City expresses condolences for former mayor, councilman

by Melissa Martin

May 17 city council meeting

Brecksville City Council and Mayor Jerry Hruby paid tribute to the city’s first mayor and a former member of city council, expressing their condolences to both families.

Robert Kubicek, who served as Brecksville’s fifth mayor from 1960-1964, died May 1 at the age of 96. During Kubicek’s first year in office, Brecksville transitioned from a village to a city as the population grew beyond 5,000 residents. Prior becoming mayor, he served on Brecksville City Council, for a time as president.

During his mayoral term, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital at Brecksville and Miller roads was dedicated. Also during his tenure, Brecksville Town Center on Route 82, just east of Brecksville Road, was dedicated.

Kubicek was a member of the city’s bicentennial committee in 2011 and served as a committee chair and as grand marshal of the bicentennial parade.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, of 74 years; daughters Beth Hughes, Kathleen Tuthill and Barbara Tansel and several grandchildren. A memorial service was held May 5 at Nosek-McCreery Funeral Home in Brecksville.

William T. Guarnieri, who served as a member of Brecksville City Council from 1972-1981 and again from 1984-1986, died April 30 at the age of 83. Guarnieri was a trial attorney in private practice for over 59 years. He kept offices in Brecksville and in downtown Cleveland.

After moving to Brecksville in the 1960s, Guarnieri ran for Brecksville mayor before he was elected to council.

Guarnieri was an active member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the American Arbitration Association. He was active in the Kiwanis Club of Brecksville and served as a lector at St. Basil the Great Catholic Church in Brecksville.

Guarnieri is survived by his children, Michael, Nicola, Christopher, Rachael and Daniel, as well as his brother Joseph Gardner.

A funeral Mass was held in his honor May 12 at St. Basil the Great Catholic Church.

Ban on fireworks continued

City council unanimously approved legislation prohibiting the use of consumer-grade fireworks.

Municipalities across the state can make amateur fireworks displays legal around certain holidays starting July 1, following the passage of Ohio House Bill 172. Brecksville’s mayor and police chief recommended opting out of the new law for the community’s safety.

The legislation, passed in November, permits residents of the state to set off fireworks on July 4, New Year’s Day and other holidays. The law also grants municipalities the option of banning fireworks within their borders, designating when it’s permissible to shoot off fireworks or adopting their own rules.

Neighboring Broadview Heights has approved similar legislation.

Before making a final decision, council elected to conduct a survey to determine residents’ opinions. The online poll, administered this spring, found the majority of respondents were opposed to making amateur fireworks displays legal, preferring to leave fireworks in the hands of professionals.

Community center open to non-residents

Council approved legislation allowing the sale of non-resident memberships to the community center. Non-resident memberships would be capped at 500, said Rachel Engle, recreation director.

“This will allow us to keep resident rates down,” she said. “Currently, we are serving many non-residents who are coming as guests and paying each visit. This would allow us to collect full membership instead of a guest pass per visit for some of these families.”

Membership for a non-resident family of four will be $700 annually, which is comparable to nearby communities that allow non-resident memberships to their community centers, Engle said.

The membership would include a pool pass as well as full use of the community center. ∞