CH needs Larson and Petras on council

If you read my opinion in the September edition of the Heights Observer, you know three things:

  • Things are not going well on city council.
  • Re-electing Gail Larson and electing Jim Petras will help make our city council more productive
  • All six candidates for city council are members of the Cleveland Heights Democratic Club; all six participated in the club’s endorsement process; only Larson and Petras were endorsed by the CH Democrats—by the voters who know them best.

What I did not talk about were the critical issues Cleveland Heights will face in the next two years:

City Council needs to improve city services by using its budget authority to make sure Cleveland Heights has a safety force (police, fire, EMS) second to none; has the staffing and equipment to efficiently perform leaf pickup and snow plowing; makes continued improvement in waste management, recycling and bulk pickup; approves economic development projects that are properly vetted by our citizens; plans for the future of Cumberland Pool; and makes much needed improvements in the maintenance of all city-owned property.

Council will need to allocate and manage ARPA funds ($38.8 million) for the years 2024–2026. Handled effectively, these funds should have a positive and lasting impact on our residential neighborhoods, our struggling business districts (Noble, Taylor,and Coventry), and our parks and recreation facilities.

A Charter Review Commission will be making recommendations sometime next year that will impact the way our two branches of government interact. Council’s ability to get information from the administration, checks and balances, separation of powers, and a long list of other consequential decisions will be in front of council and, eventually, in front of you for a vote. 

Council members also will be making a decision on who will lead us for the next two years. If you believe as I do that we need to make a change, electing Larson and Petras is all the more critical.

Re-electing Council Member Gail Larson and electing CWRU Project Director Jim Petras will ensure that council will have the leadership it needs to get these, and myriad other crucial tasks done. They both have the tenacity and the collaborative approach needed to move our city forward. Please go to their websites to learn more: and

Tony Cuda

Tony Cuda is a member of CH City Council, and a longtime resident of the city.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 2:09 PM, 10.19.2023