Candidate for Cleveland Heights City Council - Keba Sylla
Dr. KEBA SYLLA
3262 E. Overlook Road 44118
Education: Ph.D. in Public Administration/Urban AFFAIRS, MA in Criminal Justice Studies
Occupation: UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR
Qualifications: Member of CAC (Citizens advisory Committee (2006). Vice Chair of Financial committee
Community: Teacher at Upward bound program
QUESTIONS and RESPONSES:
1. The most important thing: We must put together a plan that fosters the creation of jobs that increase economic growth throughout all city neighborhoods. Create an incentive for new technology companies that can bring new jobs, foster training and broaden our revenues through business taxes. This can alleviate the burden of taxes from our citizens. In addition, this economic growth must come from a reform of our zoning code. This city must understand that the mindset of 19th century economic development cannot be used today. We must encourage big business and companies to come here to invest
2. Regionalism: The trend toward regionalism and collaboration affects our city. For example, for the last five years, Cleveland Heights has collaborated with neighboring cities such as East Cleveland concerning snow removal and police collaboration regarding crimes. Regarding Regionalism, we are partners with the county and other cities such as Cleveland concerning water and its distribution as well as the sewer issues. This trend will continue due to the economic downturn but also because of the shrinking population
3. Housing market: Several measures can alleviate the foreclosures in the city. These measures must be broad and specific at the same time. First, we must create conditions for affordable housing for young professionals who are coming to our city. Second, we must be proactive in working closely with the banks and the lenders to avoid any dramatic foreclosures in our city. Third, the city needs to create an efficient office to work with clients who face potential foreclosures and help them to avoid the complete loss of their houses. Finally, the City must collaborate with other cities.
4. CH-UH levy: I am a strong supporter of Public school, because it was and continues to be the pillar of integration and economic growth for all the citizens in this city and across the nation. Despite the economic downturn, I am for the levy because it helps our children teachers and all workers in the district to be able to continue their wonderful and challenging work. Without a strong public school, our city economic growth will be impeded.
5. Confidence: As a council member I will foster leadership by telling the truth about the city economic situation. I will also create a forum each semester where citizens, political business religious and cultural leaders will meet to discuss current issues affecting the city. I will work tirelessly with other council members to fight crime and the fear of crime across the city. This will boost the confidence but also will create harmony in the city’s future. Finally, I will create a commission on diversity.
6. Increase revenue: First, we must maintain a balanced budget without layoffs through a policy of incentives to bring companies in the city. Second, we must encourage public works with the CDBG funds we receive from the Federal Government. In this ways, we can create jobs in the city. Third, we need to attract people to the city, which will create more taxes and increase our revenues. Finally, we need new partnerships with other cities and big corporations such GE, Cleveland Clinic and others to foster economic development and community services in the city.