Why you should re-elect me to Shaker Heights City Council?
I know our communityMy husband John and I and our family moved into the Sussex neighborhood in 1982 when he joined the Division of Neonatology at MetroHealth System. Thirty-seven years later, this house is still our home. Our four children, David, Brian, Michael, and Katie, all attended Shaker public schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and even though they have moved to other places and have blessed us with eight grandchildren, their strong roots are here, in Shaker Heights. This is my community.
My educational backgroundincludes a B.A. earned at both Vassar College and George Washington University and a M.S. in Linguistics from Georgetown University. I have worked as a high school teacher of French and German in both public and private schools, and I have been a freelance writer. During my life in Shaker Heights, I have also worked tirelessly as a leader in many, many community organizations.
My community involvementhas always been a labor of love, and it led me to serve for eight years on the Shaker Heights Board of Education, including terms as Vice President and President, focusing on improving the achievement of all children. During that time I learned a lot about the very important and intricate inter-dependence among the Shaker Schools, the Shaker Library, and the Shaker Heights City Government. After our youngest child graduated from Shaker Heights High School, I decided to run for Shaker Heights City Council because I knew my years of invaluable experience would be helpful in governing our community. Now, four City Council terms later, I believe the evidence is perfectly clear that I was right. Here are just a few examples of what we have accomplished together:
- The $100 million public/private partnership that is creating the Van Aken District to increase our tax base
- The creation of the Shaker Heights Development Corporation along with our continuing efforts to revitalize and redevelop the Lee Road business corridor
- The creation and marketing of new housing products to attract and retain residents, such as the Townhomes of Van Aken, Upstairs at the Van Aken District, and the Moreland Rising initiative, which is producing new energy-efficient model infill homes for home-based business entrepreneurs and intergenerational living
- Fiscal stability in City finances, marked by a healthy cash reserve and balanced budgets at a time of a national economic recession in housing and budget cuts at the national and state levels
- Successful efforts to stretch tax dollars through regional, county, and community Police and Fire collaborations and other shared services, and long-term joint capital facility planning by the Schools, Library, and City
- Steady reinvestment in infrastructure with a focus on street resurfacing, sewer repair, and dam reconstruction
My goals for the future of our community are real and achievable. They are to
- Use my experience on City Council and in our community to support our new Mayor
- Keep Shaker fiscally strong and secure in the face of any economic challenges
- Continue the development of the Van Aken District with a focus on residential as well as office development
- Continue long-range strategic planning by the City with the Schools and the Library for joint capital facilities
- Create and fund strategies to preserve our housing stock, which is rapidly approaching its one-hundredth birthday
- Seek and adopt more sustainable practices in order to build a more resilient city
- Continue to enact laws that protect the human rights of all Shaker residents
Throughout every day of my nearly twenty-four years of service in elective office for our community, and for over a decade before that, I have been absolutely committed to making Shaker Heights a vibrant, diverse, economically sound, and very attractive place to live, to work, and to raise a family. Public service is a privilege, and in your service I have tried to respond to every letter, email, and voicemail I have received from residents. I have sought diligently to answer your questions, worked sincerely to find solutions to your problems, and tried honestly to understand and to represent your views on issues of importance to you. If you do me the great honor of re-electing me to Shaker Heights City Council, then I will do you the honor of accomplishing everything I can to keep our community the very best it can be.
A quick overview of my service to our community:
- 37-year Shaker resident
- 24 years of experience in elective office in Shaker Heights
- Shaker Heights Board of Education (8 years), Vice President and President
- Shaker Heights City Council and Vice Mayor (16 years)
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, President and liaison for City Council (16 years)
- Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, City Council liaison (6 years)
- Tree Advisory Board, City Council member and Chair (14 years)
- Shaker Heights Youth Center, Board member, School Board and City Council liaison (24 years)
- Neighborhood Revitalization Committee, member, School Board liaison, Chair (24 years)
- First Suburbs Consortium, City Council liaison (8 years)
- Board of Housing Appeals, member and alternate member (14 years)
- Landmark Commission, Chair (12 years)
- Finance Committee, member and Chair (14 years)
- Safety & Public Works Committee, member and Chair (6 years)
- Recreation Committee (2 years)
- Communications & Marketing Committee (2 years)
- Planning Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals (2 years)
Thank you for your support!