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Please visit the City website here or read the image below.


By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:58 pm November 7th, 2013 in Pepper Pike, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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Read more here. Basics: Starts at 1pm. The Pepper Pike Community Band will play from 2:30-3:30pm. The weather looks gorgeous. There will be pony rides and Jungle Bob, balloon benders, free ice cream of course and free kids’ bike helmets to the first 200 children. This event is always a great time – hope to see you there.

Pepper Pike Ice Cream Social – Sunday, August 25 1-2:30pm

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:04 am August 25th, 2013 in Pepper Pike | 1 Comment 

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Begging for Complaints

Filed Under Pepper Pike, Tech | Comments Off

No, really. I said it and the Sun News is reporting it. Tell me all your problems!

Home page of new Pepper Pike website

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:31 am February 6th, 2013 in Pepper Pike, Tech | Comments Off 

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From the inbox:


Media contacts:
John O’Brien: 216.698.2099 or
Nicole Dailey Jones: 216.263.4602, 216.338.0863 or


Cuyahoga County – The Shared Services/Merger Study for Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere, Ohio is being launched through a series of public meetings on Thursday, February 7, and Friday, February 8, 2013.

These meetings will provide the community with an opportunity to learn about the study process and to join the conversation around both merger and shared services for these communities. Each meeting will include an overview of the project, information about some of the key characteristics of the four communities, an interactive live survey and a roundtable discussion of challenges and opportunities. The meetings will be moderated by the project consultant, the Center for Governmental Research of Rochester, New York.

Each of the meetings will follow the same format so attendance is only necessary at one of the four options listed below:

Public Meeting Information

Thursday, February 7th

  • 1:30 pm – Woodmere Village Hall at 27899 Chagrin Boulevard
  • 4:00 pm – Orange Village Hall at 4600 Lander Road
  • 7:00 pm – Moreland Hills Village Hall at 4350 SOM. Center Road

Friday, February 8th

  • 8:30 am – Pepper Pike City Hall at 28000 Shaker Boulevard

About the Center for Governmental Research:

CGR is a 98-year-old independent nonprofit strategic consulting and decision support organization with significant expertise conducting local government merger and shared service studies and developing implementation plans across New York and the Northeast. CGR is headquartered in Rochester, NY and was engaged by Cuyahoga County and the involved municipalities to serve as study consultant in December, 2012.


By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:40 pm January 23rd, 2013 in Government, Pepper Pike, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Last night, long-time City Councilwoman Paulette “Cookie” Morganstern submitted a letter of resignation.  The Chagrin Solon Sun just published the news here.

Morganstern has served on council for more than 26 years. She cited as the reason for her resignation her intention to spend more time in Arizona, where she and her husband, Stanley, own a home. Stanley Morganstern resigned from the Orange Board of Education in January, stating his Ohio-based law practice was winding down.

I value and valued Paulette as someone with immense, invaluable institutional knowledge about Pepper Pike.  Her departure will leave a vacuum of practical, direct experience from years with the city government during which no one else left on Council served (Rick Taft being the next most senior council member with about 13-14 years of experience).  I wish her the absolute best of good times ahead wherever her choices take her.

For those residents who are interested, or if you would like to please pass this information along:

Paulette Morganstern’s current term expires at the end of 2013. Council is authorized by the city charter to appoint a replacement within 45 days to complete her term.

Residents who wish to be considered for the position are asked to submit a letter explaining their interest and qualifications by May 10 to Mayor Richard Bain at City Hall, 28000 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike, OH 44124.

Thank you again to Paulette for all these years of public service and if you have any questions, comments or concerns, as always, don’t hesitate to be in touch.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:39 pm April 26th, 2012 in democracy, Pepper Pike | Comments Off 

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Just received in my inboxthank Mr. Frank!

Dear Orange Schools families and staff,

On Thursday, January 19th, students in Mrs. McGeown’s 7th grade enrichment science class will be participating in an all day field experience on the Orange Schools Campus. This experience has been planned since last May and relates to the topic of forensic science. Please be assured that if you see students, police, K-9 search and rescue teams in the woods, or on the school campus this Thursday it is part of a simulation and not an actual emergency.

Thank you for supporting the Orange Schools!


Brian Frank
Brady Middle School

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:53 am January 18th, 2012 in Education, Pepper Pike | Comments Off 

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Nice photo and article about the opening keynote in which I got to participate at last week’s CampaignTech conference (which was really excellent).  There are other articles and photos floating around out there but I’ve not had time to track them down.

Many thanks to Julie Germany, Shane Greer & Shane D’Aprile of Campaigns & Elections, Pete Snyder of New Media Strategies (NMS) and all the folks who put on this event.  It was an incredible honor to be involved in not one, not two but three speaking opportunities there (here’s an article about the Innovators Award speeches and presentation) and I’m sure the message that local electeds and constituencies need to “get it” and now and how got across.

And – in the spirit of political leadership in the digital age, while I was at the event, there was a Road & Safety/Finance & Planning meeting in Pepper Pike which I observed, from my hotel in DC, via Skype. Another first for our city & for our city government.  I wasn’t counted for the quorum, there were no votes taken and even if there would have been, I would not have participated.  But it was great for me to follow along during a very long and content-rich meeting so that at this coming week’s City Council meeting, I can participate fully and well-informed.  Many thanks to my colleague Scott Newell who provided the laptop through which I could view the meeting.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:03 pm November 13th, 2011 in democracy, Government, leadership, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Politics, Transparency | Comments Off 

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From the inbox:

The next meeting of the Pepper Pike/Orange Village Democratic Club will be held on Thursday July 21st at the Orange Public Library at 7:00 PM.

We will be discussing the potential merger of Pepper Pike, Orange Village, Woodmere, and Moreland Hills

The discussion will feature our own members. Kathy Mulcahy, Mayor of Orange Village and Rick Taft, member of the Pepper Pike City Council and candidate for Mayor of Pepper Pike

Join us for a lively and informative discussion of this important topic

We look forward to seeing you there.

Lively for sure.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:03 pm July 16th, 2011 in Announcements, BurbMerger, Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Government, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Politics, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Some outstanding transparency efforts are here in Cuyahoga County and I hope Pepper Pike residents will take an active interest in all of them.  First up, tonight:

Community Dialogue: Openness in the Making (read this supportive Plain Dealer editorial)

Thursday, June 30, 7:00 pm
Trinity Cathedral, Room C/D
2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

This coming Thursday will be an opportunity to participate in an enlightening and refreshing conversation with senior staff in the new Cuyahoga County administration and Council about their work to make our county government more open and accessible to the people it serves and represents. We will also be joined by statewide Open Government advocate Catherine Turcer who can speak to how our county fits into the statewide context.

Here are our featured guests:
Joe Nanni, Chief of Staff, Council
Nicole Dailey Jones, Communications Director
Majeed Makhlouf, Law Director
Jeff Mowry, Chief Info. Officer
David Merriman, Special Assistant
Catherine Turcer, Ohio Citizen Action

Using a innovative community dialogue format called a “Fishbowl,” members from the audience will have a chance to actually join the featured guests at our roundtable to ask questions about work within the county and share their perspectives on the future of our county. It’s rare to have the chance for such an intimate conversation with our county’s leaders. Please come and add your insight to the dialogue.

Parking: Lot on Prospect between E 22nd and E 24th.

I cannot attend – not one but two competing commitments on my agenda (with this one above, three). But I trust all the folks involved and look forward to hopefully some real-time twittering of the event in addition to mainstream media follow-up.

Then, tomorrow at 12noon at the City Club, I will be attending:

Ellen S. Miller
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
Shedding Light on Government

Friday, July 1st, 2011 – noon
Ellen Miller is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two other prominent Washington-based organizations in the field of money and politics – the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign – and a nationally recognized expert on transparency and the influence of money in politics.

Ellen is outstanding in her work and I’ve heard her speak a few times at various forums.  She is also a regular user of Facebook and Twitter and evangelizes excellent information about good government and transparency and openness.

Finally, put this on your calendar as well:

The Transparency Action Plan Summit (TAP Summit) on July 29-30

The Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit will be informed by the principle that meaningful public involvement requires access to information. This principle applies at every level from neighborhood block groups all the way to national and international politics.

The Cleveland Coalition and our partners are committed to facilitating a well-informed, outcome-oriented planning session on the topic of county-level transparency. Advancing this issue requires effective leadership both inside and outside governmental institutions. Our coalition intends to provide meaningful leadership to augment work already being advanced by the Cuyahoga County Executive and Council.

The Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit will convene representatives from every major sector whose collaboration and productive exchange of ideas and information is essential to the health of our community. These groups include governmental officials, business leaders, legal professionals, IT professionals, nonprofit practitioners, and community activists.

Over the course of two days, participants will be educated about best practices across the country and the world in the area of transparency, the exciting work already underway at the county level, and current opportunities at the county level for innovation. The bulk of the summit will include planning and design phases during which participants will be tasked with developing a plan for advancing transparent practices and policies in our community.

As the name suggests, the Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit is a planning event, and as such will serve as the beginning for a path of dynamic, innovative public participation in the months and years ahead. Please join us July 29-30, 2011 to help articulate a strategy for moving our community forward, and establishing Cuyahoga County as a national leader in the area of government transparency and public engagement.

Very excited about all of those events.  Transparency – it does a (government & civic) body good.

Now for the local weekly paper burbmerger roundup: Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:51 am June 30th, 2011 in BurbMerger, Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, democracy, Government, leadership, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Regionalism, social media, Tech, Transparency | Comments Off 

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You can listen here right now through 10am or listen by podcast or through your computer later.  I will post a link to the audio on the blog, In The Arena, when it’s available. Here’s the blurb:

There’s been a lot of talk in Northeast Ohio about regional collaboration. Will there finally be some action? Four local communities — Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere — are considering a merger. On the next Sound of Ideas, we’ll discuss the benefits and the barriers and look at other communities ripe for merger. Would you be happy if your city joined with its neighbors in the name of government efficiency? Let’s talk about it Monday at 9 on 90.3.

Have a great day – and feel free to call into the show or email them if you want to comment:

During the show: 216-578-0903 or 866-578-0903

Last Word line (for after the show comments): 216-916-6397 or email

Show ideas & comments? Contact Executive Editor, David Molpus.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:31 am June 27th, 2011 in BurbMerger, Council, CuyahogaCounty, Government, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Click on the screenshot below of the Plain Dealer’s poll to go answer it on their website or click here to go there.

Would you merge with a neighboring community?

Plain Dealer Would You Merge Poll 6/23/11

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:18 pm June 23rd, 2011 in BurbMerger, CuyahogaCounty, Executive, Government, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Poll, Regionalism, Transparency | 1 Comment 

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Lots of airtime – what will it bring? My Google alerts for “pepper pike” and “cuyahoga county merger” are going crazy right now. More for you to read:

Mayors Merger Statement 6-22-11

Mergers – Briefing & FAQ – June 22, 2011

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:45 am June 23rd, 2011 in BurbMerger, CuyahogaCounty, Executive, Government, Pepper Pike, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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The Plain Dealer: Four East Side suburbs in Cuyahoga County to study merger

Crain’s Cleveland Business: Mayors of four eastern suburbs in Cuyahoga County to explore merger

Cleveland Magazine: Pepper Pike, Orange, Moreland Hills & Woodmere may merge in 2014

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:35 pm June 22nd, 2011 in BurbMerger, CuyahogaCounty, Executive, Government, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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I couldn’t be there and I can’t seem to get online, so here’s what’s out so far (check out @johnkohlstrand and @lauraejjohnston to see their streams on  I’ll update as there are more:

All four communities share schools, senior services, recreation. #burbmerger

Residents would have to vote in 2012 for formal study. Then, vote on whether to merge in 2013.

Communities have tossed around new names. One idea: Chagrin Hills

Orange mayor says her residents don’t care where the truck comes from; they just need to know where to call.

County to help communities study cost savings. Residents could vote in 2013.

Woodmere mayor: “Our community will not be gobbled up.”

Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere are studying merger

And we have a hashtag now – #burbmerger

From Cleveland Magazine, which ranked Pepper Pike #3 in this years suburb ratings:

@ClevelandMag: Woodmere Mayor Smith: “Time for leaders in smaller communities to try to come together.” #burbmerger (best hashtag ever)

I have to agree – burbmerger is a good one!

Previous Cleveland Mag tweets on the announcement:

One possible name for towns considering merger: Chagrin Hills. #burbmerger

Suburbs shocker: The four merged suburbs will be Orange, Pepper Pike, Moreland Hills and Woodmere. #burbmerger

If voters approve a merger, they should be allowed to crowdsource the name of the new municipality.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:27 am June 22nd, 2011 in BurbMerger, CuyahogaCounty, Government, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Plain Dealer editorial writer, Joe Frolik, is one of my most favorite PD people. I got to know him a bit in 2007 when I regularly participated in WCPN’s weekly regional roundtable.

I loved his Sunday editorial, “Consolidation question should be uppermost of voters’ minds.” It was front and center on the Forum page. His gist: In recognition of this year being a municipal election year, when mayors and city council members run for election, retention or re-election, Joe suggests the following litmus test (and I do not mean that in a negative way but rather as the one question that he suggests voters should ask):

…let me suggest a question — one that my colleagues on the editorial board and I will certainly pose when we interview candidates seeking The Plain Dealer’s endorsement this fall:

“What collaborations, consolidations or mergers of city services will you pursue if elected?”

If the answer is something along the lines of “None that I can think of,” or “No, we’re good,” end the conversation right there.

Anyone who can’t see the need for local government to get dramatically more efficient isn’t worth your time — or your vote.

While I think voters can make that decision for themselves re: is the candidate worth your time, there’s no question that collaboration, consolidation and mergers fevers are in the air.

Dave Lange, the editor of the Chagrin Valley Times, minced no words about this topic in his most recent commentary, “Regionalism vs Duplication” which you can read below:
Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:38 pm June 20th, 2011 in Government, Media, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Politics, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Please consider participating on Sunday, June 26th, in the garden tour of eight beautiful gardens in Pepper Pike and Moreland Hills. The event will benefit New Directions, a non-profit facility in Pepper Pike that has been serving chemically dependent adolescents and their families in NE Ohio for more than 30 years.

You can read great write-ups about the tour here and here.  You also can view the announcement flyer with more information here.  The essentials:

Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011
Time: 12pm-5pm
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 day-of

For more information, please call Kelly Welsh at New Directions, 216-591-0324 x164

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:44 pm June 20th, 2011 in Pepper Pike | Comments Off 

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Don’t let the name fool you! The Orange Art Center will host the Orange House Tour tomorrow, June 3 and it features five Pepper Pike homes, with the sixth home hosting a patron party in the evening.

There is still time for you to get tickets. The weather is going to be beautiful – not sure if I can say more beautiful than the homes, but you won’t know unless you go.  Due to a child-related commitment, I’m unable to attend the tour and the patron party that follows but, over the years, I have envied people who have both provided the homes and toured them.

More info from the Tour’s website after the jump.
Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:12 pm June 2nd, 2011 in Announcements, arts, Pepper Pike | Comments Off 

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Since many of the state and local government-related news items these days relate directly to my role as a member of Pepper Pike’s City Council, I’m posting many if not most of them at In The Arena. Only the overtly political blog post (like being angry about the new governor or something along those lines) about the same subject will show up here because I am keeping all that kind of opinion off of the council-related blog.  Here are the latest posts (and you can subscribe to the feed over at that blog, or check in on what I’m writing over there through the right-hand sidebar widget with links to In The Arena posts):

Ohio Chambers of Commerce Release Redesigning Ohio Report on State Government (WCPN broadcasts on it tomorrow)

TOMORROW (1/5), 10-11AM, WCPN: State Budgets and Public Employees

PD: “GOP in Ohio House Wants To Kill Estate Tax”

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:27 pm January 4th, 2011 in Government, Jill Miller Zimon, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Transparency | Comments Off 

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10. People will be mean and nasty simply because I am in elected office. It’s not personal.

9. People will respect me simply because I put myself out to be in elected office. It’s not personal.

8. If you’re not going to be able to sleep at night because you decide not to say something or not to vote a certain way, then say it, vote it and sleep.

7. Judging who is acting in good faith and who is not is central to building trust but should never dictate what you decide is the right thing to do.

6. There are approximately 6000 citizens in the City of Pepper Pike.  Rounding off in estimates: That’s 1000 more than are registered to vote, 3000 more than voted in our August special election and about 5960 more than have ever been to City Council meetings.  As a member of Council, however, I have to consider each and every one – regardless of whether they are registered to vote, eligible to vote, voted or have ever been to a Council meeting.

5. Listening is critical, but critical thinking and discussion shaped by critique is equally important.

4. I don’t know everything but thinking that I can and will eventually has led me to learn more about this City in twelve months than most citizens will in 12 years.

3. If you don’t like politics as usual, find the unusual path to serving the best interests of the City.

2. Our employees should be treated with dignity and respect and not as throwaway commodities. We should never underestimate the value they give to the city we’ve chosen to live in, no matter how difficult the decision-making becomes.

1. I am one of the luckiest people to have ever walked this Earth.  Thank you for letting me serve this City.

Happy New Year.

This is cross-posted from my council-related blog, In The Arena.  Please consider following it in 2011 – Pepper Pike will have candidates for mayor and three council seats in 2011.  It should be a very different year – again – in Pepper Pike.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:15 pm December 31st, 2010 in Government, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Pepper Pike 2.0, Politics, Transparency | 1 Comment 

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Okay – so – you know – I don’t want to whine. I don’t want to claw. I don’t want to – oh hell, you know what? I’m pissy. I’m just very very pissy because Politico, which I really do read and really do get news from, really did have a reporter write a story about political bloggers who run for office – see, here it is – More Bloggers Throw Hat in the Ring.  And he really did get to me by THREE different routes: Alan Rosenblatt emailed me to include me in on a conversation when he first got contacted, then the reporter contacted me directly and then BlogHer got a shout out from the reporter and they asked me if I would like to speak with him (by which time I’d already set up a phone call with the writer).

And we talked for over an hour. And I told him to check with Technorati, which it didn’t sound like he was going to do or hadn’t thought of yet, because that would put into metrics and context just how many political bloggers there even are, let alone those that run for office that are we can find/trace/hear about (given how hyper-local both blogging and running for office can be).

Then at this little gathering of 2400 bloggers, called BlogHer10, you know, I do this thing called an Inspirational Call to Action speech for 50-60 female bloggers who are interested in running for office or helping others run for office or advancing their causes through the political process and you know, I feel, like Denise encourages us to, kinda powerful – like I’m going to make a difference, just from my blogging – and, you know, running for office, all by my lonesome (with some serious BlogHer mojo behind me of course).

Then I follow up and get a nice note that the article will post this week and I’m not going to be in it but my info was very helpful (of course it was – why else do you stay on the phone with me for an hour?).

And then I read it. And you know what? My heart sank – it sank. Because it mentions my city – but not me.

Pepper Pike is 11 characters or spaces. Jill Miller Zimon is 17 characters or spaces.  The reporter says it was a space issue.

You can read the rest at the original post at BlogHer.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:24 pm August 12th, 2010 in Blogging, democracy, Elections, Gender, Government, leadership, Media, Ohio, Pepper Pike, Politics, Research, Social Issues, social media, Transparency, Voting, Women, Writing | Comments Off 

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