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Mayfield Heights Council Prepares to Fill Vacancy

City Council members hosted their final interview session on Wednesday

Mayfield Heights City Council hosted its final interview session Wednesday for a seat members hope to fill within four days.

Wayne Farinacci and Jeff Likover each had 20 minutes to prove they could be the right man to fill a vacancy left by Mayor Anthony DiCicco, who replaced Greg Costabile in December.

Farinacci is president of the Mayfield Alumni Association, director of the popular Cleveland International Challenge Cup Bocce Tournament and a former Mayfield High School associate principal. This potential appointment marks the third city council bid for Likover, whose life outside of politics includes everything from a long career at Parker Hannifin to limousine driving.

Each member of council took turns asking questions and follow-ups when needed. Farinacci interviewed via telephone from Hilton Head, S.C.

Here is a sample of the questions and answers from Farinacci and Likover's interviews:

Jeff Likover

DiCicco: Do you see anything (in the city) that you would specifically point to that you would like to see done differently or maybe you could put a different spin on it?

Likover: I have a senior mother, she's actually going to be 89 in September. I'm starting to get a little more in tune to the problems that seniors have. I know we have a lot of good programs in the city right now, but I don't think you can ever have enough programming. So, I'd look for some ways to try to expand senior programming. The other thing is ... some things were done on Mayfield Road already, but I would like to see a lot more trees planted on the residential streets. There's a lot of streets that could really use some tree lawns. So, beautification of the city and properties like Mayland. That property, I know there's some things going on with it, but I'd almost like to see a Legacy Village-type of thing go in there. Maybe a smaller scale, but three or four restaurants with some green space and having some music on the weekends. You go to Legacy on a weekend, and it's amazing how many people are there enjoying the music.

Councilwoman Gayle Teresi: Regionalism is the hot word of government today. Tell me how you feel about sharing or playing nice in the sandbox with fellow communities. Are you willing to share our safety services with a community like Bratenahl, Strongsville or any other community?

Likover: I think that it's important to look at ways to cut expenses, and it's possible that some economies of scale could happen with regionalism, but I don't want to give up control of certain things like safety, so I think you have to look at all of that. It's important to be able to try to cut expenses ... working with other cities to order materials, but not give up control of safety and things like that.

Wayne Farinacci

Councilwoman Diane Snider: Are there any ideas you may have about school safety and how the city can get involved?

Farinacci: It just takes a process of identifying what the issues are, getting people from both agencies together sitting down, and seeing what one can do for the other ... You get good people together and we come up with solutions to whatever the issues may be.

Snider: I know that you are a proponent of alcohol in (the city park) for the revenue purpose. You (hypothetically) being a new councilperson, representing many people and many different opinions, how would you address an angry resident that is very much against this issue?

Farinacci: I would try to show the revenue benefits to the city and how it will attract more people. Do you think there would be fewer people there if you had no food? The answer is absolutely, 'yes.' You have food because you know people will want food and it will bring them there ... If you have beer and wine there, it will attract more people and more revenue. I would like to know their rationale for why it's bad. I think I would be successful in bringing some other points of view to that individual.

Also on Mayfield-Hillcrest Patch:

  • Mayfield Heights City Council Interviews Kelbel and Stocum
  • Mayfield Heights City Council Interviews Sabetta and Ballistrea

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