University Heights City Council Candidate Paul Miller
Facebook: Paul Miller Candidate
Education: Suffolk University Law School, Boston, J.D.; University of Miami, B.A., Communications
Current occupation: Sales & Management, Retired
Qualifications: Substitute teacher in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights school system post retirement led to a greater understanding of problems with our schools. Developed excellent communication skills from working as a Trainer to teaching public speaking. Board Member of various organizations gives me an excellent understanding of what it takes to prepare & execute a budget. Being a chairperson of numerous committees, I understand the dynamics of individuals working together. Weekly deliveries of donated food gave me a new appreciation of our population in great need.
What do you consider to be an effective working relationship between the Mayor and the members of Council, and what do you consider to be an effective working relationship among members of Council?
An effective relationship between the Mayor and members of Council must include the following: a mutual respect for the positions, a clear understanding of the definition of powers, a give and take between the Mayor and Council with the overriding thought: Is it in the best interest of our city and our residents. Our responsibility to the electorate is to work together because only then can we accomplish the greater good. An effective working relationship among members of Council must include the following: a mutual respect for each other and each other’s opinions. In the end, Council must present itself as a unified body, always keeping in mind that we are all working for the betterment of the city.
What should be the priorities for the city’s budget?
The priorities of a city budget should be to include being balanced and creating a rainy day fund. Deficit spending is not an option. Our citizens demand and expect us to be fiscally responsible. Spending more than what we have or borrowing money is not prudent or sound monetarily. My number one priority is to have a strong Police and Fire Department. As an elected official my responsibility is to keep our residents safe. It is important that our streets, sidewalks and curbs are well maintained in order to keep our residents safe. The next priority is maintaining our garbage pick-up. Additionally, we need to have a comprehensive study done regarding the different roles of personnel of the city to ensure all the city’s needs are being met.
What opportunities do you see for regional collaboration between University Heights and other local governments to provide services or facilities?
John Donne said, "No man is an island." University Heights needs to work with the four surrounding cities that bring different strengths to the table. We must look into regional cooperation so that existing expenditures can be minimized. The opportunities for cooperation are: 1. Technology and Information. 2. Maintaining our streets, sidewalks and curbs, many of which are in dangerous condition to residents. 3. Asset Management. 4. Human Resource Management. 5. Administrative Functions. Before any decisions are made, input from the residents is crucial. We do not want to lose our unique community identity.
What, if any, specific actions would you recommend the city take to maintain the quality of its housing?
The city needs to do a complete assessment of all homes in order to find out the present condition. This would provide a current picture to Council. Unfortunately, there are abandoned homes that we may not be aware of causing our neighborhoods to suffer. Caring about the quality of our housing is important for the following reasons: 1. It adds to the physical attractiveness of our city. 2. It increases property values. 3. It increases pride in each neighborhood. We must work with homeowners to address violations. We need to investigate grant programs and low interest loans to help those homeowners to remedy their violations. In addition, we must have a strong Housing Department.
What role should environmental considerations play in the city’s policies and actions?
University Heights should take into serious consideration the role of the environment. I want to preserve and enhance our quality of life by researching the following areas: electric/hydrogen vehicles, bicycle lanes, solar power, paper free policies, environmentally friendly paper products. With regards to electric/hydrogen vehicles, I would work towards installing free charging stations in the city, for the use of residents. This has been met with great success in other cities. Budget constraints will always play a key part in our decision making process. As a city, we should encourage our residents to pursue whatever options are available. Our city needs to reflect important quality of life issues for our health and environment.