Hruby’s 35-year mayoral reign ends in December

by Melissa Martin

Aug. 1 city council meeting

Longtime Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby announced he will not seek a 10th term.

Hruby, a lifelong Brecksville resident, was elected mayor/safety director in 1988 after working 20 years for the Brecksville police department, including a stint as chief. He became mayor two years after the death of his brother, former mayor Jack A. Hruby, who passed away from leukemia at the age of 41. Jack Hruby served as mayor from 1970 through 1986.

“It’s become clear that I’ve been here a number of years, so much so that I’m all of a sudden 75 years old, and I don’t understand how that happened,” Hruby told council. “[At the end of my term,] I will have spent 56 years working for the city. It’s going to be very difficult for me to make the transition, but it needs to be done.”

Hruby sent a letter to every Brecksville residence announcing his decision and said he plans to spend more time with his wife and family.

“It’s time for me to go home and dedicate myself to getting my affairs in order in these later days of my life,” he said.

Hruby told council he looks forward to working closely with whomever is elected mayor Nov. 7 during the November-January transition. He thanked council and the staff for their cooperation during his time in office.

“You truly are the heart of our city. You make things happen and serve the public so well,” he said. “I shall miss you most and look forward to the final months of our administration.”

Added Hruby, “Working with city council, resident committees, our board and commissions, has resulted in the expansion of city services, facilities and programs without raising property taxes for 36 years, resulting in the lowest ranking of property taxes in comparison with other jurisdictions for many decades.”

Hruby also expressed appreciation to residents, saying he will forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Among the contenders to fill Hruby’s seat is Councilman Daryl Kingston, the only mayoral candidate on the ballot as of Aug. 3, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The official filing deadline was Aug. 9.

Kingston announced that the city has been awarded $268,940 in Safe Routes to School funding for the construction of sidewalks on Oakes Road, along Blossom Hill Park’s frontage.

“When we rolled out our draft connectivity plan last year, in addition to committing to working on the projects in the pipeline, our vision was also clear in that we would continue to look for meaningful and fiscally responsible projects anywhere we [could] to keep our residents safe and mobile and this is one of those projects,” Kingston said.

Hruby recognized Kingston and Monica Bartkiewicz, director of planning and development, for securing the funds. He also thanked Gov. Mike DeWine, state Senator Jerry Cirino, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District for their cooperation.

“This project is an incremental step in making feasible, meaningful and fiscally responsible connections in our community,” he said.

Bids for the multi-use pathway from Oakes Road to Valley Parkway were set to be opened Aug. 4. ∞