Christmas Time is here again


By: Michael D. Polensek

Since my last message to the community, a lot has transpired.  On November 13th I met with staff of the Cleveland MetroParks at their headquarters to discuss Phase Two improvements to Euclid Beach, Villa Angela and Wildwood Parks. Phase One reconstruction of the historic Euclid Beach pier is done and what a great addition to park. Not only does it look good but it is handicapped accessible which is a blessing especially for the disabled and seniors who live adjacent to Euclid Beach.  In Phase Two we are talking about additional enhancements to the bluff, an additional picnic pavilion and a splash pad for small children. We also discussed the Wildwood Marina and enhancements that could take place there as well. At the end of the day, my goal, working with our partners, the Cleveland MetroParks, is to make our lakefront a true destination place not only for Ward 8 but also for the greater community.

As I have been reporting, we are working with the Cuyahoga County Landbank and the City’s Demolition Bureau to target and remove those structures which are beyond repair or rehabilitation.  My goal is to rid our neighborhood of the eyesores and to preserve the structures worth saving. As I mentioned before, if you are interested in a vacant property, start by calling Peggy Kearsey at the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation at (216) 383-9772.  You can also call the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) at (216) 574-7100 or visit their website at

The majority of residents should have received by now, from the Division of Waste Collection the “Do’s and Don’ts” of what is recyclable and what is not, pertaining to the black waste cart and the blue recycling cart.  Please pay attention to what you are placing in your carts. Waste collection is citing residents who contaminate the recyclables with garbage and other non-recyclable items. If our curbside recycling program is to be successful, we must all pay attention to the regulations.  Thanking you in advance.

Unfortunately, I am still being confronted with homeowners who have fallen upon hard times and are facing foreclosure issues.  Please do not ignore any legal notices from your Mortgage Lender.  If you have a problem or have fallen behind on your mortgage you can call CHN, once again, at (216) 881-8443, their Foreclosure Prevention Hotline. If you fall behind on your property taxes, do not ignore those notices, either.  You can establish a payment plan with Cuyahoga County.  Property owners who fail to pay their taxes run the risk of their home being put up for Sheriff’s Sale.  Please be proactive, for ignoring any legal notice will only make the situation far worse.

As I have reported, the new O.H. Perry Elementary School is on schedule and is planning on opening at the end of January. The demolition of the old school will commence sometime thereafter and then the new parking lot, playground and play area will be finished off. Those of us who grew up in the neighborhood hate to see the old school building come down; however, the new Perry School will be a state-of-the-art k-8 elementary school which our children are certainly disserving of.  A grand opening will be planned.  I will keep you informed.

Let me remind you that as of December 21st , WINTER is here.  You wouldn’t know that but the weather we have experienced so far.  However, the “white cold stuff” is coming.  Be careful when bad weather hits.  Snow related street condition calls should go to Operation Snowbird at (216) 664-2510 as well as chuckholes and road repair issues which goes hand-in-hand with winter conditions. Unmoved cars and other vehicles left on your street may be turned into the Commander Morris’ office at (216) 623-5505.

I hope all of you are aware by now that the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation has taken over responsibilities for development activities for the entire Ward 8 community.  Any resident and /or business interested in learning more about GCDC should call Mr. Jamar Doyle, the Executive Director.  He may be reached at (216) 383-9772.

Work has begun in earnest on the $1.5 million rebuild of the Mark Tromba Pool and Playground in the Collinwood Village community.  Work should be completed by July 2019.  This project has been a long time in the making and I am really glad to see it finally happen.  I want our parks and playground to be on the same par as suburban facilities and I will accept nothing less.

Speaking of new development opportunities, we continue to be in discussion with developers and potential new businesses on a whole host of properties throughout the Ward 8 community.  One that is very near and dear to me is the former Longfellow Elementary School site at Darley and East 140th Street.  In fact, this is the street my grandparents lived on.  Longfellow School is an historic landmark and should never have been closed by CMSD; having said that, this took place long before it became a part of Ward 8 through the last ward redistricting. My goal is to see this beautiful building re-envisioned and put back into productive use. I will keep the community informed as we move forward.

We all know the importance of a college education; that is a given.  However, I hear from more and more manufacturing businesses in the neighborhood that they cannot find talented individuals with skill levels for manufacturing careers. That brings me to the Cleveland Job Corps Center located in our ward at 13421 Coit Road. This center instructs students in a whole host of skills, whether it be in the trades or other professions.  Best of all, it is free of charge and supported by the Federal government. If you know of a young person who would like to establish a meaningful career path, please contact the Job Corps at (216) 541-2500 to learn more about the programs available for career training.

You all know, I am a longtime dog owner, and my “Collinwood Coyote,” Lady Girl, was a rescue dog from the Cleveland Kennel.  As everyone knows she goes with me to many events and places in the neighborhood. There is a group that I am very much in support of and that is, the Friends of the Cleveland Kennel, which is a non-profit 501(c )(3) organization, whose mission is to provide necessary medical and general care to dogs and cats in need at the Cleveland Animal Care and Control Center.  Ward 8 is full of pet owners and animal lovers and I would encourage anyone who would like to help out or make a donation to learn more about the Friends Group.  Visit their website at  Please support this group who is working to protect God’s four-legged creatures.

I hope all of you had a joyous Chanukah or a blessed Christmas season; and to those who celebrate Kwanzaa, a joyous experience. Our ward is culturally, ethnically and racially diverse. Many of you have heard me say many times over the years that this is something to be very proud of, to embrace and to rejoice in. There are few neighborhoods like ours left in the City of Cleveland.  That being said, in 2019, let’s all recommit to make our community the best it can be.

On behalf of my family and the Greater Ward 8 community, may you all have a

safe, prosperous and healthy New Year.  God bless all.

As always, I may be reached at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at

John Copic

Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.

Read More on Councilman Update
Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 5:22 PM, 01.08.2019