From the desk of Mayor Sam Alai

In a few short weeks, our annual Home Days celebration will kick off. This summer, we will again celebrate four fun-filled days of music, games, rides, food and fellowship. This annual gathering is one of my favorite events every year. Not only do I get to interact with so many community members, but I also get to see families and friends interacting with each other and spending time together. One of the best parts of my job as your mayor is to be able to bring you such a wide array of community events and opportunities for people to join together. Each time we host a concert, festival, car show, etc., on our Broadview Heights campus, it is through the collective creativity and hard work of lots of people, including our employees. For each occurrence, all of our city departments work together before, during and after the many fantastic city-sponsored activities to make all of them memorable and enjoyable events for the participants. Since the very first day I was elected as your mayor in 2007, I’ve been honored to work with such positive and dedicated people.  

If you haven’t had an opportunity to watch a ball game this summer at The Fields, I encourage you to do so. We have four grandchildren playing this summer, so we’ve spent lots of time watching them. Each time we attend a game, my wife and I are reminded about how much we loved watching our own children when they were young. Nothing was more fun than seeing the kids laughing and enjoying time with their teammates, as well as meeting so many other families who also loved rec sports. The coaches and umpires always did a great job of making sure that the kids recognized the importance of playing hard and displaying good sportsmanship. Those skills are some of the most important things we can all teach our children, and with each generation, they pass along those important lessons to their own children. Terry and I have been thrilled to witness those values being shown by our grandchildren and their teammates again this summer.

Many of you know that my wife is a retired teacher and three of my daughters are currently teachers. As the spouse and the father of teachers, I know very well how much they look forward to summer break, just like the kids do. For nine months out of the year, a large team of adults work together to provide their students with activities that share their own love of learning and inspire kids to always want to know more. But that team isn’t made up of just teachers. Bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, para-professionals, office personnel, therapists, administrators, etc. do a lot of work behind the scenes to make each day move along smoothly. And each year, our schools are asked to do more and more, sometimes with less resources, but they always seem to meet the challenge. I think that’s because our most important resource in the schools is the people. Like me, I’m sure that all of you can think back to many individuals who made a positive impact on you through your educational years. I can think of many, and I know that my wife can, too. She and I, along with our children, attended a combination of both public and private schools. At each one, there were always people who not only taught us about all the academic “stuff”, but also took us under their wing when they felt we needed a kind word or even a kick in the pants! On behalf of our community, I’d like to thank all of the people who work in our schools and make our kids feel so special. I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing summer because you have definitely earned it! We look forward to seeing you again in the fall. ∞