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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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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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Please come join the online live chat tomorrow (Thursday, November 15, 2012) with me and Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration, Ed Jerse. Many of you may recall that I love live chats, so I’m very excited to be doing this with the Civic Commons (my day job).

To add more fun, I’ve known Ed for many years and it is going to be an honor to moderate this conversation about the County’s efforts in shared services, collaboration, consolidation and yes – I’ll say it – merger. Please come lurk and engage from 11-12noon.

Can’t be there? Leave a question or comment now and Ed will respond later.

You can watch the event unfold here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:31 pm November 14th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Ohio, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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UPDATE: You can watch the show here or below:

Good taping this morning amidst an insane schedule.  Who do I think I am!? A working mom (aka super being) or something? You can tune in on WVIZ/PBS on Friday at 8:30pm or Sunday at 11:30am, or the Ohio Channel on Monday at 1:30pm or 9:30pm or Tuesday at 5:30am.  The video posts toward the end of the week.

Here’s the show’s rundown:

Allegations of Dirty Parks & Dirty Pool

Posted Friday, June 22, 2012

Roundtable:  Mark Naymik, metro columnist, The Plain Dealer; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks; Greg Saber, Freelance Journalist

Bad Parks—Many of northeast Ohio’s lakefront parks are drowning in weeds, driftwood and trash, the victims of poor or non-existent maintenance.  A Plain Dealer report this week canvassed three parks, Edgewater, Euclid Beach and Wildwood and found them in appalling condition.  Each of these is under the umbrella of the State of Ohio which has put little money into them in recent years.

Politics on the Down-low—Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel has touched off debate with recent criticism of incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown.  Mandel has called Brown hypocritical for portraying Republicans as anti-women when he was once accused of domestic violence.  The accusations grew out of a decades-old divorce case.  Brown’s camp called Mandel’s action ‘despicable’ while the Mandel camp says the old family dispute is legitimate political rhetoric. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:07 pm June 22nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, EfficientGovNetwork, Josh Mandel, Regionalism, RIP, senate | Comments Off 

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I don’t know, but I can tell you that the work I’ve been doing with the Civic Commons and the EfficientGovNetwork since September 2011 has been geared toward making sure that NE Ohio leverages the government collaboration experience its gained over time to drawn down state money set aside in the Kasich administration’s first biennium budget via the Local Government Innovation Fund. Word came down today that the Ohio Department of Development office in charge of the LGIF grants and loans will gather at 1pm on Friday to announce awards:

The Local Government Innovation Fund Council will hold a public meeting on Friday June 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, 19th Floor Room 1960, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

The Council’s agenda includes reviewing Round 1 Loan and Grant applications for approval and award.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:31 pm May 30th, 2012 in CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Ohio, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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The last several months have been extraordinarily busy ones for me as I find and hit a groove with my work at The Civic Commons on behalf of the EfficientGovNetwork.  You can check out what Jill built, with some very excellent assistance from the Civic Commons team, here and can join us in person to see what we’re working toward this Thursday at an afternoon hour-long City Club Forum:

Local Government 2.0
Ohio’s State Budget and What it Means

February 2 @4:30pm

The $112 billion state budget Governor Kasich signed in July 2011 is in full effect.  The budget cut $2 billion to local governments and schools; repealed the estate tax and included an expansion of charter schools.  The votes were along party lines- Democrats criticized the budget for including too many cuts and GOP legislative leaders praised the budget for filling in a multi-billion budget shortfall.

The City Club, in partnership with The Civic Commons, ideastream and

The Plain Dealer, will examine the state budget as well as educate the community on the policies and programs proposed to help municipalities.

Moderated by: Joe Frolik, The Plain Dealer


Randy Cole, President, Ohio Controlling Board; Policy Advisor, Kasich Administration

Kathy Mulcahy, Mayor, Orange Village

Tony Paglia, VP, Government Affairs, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber

Make reservations*

*Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of the event. Reservations will be held 15 minutes past start of program, such as 12:15 for noon programs. Reservations will then be open to standby ticketing.

Special Event:
$20 Member
$20 Non Member

Reservations Toll-Free at 888-223-6786 or locally at 216-621-0082

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to pass this on to folks whom you think might want to join us.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:47 pm January 31st, 2012 in Business, Cleveland+, Economy, Education, EfficientGovNetwork, Government, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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These two elected officials did a fantastic job leading us through an exploration of what it takes to succeed with government collaboration.  Check it out and then start a conversation about it – what did you agree with? disagree with? Where are they right – where are they wrong?

Don’t forget that this Thursday in Akron is the EfficientGovNetwork Regional Collaboration Conference.  I’ll be there with the entire Civic Commons EfficientGovNetwork team covering it so that we can continue even after it ends.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:20 pm October 10th, 2011 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Government, Regionalism | 1 Comment 

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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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Several items in the news – two from today and others from the last week – all offering different narratives:

First, from Business Journal Daily, “Collaborations Expand Beyond Trumbull” an article that highlights action as well as talk about municipal collaborative efforts, a positive spin on merging dispatch centers:

For Tom Pascarella, director of administration for the city of Tallmadge, collaboration wasn’t only a best practice; it was a way to protect the city from dire financial straits. The city is saving $500,000 annually by combining police and fire dispatch services with the city of Stow.

Two notes on this article:

1. You can google up a bunch of articles about the dispatch arrangement, but here’s how it’s described on Stow’s website and here’s how it was described in March 2008 when it was first approved by Stow.  I’ve contacted someone I know on the Stow council to learn more about his impressions of the arrangement and will share them if that’s okay with him once we communicate.  I also have a friend who is running for Stow’s council and will be sure to ask her if she has an opinion about it too.

2. You can read the June 28 release from which the article was written here, and all the info about this Kent State project at what I believe is the website for the project itself (I’m not 100% clear on the naming), The Center for Public Administration and Public Policy, The Innovator’s Collaborative Series.

Now, on the other hand: “Regional dispatch center still adjusting to increased emergency calls”:
Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:07 pm June 29th, 2011 in BurbMerger, Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Executive, Government, Media, Ohio, Politics, Regionalism, 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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Received at just after 9:45pm in my inbox:

Media Contacts:  Nicole Dailey Jones: (216) 263-4602, (216) 338-0863 or
John Kohlstrand: (216) 698-2099 or

FITZGERALD and mayors announce plans to study merger of communities

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and four area mayors will announce on Wednesday, June 22 their intention to study the benefits of a merger of four communities.




Important announcement about regionalism in Cuyahoga County

WHO: Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, four area Mayors
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
WHERE: Fourth floor, Cuyahoga County Administration Building, 1219 Ontario St., Cleveland


By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:52 pm June 21st, 2011 in Government, Ohio, Regionalism | 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