Resident foresees positive future for CH
As all of us who live in Cleveland Heights know, this is a unique, special city.
It has a diverse, progressive, open-minded citizenry; eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and commercial establishments; and stunning, historic architecture.
I have lived here for almost half of my life, and much longer than anywhere else I called home. I find it hard to imagine finding a more welcoming, livable, walkable city in Northeast Ohio, or the country.
Over the years, Cleveland Heights has suffered through many of the same problems as other inner-ring suburbs, as the housing stock continues to age, taxes increase to support the schools and city government, and the infrastructure continues to deteriorate.
Through all of these changes, the city government failed to adequately adjust to the changing times, and wanted to continue down the same path.
The electorate took the initiative to change the system, and a dedicated group of citizen-leaders led the movement to a directly elected mayoral system.
The new system should lead to more-direct accountability from our leaders, and governmental transparency, both of which have been lacking in the current city-manager system over the last few decades.
Vince Reddy was absolutely correct [in his opinion, published in the May Heights Observer] that the future of Cleveland Heights now resides in an educated, informed and competent citizenry electing a qualified, visionary mayor who can stabilize Cleveland Heights and foster a change in trajectory.
If we end up with a party-chosen candidate running unopposed, it would be the worst thing that could happen to our city at this important juncture. We must strive to push for a number of candidates to run in this important election.
The current structure and system led to this point where we needed change. We do not need another lifelong political operative looking to move one rung up on the ladder before moving on to the next step.
I have faith in this city, and I know that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a new mayor to make his or her stamp on Cleveland Heights will bring out the best candidates for this difficult endeavor.
I am positive about our future, and I am confident, as we approach our centennial celebration in 2021, we will elect a new mayor who will reflect everything that is good and positive about our community.
Graig Kluge has lived in Cleveland Heights for almost 23 years, and enjoys its diversity, progressive inclusivity, and welcoming environment.