1. What do you see as the two greatest strengths of Euclid?
Euclid's two greatest strengths are its people and its location. The people of Euclid have been resilient over the decades, surviving the bad old days when the city of Euclid promoted gambling and vice in the first part of the 20th century to emerge as the economic engine that produced the instruments of war to defeat the axis powers and further into the place that is the home of such economic behemoths as Lincoln Electric's New International Headquarters.
Euclid's location is also a strength because of the untapped potential of Euclid's lakefront: it's time for that marina to exist as a reality instead of a pipe dream imagined by and talked about by ineffective leaders.
Euclid's strength as a location also emanates from our proximity to the downtown business district and the other important locations to the east and south of our municipality. We could not be better situated for a new generation of economic development in our city.
2. What do you see as the two greatest weaknesses of Euclid?
Our two biggest weaknesses involve the willingness of some Euclidians to accept the idea that Euclid will continue on a downward slide into the oblivion that is the ultimate destination for inner ring suburbs confronting urban problems. I refuse to accept this viewpoint and I intend to rip up that script and rewrite Euclid's future history. We can be a place with homes that actually increase in value in neighborhoods that are safe.
The second biggest weakness involves the apathy of leadership that believes we have achieved progress by simply managing the city's budget as an accounting problem instead of recognizing that real families in Euclid are suffering when we increase fees and taxes in the face of increasingly unsafe neighborhoods dotted with decaying homes. I want to destroy these weaknesses by creatively solving our problems so that once again hope and optimism can emerge in the city of Euclid.
3. What can you do as Mayor to help the Board of Education strengthen our schools?
Although the Mayor of the City of Euclid is prohibited by law from controlling the operation of the Euclid City Schools (State Law gives that responsibility to your school board), the Mayor must provide moral leadership that moves the school district in the direction of achievement in the context of discipline and respect.
The Mayor should establish a mentoring program that encourages Euclid citizens to take Euclid students under their wing to create an understanding that students can only become mature adults by being held to a standard of hard work and self-respect on campus and at home. Euclid students can overcome problems at home if the rest of us in this community are willing to help. The Mayor has a moral responsibility to address these problems.
4. What plans do you have to strengthen the business environment in Euclid?
The Mayor must be the de facto Director of Economic Development in the City of Euclid. The Mayor must have a sense of urgency that makes job creation Job One. I worked very hard in conjunction with the City Council to ensure that Lincoln Electric built its new International Headquarters in the City of Euclid the last time that I served as mayor.
Euclid's economic decline is so severe that we can not effectively address the other problems facing our community until we reverse the job loss trend that has given us empty storefronts and vacant decrepit homes. Homeowners in Euclid deserve better.
5. Are you current on all real estate and city income tax responsibilities? Yes.
6. What financial answer do you have to guarantee the future of Shore Cultural Centre?
Shore Cultural Center has and continues to be a political football in the city because a separate permanent fund to protect this jewel has never been established. Not only do I intend to establish this permanent fund for operational purposes, I intend to introduce a plan for capital improvement that will allow us to be proud of the structural beauty of this facility for decades to come.
7. What are your plans to strengthen the recreation programs?
Firstly, the operational budget of the recreation department has been ignored for several years. You can not provide modern recreation programs interesting and attractive for residents of all ages unless you are spending the money to do so.
The second problem involves inadequate capital funding. Have you seen the condition of Memorial Pool? It's another shameful example of the ways we have opened up our community to criticism. How about Willo Pool? I feel for the families in that neighborhood who had to endure the blazing heat while Willo Pool remained padlocked this past summer.
Euclid used to have a national reputation for the quality of its park and recreational facilities. These facilities are only a shadow of their old selves and you deserve better. This will change with the new Lynch administration.
8. How will you address the aging facilities such as pools and tennis courts?
This question was addressed in the previous response but suffice to say that putting economic development on the front burner of City Hall priorities will lead to new jobs so that the city has the funding to address the fact that our recreational facilities are second or third rate. When it comes to recreation, we have to stop accepting mediocrity.
9. What will be your top two priorities when elected?
The absolute top priority must be economic development and job creation. As stated in the answer to the previous question, my platform is based on the idea of making job creation such a central theme that almost everything else takes a backseat.
This does not mean that other areas of concern will suffer. This means that other areas of concern will have the opportunity to be addressed even more effectively because job creation produces municipal revenue that is then available to solve other problems such as shortage of police officers and housing inspectors.
Job creation is the engine room of the municipal locomotive. New job creation is like shoveling more coal into the engine to make it run faster, pulling along with it the various train cars that represent the other departments of the city. This, combined with reigniting and actually implementing lakefront development will change the currently downward trajectory of our community.
The second most important priority is that of safety. Put simply, we do not have enough police officers to control the crime activity exploding in our neighborhoods.
There's a bank that I use in downtown Euclid that was robbed twice this summer within a 30 day period. And have you heard about the drive-by shooting on Nicholas Avenue the other evening? I'd love to be able to say that this kind of occurrence is rare but sadly it is not. This must end now.
10. How do you plan to pay for them?
I've been beating this drum about economic development throughout this questionnaire. It's obvious that problem-solving requires spending and the best way to generate that revenue is NOT to increase fees and raise taxes. It's by creating jobs that give us the capital to make Euclid better and at the same time restore our image as an engine for industry.
We can be that shining city on the hill that other communities look up to. Euclid can be great again.