PARMA, Ohio - Now halfway through his second term, Mayor Tim DeGeeter has much of which to be proud in guiding the fortunes of the seventh largest city in the state.
DeGeeter delivered his "State of the City" address Feb. 28 at GM's Parma Metal Center, a highly appropriate location considering it's meant so much to the city's economic past and will again in the future.
At the onset of his address, DeGeeter said Dec. 14, 2016 was a great day for him to be mayor because it was on that day that GM announced plans to invest $218 million into the almost 70-year-old plant.
"GM's decision is a true testament to the plant's workers, the management team and the partnership the two share," DeGeeter said. "This major commitment helps secure the plant's future in Parma - so critical for the workers employed here and crucial for our city and Northeast Ohio."
As DeGeeter has always said, the economic health of the city revolves around "progress through partnerships," and he mentioned a number of those partnerships over the course of his address.
The West Creek Conservancy and the city has partnered through a $75,000 grant to develop the West Creek-Quarry District along Rockside and Broadview Roads. He singled out Councilwoman Kristin Saban and Councilman Jeff Crossman for their work on this project.
West Creek Conservancy and the city are also working to acquire, preserve and re-purpose 80 acres of property at Parmadale.
DeGeeter also thanked JoAnn Mason, director of the Donna Smallwood Center for Aging, for her work on the YMCA Silver Sneakers program. "While helping improve the health of our seniors, the partnership makes financial sense since the YMCA is paying rent to us and is paying for its staff and teachers who are working at our senior center," DeGeeter said.
The $90 million transformation of Parmatown into the Shoppes at Parma was also mentioned as a triumph of partnerships.
DeGeeter also emphasized the importance of the passage of the school levy May 2. "It would mean that all three high schools would stay open for at least the next five years," he said.
On the community policing front, DeGeeter announced that the Parma Police Department will begin a bicycle patrol later this spring. The bike patrol will also be part of the department's drug education program.
In closing, DeGeeter said it's the people of Parma who make it "a great place to live, work and raise a family."
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