Fran Mentch - Cleveland Heights City Council Candidate

Fran Mentch

FRAN MENTCH

3060 Chelsea  Cleveland Hts., OH 44121   Age: 61 E-mail:  franmentch@yahoo.com Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FranForCouncil

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:

Education: Doctoral student in Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University. Masters in Social Work (MSW) Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS). I am a licensed independent social worker LISW-S.

Occupation: Librarian; Cleveland State University

Qualifications: I started Severance Neighborhood Organization, a 501(c)3 non-profit.

Community: I am the only candidate who worked to preserve the former Oakwood Country Club as a Metropark. My question to voters: Would you be better off today if Oakwood were a Metropark?

QUESTIONS and RESPONSES:

1. Improve life: Increase sustainability.  Improve the aesthetics and vitality of the commercial districts. People want a “Main Street USA” feel to their community. Some of our retail areas have that feel some could be improved... We have to communicate our values by what our community looks and feels like. We need a citywide public art plan, a city wide walkability and bike plan.  We have to create and improve our greenspaces. Some traffic patterns should be reviewed and where traffic can be calmed to increase retail activity we should do so. We need a more structured humane officer program.

2. School bond issue: Strong schools make strong communities. As a city council member, I will have no power but my one vote over the school board; the board answers to voters.  I would be happy to support a levy that built science labs, included elementary schools and stated honestly that it is building a COMMUNITY swimming pool; I cannot support this levy. Cleveland Clinic is helping Euclid Schools build a new pool, why can’t we follow this model?

3. New development: Studies show that Cleveland Heights has large amounts of new residences and vacant new residences; tax abatements in residential settings are not effective in improving land values. Our small amount of city owned land should be developed as greenspace. There is money available for this because managing stormwater run-off is a priority in our community. One of the goals of “Fran’s Plan” is develop the parcel on Meadowbrook-Lee as a world class urban park. There are residents who are willing to do this and have the expertise to do so. We have to plan for the future of our community.

4. Revenue: There are funds connected to water and stormwater runoff; there is a large and generous philanthropic community, and there are some corporations who will partner on community projects. If we use those funds wisely, we can create spaces that will make Cleveland Heights an even more desirable place to live, our property values will increase and that will bring in more revenue. We have to be business friendly; I was told that food trucks were banned from our city. Does that help us in any way?

5. Housing market: Those homeowners who are “underwater” should be helped and supported to renegotiate with their lender; we want them to stay in their homes. We should make teardown decisions as necessary and in ways that will add to the value of surrounding properties. An example is the decision made in Shaker Heights to purchase homes adjacent to each other in order to make a walkway to a retail area. If we improve the quality of life and property values in Cleveland Heights the homes that have become rentals will return to the market for purchase. All of these issues are connected. 

6. Regionalism: Those homeowners who are “underwater” should be helped and supported to renegotiate with their lender; we want them to stay in their homes. We should make teardown decisions as necessary and in ways that will add to the value of surrounding properties. An example is the decision made in Shaker Heights to purchase homes adjacent to each other in order to make a walkway to a retail area. If we improve the quality of life and property values in Cleveland Heights the homes that have become rentals will return to the market for purchase. All of these issues are connected.   

Read More on Voters Guide
Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 12:17 PM, 10.02.2013