Tuesday, August 27, 2013 9:29:00 PM by J. Smetana
Good article. It is interesting to see an arts-based movement take shape in Parma of all places! Should be good for the city and especially the specific area it is intended to benefit. It will be interesting to see what type of park is created with the funds from this event.
However, I'm not sure what "rough times" the author is writing about. As a Parma resident, I can honestly say that Parma is experiencing good times rather than so-called rough times. If there has been a decline, it has been a shallow decline. Between the redevelopment of the Shoppes at Parma, revitalization of the commercial districts along Ridge and State Roads, decreasing crime, increasing median household income, and the low poverty rate, Parma appears to be doing quite well in most respects.
The foreclosure crisis was a nationwide epidemic, certainly not limited to Parma. While it's true that housing prices have declined in Parma, they have declined in practically all of Cleveland's suburbs since 2007. Cleveland Magazine's annual "Rating the Suburbs" feature will confirm that Cleveland Heights, Lakewood, Moreland Hills, North Olmsted, Parma Heights, Solon, Twinsburg, Strongsville, Brecksville, North Royalton, University Heights, Westlake, and many other communities have experienced a comparable decline in housing prices since 2007.
Poverty has also sharply increased in places like Strongsville (136% increase in poverty) and Rocky River (170% increase in poverty) since 2010. Rising poverty in Parma (69% increase) is quite low, especially considering it is the seventh largest city in Ohio and Cleveland's largest suburb. When Parma's poverty rate (8.3%) is compared to other larger cities in the Cleveland area such as Lakewood (17.1%), Cleveland Heights (19.3%), Elyria (16.5%), Euclid (17%), and Lorain (28.8%), it becomes clear that Parma is in much better shape than some have unfortunately been led to believe.
Median household income in Parma (~$50,000) is also higher than many other nearby communities, including those larger poverty-burdened communities mentioned above, and is more than double that of Cleveland. A quick look at the US Census and some number crunching should remove all doubt that Parma is experiencing rough times relative to other nearby communities.
Likewise, since 2009, the crime rate in Parma continues to decrease and remains very low. The crime rate in Parma is nearly identical to that of Lakewood, which is also one of the safest communities in the Cleveland area.
These so-called rough times in Parma appear to be non-existent for most Parma residents. Parma is experiencing good times and is bouncing back from the Great Recession in an amazing way. Glad I live in Parma!