Holiday Lighting Ceremony

The Garfield Heights Holiday Lighting Ceremony is set for Sunday, Nov. 29 at the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with a musical performance by Ward Six Councilman Matt Burke in the main dining room of the Civic Center. The lighting ceremony begins outdoors at 5:30 and includes a flag raising, caroling and lighting the building decorations. Santa Claus will arrive on a fire truck after the lights are turned on. He will be available for photos indoors, where refreshments will be served.

The Unique Gift and Card Shop will be open inside the Civic Center throughout the evening. After the lighting ceremony, residents and recreation season pass holders will be admitted to Skate with Santa event from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Recreation Center. Proof of residency is required and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

For an event flyer, click here.

Holiday Lighting Contest

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Residential Holiday Lighting Contest. One winner in each ward and citywide winner will be chosen and recognized at a council meeting in January. Submit nominations at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road or by e-mail to  Deadline to nominate a display is 4 p.m., Dec. 15. For a nomination form, click here.

Homeowner Workshop

The Home Repair Resource Center is presenting a Senior Homeowner Workshop from noon to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. Participants will learn about planning for home repair and maintenance services and ways to be savvy consumers. The workshop is open to the public.

For additional information, call Trista McConaha at 216-475-3244.

2015 Shop with a Cop

The annual 2015 Shop with a Cop tickets are now available through the Garfield Heights Police Dept.  This event is very special to the children and families who are unable to afford cloths and gifts for Christmas.  If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please stop by the Records Department at the Garfield Heights Police Department, Monday – Friday between 7:30am – 4:30pm.  The tickets are $1.00 each or six (6) for $5.00.

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

Seniors Donate to Operation Christmas Child

Garfield Heights Seniors generously donated shoeboxes filled with gifts for Operation Christmas Child, an annual project of Samaritan’s Purse International Relief program. The group partners with groups worldwide to reach boys and girls. The gift boxes are filled with school supplies, personal hygiene items, puzzles, books, games, etc. and sent to children across the globe.

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. 

Public Skating Rink Now Open

The Dan Kostel Recreation Center Skating Rink is now open for the season. Session 1 of Learn to Skate/In house hockey begins Saturday. October 3rd for 9 weeks.

For information regarding public sessions, programs, ice rental, etc., call 216-475-7272 or visit the Recreation page.

Hazmat Training Session at the Rec Center

The Chagrin/Southeast Emergency Hazmat Team recently held a training session at the Dan Kostel Recreation Center where members from multiple fire departments learned about safety and survival. The team responds to regional hazardous materials emergencies when they occur. According to retired Garfield Heights firefighter and Hazmat trainer Pat Nelson, the group has monthly drills.

"In September, we had a class on safety and survival in Level A personal protective clothing while being supplied with air from self-contained breathing apparatus," Nelson said. "While dressed in full personal protective clothing, members jumped in the pool to simulate a fall in a recovery pit in a warehouse full of hazardous materials and then needed to swim to a safe area."

"Thanks to the city of Garfield Heights fire and recreation departments' cooperation, we were able to accomplish our training goals," Nelson said.

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.

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

Volunteer Gardeners Needed for Green Up Project

Volunteer gardeners are needed for the Garfield Heights Green Up project, an important effort to improve and maintain public areas throughout the city.  Groups of volunteers, such as scouts, students seeking service hours, or company employees wanting to donate their time to a worthy cause, are encouraged to participate.

Individuals and groups can adopt specific sites. So far, generous volunteers have joined the effort and beautified areas throughout the community, including the Civic Center, Fire and Police stations and the Veterans and Safety Forces memorials.

Volunteers maintain the areas throughout the summer and fall on their own schedules with their own tools. Ongoing maintenance includes weeding, watering and picking up trash when necessary.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Pat Salemi at 216-475-1100, Ext. 2425 or

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.

Highlights from Mayor Vic Collova’s 2015 State of the City Address

Mayor Vic Collova presented his annual State of the City Address in January at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The event is sponsored by the Garfield Heights Chamber of Commerce. For highlights of the mayor’s speech, click here.

New Marymount  Hospital President Named

To read the Northeast Ohio Media Group story about Dr. Richard Parker, click here.

Bank Donates Garfield Heights Home to Coast Guard Veteran

From left
Bank of America Senior Vice President Jake Frego, Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Representative Donny Jones, Steven and Athena Thompson, and Mayor Vic Collova.

Coast Guard Veteran Steven Thompson and his family will soon call Garfield Heights home thanks to a home donation from Bank of America and the Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund. The partners gave the Willard Avenue home to the Thompson family mortgage-free.

Nehemiah representative Donny Jones said Thompson is a deserving recipient of the Roofs for Troops effort initiated by the Community Reinvestment Fund. Since 1998, Thompson has been a member of the Coast Guard and the family traveled to several duty stations where he has worked as a firefighter and damage controlman. For the past 10 months, he has been at sea. Beginning in June, Thompson will be stationed on land with the Cleveland-based Coast Guard unit. He is taking courses through the American Military Academy and pursuing a degree in Sports Management. He plans to seek a job in the Sports Management field when he retires from the Coast Guard after his final duty tour here.

Thompson and his wife, Athena, have three children. The family plans to relocate to Garfield Heights from California when the school year is completed.

Mayor Vic Collova welcomed the family to Garfield Heights and said he hopes they will be happy living in the community.

To view the Fox 8 News story about Roofs for Troops, please click here.


Garfield Heights E-Newsletter

“In the Know” includes information about city programs and services.

To view editions of the “In the Know” E-Newsletter, please click here.

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

K-9s in the Courtroom

Garfield Heights K-9 Officer Arlo is featured on the cover of a recently published book, K-9s in the Classroom.

The picture of Arlo placing his paw on the Bible during a swearing in ceremony circulated around the Internet.

The author of the book saw it and contacted Police Chief Robert Sackett seeking permission to use the photo.

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 Heightsofficials 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.

Prescription Drug Drop Box Located at Police Department 

Garfield Heights residents now have a place to dispose of their unused and expired prescription drugs. Police Chief Bob Sackett said the city is participating in a county-wide Prescription Drug Drop Box program. A box now is located in the lobby of the Garfield Heights Police Department, 5555 Turney Road, and will be accessible 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

“Anyone can drop off any unneeded or outdated prescription medication, no questions asked,” Sackett said. 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 will help collect and weigh the drugs and will keep records of what is being disposed. Creation of the county program was spurred by a successful Drug Take Back Day sponsored twice yearly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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.