Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University
Bachelor of Communication, Architecture Minor, Tulane University (New Orleans);
Diploma with Honors, Bay High School
I am a Senior Strategic Park Planner at Cleveland Metroparks and have prior transportation planning experience.
Qualifications for office
I served on the city’s Master Plan citizen steering committee, Cahoon Park Area Connectivity Study stakeholder committee, and am Treasurer of the nonprofit Cleveland Section of the American Planning Association (2008-present; $70,000 in funds).
Ward 3 includes the High School, Westerly, Glenview Center for Child Care, and nearly reaches the Middle School. The proximity of these schools means that children in these neighborhoods have the greatest opportunity to be walkers or bikers, and there are often relatively low-cost safety and education measures that can be employed to increase the share of children who use active means to get to school. As the Master Plan looks to improve crossings, trails, and bikeways, I’d like Council to work with the School District to make sure we are also tailoring options to serve our younger residents.
I had the honor to serve on the Master Plan citizen steering committee and hope to implement many of its proposed projects. I am particularly excited about the potential to create a new lakefront park area for residents across Cahoon Creek from the Bay Boat Club, and I know I could help advance this effort through my experience as a park planner. There are also many excellent ideas for short- and long-term trail and bikeway projects. Such projects contribute significantly to quality of the community, attract residents and businesses, and improve safety while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.
I feel that the biggest issue facing Bay is the state of our sewers. According to a 2015 Community Survey that was completed by 576 households, more than 46% of respondents said that they had experienced basement flooding, and, overall, nearly 19% had flooding more than once a year. If elected, I would push to do a citywide assessment of the sewers to learn the magnitude of the problems and develop a plan for repair and replacement, including financing structures and sources. As a city planner, I feel I will be an asset to Council to help develop solutions.
I believe that the administration, through the assistance and direction of City Council, must craft an economic development strategy that focuses on and communicates the city’s unique assets and strengths, namely our proximity and access to Lake Erie, our parks, and arts community. We have untapped potential to enhance the city and attract and retain businesses and residents. I feel that public expenditures should be limited to certain infrastructure investments like connections to the Village Center and enhancements to the city’s visual character. The City can also connect businesses with existing Small Business Administration and County programs.
I am in favor of diversified housing that is scaled and designed to fit with the overall character and patterns of the city, something that can be accomplished by thoughtful development and adoption of design guidelines. To help retain and grow our tax base there are a few areas that could accommodate such new housing stock. A sad trend that I have seen is neighbors leaving Bay, often for Avon, because our city does not offer enough newer housing stock with less yard maintenance and smaller square footage, a housing type that also often appeals to professionals and young families.
I hope that Bay Village always maintains its unique character as a friendly, lakefront community. Residents are generally happy with the development patterns in the city, as evidenced by feedback received through the Master Plan and Community Survey, but we need infrastructure improvements like better sewers, trail connections, and bikeways. We are lucky to have a defined Village Center, and I hope in 10 years we realize the potential of our commercial areas to create thriving businesses that better contribute to the city’s tax base. I also hope that we have even more vibrant parks and civic spaces.
B.S., Recreation Management from Kent State University '94
Administrative Coordinator for CSU
Qualifications for office
Through my education and 25 years of work experience, I am ready to represent Ward 3. I will provide fair and open progressive leadership by listening to the concerns of our neighbors, ensuring transparency and being a voice for the community.
I am passionate about Bay Village and the housing stock we have throughout the city. One of my main priorities is to keep the unique look and feel of Ward 3 neighborhoods. We need to achieve a balance between old housing and new construction within our housing stock. I don’t want to lose the charm of our neighborhoods, but I want to build, grow and strengthen the neighborhoods with renovations of current homes or new home construction that fit the neighborhood.
With my background and education in Parks and Recreation Management, I am especially interested in activities conducted by the Recreation Department. I want the city to continue to maintain and improve current facilities and create new recreational programming for our citizens. I would also like to see new park space created within Cahoon Park, with additional access to Lake Erie. In addition, I would like to create more walking/biking trails to connect Cahoon Park to Huntington Park. Another area that would be a priority is to expand the community center and increase programming for seniors in Bay Village.
Sewers and the city’s infrastructure is on everyone’s mind throughout Bay Village. Our current systems are outdated and ineffective. I want to help implement a long-term plan that will separate sewer lines from storm lines by working with developers, city services and other stakeholders. Another issue that I am very passionate about is the education and awareness of the growing opiate issue in our state. While working with PTA, I helped create programming in our schools on the issue. Now I want to create a drug task force with other community leaders to help bring awareness – and solutions – to our community.
I believe that public dollars should only be used for projects that benefit the entire city, such as infrastructure improvements, expanded energy and utility services, safety services, community health initiatives and education services. The purpose of city government is to provide services necessary to maintain a sustainable community. While I believe that a positive public-private partnership can bring new ideas for designing programs and projects, as well as greater opportunities for Bay Village, before any partnership is created I would want to hear from the citizens through open forums and meetings to ascertain what is in the community’s best interest.
One of the things that I see happening in nearby communities is expansion of their housing stock to provide choices for young professionals as well as retiring individuals. I would like council to offer alternate options for these individuals in Bay Village, too. However, we need developers to follow residential guidelines, with the expectations that the new development would fit the overall character of the neighborhood. I am also in favor of giving the Architectural Board of Review the ability to look over all new construction and make recommendations that would fit within specific neighborhoods.
In ten years, I want Bay Village to be a vibrant and growing community with small businesses that are flourishing and schools that are even stronger than they are today. I truly believe through my education, passion and willingness to serve, I can provide a unique voice to the council. Bay Village is already an amazing community to live in, but there is always room for growth and change. I am dedicated to ensuring that Bay Village continues to grow and expand in a way that incorporates the feelings and views of all citizens.