Dimora Community Center Debate Tabled in Bedford Heights

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Jimmy Dimora Community Center in Bedford Heights

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio — The issue of whether to let voters in Bedford Heights decide if Jimmy Dimora’s name stays on the city’s community center was tabled at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

City Council President Philip Saunders told Fox 8 News that he believes the voters should make the call, but as a council member he has heard both sides of the argument and thinks the name should stay.

Dimora helped get the community center built in 1984 while he was mayor there and helped with an expansion of the center ten years later.

From the city’s history posted on its website, “the building would later be re-named the Jimmy Dimora Community Center as a tribute to his vision and his stature in the community.”

In spite of his conviction on 37 federal corruption charges, some residents of Bedford Heights, who lived there while Dimora was mayor, agree his name should not be removed.

“He’s a good person,” said Sandhu Kuljit, who has lived in Bedford Heights for more than 40 years and uses the community center.

He said Dimora was not a good mayor, but a “very good mayor.”

“When Jimmy was mayor here in the city of Bedford Heights we had a good relationship,” said Travis Haddix, who added that he could go into Dimora’s office and talk with him “man-to-man.”

Others believe the name should come down, including the current Bedford Heights mayor.

Mayor Fletcher Berger said, “We have a public facility that we take a lot of young people into.  We’re trying to teach them certain things, I don’t think they should have a name that gives a negative connotation.”

“This center represents progress, youth progress,” said ‘Dusty’ Gordon.  “It’s a good center for Bedford Heights and if something like that is going on, why should his name stay up there?”