promoted by residents on the City’s Landmark Commission. We also passed foreclosure bond legislation, promoted by the Greater Cleveland Congregations Noble Road group. I also claim a share of the progress made thanks to resident requests and the City’s Transportation Advisory Committee for improvements as a walkable, bikeable, transit friendly community. I want to continue working effectively with and for you! Please vote for Mary Dunbar for City Council.