The First Suburbs Consortium: Twenty Years Working For Us

Recently, the First Suburbs Consortium (FSC) celebrated its 20th anniversary as an advocate on behalf of our city and other older suburbs surrounding Cleveland. The mayors of Cuyahoga County’s inner ring communities formed the FSC to change federal, state and county policies that, as noted by the Brookings Institution, have been keeping inner ring suburbs in a “policy blind spot.” Parma, Parma Heights and the other sixteen cities that are members of the FSC Council of Governments populate 38% of the county. This is more than either the City of Cleveland or the county’s outer suburbs combined. Both of us proudly serve on the First Suburbs Executive Board. 

Through two decades of mutual collaboration, the FSC member cities have worked to bring many benefits to our residents, businesses and neighborhoods, including:

  • H.E.L.P., the Housing Enhancement Loan Program providing reduced interest home improvement loans to home owners; 

  • The Cuyahoga County Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, eliminating blight and spurring commercial rejuvenation of many challenged inner ring sites;

  • The Economic Revitalization Initiative, helping FSC member-cities plan for upgrades to their own downtown districts and leading to creation of the First Suburbs Development Council, through which the staff of all the member-cities work together on regional redevelopment;

  • The County’s $50 million Demolition Fund, assisting the First Suburbs and Cleveland to eliminate vacant, abandoned, derelict buildings that threaten neighborhoods; 

  • The Ohio First Suburbs Consortium – formed by the FSC in Cuyahoga County and other older suburbs near Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo - in order to give Ohio’s inner ring communities a voice in state policies. 

Today, the FSC continues its productive partnership with the Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, County Council and staff to:

  • redevelop major underutilized commercial sites in the inner ring; 

  • begin using Casino fund revenue available to the county for inner ring development; 

  • create regional housing software platforms to expand the capacity of the County and all of its cities to better address our many housing issues. 

In closing, as mayors of Parma and Parma Heights, we are proud of the past efforts of FSC and we remain committed to continue the hard work of the FSC on behalf of all the inner ring suburbs. 



Jeannie Roberts

Communications Director for the City of Parma

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017