Candidate for Cleveland Heights City Council Unexpired Term Eric J. Silverman
Eric J. Silverman
Cleveland Heights Age: 52
Education: Cleveland Heights High School, 1987; Miami University (Ohio), 1991
Current occupation: Marketing & Operations, Hometown Threads
Qualifications: 40+ year Cleveland Heights resident, 2nd generation Heights High graduate, elected to the CH-UH School Board in 1993, 1997 and 2013 and appointed (and served) a 7 year term on the CH-UH Library Board. Served on the School's Lay Finance Committee, Lay Facilities Committee, Facilities Accountability Committee and the City's Master Plan Committee and ran the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation for 15 years.
Do you think our business districts are healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that? Please discuss specific districts, such as Noble and Severance.
Some yes, others (most) no. The City needs to do a much better job in developing the land it owns, listening, assisting and marketing existing businesses as well as work to fill vacant storefronts with new ones. Cleveland Heights needs to craft ideas for its business districts, game out different scenarios (and costs) and actively work to find developers to make things happen. For Noble-Nela, I feel a mixed use building with street-level retail and offices (on city-owned land) could create a catalyst for the entire neighborhood. At Center-Mayfield, the city owns A LOT of land, and if combined with other properties, could be another catalytic project for the Noble Road Corridor. I have detailed notes on Severance and others on my website.
What role should environmental considerations play in the city’s policies and actions?
Cleveland Heights has traditionally been environmentally sensitive and ahead of the curve on these issues and I would hope that this would continue. Given a choice, it would be ideal to employ the most environmentally beneficial options but we have to keep in mind if that option is affordable. We need to balance what we want to do with what we can afford to do.
How, and in what time frame, should a vacancy on city council be filled?
I would say within 90 days at the longest, preferably within 60. I think the variable here would be the how long the City would hold open the application process, and then consider/interview the applicants and then how long they would need to consider the applicants. As such, I could see 30 days to apply, 30 for council to consider and interview, and then 30 days (at most) for Council to discuss the candidates/finalists. While a tighter timeframe might be possible (and preferable), 30 day windows (maximum) for each stage would allow for the vagaries of schedules. For example, a speedy process might take 45 days (3 weeks per segment) but the 4th quarter of the year would take the full 90.
What opportunities, if any, do you see for regional collaboration between Cleveland Heights and other local governments to provide services or facilities?
Cleveland Heights needs to examine every and any opportunity to collaborate with every and any government entity in every regard, from purchasing and administration to direct delivery of services. While I have serious concerns about excessive outsourcing, if the collaboration still has direct authority and accountability, then we should partner with other entities. At the same time, we need to consider just how much we would save, for if the recouped dollars are marginal, then keeping the work in-house or solo may be preferable until a time that the savings would be substantive. On both the School Board and Library Board we were part of consortiums and derived many benefits from them. Who is opposed to doing this? Not me!!
What are your thoughts about the responsiveness of the city’s elected officials and staff to citizens' concerns?
I know firsthand how deplorable Council and staff have been to public input and inquiry and disgusted by it. Having been in office for 19 years, I am shocked by just how poorly Council responds to the public, coupled with the City’s absurd Potemkin Villages for “public input” which are nothing more than exercises in checking off boxes on a list. Too often ANY criticism is viewed as heresy and EVERY critic as the enemy to be stonewalled. When I have reached out to Council, some members respond, others take multiple messages to hear from (and then the responses are dreck), and from others I hear nothing. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!