News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Meaden & Moore

NOCHE


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us




Deciding the fate of the last positive legacy of Jimmy Dimora
Bedford Heights residents vote whether remove former mayor Dimora's name from community center.
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
This story is part of a special series.


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
This community center was named in honor of Jimmy Dimora. Now that he's in prison, residents will vote whether his name comes down.
Courtesy of Amanda Rabinowitz
Download (WKSU Only)
For better than a decade, the community center in Bedford Heights’ has carried the name of Jimmy Dimora. Tuesday, voters will decide whether to continue that, or to put the last positive legacy of Dimora to rest. WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz reports.
Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:49)


A bustling community center 
The Jimmy Dimora Community Center is what you would call the jewel of Bedford Heights. It’s where kids come for swimming lessons, adults come for a quick work out on their lunch break and where senior groups gather for socials. But the name of building has become a hot button issue in this close-knit community.
image
A former mayor convicted of public corruption
Jimmy Dimora served for 17 years as the mayor of Bedford Heights starting in 1981 before he was elected Cuyahoga County Commissioner. In 2000, the new community center was named in his honor.  

That honor became dishonor in 2008, when the feds raided Dimora’s home. He wasarrested, convicted and is now serving 28 years in prison on dozens of charges of public  corruption and racketeering. 

Current mayor pushes for TWO ballot issues

Current Bedford Heights Mayor Fletcher Berger says it’s time for Dimora’s name to come down. "When he was the mayor here, he did some good things for Bedford Heights. That was some years ago. An awful lot of people who are here now and who go to that facility, only know him for what he’s done lately that has led to this conviction."Bedford Heights Mayor Fletcher Berger

Berger, with the approval of Bedford Heights City Council, put an issue on the November ballot asking residents whether to rename the facility “The Bedford Heights Community Center” - But that’s not all - a separate issue will ask voters whether anyone’s name belongs on a building at all. 

"Personally I don’t think it should be. Because as long as we are humans, we have a chance of falling off the pole," said Mayor Berger. "If you want to get your name on a building in Bedford Heights, Ohio…you have to DIE to get it!" (laughs).

Residents weigh in
Resident Dwayne Spears says Jimmy Dimora sets a bad example for future generations. "You know our kids are pretty smart now, they (are) pretty educated, they (are) pretty upbeat;  they pretty much know everything. So…they come and see something like that, what type of role model is that for children, what type of role model would he be for us? He screwed us over on money, so why should his name be on this building? Take it off." 

Eighty-year old Eleanor Dandy agrees. She says Dimora’s crimes don’t represent the community. "We have pride in this city; I love this city, I’ve been here 27 years. And I am embarrassed to live in this city with a person who is a felon, locked up, with his name on the building that I come to three or four times a month."

imageBedford Heights Council President Philip Saunders told WKYC in March that he thinks Dimora’s name should remain on the building. Saunders worked on Dimora’s mayoral campaign. He could not be reached for comment for this story.

Current Mayor Fletcher Berger meanwhile, says the naming issue is up to the people now --- and he’d rather focus on the more positive things taking shape in the city --- like its new food pantry.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existance
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

In a crowded, controversial field, Kasich's low-profile may be a boon
I think it should be required that if a candidate wants to use the facilities of one of our state universities to promote him- or herself, they should be requir...

How's Kasich selling in New Hampshire, and what about Iowa?
"If he heads there, says Gomez, he’ll either have to shy away from those issues, flip flop or “stick his finger in their face and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I expa...

Ohio School Boards Association says new law could mean state takeovers of schools virtually anywhere
It would be nice if the state were this concerned about the dozens of failing charter schools.

Republican National Convention plans outreach to African American voters in Ohio
Too late! Seriously - I think the Republicans already blew another outreach campaign to blacks when they allowed many prominent members of their party to spea...

Canton adds acoustic sensors to locate gun shots
We never had drive by shootings and all these gun slingers until about ten years ago. I have lived here in the same old German neighborhood since 1947. The ...

Sister of suicide victim claims complaints about school bullies were ignored
My name is Eliza Hogge and I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. I am trying to contact Sladjana Vidovic's family about using your precious daug...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University