Mancuso responds to questions for mayoral candidates
Please provide a brief explanation of who you are, your career accomplishments, how long you have been a resident of Euclid, and any past experience in elective office.
I was raised in Euclid, graduated from the Euclid City School System, and was afforded all the great things that Euclid has to offer its' families and children. I have been blessed with two wonderful children and two grandchildren. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and subsequent master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University. I ws much honored to be recognized by CSU as distinguished alumni. I am a registered nurse and a healthcare administrator with over 25 years of experience. As an RN, I worked through the ranks of the medical field, starting as an emergency room nurse, until I eventually obtained a leadership role as the director of the Division of Trauma, Burns, and the Metro Life Flight Program, which transports critically injured people to the hospital.
I had the privilege of serving the residents of Euclid for two terms as a city wide councilperson at- large. While on council, I was most proud of the following accomplishments:
- Directed the pursuit and implementation of a more cost effective healthcare administration contract through a transparent, inclusive process that continues to save the city thousands of dollars today.
- Provided new laptop technology for the housing inspectors to increase their efficiency in the workplace.
- Set priorities for the housing department on code enforcement.
Why are you seeking the position of mayor of Euclid?
I believe in the potential of Euclid and we need to achieve that potential for the residents of the city. Today, the city is drifting and there are too many of our residents who are frustrated by how the city operates. Many of the residents I have spoken to are discouraged at the lack of progress they see, their inability to really impact the decision-making process, and the overall lack of accountability. I know that my business and organizational skills give me the insights and experience to finally put Euclid on track to realize its’ full potential. Our residents deserve the very best from their city leaders and should expect a proactive, responsive, innovative government that listens to them and values their input.
If elected, what three issues or programs would be at the top of your priority list in the first year or two of your term as mayor?
- Enhance our neighborhoods by protecting your investment
- Strengthen our safety forces, city assets and city services
- Support existing businesses while promoting new economic development
What do you regard as the primary long-term challenges facing the City of Euclid? How would you deal with those challenges?
From day one of my candidacy, I have believed that there are three main questions that every Euclid resident should ask themselves:
1. Do you believe that Euclid is a great place to raise a family or own a business?
2. Is Euclid still “The Lakefront City of Superior Services”?
3. Are you pleased with the vision offered by the current city leaders and the direction they are taking us in?
Sadly, most of the residents I speak to answer these questions with a resounding no! I believe strongly that by running a transparent administration that truly values residents’ input and makes them part of the process, we can turn the NOs into enthusiastically spoken YESs!
Do you favor the continuation of support for the Shore Cultural Centre and the programs offered there? If so, why do you believe the center is an important community asset?
While serving as councilperson at- large, I quickly realized that there was a great deal of potential in the building. But I also saw the lack of maintenance, lack of planning, and a lack of commitment to the building by the current administration, which obstructed its success. As a candidate, I have witnessed a revitalization of the building and its mission to the community. Shore is one of many community assets. The issue with Shore and all other assets owned by the city of Euclid is that each needs to be managed, maintained and meet measurable strategic and operational goals. Shore now has an organized logical strategic and operational plan that has already seen success. When we work to make our city assets sustainable and successful, the entire community benefits.
Do you favor extending the contract with the Coral Group to oversee its five-year plan for Shore Cultural Centre? (If not, explain why not.)
The Coral contract was initially and is routinely discussed at length by the current administration. The Coral Company has delineated fiscal, operational and strategic goals and objectives that include realistic timelines for measurement. The Coral Company has also demonstrated success in meeting those goals. The city of Euclid would do well to proactively manage its other city assets to the level that Coral has demonstrated its ability to produce measurable results based on its expertise and ability to work with the community. The Coral Company has proven its ability to carry out its five year plan. It is good business to work with good businesses. It only makes the community better.
In your view, how much emphasis should the city administration be placing on economic development initiatives? Also, as mayor, what steps would you take to strengthen the tax base and enhance the image that the city projects to the wider community?
We need leadership to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. True economic development is the basis for a stable community and we must identify, prioritize and measure what projects provide the best value to the residents. Once this is done, we must have the vision to budget our resources in such a way to meet those priorities. I believe this vision is lacking today and this must change if we are ever going to grow. Most importantly, we need to use the enormous pool of business expertise, experience, and talent to move us to a ‘real’ business-friendly environment. I have a strong record of working with government officials across the state of Ohio. As Mayor, I will aggressively use all available resources to fully fund economic development for new and existing businesses. My administration will have a sharp focus on filling vacant storefronts and the creation of jobs.
Do you have a plan for resolving the issue of depressed property values in the city? If so, what are the key elements of that plan?
As mayor, I will protect our residents’ investment by making Euclid’s housing a top priority. I believe that significant attention must be directed at maintaining, restoring and retrofitting our existing housing stock. I will implement the Mancuso Euclid Housing Initiative, which is based upon time tested, proven housing initiatives that have been successful nationwide. Additionally, the Mancuso Euclid Housing Initiative will be developed with the unified support of my administration, city council, Euclid courts, Euclid Police Department, property owners and tenants. Through strong leadership and collaboration, we will ultimately be able to raise property values and maintain a high quality of life for all.
The Mancuso Euclid Housing Initiative will focus on the following:
- Enforcing housing codes
- Eliminating nuisance properties
- Education for property owners, landlords and new tenants
- Implement zero tolerance leases
How do you rate the performance of the Euclid safety forces? What would you do, as mayor, to improve the ability of the police and fire departments to meet the needs of the citizens of Euclid?
I think what needs to be made perfectly clear is that the residents of Euclid should feel confident and join me in applauding the hard work and dedication that the men and woman who make up Euclid’s safety forces demonstrate every day. Unfortunately, sometimes the negative press that has focused on poor leadership has overshadowed all the great work that is being done each and every day. My number one priority will be to restore the confidence level that our safety forces need to have in their leadership. And the best way to build that trust is to ensure that through a transparent process; proper procedures are put in place and followed whenever decisions, big and small, need to be made.
If elected, what would be the very first piece of legislation that you would propose to the city council?
My first pieces of legislation would be to institute a nepotism policy and ensure our employee policies are current and followed. There are far too many examples of where municipal employees have been used as political pawns and to pay back favors. I have campaigned very strongly on transparency and accountability, and I believe we need to stop the old political cronyism immediately so we can get our government back to working for the residents of the city.
When prospective voters ask why they ought to vote for you, what do you tell them?
I will commit to making Euclid a city that does everything possible to reach its full potential. This city and its residents deserve more than we currently are experiencing. I will make government work for the resident versus the other way around. I will bring all parties to the table to craft new and different ways to meet our 'collective' goals. I will not promise all things to all people and accomplish none. Together, we will establish priorities, objectives and then implement the necessary processes to achieve them. There is a great deal of untapped expertise and talent throughout Euclid, and I will invite all to participate. We will manage within our fiscal means and communicate our activities on a regular basis so all residents are informed. After all, it is your city.