Welcome and Accomplishments
Thank you for visiting my re-election website. In my fourth year of my first term as Elyria’s Mayor, it is an honor to serve the caring citizens, visitors and workforce of “Ohio’s Community of Opportunity”! Just two years from our 200th birthday, we are building momentum, working together, using our proud past and pioneering spirit to shape Elyria’s rebirth. With the help of caring citizens, an energized City Council, new organizational partners, and volunteers who are second to none – Elyria is on the rise. We have managed to use the ongoing, challenging financial conditions in the City and beyond as a catalyst for creative thinking and problem solving and doing more with less. But our work is not done. And that is why I am seeking a second term as your Mayor.
Working together we have already taken many proactive steps to re-position our great industrial river and rail city for success. Please take the time to read below and learn - or be reminded of - our many accomplishments so far. With your support, the Brinda Administration is creating a more efficient, customer-friendly government; creating an environment more conducive to business retention, expansion and growth; making significant grant-funded road and bridge infrastructure and environmental improvements; improving safety throughout the city; strengthening our neighborhoods; building pride through volunteerism; and returning quality of life activities, services and amenities to our residents through team work and outside resource development.
No, we are not yet where we want to be, but we are making progress and your continued support and vote are needed and appreciated to keep Elyria moving in the right direction. Thank you in advance for your consideration. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me directly at (440) 371-2285.
Holly C. Brinda
Mayor Brinda’s Accomplishment Highlights
Elyria is Open For Business With a New Focus on Economic Development
Elyria is open for business with a revised, business-friendly design review process; new business development incentive programs; a new Economic Development Plan (Click here to view) and new Elyria Community Improvement Corporation - all designed to better retain, attract and expand businesses and create jobs. The City held its first annual Lunch and Learn event for business leaders in October to help keep them informed about new developments and get their input on strategic projects that are impacting the business community.
Thanks to federal and state grants, many major projects are underway. A $22 million highway reconfiguration project of SR57 and the 49th Street Bridge in the Midway Mall area is under construction and will remedy a high crash zone, improve accessibility to the Mall and neighboring areas, and open over 140 acres to further development. Already as a result, a new Court Yard by Marriot Hotel will begin construction in Spring 2015 next to Regal Cinemas and the former Mountains Jack’s property has been donated to the City’s new Community Improvement Corporation for re-development.
The redevelopment of Elyria’s historic downtown is also gaining momentum as we create our first grant-funded market analysis-driven redevelopment plan and take steps with the County to return passenger rail to downtown. This same planning process is underway in both the Cleveland Street and Midway areas. The new downtown Elyria Art Depot is open for business with 14 working artists exhibiting our home-grown talent. Middle Avenue, a gateway to Elyria’s downtown, will be completely replaced in 2015 and Broad Street will experience a major improvement with the construction of a new McDonald’s restaurant. Moreover, Elyria was chosen as one of eight cities in the United States to participate in the Mayor’s Institute. Volunteer urban planners and designers provided free recommendations to a downtown redevelopment project aimed at revitalizing the Mardi Gras Building and surrounding areas. Moreover, four of downtown Elyria’s most challenged buildings have been purchased by a local developer who plans to refurbish them and work with the City to bring new life to downtown.
Elyria’s industrial base is getting much needed attention as Elyria’s Engineering Department is assessing and fixing infrastructure deficiencies to create a more business-friendly environment and remove barriers to business retention and growth. In 2015, water supply and pressure issues will be addressed in the Taylor Street area. The City also was awarded $200,000 from the Ohio Department of Development and JobsOhio to complete a Phase II Environmental Assessment on the General Industries property. This assessment will be complete in early 2015 and its results will help guide re-development steps for the property.
Grants and Partnerships are Advancing Progress in Tough Economic Times
Other recent major infrastructure improvements have included reconstruction of the Ford Road Bridge, over 3,800 feet of sewer repairs, over $5 million in water main replacements and improvements, and an additional $1.3 million in road and street repairs in the last 18 months. Through funds leveraged through the federal government and the County through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office – Elyria has also been able to demolish 143 nuisance properties to help clean up our neighborhoods and make them safer. A new Storm Water Management Program to be launched in 2015 will address EPA mandates and begin to remedy storm water and commercial and residential flooding issues.
Grants also made possible over $2 million of improvements in Cascade Park and a new agreement with the Lorain County MetroParks will make many more improvements beginning in 2015. Our majestic waterfalls are more visible again with the repair of the East Falls observation deck.
Citizen Safety is a Priority
Making Elyria the safest community it can be has been a major thrust. With my administration’s support, the Elyria Police Department (EPD) has taken on the tall order of voluntarily adopting national standards and best practices through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies that will make Elyria one of the premiere municipal law enforcement agencies in Ohio and the United States. Only 7 percent of all law enforcement organizations are CALEA certified.
The EPD Narcotics/Neighborhood Impact Unit was reinstituted last spring and has proven itself a leader in the war on drugs in northeast Ohio and locally. Working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other state and federal law enforcement agencies and neighboring communities, in the last 18 months EDP has made over 430 drug and felony warrant arrests, recently resulting in the largest single heroin seizure in Lorain County history as well as the arrest of 30 members of a 3-family drug syndicate in March of 2015. The Elyria Health Department with the EPD and EFD piloted, and now implements, the NARCAN program to reverse life-threatening narcotics drug overdoses and save lives. The EPD also achieved the AAA Gold Safety Award for its efforts to reduce the number of traffic accidents in the City.
Likewise, the Elyria Fire Department (EFD) achieved state accreditation for Emergency Management Services education, allowing the city to be more self-reliant and reduce training costs. A new Joint Quality Improvement Board has been created with EFD, LifeCare Ambulance and University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center to maximize coordination of emergency services delivery, monitoring of care and direct performance improvement measures.
Efficient City Government is Key
Elyria also initiated a voluntary performance audit by the state that helped identify what the City was doing right and where we could improve – and we acted on many of those recommendations to create a better city government. So far, we have saved the Elyria taxpayers over $2 million in the General Fund and Enterprise Funds. This savings is helping the city offset $4.5 million in lost state and federal revenue from the repeal of the Estate Tax, the decline of the Local Government Fund, and the expiration of federal stimulus money that was funding police and fire positions. Elyrians rewarded these efficiency and customer service efforts with an income tax renewal in November 2013. A small .25 percent income tax increase this past November to help replace some of the lost revenue failed and the City has taken steps to reduce the budget deficit.
In addition to a focus on efficiency, ALL city employees have gone through comprehensive customer service training to improve citizen relationships and better solve problems. A new city software system call New World is replacing 13 antiquated software platforms and is improving work, billing and communication processes. The Mayor’s new focus on human resources has resulted in the updating of job descriptions (in process), and preventive measures like a focus on employee wellness that is resulting in lower healthcare costs.
Citizen and Organization Partnerships Make Elyria a Great Location to Live, Work and Play
A new emphasis on citizen engagement has helped reinvigorate the Elyria Block Watch program. Currently citizens in 11 neighborhoods work with the Elyria Police and other city departments to help make their neighborhoods safer. This same renewed community pride has resulted in the blossoming of eleven community gardens, and over 400 volunteers through M.O.V.E. (Mayor’s Office On Volunteer Engagement) that help support Pride Day, home improvements for those in need, the Elyria Feral Cat Project with the Friendship Animal Protective League, emergency warming shelters, and over $220,000 in annual fundraising to support special celebrations and programs. Main Street Elyria, the Apple Festival Committee and 12 nonprofits continue to work closely with the Elyria Parks and Recreation Department and the Mayor’s Office to City to host community events like the Apple Festival, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Concert and much more.
Other quality of life programming that has returned due to the efforts of the Mayor working in unison with other leaders in the community and volunteers include summer fireworks, free Reach and Rise Discovery Camps, and expanded holiday lights programming – including the re-lighting of the Finwood Estate.
Be A Part of the Renewal …
Alive with enthusiasm and rich in diversity and imagination, today’s patriotic, determined and proud 54,000 plus residents make Elyria a thoroughly American city poised for renewal. Please join Mayor Brinda and her team by re-electing her Mayor and continuing the focus on efficient government practices; customer service and public engagement; safety; housing; economic development; infrastructure improvements and the environment; recreational and other quality of life opportunities; and community partnerships. Working together, we can make Elyria Ohio’s Community of Opportunity.
- Master of Public Administration - Cleveland State University
- Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management – Cleveland State University
- Bachelor of Arts in News Editorial Journalism – The Ohio State University
- Total Quality Management Training – W. Edwards Deming Fellowship Academy
- Ph.D. Level Classes: Urban Studies & Public Affairs – Cleveland State University
- Graduate – Elyria High School - Class of 1976
- Mayor's Institute - Syracuse University
- Mayor, City of Elyria
- Transitional Housing - Director of Development
- West Side Ecumenical Ministry – Vice President of Advancement
- Applewood Centers – Vice President of Fund Development
- Hattie Larlham Family of Agencies – Director of Development
- Resource Solutions Network – Principal Consultant, The Midwest/Northeast (ongoing)
- Cleveland State University – Director of Development, Operations & University Relations Cleveland State University – Adjunct Faculty (strategic planning & political science)
- Elyria City Schools – Director of Development & Community Services
- Ad Art Graphics & Advertising – Account Executive
- The Morning Journal – Sports Columnist: A Woman’s View
- Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Company – Copy Writer
- Team Lorain County - Trustee
- Lorain County Chamber of Commerce - Trustee
- Lorain County Visitors Bureau - Board Member
- Northeast Ohio Sustainable Community Consortium (NEOSCC) - Trustee
- Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency (NOACA) - Board Member
- Elyria Board of Education – Member & Past President (term expired 12/11)
- Elyria Chapter of the NAACP – Member (current)
- Elyria Sunrise Rotary – Charter Member (former)
- Elyria Plan 2015 – Member, Community Learning Committee (former)
- Envision Elyria – 2006 Steering Committee
- Leadership Lorain County – Former Trustee & Graduate
- Lorain County Urban League – Former Trustee
- Lorain County Voices for Children Guardian Ad Litem Program – Founding Trustee, Past President
- Elyria Family YMCA – Past Trustee
- Ohio Urban Schools Commission – Former Member
- Downtown Cleveland Merchant’s Association – Former Trustee, Planning Facilitator
- As a member and past president of the Elyria Board of Education, Holly initiated bi-partisan conversations with area legislators, Governor Taft, and the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission that resulted in the rules change qualifying Elyria High School for a $23.4 million state match for our new $70 million high school. With her Board colleagues and the community they passed Issue 7 - the building of the new Elyria High School.
Holly has the Experience and Expertise: Holly Brinda is NOT a career politician. Holly Brinda IS a seasoned and successful administrator and organizational advancement professional with an inclusive vision for Elyria that establishes an open, efficient and effective government; safe neighborhoods; a thriving downtown; a diverse and growing econom
y; and collaborations and partnerships that improve quality of life opportunities for all. Holly achieves this vision using the skills and experience she has acquired in over 30 years of management, planning, development, marketing and public engagement experience in private business, K-12 and higher public education, government and non-profit organizations.
Holly Thinks and Manages Openly and Strategically:Holly is considered by many as a caring and compassionate leader and skilled facilitator and motivator. She helps organizations accomplish goals by thinking and managing openly and strategically, successfully guiding staffs, citizens and volunteers from diverse education, ability levels and backgrounds. She is competent and comfortable in all the key functions of managing critical processes in large organizations and has executed all of these functions in her career experiences.
Holly Understands the Big Picture: Organizations engage Holly when they want someone capable of understanding the big picture and developing the processes and resources necessary to advance the mission and vision. Several of her past career associations have involved launching strategic planning initiatives, executing campaigns for major capital building projects, implementing quality improvements, launching new programs, and counseling existing programs facing significant challenges.
Holly’s Family is Her Greatest Achievement: A fourth generation Elyrian, Holly met her husband Greg 34 years ago at her first job at the Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Company, where Greg was a reporter and Holly was a copywriter. Love blossomed. A year later they were married. Holly and Greg have four grown children, including 31-year-old twin sons Matthew and Nicholas, daughter Marielle, 28, and daughter Rachel, 25. Their grown children are all college graduates from The Ohio State University, two from Miami University of Ohio, and Columbia College of Chicago. Greg, the “Dean of Sports”, is Cleveland’s longest running sports radio talk show host and can be heard daily on ESPN WKNR 850. Nicholas is a microbiologist living in the Atlanta. Matthew is an English teacher at Elyria High School. Marielle works in the film industry in Los Angeles. Rachel is an event planner in Chicago. Holly enjoys being mayor, visiting her children, her many pets and photography.