Scott Coleman, 2004 - 2019
Mayor Coleman was the longest serving Mayor in the City’s history. He was elected to four, four-year terms beginning in 2004. Prior to his election as Mayor, he served on City Council for eight years (four, two-year terms) and was Council President from 1998-2003. During his time on Council, he served on the Legislative and Finance Committee, and as Chairman of the committee for six years. In addition, as Councilman, he authored the Economic Development Grant which was an innovative incentive that allowed the City to award non-tax revenue to entice businesses to locate or grow within Highland Hts. This was rarely used in Ohio at the time, and is now frequently used throughout the state.
As Mayor, Scott Coleman expressed his philosophy was to hire good people and give them all the support and tools they needed to do their job. He trusted their talents and asked them to be his ambassadors to the City. He let his managers manage provided they communicated what he needed to know to be effectively informed and involved with events in the City. Mayor Coleman made it a point to hear everyone’s concerns; however, he was not afraid to say no if that response was in the best interest of the City as a whole. He understood that people would not always agree with his decisions, but he strived to make sure they understood the "why" of his decisions. Mayor Coleman consistently emphasized fiscal responsibility and was focused on decreasing debt and increasing the general fund balance.
During his sixteen years in office, Mayor Coleman every year presented a balanced budget to City Council for their approval. Under his leadership, the City of Highland Hts. maintained a AA bond rating which allows the City to borrow money at a lower interest rate while encouraging investors to purchase any bonds we may want to sell for funding.
At the beginning of his first term in office, Swagelok (the City’s second largest employer at the time) announced that they would be leaving the City. Mayor Coleman negotiated an Economic Development Incentive that not only kept them in Highland Hts., but allowed them to increase their employment in our City by 30%. Mayor Coleman was also successful in negotiating a tax incentive package that enticed Progressive Insurance Co. to build a $30M building/complex on Alpha Dr. to accommodate 700 employees.
Mayor Coleman supported the purchase of land adjacent to the Municipal Complex which enabled the construction of the gazebo and the Community Garden, a site used and enjoyed by many residents. The Highland Hts. Community Park underwent numerous improvements under his leadership including a new playground, new parking lot, major enhancements to the pool and baseball fields, the construction of a new pole barn pavilion and bocce courts.
Mayor Coleman was a strong supporter of our Safety Services. During his time as Mayor, he increased the staffing of Firefighters/Paramedics and Police Department staff, while also assuring they had the best equipment including ambulances, bucket truck and pumper, and police vehicles to provide the best services to our residents and businesses.
During his time in office, the City was successful in securing several million dollars of non-interest-bearing financing to help fund several major road improvements including a new water main on Highland Road and the reconstruction of Miner Road, including the redesign and enclosure of road swales.