BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio - Bedford Heights residents in November will not only decide whether to remove former mayor Jimmy Dimora's name from the community center, but how to move forward with naming city buildings.
In an apparent effort to prevent more city buildings from being named after possible convicts, a Bedford Heights ballot issue asks to hold off until the honoree is deceased.
"Shall Article XIV, Miscellaneous Provisions of the charter of the City of Bedford Heights be amended and supplemented by the addition of Section 14.07, Restrictions on the Naming of Municipal Buildings and Facilities, such that no municipal building or facility shall be named after an individual until after that individual's death; and any such naming shall be submitted to the electors for approval or disproval at the next election held in November of any year?"
In July, ex-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for conspiracy, racketeering and bribery charges. He served as the mayor of Bedford Heights from 1982 to 1998 and the city's community center was named in his honor.
Just days after Dimora's conviction, current Bedford Heights Mayor Fletcher Berger called for removing the convicted politician's name. The following question will appear on the November ballot in Bedford Heights:
"Shall name of former Bedford Heights Mayor Jimmy Dimora be removed from the city's Community Center, which is currently named the ‘City of Bedford Heights Jimmy Dimora Community Center,' and renamed the ‘City of Bedford Heights Community Center'?"
In August of last year and prior to Dimora's conviction, Bedford Heights celebrated its 50-year history with a billboard featuring its six mayors, including the former commissioner. Not only was Dimora's name and photo on the billboard along Interstate 271, but it was also spelled incorrectly as "Dimara."
At the time, Berger defended the billboard, saying people are innocent until proven guilty.
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