Mayor-elect Patrick Cooney is meeting with business people and city officials to work on plans for economic development in Fairview Park.
Cooney has met with John Sobolewski, executive director of the Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce, to discuss ways to advance business in the city.
“I was impressed with the interest business people take in the city,” Cooney said. “They intend to continue to work with the city on finding ways to help businesses already in the city and find ways to bring new ones into the city.”
During his campaign, Cooney said he wanted to work on expanding businesses along Lorain Road and other areas of the city. The chamber will play a role in that effort, Cooney said.
“It’s already working with the business community, so we can reach businesses quickly that way,” he said. “We can see what the businesses think and also work on other ways of seeing what people want.”
Sobolewski is excited to be working with Cooney.
“It’s going to be a really good partnership working with him,” Sobolewski said. “He was very interested in what’s already going on and what we can do to help bring more in. We’re going to talk about programs and what we can do for development.”
Cooney also has been meeting with current municipal workers and will contact City Council members, he said.
“I want to hear their ideas and hear what already works well for the city and areas where we can do something different,” he said.
Council President Michael Kilbane met with Cooney as well.
“I’m glad he’s going to hit the ground running, especially on something like economic development,” Kilbane said. “That’s a big part of the city.”
Kilbane said he’s encouraged by how Cooney is preparing for his new job.
“He looks like he’ll be good for council to work with,” Kilbane said. “It helps to have the administration willing to work together to get things done.”
Cooney also is following through on plans to find ways to work with next-door neighbor Cleveland.
Many Fairview Park residents work at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and NASA Glenn Research Center, which Cooney said he wants to utilize.
“I’ll contact people there as well and see what we can do in terms of setting up things which benefit all of us,” Cooney said.
The incoming mayor is also getting resumes and talking to people about potential replacements for Shawn Leininger, the city’s former service and development director. Leininger resigned in late November to become executive director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission.
“We’re getting applications from people now and I’m talking with people,” Cooney said. “You want someone who’s going to be good working with a lot of different people. That person will also be playing a big role in business development.”
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