Thomas Hughes, 1980 - 1987

The 3rd time was the charm for Tom in his effort to serve on City Council. Following 2 spirited campaigns in 1969 and 1971, Tom was first elected to represent the residents of Ward 4 in November of 1973 and re-elected in 1975 and 1977. He served as president of Council during his first term. In addition, he served on the Legislative, Safety/Service and Finance Committee(s) as well as Council representative to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Tom was elected mayor in 1979 and re-elected in 1981. Following a Charter change providing a 4-year term for the Office of Mayor, Tom was elected to a 4 year term in 1983. In addition to his service as mayor of our city, Tom was elected to and served as a member of the Regional Income Tax Agency Board of Directors.

Former Mayor Hughes, sharing thoughts with me regarding his 14 years of public service, recalls that the 70’s and 80’s were exciting, prosperous and growing years for the City of Highland Heights-a challenging time during which the community matured and became one of the most desirable residential cities in northern Ohio. Tom, crediting those that preceded him in office for their efforts in forming our Charter, strong building and zoning regulations, first class municipal services and our community park, pool and recreation programs, said “those are the people that built the foundation that makes Highland Heights what it is today. They made my job as mayor a little easier and enjoyable.”

Accomplishments
Reflecting on some of his accomplishments, Mayor Hughes told me he is most proud of our Municipal Center Complex that was completed in 1983. He expressed thanks to the voters that approved the income tax increase that provided funds for the project. “With the support of Council, I implemented a thorough, affordable plan to retire the debt generated by the Municipal Center Project, reducing interest expense and making more funds available to meet the increasing demands of a growing city. I consider the Municipal Complex the legacy of my mayoral service.”

When Tom and I talked about the residential developments and Stonewater Golf Club located in the northern area of the city, Tom told me that every time he drives down Bishop or Miner Roads, he is pleasantly reminded of his efforts and those of the “Keep It Green Committee” in maintaining our single family residential zoning plan for that area. “That is a legacy shared by all of the residents of Highland Heights,” he said.

For the last several years Tom has worked in the Ballot Department at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. With the planned implementation of electronic “touch screen” voting in the May primary election, Tom tells me he doesn’t have much time to think about retirement.

Family
He and his wife Barbara have 2 married children-son, Geoff and daughter, Holly (Long) and 2 grandchildren, Justin and Abigail Long. They spend many enjoyable hours with their grandchildren.

“I still keep my eyes and ears focused on our community, a community that gave me much to be proud of and the honor and privilege to serve as a councilman and as mayor!”