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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Parma City Council, Ward 7

Term: 2 yearsSalary: $20,540Incumbent Democrat Brian Brochetti's seat is being challenged by Walter Pesta, a nonpartisan candidate.
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    Brian Brochetti (Dem) Attorney and Teacher

  • Walter Pesta

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Biographical Information

Why are you running (or running again) for mayor or a seat on City Council?

What do you hope to accomplish while you're mayor or on City Council--for your ward or for your whole city?

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing your community? And, if applicable, your ward?

Age 32
Education Juris Doctorate, Cleveland Marshall College of Law M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, Cleveland State University B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Broadcasting/Mass Communication from Baldwin Wallace University
Current occupation College and Career Success Manager, Lincoln West School of Global Studies Council Representative, City of Parma
Qualifications for office Educational background provides unique platform to tackle pertinent issues in Parma Lifelong resident, homeowner, and two young children create motivation for Parma's continued success Prior experience as Council Representative (incumbent), Probation Officer at Parma Municipal Court, law clerk for Parma Law Department, and Executive Clerk for Mayor DePiero provides insight into all aspects of the City government
Campaign Phone (440) 345-5239
Email address parmaward7@gmail.com
Growing up in the City of Parma fostered in me a tremendous sense of pride in my community. I am a product of the schools and learned many lessons participating in the recreational programs offered by the City. My siblings and I were able to ride our bikes through the neighborhoods safely, consistently greeted by neighbors and welcomed by local business owners.

My college majors at Baldwin-Wallace provided me an opportunity to work for the City of Parma, and this only strengthened my belief in the City. After many years of being active in many different roles with the City, I sought a recently vacated seat on Parma City Council in 2011. I have subsequently won re-election in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

I am running again for office because I want to ensure my children and my neighbors’ children have the same opportunities I had in Parma. I want to help grow a sense of pride in Parma within the young families moving into Parma, I want to retain and attract young professionals, and I want ensure that Parma is a friendly place for our current business owners as well as an attractive community for new business.

I believe my qualifications allow me to continue to serve Parma in this mission.
One of Parma’s current struggles, much like any inner-ring suburb, is addressing aging infrastructure. I hope that City Council can work with the Mayor and his administration to prioritize this matter. During the past year, which was my first year as the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Council was able to allocate more money to our streets program resulting in Parma being able to resurface about 2.5x more streets than in a typical year. I want to see this progress continue.

Additionally, the City of Parma has created and benefitted from a great relationship with Cuyahoga County. Utilizing this partnership, I want to continue to address some stormwater concerns in the ward. My first week on Council, one particular area of the ward suffered significant flooding from a detention basin on Stormes Drive. In my time on Council, working with the Mayor and Service Director as well as the County, the City conducted some projects which prevented additional issues in the short term, and, just this year, entered into an agreement with the County for larger projects which will create long term relief. I have worked to find remedies for other areas in the ward, and I want to see these solutions through.

Finally, I want to continue to work with business owners to ensure that Parma is an attractive place to open and run a business. I want to continue to attract families to homes in Ward 7 particularly as the real estate markets begin to flourish again.
Beyond the aging infrastructure and stormwater issues addressed above, the greatest concern from residents in Ward 7 is the deer population. Residents passed legislation to allow bow hunting, but I think restrictions on land size need to be loosened to allow for a more efficient program. I think the City should also explore using City owned property, provide greater enforcement of feeding of the deer, and explore other measures that will assist with population control.

Outside of the Ward, my greatest priority is ensuring that Parma’s safety forces continue to receive the support they need. Parma is consistently ranked as one of the safest communities of its size nationwide, and I want to continue to keep this distinction.

Finally, I share Mayor DeGeeter’s vision for a cohesive and walkable town center. Areas such as Ward 2’s Polish Village and Ward 9’s West Creek Reservation continue to be an attraction to our community, and supporting these areas is a priority. However, in order to retain younger generations and attract new residents, we must also look at restructuring other areas of the city.

Lastly, while the City of Parma and the Parma City Schools are two separate entities, my occupation, my education, and my background provides me with a particular passion for education. The Parma City Schools will be undergoing change over the next few years, and I think having a strong voice for education on Parma Council, like mine, is important.
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