Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Warrensville Heights mayoral debate about to begin

I am in Warrensville Heights Civic & Senior Center to report on this city’s three-way race for mayor. Candidates are the incumbent Clinton Hall, councilwoman Deborah A. Hill and former economic development director, Brad Sellers.

The three candidates are meeting in debate tonight, sponsored by the Warrensville Heights Area Chamber of Commerce. The debate is expected to focus primarily on issues that most affect business.

Unfortunately, the sponsor has banned cameras, and both video and audio devices. Chamber president Steve Petti told me a little while ago that this stance was taken to preclude inventive ‘gotcha’ editing on behalf of either of the campaigns.

The venue is set up for 160 guests. Although the program doesn’t start until 7PM, a good number of folks have already arrived and one can feel a certain anticipation building.

This is the first such public forum offered by the Chamber, according to Russ Friedrich, who chairs the group’s advocacy committee and will moderate tonight’s debate. He said the chamber has grown significantly in recent years. The fact that three candidates are running was a spur to the Chamber’s stepping forward, he said.


Councilwoman Miesha Headen said...

We should applaud the Chamber of Commerce for holding this debate, and you as well for covering it. It is shameful that the Plain Dealer has not written about Warrensville. With the development of the Harvard shops, the Ahuja Medical Center, and Eaton, Warrensville is the one of the most important areas of new job creation, building, and regionalism in Cuyahoga County. It's just inexplicable that this city has not received more attention.

Richard said...

Thank you Miesha. You identify several especially important points, most especially job creation and regionalism. Brad Sellers' campaign literature refers to 3900 new jobs in Warrensville Heights, a righteously impressive figure for a community of less than 14,000 people.
Also, one of the questions last night sought the candidates' views on either an outright merger or the sharing of services among the tri-city communities that include the villages of Highland Hills and North Randall. Such developments are esential all across the county for Cuyahoga to reestablish itself as a first-rate area.