I had the privilege to work with several volunteers of the Parma Heights Baptist Church, performing landscaping duties in the wooded area surrounding this beautiful Pavilion. Even though I am not a member of this church, I wanted to help in any way I could. I had been observing the progress from the initial ground breaking ceremony on October 20, 2013, to the completed dedication service on June 14, 2015. It is built in a cross shape, better seen from elevation. This natural wood structure is awe-inspiring. It is in a natural, peaceful setting. This is built on land that was once a chicken farm. I'm sure that all of the church members are very proud to have this pavilion as their outdoor sanctuary. I met Pastor Dan Barfell, who also volunteered his time, along with other faithful church members. We all shared in the chores at hand and helped one another. In just 4 hours, the perimeter was cleared of debris, wood split and stacked for use in the huge fireplace, and a walking trail was laid down with ground wood chips. There are wooden pegs that have been inscribed with church member names that are imbedded in the support structures. What a fitting tribute to these people for future generations to see. This is a structure that should last for over 100 years.
In 2014, Parma Heights was named one of the safest cities in Ohio by SafeWise, in part because of our city’s unique safety initiatives and security programs. Those safety efforts paid off this last month as a robbery ring operating was quickly brought to justice once they acted in our city. On July 13, 2015, the Parma Heights Fifth Third Bank was robbed by a single armed male and on July 17, 2015, the Parma Heights Citizen Bank was robbed, also by a single armed male. The suspect and an accomplice, a female, were quickly captured on Sunday, July 19, and their arraignment scheduled for July 20, 2015. It was later discovered this same team had participated in a bank robbery in Parma on June 26, 2015.
In true small-town fashion, we invite all our neighbors and friends to come out and enjoy our Party in the Commons August 7-9, 2015. You won’t find expensive food and crazy rides, but you will find people getting together to enjoy the better things in life: good food, good music and each other’s company.
The Cities of Parma and Parma Heights in partnership with Cox Communications proudly present another year of outdoor summer band music concerts. All concerts start promptly at 6:30 p.m.
The City of Parma Heights is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and holding a joint event on Saturday, July 25, 2015. Both events will run simultaneously from 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. at the Parma Heights Service Garage located in the Greenbrier Commons. Proof of residency is required.
Parma Heights has a long, proud history of supporting fair housing and to help ensure that that will always be the case in our town, we are once again hosting a Fair Housing & Landlord/Tenant Rights class on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Police Training Classroom in the Greenbrier Commons, 6200 Pearl Road, Parma Heights. Seating is limited. The class is free to the public.
Many improvements have been implemented since the formation of the newly organized Parma Heights Historical Society in 2008. The following is the latest. There are 8 active members that reside in Parma Heights, although this is not a requirement to join the group. Anyone is welcome to join us.
The Parma Heights Food Pantry has been helping its residents since 2007. At that time, we served approximately 37 families per month. Each year the need for help has grown; in February 2015, we assisted over 300 families.
Greenbrier resident Mike Hadl, long-time announcer for the Cleveland Lumberjacks, college and high school sports, and substitute announcer for the Cavs, was treated to a visit from some of his friends from the Cavs and a number of the team’s cheerleaders. The Cavs’ cheerleaders and members of their dance team, the Scream Team, met with Mike and a number of other Greenbrier residents on March 31st. The cheerleaders performed some of their new playoff run cheers for the residents and brought signed basketballs, bobbleheads, hats, shirts, and other gifts for residents of the facility. The team also updated the residents on the Cavs’ plans as they get ready for the playoffs and hopefully go for the NBA championship! The visit brought tremendous pride to Mike and also so many residents loved seeing the cheerleaders perform and having the chance to meet them. Greenbrier’s team loved being able to work with the Cavs team to set this up and make a big difference in our resident’s lives.
The greatness of a community lies in its people. We, here in the City of Parma Heights, experienced just how true that statement is following the November, 2014, arson fire at City Hall. City department phones were operational almost immediately and, despite the challenging circumstances, the 2014 Christmas Tree Lighting at the Gazebo scheduled for just days after the fire went off without a hitch and was the perfect start to the holiday season. In fact, I am proud to say that even with our departments dispersed to locations throughout the city, all services and events have continued without interruption. Residents and visitors alike have been patient and understanding; many have even called and emailed to express their support and we thank them for their concern. Please be reassured that all of us, department heads and staff members alike, are working hard to keep any inconvenience to the public to a minimum.
As a member of the Parma Heights Historical Society, I have documented all of the currently known Century Homes. There are a total of 24. The oldest single story building is at 5856 Pearl Road. This house was built in 1831 by Oliver Emerson. He was the very first Postmaster of Parma Township and worked from this house. His father, Asa Emerson, built the oldest two story home in 1823, which is at 6103 Pearl Road. Asa moved here from Connecticut. the style is very much like the older homes in Connecticut. This house was moved back further from the Road in 1925. The last house to be added to the list was built in 1913. It is at 6522 Old York Road. As time passes many more homes will be added to the list. Many of the homes have had additions or modifications to the original structures. All are uniquely different as the people living there. These houses have been well maintained with pride from past and present owners. This is just one more example why Parma Heights is a great place to live. I am trying to document all of the original owners of these homes. If anyone has any information about these homes, please contact the President of the Parma Heights Historical Society, Joe Reeves, at (216) 870-4864.
Prior to 1827, the U.S. Mail for Parma, Ohio residents was delivered and outgoing mail was picked up by stagecoach drivers at the Old Stone Tavern (built in 1817) along the Wooster Pike (a.k.a. Pearl Road). Early area residents living in this section of Parma Township would travel to the tavern to pick up their mail and packages. The Old Stone Tavern near Mill Street was operated by the Conrad Countryman family. The stagecoaches with passengers aboard had begun traveling along the Wooster Pike from Cleveland southward to Columbus, Ohio in 1820. The Old Stone Tavern later became an apartment building at 6363 Pearl Road and was torn down in 1959 for a gas station.
These are some of the people that helped shape Parma Heights to what it is today. This area started with the 1817 arrival of Conrad Countryman, his wife, three sons, Peter, John, Jacob, and his brother, William, all from Mohawk, New York. They settled in the area of Stumph Road and Pearl. He ran a sawmill and a blacksmith shop and some reports say he also kept an inn nearby, possibly the one that became known as the Old Stone Tavern. A Connecticut Yankee named Pelitiah Bliss also came to claim the piece of land he purchased from the Connecticut Land Company in 1821. He built a log cabin home at York and Pearl Road. Later in 1821, the population rose with the arrival of Asa Emerson, Jesse Nicholas, Amos Hodgman, Joseph Small, and William Steele. They were all from Bowdoin, Maine. A half brother of Lorenzo Carter, John Ackley settled later after working as an engineer on Cleveland's first stone pier and other Harbor installations. All of these people were strong believers in education and religion.
Early Residents of Parma Township like many other townships in Cuyahoga County had only small dirt roads and wooden plank roads to travel along on horseback, on foot, by bicycle, by stagecoach or by wagon for many years. The Brooklyn and Parma Wooden Plank Road Company along the Wooster Pike and York Road was established in 1876 and ceased operations in 1907. A railroad route was not built until 1894 in a small northwestern section of Parma Township. The Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling Railroad (C.L.&W.) was both a passenger and freight route from 1895 to 1926. C.L.&W depot stations were built at five-mile intervals south of Cleveland in 1895. The C.L.& W. Parma depot station was constructed in a rural area in Rockport Township where it served no major businesses or industries. There was no telegraph operator assigned to work there.
Good food, good music, and good friends are a surefire recipe for summer fun and that’s just the package the City of Parma Heights is offering during its Weekend in the Commons, Friday through Sunday, August 8, 9, and 10, 2014. Parma Heights is, and has always been a city with a small-town atmosphere, so our celebrations feel like a block party with neighbors and friends getting to sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company.
This year, the city’s Weekend in the Commons Celebration will once again bring a deeper meaning to the concept of community with the presentation of the Ohio Flags of Honor, a traveling display that honors the men and women from throughout our state that paid the ultimate price protecting our freedom in the service of our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Tollgate House is a replica of the one operated by the Brooklyn & Parma Plank Toll Road Company from 1876 to 1907. It was originally located at the intersection of Olde York and Pearl Road. Horses, local farm wagons, and stagecoaches rode on the wooden planks to avoid the mud. The wooden planks that were secured to the ground along the route were replaced by brick pavers and the Tollgate was no longer necessary as the cost and maintenance went from private investors to local county government control. Several interurban electrical train routes were proposed along the Wooster Pike and Olde York Rd. starting in 1897 to 1915. None were ever built. The Tollgate House replica was built in 1980 with donated supplies and labor from the members of the Historical Society of Parma Heights. During the 2011 Centennial celebration held for the establishment of Parma Heights Village from the Parma Township in 1911, bricks were purchased by residents. Each brick had the purchaser’s name inscribed in it and placed in a walkway created leading to the wooden planks securely laid in front of the replica of the tollgate house in the Greenbrier Commons. The Parma Morning Kiwanis took care of the tollgate house between 2004 and 2009. The new Parma Heights Historical Society has been maintaining the tollgate house since 2013.
Bring your blankets, chairs, food and drink (no alcoholic beverages) and enjoy Disney's animated big screen adventure, FROZEN, under the moon and stars in Greenbriar commons on Saturday, June 28 beginning at 9:00 P.M. In the event of rain, the movies will be presented indoors at the N.E.O. soccer facility. The City of Parma Hts. and Cox Communincations are excited to be presenting the highest-grossing anmated film of all time.With the popularity of FROZEN and of our "Movie-in-the-Commons" events, I know this will be an enjoyable evening for the whole family.
Saturday, June 14, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. has been chosen for the city’s third Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up event. According to Michelle Teresi, Building, Housing & Recycling Coordinator, the event will be held at the Parma Heights Service Garage located at 6184 Pearl Road in the Greenbrier Commons. Proof of residency is required.
Students from Padua Franciscan High School got some expert advice on how to improve their public speaking to help them ace the regional Ohio Mock Trial competition. Juel Leonard, president of the Chardon Toastmasters Club, visited with the school’s Mock Trial competition team January 30. A Toastmaster who has received several top honors, Mrs. Leonard gave students pointers on how to hone their speaking skills in preparation for the regional competition which will be held February 21 at the Cleveland Municipal Court. “I was there in my capacity as an experienced toastmaster and they also had a lawyer there to help with the legal aspects of a trial,” said Mrs. Leonard. “It was a great experience.”
Parma Heights has been named one of the safest cities in Ohio according to a study completed by SafeWise, a community-focused security organization. Public safety is a critical marker of the quality of life in a community and I have continually said that safety is, and always will be, my top priority. I am proud to announce that we are ranked #20 in the state on the SafeWise 50 Safest Cities in Ohio list. The full list can be viewed at: http://www.safewise.com/blog/50-safest-cities-ohio.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Transportation Agency (NOACA) announced that the City of Parma Heights was one of only seven cities awarded a highly-competitive Transportation for Likeable Communities (TLCI) grant. The city will use the $75,000 award to conduct a “Pearl Road Complete and Green Streets Initiative” study.
Staring January 15, 2014, property owners in Parma Heights and other communities who are members of NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) will be receiving a mandatory “Opt-Out” mailer for natural gas. NOPEC, the largest governmental public retail energy aggregation in the nation, is required to send the “opt-out” letter to consumers every two years.
Registrations are now being accepted for an Adult Yoga w/Pilates Class to be held at the Cassidy Theatre in the Greenbrier Commons. The six-week, one-hour class will run from November 11 through December 16, 2013, at 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Starting in November, Parma Heights residents will be able to swim for free at Valley Forge High School on selected Tuesdays evenings. “This is the second year we’ve had the program,” said Recreation Director Tom Moran, “No registration is required but you must be able to prove your Parma Heights residency with a driver’s license or utility bill.”
The public and media are invited to the Grand Opening of the Parma Heights–Big Creek Connector Trail linking the Greenbrier Commons to the Cleveland Metroparks Big Creek Reservation trail system on Wednesday, October 16 at 1:30 p.m. The Grand Opening ceremony featuring as speakers myself and Brian Zimmerman, CEO Cleveland Metroparks, will be held at the entrance to the trail located behind the N.E.O. Soccer Building in the Greenbrier Commons, 6184 Pearl Road in Parma Heights.
Republic Waste will begin one-day waste collection in the entire city beginning on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013, eliminating the previous Tuesday-through-Friday segmented collection schedule. This will streamline the entire process.
Ever since the city received a steel beam from the World Trade Center two years ago, the community has been coming together to fund, design, and build a fitting memorial. Now the work has been completed and the Dedication Ceremony for the Parma Heights 9/11 Memorial has been set for Sunday, August 25, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. in the Greenbrier Commons. Our memorial has been an ongoing tribute to those who lost their lives on that fatal day. This is truly a community effort, reflecting the monetary donations of residents, businesses, and employees, and the hard work of many local union members.
This year, the city’s Weekend in the Commons Celebration will bring a deeper meaning to the concept of community with the presentation of the Ohio Flags of Honor, courtesy of the Ohio Flags of Honor Foundation. This memorial display honors the men and women from throughout our state that paid the ultimate price protecting our freedom in the service of our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Registration will be held at City Hall (6281 Pearl Rd.) from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2 and Saturday, March 9, 2013. Residents and non-residents are welcome both days. Fees are $30/resident and $50/non-resident; we accept cash or checks only, no credit/debit cards. There will be a $10 late fee added beginning March 10, 2013.
Parma Heights has a green solution to those piles of broken, tangled Christmas lights – recycle them at the Service Garage in the Greenbrier Commons on Saturday, January 12 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
We take great pleasure in inviting all residents of Parma Heights to join him in the city’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, December 2nd at 5:00 p.m. at the Gazebo in the Greenbrier Commons. Santa Claus will be visiting us from the North Pole!
The City of Parma Heights and the Housing Research & Advocacy Center will present a Fair Housing and Landlord Tenant Law Seminar on Thursday, September 27, 2012, from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at Parma Heights City Hall,6281 Pearl Road.
On Friday, August 24th at 11:00 a.m., the City of Parma Heights experienced its first test call to all numbers in the municipality’s CodeRED Emergency Communications Network database. “If you did not receive the test call on August 24, you are not in the database. If you want to receive emergency messages and weather alerts, it is imperative that you go the website or call the Safety Department to register,” emphasized Brent Collins, Director of Public Safety.
Race Threads owners Betty and Brad Booth, providers of custom embroidery for the racing industry, welcomed two new members into their family-owned business last September: a high-tech digital printer that allows them to be a one-stop shop and a graphic designer who, in addition to creating custom artwork for clients, attended classes to learn how to operate their new machine.
Good food, good music and good friends are a surefire recipe for summer fun and that’s just the package the City of Parma Heights is offering during its Weekend in the Commons, Saturday and Sunday, August 4th and 5th. Parma Heights is, and has always been, a city with a small-town atmosphere, and we wanted this year’s celebration to feel like a block party with neighbors and friends getting to sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company.
Parma-South Presbyterian Church invites the community to share in the sweetness of summer at its annual Strawberry Festival and Bake Sale on Sunday, June 10.
Economic Development and Recreation Vital to City’s Future
On Thursday, April 19, at the Cassidy Theatre, I delivered my first State of the City Address. As the speech came at the mid-point of my first term, I gave an overview of where we have been, what we have accomplished and what we need to do now to face today's challenges and prepare for the challenges to come.
Cox Communications was on hand to record the address and report that they have added it to their Cox45 and On Demand programming.
The address can be seen on Cox45 on Sundays at 8:30 a.m., Mondays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Fridays at 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. The address will air throught the month of May.
According to Amy Krebs of Cox Communications, if you are a Cox Advanced TV subscriber and wish to view the address On Demand, simply "tune your TV to channel 1, select FreeZone, Cox Local, and then Events New & Info. Along the bottom of the screen, there will be different folders, scroll left or right to Parma Heights SOC and select the video".
I invite all of you to join me as I deliver my first State of the City address on Thursday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the Cassidy Theatre. As the speech comes at the mid-point of my first term, I will give an overview of where we have been, what we have accomplished and what we need to do now to face today's challenges and prepare for the challenges to come.