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Annual Holiday Decorating Contest

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Holiday Lighting Contest. One winner in each ward and a citywide winner will be awarded. Nominations can be submitted to, or by mail to 5407 Turney Road, or dropped off at the Civic Center. For a nomination form, click here. Deadline for nominations is 4 p.m., Dec. 14.

Recreation Center News

The 22nd Annual Skating Exhibition Show is on Saturday, December 10th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.  Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for 65+ seniors and $3.00 per student (age 5-17).

Time is running out to get your raffle tickets for the Cleveland Browns Basket – drawing December 18th - this will make a great Christmas gift for someone!  Click here for details!

Click here for information on the Annual Skate with Santa.

Garfield Heights Non-Emergency Line Reactivated

Garfield Heights has reactivated its original non-emergency line, 216-475-6607. Callers can listen to a recorded message and will be prompted to contact the appropriate city department for assistance.

City of Garfield Heights Leaf Pick-Up

The City of Garfield Heights leaf pick-up will begin around October 31st this year. Leaves should be placed in long rows on tree lawns, not in tall piles. Leaves are not to be placed in the street.

Piles should not contain sticks, twigs, rocks, grass clippings, trash or other material that may clog the leaf machine. If debris is found in a pile, workers will NOT collect the rest of the pile and you will be asked to bag your leaves going forward. Pick up will go ward by ward, street by street.

Leaves can always be bagged or put in large trash tote and put out with your regular garbage on regular collection day; bags should not weigh more than 40 pounds. The end of leaf pick up will be determined by the weather.

Municipal Court Website Has Useful Information

Four letters: g-h-m-c hold an abundance of information about the workings of the Garfield Heights Municipal Court. That information is just a click away by logging onto the court’s website:
The website has the latest information regarding both criminal and traffic cases.  One can search the docket by name to see the status of cases to be heard in the Garfield Heights Municipal Court.  The website also has information on which offenses require a court appearance and those that can be paid on line.

There is also information on how a person can file a small claims case.  The Garfield Heights Municipal Court hears cases involving money damages up to $6.000 in value in Small Claims Court.  Claims over $6,000 but less than $15,000 are heard in Civil Court.

The Garfield Heights Municipal Court also handles landlord and tenant disputes.  The most common procedure involves evictions.  The website also has information on Rent Depositing.  This is when the rent is held by the court when a tenant believes the landlord is not fulfilling the obligations outlined in the rental agreement.

A person can also get the necessary documentation to get various court proceedings started. Printable forms are available on the website regarding Small Claims, Evictions and Driving Privileges..

If a wedding is in your future, a marriage ceremony can be performed at the Garfield Heights Municipal Court.  The website has information on what needs to be done before the couple says “I do.”

The Garfield Heights Municipal Court is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday, except on legal holidays.  The court website: is always available.

The court jurisdiction covers eight neighboring communities: Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Newburgh Heights, Brecksville, Independence, Valley View and Walton Hills.

2016 Shop with a Cop tickets

The annual 2016 Shop with a Cop tickets are now available through the Garfield Heights Police Department.  This event is very special to the children and families who are unable to afford clothes or gifts for Christmas.  If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please stop by the Records Department at the Garfield Heights Police Department, 5555 Turney Rd., Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00am – 4:00pm.  The tickets are $1.00 each or six (6) for $5.00.

There will be a drawing for prizes on Thursday, December 15, 2016, for the following:

  • 1st Prize – 50” Color T.V.
  • 2nd Prize – iPod
  • 3rd Prize - $100.00

Thank you in advance from all of us at the Garfield Heights Police Department.

9-11 Memorial Service

On Sunday, Garfield Heights honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack with the dedication of a new memorial monument at the Garfield Heights Civic Center Complex. Located adjacent to the city’s Veterans Memorial plaza, the 9-11 Memorial “Never Forget” was designed by the Johns Carabelli Company, designers and builders of quality, spectacular-looking memorials throughout greater Cleveland since 1879. Program speakers included Mayor Vic Collova, Fire Chief Tom Nemetz and Police Captain Bruce Thailing

The project is being funded 100 percent through donations. To make a donation, send a check payable to the city of Garfield Heights, 5407 Turney Road, Garfield Heights, OH, 44125. Attn: 9-11 Memorial Project.

The memorial site also includes the city’s engraved brick Walkway of Recognition. Brick orders are still being accepted. Forms are available at the Garfield Heights Civic Center. For additional information, call 216-475-1100.

Eviction Mediation Pilot Program

The Garfield Heights Municipal Court has launched a pilot program to find more amicable solutions to landlord / tenant problems.  The Eviction Mediation Program began August 2nd and has already shown some positive results.  “It’s like seeking a peaceful divorce,” Garfield Heights Municipal Court Presiding Judge Deborah Nicastro said.

According to Judge Nicastro, about 30 to 40 evictions are filed with the court each week. The standard procedure is to have an eviction  hearing between the landlord and tenant scheduled in two weeks. That is followed  by a second hearing in 30 days. But with the new program, instead of two hearings, a mediation session is scheduled in a week.

The court sets aside 90 minutes and a mediator with the Cleveland Mediation Center works with the landlord and the tenant to work out the dispute. Both parties leave with a written agreement.  Sometimes the lease is re-negotiated, the rent is reduced, a payment plan for back rent is made or an agreed upon move out date is set.    

The goal is to keep police from having to remove people from their homes and all their belongings thrown to the curb. It would also help landlords who would be left with damages and no way to recoup lost rent.   

The Court has funding to handle ten to 14 mediation sessions a week.  “I am surprised how well the program is working.  We have met our initial goals, reached agreements and no one had to be evicted,” Judge Nicastro said.

Currently, a landlord or tenant could request a mediation session instead of an eviction hearing.   The Eviction Mediation Program will continue until the end of the year.

The court jurisdiction covers Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, Independence, Brecksville, Newburgh Heights, Valley View and Walton Hills.

Health Department Reminder

A mosquito trap set in Garfield Heights by the Cuyahoga County Health Department has tested positive for West Nile Virus. There have been NO human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Ohio. Health officials have found a low infection rate in mosquitoes and say it is expected at this time of year. Officials said residents should use insect repellant when outdoors and to get rid of any standing water around their homes. For additional information about West Nile Virus, visit

Turney Road Resurfacing

The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works has started repaving Turney Road from Hathaway Road to the Garfield Heights east corporation line bordering Maple Heights. Through traffic will be maintained. The $436,000 road resurfacing project is being funded by Cuyahoga County and the Ohio Public Works Commission. Karvo Companies, Inc. is the paving contractor. Completion is scheduled for October 2016. For construction updates visit or call the Construction Department at 216-348-3838, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays. Drivers are reminded to slow down through the construction zone and pay attention to workers.

Community Development Block Grant Project

Garfield Heights applied for and received $150,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program to resurface Dressler Avenue in Ward One from Forestdale Drive to Osborn Road.

Warner Road Resurfacing Project

The resurfacing of Warner Road is complete. Council members approved the funding for the project earlier this year.

Successful Document Shredding Program

Residents brought 6,980 pounds of paper to be shredded during a recent free document shredding program at the Garfield Heights Service Garage. Cars waited briefly in line to safely dispose of their documents.

Another shredding event is scheduled for Sept. 17. The document shredding is paid for with a recycling awareness grant from the Cuyahoga Solid Waste District. Garfield Heights also will host a second Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept. 6 through Sept. 17. 


Garfield Heights Firefighter Swearing-In Ceremony

From left, Fire Chief Tom Nemetz, Firefighter Demetrius Butler, Firefighter Tyler Lowe, Firefighter Frank Wallingford, and Mayor Vic Collova.

Mayor Vic Collova presided over a swearing-in ceremony for three new firefighter/paramedics June 9 at Fire Station #1. The experienced firefighters include Demetrius Butler, Tyler Lowe and Frank Wallingford.

Fire Chief Tom Nemetz said all of the firefighter/paramedics were hired through a lateral transfer procedure. “We are getting an experienced group of firefighters who will serve our city well,” Nemetz said.

Butler is transferring from the Canton Fire Department. He also has experience working for Cleveland Emergency Medical Service, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and the Twinsburg Fire Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in emergency management, and associate’s degrees in fire technology and emergency medical service.

Lowe is transferring from the East Cleveland Fire Department. He also works part-time for the Oakwood Fire Department.

Wallingford is transferring from the Memphis, Tenn. Fire Department. A native of Northeast Ohio, he also has experience working at a chest pain and stroke center, the Mentor Fire Department, as well as Lake and South Point hospitals. He has an associate’s of science degree and was at the top of his paramedic class.

Firefighter Demetrius Butler

Firefighter Tyler Lowe

Firefighter Frank Wallingford

Free Self Defense Class

Garfield Heights Family Resource Center Manager Ruth Pollack is hosting a free Self Defense Class from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 10 at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road, Garfield Heights, Ohio.

The class instructor is Christopher Ritondaro, Patrol Supervisor and Training Instructor for NASA Protective Services Training Academy. He also is a member of the Ohio Tactical Officers Association.

Topics and demonstrations include:

  • Personal Defense - What to do if approached and how to protect yourself while
    walking in a neighborhood, a park or parking lot.

  • Home Defense - Review layers of security you can have in your home and what to do if you hear a window break or awake to someone in your home.

  • Basic Strike - Types of punches and kicks and how to use your hands, feet, elbows and knees to defend yourself.

  • Awareness - Discussion about how your body physically changes including your heart rate, breathing, blood circulation, metabolism, and the secretion of adrenalin.

  • Behavior Detection - Learn how to look for certain clues given by people that may indicate harmful intent.

All these topics and more will be covered during the free session. Participants must be 18 and over. Registration is not necessary.  For additional details, contact Ruth Pollack at 216-475-1103 or

Landscape Company Honors Earth Day at Garfield Heights Civic Center

In honor of Earth Day 2016, Southwest Landscape Management, Inc. donated a complete spring clean-up at Garfield Heights City Hall. The 25-year-old company, based in Columbia Station, recently opened a local office at 12600 Rockside Road, #302, in Garfield Heights.

Vice President of Operations Greg Taylor said Southwest Landscape Management has donated services in other communities and wanted to do a beautification project here to celebrate expansion of the company footprint to Garfield Heights.

“We recognized that Garfield Heights has been cash strapped in recent years while dealing with a fiscal emergency and was forced to cut certain services such as outdoor building maintenance,” Taylor said. “We are pleased to be able to help the city by sprucing up its Civic Center property.”

Southwest Landscape Management donated approximately $4,800 in labor costs for their two-day effort that including weeding, trimming and mulching the beds around Garfield Heights City Hall, including the Police and Firefighters Memorial Garden, a job completed in recent years by Boy Scouts, Green Up Project and Sea of Blue volunteers, etc.

“We are grateful to Southwest Landscape Management for providing this beautification project to our city,” said Mayor Vic Collova. “I commend them for their commitment to our community and to the Earth.”

Taylor said the company’s new Garfield Heights location will serve clients, of which 90 percent are commercial operations, throughout Eastern Cuyahoga, Summit and Lake Counties. For information about the company, visit

Lead Poisoning Protection

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health offers up to $8,000 to repair windows, doors and porches at homes located in target cities including Garfield Heights. The goal of the program is to prevent lead poisoning that can cause learning and behavior problems. For more information, call 216-201-2000. For additional details about the program click here.

Garfield Heights & the Family Resource Center

Published on Feb 16, 2016

Ruth Pollack talks about the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center, located inside the Civic Center at 5407 Turney Road. She helps people of all ages with many different problems and situations and loves what she does. Ruth is also an author of the book "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in a Dysfunctional Family," where she talks about her past and what she has gone through that made her who she is today.

If you or a loved one is in need of help, please call (216) 475-1103 or walk in to Ruth's office at 5407 Turney Road, Garfield Heights, Ohio.

Families Anonymous

Does someone in your family have a problem with drugs or alcohol? A Garfield Heights Families Anonymous Meeting offers free help to people whose loved ones are struggling with addiction. Families Anonymous is a 12-Step Program for anyone concerned about the drug and alcohol abuse or behavioral problems of a relative or friend.

Many recovery programs are available for addicted loved ones when they are ready to seek help and recovery. However, Families Anonymous is for you - the parent, spouse, brother, sister, or any other emotionally involved relative or friend. Your identity is protected at all meetings as anonymity is an underlying principal of the program.

Families Anonymous meetings are every Tuesday, at 7 p.m., at the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center, located in the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road.

For information, send an e-mail to, or call 216-475-1103.

Garfield Heights Curbside Clothing Recycling

The curbside Simple Recycling program began this week. Residents are reminded to review the information packages sent to their household.

Items that can be recycled include clothing, socks, shoes, linens and towels, stuffed animals, handbags, and more. Collection will be the same day as trash collection each week. Items should be placed in the green Simple Recycling bag and placed on the curb next to the Kimble trash and recycling totes. Do Not Put the Bag inside the Kimble Totes.

For more information, visit or call 866-835-5068. This is a free service. 

Reading Program Seeks Tutors

Ohio Reading Corps is looking for tutors. The position is part of the AmeriCorps program and participants receive a monthly stipend and Education Award. Tutors provide support/instruction in small groups or one-on-one to elementary school students in Garfield Heights, Bedford, Maple Heights and Warrensville Heights. Participants must commit to a minimum of 900 hours of service and primarily work during the school day from Sept. 1 through June 30. Qualifications for the program can be found at For additional information about Ohio Reading Corps, contact Elyse Sanchez at

Garfield Heights Awarded $930,000 for Property Demolition

Garfield Heights officials learned they will receive $930,000 from Cuyahoga County to demolish unsalvageable residential and commercial properties.  The Property Demolition Program is expected to strengthen existing communities, accelerate property value growth and restore neighborhoods, according to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. Nineteen other communities were awarded part of the more than $10 million project allocation. The first round of awards will address about 10 percent of the vacant properties throughout the various communities hit hard by the foreclosure crises and declining values.

“Addressing vacant and distressed properties is an urgent issue throughout Cuyahoga County,” Budish said. “We are committed to working with communities and housing advocates, side-by-side, to eliminate blight, promote redevelopment and ultimately, create stronger neighborhoods.”

Garfield Heights Mayor Vic Collova said he is pleased the county was able to find the money to help struggling communities. “We appreciate the commitment of the executive and the county council members. This is a program we definitely need and our city will see its benefit,” said the mayor.

Applications for a second round of funding will be accepted beginning May 1. Garfield Heights Economic Development Director Noreen Kuban said officials have identified 92 structures to be demolished with the first-round funding the city will receive. “And we know there are additional vacant and blighted properties we can take care of, if we receive more money from the county program,” Kuban said.

According to Cuyahoga County officials, Bedford will receive $425,000; Cleveland, $992,240; Maple Heights, $908,000; and Newburgh Heights, $525,000.

Yearlong Paper Drive

Support the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center by recycling your paper products in the River Valley Paper Company bin at the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. The Resource Center helps at-risk families and youth and offers referral services. Items accepted include newspaper, mail, phonebooks, office/school paper, magazines, catalogs, paper bags, hard and soft bound books and cardboard. All proceeds generated from the yearlong paper drive will benefit the Resource Center. For information about the resource center, call Ruth Pollack, center manager, at 216-475-1103 or e-mail For information about recycling, call Pat Salemi at 216-475-1100, ext. 2425 or e-mail

Unique Gift Items and Cards for Sale

A variety of unique gift items and inexpensive greeting cards are available for purchase at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. Talented crafters meet daily to crochet scarves, hats, baby blankets and booties, etc, and also to create unique decorative and household items.

These items are sold for reasonable prices in the Craft Room store at the Civic Center. There are cards for 25 cents; gift bags and wrapping paper prices range from 25 cents to $1; and bows are 75 cents and $1.

Shoppers will be impressed with the selection of items inside the Craft Room store. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

Telephone Scam Alerts

Garfield Heights officials have received reports of telephone scams demanding immediate payment for taxes and utilities.Regarding the tax scam, the caller states he is from a tax collection agency and claims the person answering the phone owes taxes. The potential victim is told if they do not pay within one hour, they will be arrested. There is no authorized tax collection procedure of this type, said Police Chief Robert Sackett. He said if anyone receives a call and believes they owe taxes, the person should contact the tax collection agency directly. No personal information, such as bank information or social security numbers, should be given to someone saying you owe taxes.

The Illuminating Company is warning customers about a scam involving a telephone caller posing as and electric company employee threatening to shut off power unless and immediate payment is made using a pre-paid debit card. Although the utility company reminds customers of past due accounts, a variety of payment options would be presented.

Anyone who receives a call they are uncomfortable with taking, should hang up. Suspicious calls also can be reported to the police.

Information Notification System for Garfield Heights Residents

The city of Garfield Heights is partnering with Cuyahoga County to bring an information notification system to residents. ReadyNotify is a mass notification system that alerts residents to emergency situations, water boil alerts, utility outages and other important messages. Participation is voluntary.

To sign up, residents need a valid e-mail address or phone number. Messages will be delivered via cell phone, text messages, home or work phone numbers or FAX.

Residents can utilize the computers at the Garfield Heights Public Library where staff is available to assist with requesting email addresses and registering for the program.

To sign up for this new messaging system, offered at no cost to the city, visit

Properties available to Purchase and Renovate

To view the properties available through the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp.’s Land Bank program, click here.

Latex Paint Disposal

Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District campaign reminds residents to dispose of latex paint curbside with their regular trash. For details about disposal, click here.

Food Bank Days and Times

Garfield Heights offers two monthly food banks for residents only at the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. Pre-registration is required. The daytime food bank is from 1-2 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month. The evening food bank is from 6-7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month.

People needing assistance can register between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday at the Civic Center. Proof of residency, income and birthdates of all household members must be presented at registration. Food bank participants can not register on distribution day. They must be pre-registered.

Donations to the Garfield Heights food bank can be made at the Civic Center. Food and money are accepted.

Unused and expired prescription drugs can be disposed of safely at the Garfield Heights Police Station

This county-wide Prescription Drug Drop Box program is helping keep prescription drugs out of landfills and water sources. The drop box is located in the lobby of the police station and is accessible 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

“Anyone can drop off any unneeded or outdated prescription medication, no questions asked,” said Police Chief Robert Byrne.  Needles, liquids or other medical waste is not accepted. Cuyahoga County purchased the boxes for any police department that requested one. The Cuyahoga County Sheriffs department helps collect and weigh the drugs and is responsible for record keeping of what is being disposed.

For additional information about the program, visit or

Help and Resources for Families Just a Phone Call Away

Ruth Pollack answers calls for help at the new Garfield Heights Family Resource Center.

Located at the city’s Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road, the center offers information about drug treatment, counseling, support groups, prevention and other assistance to troubled families.

“We are offering all sorts of local resource information that can assist our families and their needs,” Pollack said.

A longtime Garfield Heights resident, Pollack has many years of experience working with children, teens, adults and their families. For many years, she was employed by the Garfield Heights City Schools district where she worked as a truancy prevention specialist, prevention coordinator, program coordinator and learning support specialist.

Pollack implemented programming to reduce learning barriers in the classroom and dealt with topics such as bullying, character education and improving social skills. She also worked with school personnel responding to student discipline concerns by facilitating conflict mediations and crisis intervention. She has spent much of her career working with at-risk students to help them crate and achieve personal goals.

“It is with honor and zest for our community that I take on my new role as manager of the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center,” Pollack said.

Pollack and her husband, Gary, have been residents of the city for 22 years. They have three adult children. Pollack has donated many volunteer hours to the community. She also chaired the community relations board, and is a former member of the zoning board of appeals and the planning commission.

The Resource Center is maintained with grant funding obtained by the Garfield Heights Municipal Court.

Confidential messages can be left at the Garfield Heights Help-Line, 216-475-1103. People in need are encouraged to schedule an appointment, but drop-in visits to the Family Resource Center are also welcome.  To view the news article, please click here

Heroin Anonymous Meetings offer help and hope for those suffering from addiction and there are now two weekly meetings in Garfield Heights.

Heroin Anonymous Meeting
Every Tuesday 8-9 p.m.
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
14600 Turney Road
Maple Heights, OH 44137
Meet in the school next to the church

Heroin Anonymous Meeting
Every Friday 1-2 p.m.
Signature Health
5410 Transportation Blvd. Suite 4

Garfield Heights, OH 44125

Domestic Violence Advocate Will Assist Victims
Garfield Heights Domestic Violence Advocate Karen Gordon is available to help victims.
Call 216-229-2420 Ext. 254
Click here for the 2014 Annual Report

Family Resource Center Accepting Donations

The Garfield Heights Family Resource Center is accepting donations to support efforts to help at-risk youth and families. The program was developed with grant funding to provide resources to families in crisis. “We have been able to help many residents in need through the resource center and are already making a difference in our community,” said Manager Ruth Pollack.

Located at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, the resource center offers non-therapeutic, non-clinical services to youth and families including family mediation, drug and alcohol dependency and mental health referrals, as well as support groups for teens and parents. Anyone who contacts the center will be linked to resources provided by various agencies and programs in Cuyahoga County.

Pollack also works with young people assigned to the Garfield Heights Municipal Court Youth Diversion program, which provides a second chance for non-violent offenders, along with students at the Garfield Heights Learning Center.

Help is just a phone call away. To be connected to resources provided by the Family Resource Center or to make a donation to support its programs, call (216) 475-1103 or e-mail

Family Resource Center Donation

Annually, the Garfield Heights City Schools Secretary Association, which includes current and retired secretaries, donates money to a charity. The project coordination rotates throughout the district school and administration buildings. This year, the secretaries at Maple Leaf Elementary School chose the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center to be the recipient of the funds collected at the association’s annual holiday party.

Donna Majors, Sandi Zelle, Family Resource Center Manager Ruth Pollack, and Maureen Heard.