Debbie Lime currently represents Ward 2 including Parma’s Polish Village area, but she has lived there for more than 50 years. She shares her insights as a city council member and Parma resident in this Q&A.
What first attracted you to get involved in Parma’s city council?
In 1987, my father-in-law was retiring from well over 35 years as the city auditor. My husband was running for city council and Ward 2 Councilman Mike Ries was running for mayor. I was campaigning with my husband and enjoying it. He lost the election by 72 votes. Two years later, I ran myself and lost as well. But then in 1991 I ran again and won. I had very young children at the time and I felt that this could be a good fit for my family. I enjoyed making a difference in my community.
What’s one of your proudest moments on the council?
There have been a lot of proud moments, but I would have to say that in 1997 then-Councilman Anthony Zielinski and myself introduced the Juvenile Diversion Program, which was later passed by council. That program is still in existence today. I am still a supervisor for it. The kids and I work on all different things like the Safety Fair, Christmas with Chevybrook, the Parma Proud picnic and more. Most of the time we clean up Ridge and Pearl Roads, paint fire hydrants and such. Also, the creation of Polish Village has been a joy!
How have you seen the city change for the better over the years?
I believe the changes that have happened are good. The Justice Center, Shoppes at Parma, Polish Village, Town Center just to name a few.
How do you think the city can improve?
I do think the city can always improve with services to residents, events, etc. I believe that the city needs to aggressively maintain and pave the streets. I also believe property maintenance should be at the top of the list. We need to do everything possible in these two areas.
With Ward 2 in Polish Village, can you talk about how the area has changed and any plans for its further development?
Polish Village is a wonderful neighborhood. I love how the neighbors have taken ownership of it and help to brand it themselves. I was in a store in North Olmsted a few years back and was talking with the clerk. When I asked her where she lived she told me she just moved into Polish Village in Parma. I loved it!!
We are always working on ideas and plans. This year has been very difficult for the residents and businesses. We received a large grant and are doing a grant program right now to help the small businesses. We are also getting together a cash mob that will be in Polish Village for the months of July, August and September. The idea is to get customers in the businesses spending at least $10.00. Once that $10.00 is spent they will be entered into a pot for monthly prizes of gift certificates of $50.00 or more and three larger monthly prizes of gift certificates of $250.00 with a grand prize at the end of September.
We are also working with the city to apply for a Business Revitalization Grant with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on council affairs?
When not working on city council items, I like to spend time with my family, especially my grandkids. I also love to work in my yard and sew.