PEPPER PIKE — Councilman Anthony Gentile is planning to run for a third term this fall saying that he wants to see the city continue its stability and financial strength. Mr. Gentile, who has served on council for eight years, pulled a petition recently from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
He was first elected in 2011, when the city was dealing with financial difficulties and considering raising taxes. Mr. Gentile said that he took office at the same time as Mayor Richard Bain and Councilman Jim LeMay, who worked together to turn the city around.
“We feel like we’ve been accomplishing good goals for the city and moving the city forward,” Mr. Gentile said. “I want to continue doing that.”
Mr. Gentile said that he served as the deputy finance director for Hunting Valley Village from 2001 to 2016, where he was responsible for accounting, finance and human resources. He also briefly worked at the Diocese of Cleveland Foundation as a consultant and executive vice president.
In addition, Mr. Gentile worked as the director of finance and enterprise at the Cleveland Museum of Art. From 1988 to 1991, he served as the executive director of the Regional Income Tax Agency and helped to expand the agency, according to the Pepper Pike city website. Mr. Gentile said that he brings business experience to his role as a councilman.
Over the years, Mr. Gentile said that he has been involved in a number of significant changes in Pepper Pike. For example, he said that the city contracted with Beachwood for emergency response dispatch services, which saves Pepper Pike more than $300,000 annually. He also said that before he joined council, officials did not review the financial reports on a regular basis. Mr. Gentile is now a member of the Finance Committee and looks at the reports every month.
“We have focused on the expense side of the city’s financial performance,” he said.
Mr. Gentile said many changes took place during his first term, including negotiating new contracts with service department employees and police officers. Now that the heavy-lifting is complete, he said that council must oversee the changes to make sure everything is running smoothly.
One of Mr. Gentile’s goals for a third term is to delve deeper into the proposed Beech Brook development. Axiom Development Group is under contract to purchase the 65-acre property near Lander Circle to build a town center there. Mr. Gentile said that council needs to understand exactly what would be built there, whether it is housing, retail or left as a green space. Mr. Gentile said that it could be a great addition to the city.
He is also looking to plan infrastructure repairs in a more structured manner. He said that there should be a better schedule to plan out in advance when roads and bridges are repaired.
Mr. Gentile, along with other candidates running for council or mayor in Pepper Pike, must obtain 111 signatures of registered city voters in order to file their petition for candidacy in the general election. The deadline for filing with the county board of elections is Aug. 7.