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100 days

April 15th, 2010

Mayor Susan Infeld is already making changes in the city of University Heights. On April 10, Infeld completed her first 100 days as mayor of the City.

Infeld was sworn in as mayor in January, replacing Beryl Rothschild who served in the position for 32 years.

Infeld said her plan for her first 100 days was to study city operations with the intention of implementing measures in the next phase of her term.

“There is a learning curve; I needed to see how things worked,” said Infeld of her initial plan.

Since her inauguration, Infeld has passed the City’s budget, made personnel changes and revamped the City’s newsletter.

Infeld said she is fairly on target with her plans thus far. There are several projects currently in motion that she hopes to accomplish.

Infeld plans to update the City’s Web site. The new Web site will be more modern and interactive, and will allow residents to pay bills online.

Infeld plans to put city processes, procedures and job descriptions in writing as well. This is something she said the City has not done in the past.

Infeld has also made strides to improve the relationship between John Carroll University and the City, which have been strained in recent years.

According to Infeld, a major part of this was improved communications between JCU and University Heights.

“It [improved communications] was a big part of my campaign. I didnít understand why it had been lacking,” said Infeld.

Dora Pruce, director of government and community relations at JCU, said, “There has been a huge difference [in communications] for the better. The mayor and I are in frequent, steady contact with each other.”

According to Pruce, Infeld has made an effort to work with the University.

Infeld alerted the University when she discovered there was funding available from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health for environmental justice, which JCU has applied for.

Infeld also approached the University with the idea of creating a bicycle program, in which the City would donate confiscated bicycles to JCU for students to use. This program is still in the planning phase, but the City is working with JCU’s Environmental Issues Group to formulate a proposal.

Additionally, the City is planning to create a community garden, in which residents can decide what to plant. This project will first be implemented in one neighborhood, but she hopes eventually it will spread to more neighborhoods throughout the City. Infeld hopes to partner with JCU to create this community garden.

Infeld also made a motion to City Council to allow JCU to continually host its annual outside events including Relay for Life, the East-West high school football game and the Continental Cup without needing City approval every year. Council agreed to the East-West high school game and the Continental Cup. City council also agreed to allow Relay for Life outside all night this year, but will re-evaluate it once the event takes place.

“The City had actually been limiting its [JCU’s] normal operations by requiring them to come to council every year. I didnít think it was necessary,” said Infeld.
Pruce said the University was pleased with this decision.

“That [motion] was a huge shift,” said Pruce. ìI think ideally in the future we will build on the momentum of working together and, hopefully, more trust builds.”
Infeld said she is looking forward to the rest of her term and continuing to work with JCU.

“I think I’ve seen a change already, and Iím happy with that. It was really necessary to see that change. The University is important to the City,” said Infeld.