Save Our Parks… Save Our City.

Hello everyone,

Hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather this past weekend. I sure did. My son had a basketball tournament and then baseball practice outside at Calvin park, any my daughter attended a dance at Normandy. I can’t believe how fast they are growing up. Then on Sunday we visited the West Side Market and came home with some nice ribeye steaks that I fired up on the grill. Then the grease under the grill caught fire and I had to call the Fire Department to come and make sure I didn’t blow my home up. Fortunately, it all worked out and most importantly, the steaks were saved. Haha.


I’d like to welcome all the new residents from Ward 3 who signed up for Hemlock Creek sewer updates. I will be sending our regular updates every week or so, and will be including information on that project in those updates. If you were at the meeting I wanted to thank you for coming and I hope we can have a smooth project going forward.

And please check this page out for all updates regarding this project. The video is there and the copy of the presentation with the questions/answers is available for download as well.

As of right now, there is no new news to give you about the project.


Let’s get started for this week’s update. A reminder that tonight, Monday, April 18, we have our committee and caucus meeting at city hall, beginning at 6pm. The committee meetings are first. I am the chair of the Parks/Recs committee so I will be discussing issues related to that. I believe tonight we also have a special Rules committee, and Police/Fire committee. Residents are welcome to attend and give feedback.

Then, after the committee meetings, city council has our caucus meeting. A caucus meeting is when members of city council plans the official city council meeting for the next week. In other words, caucus is where we work to discuss what will be on the agenda for the official meeting and also discuss plans and problem-solve issues for the city. Residents are welcome to come and be heard and ask questions. In fact, we want you there.

Note: these meetings (caucus) are held in the caucus chambers right next to the big room. These meetings are not recorded or put on video. Only city council meetings are done that way. We’ll broadcast the city council meeting next Monday and I’ll send you the link after.

Speaking of video, we think we’ve worked out the bugs on the camera. We tested it out successfully last week during our Hemlock Creek sewer meeting where over 300 residents attended. You can watch the replay of by clicking on the link below.


I want to spend a little time this week talking about pride. I’ve lived in Seven Hills for 20-years now. Before that I grew up in Independence, and also lived in Akron where I went to college and met my wife. But now, I call Seven Hills home and I’m proud to live here. However, over the past 10-12 years I feel we’ve lost a bit of that feeling, and I want to work to help get it back.

Do you love this city like I do? How do we make Seven Hills the place where we all stand proud together to tell the world we love it here?

It’s easy. We just have to start focusing on a few things.

#1 – Put the right leaders in place. We’ve already taken a huge first step at this by electing the members of the Contract for Seven Hills into office. I can tell you (as part of that team) that each member is working very hard to fulfill the promises we made to you during the campaign. So we’re on our way, but there’s more we have to do.

#2 – It’s the little things. Let me give you an example. By my estimation, 5,000 – 10,000 people a year attend our parks throughout the city. Most of them coming during the Spring/Summer months for youth soccer/baseball/softball games. These are people from our city, but also a LOT of people from other cities around us. Parma, Valley View, Independence, Broadview Heights… even some as far as Sandusky.

What do they see when they come here and visit our parks? They see rusted out fencing, and cracked cement and inadequate fields. They see all this, and walk away with an impression that is the exact opposite of what we want them to think. This cannot continue to happen and that’s why I’m working so hard to make changes at our parks. Because I believe they are the gateway to the future homeowners (families) of our city.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about and why I’m so frustrated. Years and years ago former Mayor Bentkowski pushed through legislation to purchase brand new street signs for the entire city. I’m not exactly sure on the cost, but I believe it cost the city close to $300,000 for the signs. Now, I agree, the street signs look nice, but I would argue that perhaps a better use of that money at the time would to have build up our parks instead?

Think about it. Imagine having a state of the art youth sports facility that attracted thousands of young families to our city? Which one do you think would attract more of those people? Fancy street signs? Or amazing parks? You get my point.

Now, thank goodness we built the recreation center. I know many of you do not like the center, but I can tell you for a fact, that if we did not have it, we’d be in serious trouble attracting new families to the city. It’s a wonderful building that we should all be proud of.

My overall point is this. If we want to bring the type of pride we want to our city, we’re going to need to change the way we think for the future. That’s why I’m working so hard to fix up the parks. I believe that if we can do that, we can attract the future residents of our city that we will need.


I want you to take a moment and think about how Seven Hills is going to look in 3-4 years from now. Imagine it. Imagine a wonderful Rockside Rd. project that attracts big tax dollars and promotes our city in a positive way. Imagine a parks system that is up to par with neighboring cities that attracts thousands of new families to our city.

Imagine people from other cities saying, “You’re from Seven Hills? Wow, they’ve really got it together there. What a great place it is. We love to visit. In fact, we’re thinking of buying a home there.”

That is what we want. That is what we HAVE to have. And that is what myself and the other members of the Contract for Seven Hills are working for.

Thank you for reading. I hope you agree with my vision for the city and for our parks. And I appreciate your support in helping to make it happen.


Jim F. Kukral
Ward 3 City Council

P.S. Have you joined our private Facebook group yet? Click here to ask to join. Lots of great discussion about our city here.