By Jeff Gallatin
Heading into the summer season, Bay Village residents and workers can smile with good reason: The village was named No. 1 in Cleveland Magazine’s annual ranking of suburbs.
It headed up a strong showing overall by Westshore suburbs, with Westlake taking sixth on the list, Rocky River 10th and North Olmsted being tabbed as the second-best bargain among the suburbs. Cleveland Magazine Editor Steve Gleydura noted it’s not the city’s first win, since Bay Village took the honor in 1995-96 as well. It also is the first time a West Side suburb has won since Westlake took top honors in 2001, he said.
Gleydura said the magazine, as usual, used multiple criteria in devising the rankings.
“Bay Village usually does well in the rankings, and it went up in several key categories this year,” he said. “It scored well again in the community safety as well as maintaining strong education scores. But it also went up in the median housing sales numbers, which really helped it out. It’s been a really tough economy, but Bay’s being able to have those numbers increase played a big role in the ranking this year.”
Gleydura said the housing numbers also attest to the stability of Bay Village specifically, and of established suburbs overall.
“People are looking for good housing to live in,” he said. “And you can find that in a lot of older, established suburbs like Bay Village, Shaker Heights and other communities like that which have strong, solid established housing bases fare well because they have good houses.”
Gleydura noted that all the Westshore suburbs have good housing, safety and strong educational programs.
“It’s a great area to be in,” he said.
Gleydura said tie the good housing in with the high scores in other key areas, and one can readily see why Bay Village took top honors this year.
“It’s a great walking community as well,” he said. “People walk around their neighborhoods and do different things out in the community. When you go around the city it has a great community feel to it.”
Gleydura said the suburb-ranking issue always does well.
“It’s our most anticipated issue of the year and our best newsstand issue,” he said. “Cities and people always look for it, and it generates a lot of discussion and interest.”
Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland was pleased.
“Hopefully, my good friend (Rocky River) Mayor (Pam) Bobst has regained her hearing since she’s the one who actually told me first, when she got an advance copy and called to let me know we won; I let out a pretty good scream when I got the good news,” Sutherland said.
She said the honor shows how all the people and institutions in Bay Village have worked hard to make their community strong.
“We’ve worked our butts off,” she said. “It’s been a tough economy in recent years for all of us and it hasn’t been easy. But we’ve worked hard at the government level to keep us strong, we continue to have great schools and we have an active, caring community which stays involved.”
Bay Village schools Superintendent Clint Keener said the news would send him home with a smile on his face.
“That’s really good news,” he said. “We’re proud to be a part of the community and to play a role in getting an award like that.”