Parma, Ohio

Parma, Ohio

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Parma
settlement_type = City
nickname =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Parma in Ohio

mapsize1 = 250px
map_caption1 = Location of Parma in Cuyahoga County
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Ohio
subdivision_name2 = Cuyahoga
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Dean DePiero
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_sq_mi = 20.0
area_land_sq_mi = 20.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.04
area_water_percent =
area_total_km2 = 51.7
area_land_km2 = 51.7
area_water_km2 = 0.1
elevation_m = 264
elevation_ft = 866
latd = 41 |latm = 23 |lats = 31 |latNS = N
longd = 81 |longm = 43 |longs = 43 |longEW = W
population_as_of = 2006
population_footnotes = [ [ US Census 2000 est] ]
population_total = 80009
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latitude = 41°23'31" N
longitude = 81°43'43" W
website =
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 440
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 39-61000GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = [Gnis3|1049063 1049063]
footnotes =
established_title = Founded
established_date = 1816
established_title2 = Township
established_date2 = March 7, 1826
established_title3 = Incorporated
established_date3 = Fall, 1924 (village) & January 1, 1931 (city)

Parma is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States and the largest suburb of Cleveland. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 85,655. The 2003 estimate put the population at 83,861. [ [ Parma (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau] ]


Parma is a city southwest of Cleveland. It is bounded by Cleveland and Brooklyn on the north, Brooklyn Heights, and Seven Hills on the east, North Royalton and Broadview Heights on the south, and Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, and Parma Heights on the west. Parma was originally part of Parma Township, created in 1826. The first settlers were the Benaiah Fay family from New York State, who settled along the Cleveland-Columbus Road in 1816. The name was taken from Parma, New York, where it was probably derived from the early-19th century fascination with classical Italy. During the 19th century, Parma remained largely agricultural. In 1912, a portion of the township seceded to form the village of Parma Heights. In 1924, Parma was incorporated as a village, and in 1926 it adopted the mayor-council form of government. In 1931 a proposition to annex it to the city of Cleveland was defeated, and Parma became a city. Parma's tremendous growth came after World War II as young families began moving from Cleveland into the Suburbs. During the Cold War, Parma's Nike Site Park housed Nike missiles located in underground silos. [ [ EPA checks for hazards at former Nike site] ] [ [ Records Relating to Nike Missile Sites at the National Archives and Records Administration-Great Lakes Region] ] Between 1950 and 1980, Parma's population soared from less than 20,000 to more than 110,000. [Kubasek, Ernest R., The History of Parma (1976). Parma Chamber of Commerce, Parma (1984). Parma Sesquicentennial, 1826-1976] More recently, the population has declined to well below 90,000. [ [ The 2006 population estimate for Parma city, Ohio is 80,009.] ]

Parma was, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the butt of jokes by local movie show hosts Ghoulardi, Hoolihan & Big Chuck, and The Ghoul, due to its Eastern European, most specifically Polish, make-up. Ghoulardi famously made a series of shorts called "Parma Place." The jokes dealt with Parmans' alleged love of white socks, pink flamingos, chrome balls, kielbasa and pierogis and the polka. [ [ The Ghoul Power Page: Parma's Revenge] ]

Perhaps more seriously, Parma's local, state, and even national image has been marred by four incidents:

:1. Such major newspapers as "The New York Times" covered allegations from the 1970s onwards that Parma's government worked to resist racial integration. Former Parma City Council President Kenneth Kuczma famously said, "I do not want Negroes in the city of Parma," and even federal courts ruled on the matter. [ [ Parma City Council President makes national headlines for racism.] URL Accessed June 25, 2006] In "Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism", James W. Loewen recounts these problems and thereby labels Parma a "sundown town." [James W. Loewen, "Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism" (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005), 4, 242, 253, 276, 341.]

:2. In 2003, Parma made national news after a 345-kV transmission line failed in the city due to a tree, which played a significant role in the early stages of the Northeast Blackout of 2003. [ [ "Lights out again - some on purpose" by Donna Iacoboni] , URL accessed on April 10, 2007] A major water crisis in Parma and nearby communities also resulted from the blackout. [ [ website features a photograph with the citation: "The National Guard supplied water to Parma City, Ohio, and other communities Aug. 15, 2003, after a massive blackout disrupted clean drinking water supplies."] , URL accessed on April 10, 2007]

:3. According to the official website of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, since 1998 the city has been engaged in an ongoing (i.e. still active) and costly civil suit pitting seventeen Parma residents as plaintiffs against around a dozen prominent city officials (including the current mayor and council president) as defendants. Most recently, the case titled "Michael Perry et al vs. Parma, City of-et al", held a pre-trial on March 9, 2007, but the "defendant" failed to appear. Thus, the parties were to have contacted the court by telephone on The Ides of March of 2007. A new pretrial is set for July 31, 2007 at 9:45 AM. [ [ For the official and detailed information on this case, do a civil search on this government website for either "Michael Perry" or "Parma, City of"] , URL accessed on July 18, 2007]

:4. Parma has recently been plagued by negative press in the local media as a result of a larger conflict between the police and city government, which has some of its origins from an on-and-off investigation into whether or not former Republican Councilman John Stover stole "files from another council member's briefcase" in 2000--allegations that the Stover family disputes. [ [ "Parma and Madison Councilmen Are Ambassadors For Truth" - article that provides additional background information on John Stover] ] The incident, which has been referred to as "Filegate" by local and regional media sources, has thus far had inconclusive results, but many residents and outside observers have interpreted the escalation in tensions between the police department and city government as one of reprisals and counter-reprisals of which "Filegate" may serve as an early salvo. [ [ "Extended medical leave, unquestioned by officials, paves way to retirement" - article cites "Filegate" twice] ]


A possible fifth incident that has marred Parma's image in the recent past involves tensions between the local media and city government on one side and the police department on the other.

Those who believe in the existence of a Parma political machine led by Prosecutor Bill Mason contend that in order to distract from their own suspect activities, "Good old boy" politicians allegedly concocted a "Witch Hunt" that scapegoated police officers. [ [ Debbie Lime takes on Dean DePiero for mayor - and Bill Mason and Parma's political establishment] ] [ [ "DePiero and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason control what is referred to as the “Parma Democratic machine,” and Lime – elected to council as a Democrat – is running as an anti-machine Democrat."] ] [ [ Parma Good Old Boys] ] In Spring 2003, the police chief retired and "said city officials need to make peace." [ [ Parma police chief retires unexpectedly] ] During the investigation, police union representatives appealed to the public through the media to end the investigation. [ [ An Open Letter To All Union Police Officers] -- Original version.] [ [ An Open Letter to all Union Police Officers] -- Published version] [ [ AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MEDIA BY PARMA POLICE SUPERVISORS FOP REPRESENTATIVES] ] A councilman who supported the police also received praise by residents in the press. [ [ Councilman praised for supporting police] ]

Ultimately, investigator Dick DiCicco wrote in his official report that there “was no evidence presented to” substantiate “the allegation that officers were taking turns calling in sick in order that other officers could earn overtime to maintain minimums,” “there was no actual duplicate billing” concerning Sgt. Joe Kuchler and Ptl. John Robertson as indicated in "The Plain Dealer" articles, and based “on the review of the above activity no specific pattern of reciprocity was detected” on the part of Officer Mekruit. On page B2 of "The Plain Dealer", Joe Wagner quoted Prosecutor Michael Nolan as reportedly declaring that Mayor DePiero and Council President Germana removed the “police tax request from May 3 ballot . . . ‘as an excuse for, apparently, their own inaction.’” In turn, on March 11, 2005, The "Plain Dealer" quoted Councilwoman Stys who summed up the investigation as a “sham,” and on January 12, 2006, prosecutor Dan Kasaris recommended that the case of The State of Ohio vs. Donald Mcnea, a retired Parma police officer who served as a focus of numerous newspaper articles, be dismissed. Further revelations about the "Witch Hunt", as found in such newspaper articles as "Report clears Parma police in payroll-padding probe," and including the retroactive appointment of a special prosecutor who had been prosecuting (in violation of the Ohio Revised Code) select police union representatives who had raised concerns about possible political corruption, has led to calls for the resignations of many members of the current mayoral administration and city council. As confirmed on the county website, most recently, on February 26, 2007, Judge Brian J. Corrigan found Patrolman Brian Barta not guilty of bribery. [ [ For the official and detailed information on this case, do a criminal search on this government website for "Brian Barta"] , URL accessed on April 10, 2007] Officer Barta was earlier discharged of charges of obstructing justice, [ [ For the official and detailed information on this case, again, do a criminal search on this government website for "Brian Barta"] , URL accessed on April 10, 2007] with the judge citing the fact that the prosecution's witness "skipped court appearances" and was "twice arrested and convicted, for drug trafficking and possession." [ [ "Parma officer cleared of bribery, obstruction charges" by Jim Nichols, February 26, 2007] ] According to "The Plain Dealer", attorney Henry Hillow said that Barta "should have never been charged" and called Barta's experience "a travesty." [Nichols, Jim. "The Plain Dealer", 26 February, 2007. Retrieved 15 March, 2007.] Nevertheless, the long-term consequences of the crisis, which lasted for nearly four years (2003-2007) have yet to be seen.


Parma is located at coor dms|41|23|31|N|81|43|43|W|city (41.391852, -81.728502).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.0 square miles (51.7 km²), of which, 20.0 square miles (51.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it is water.

Two major changes and developments have recently occurred regarding several principal sites within the city:
#The West Creek Preservation Agency has worked to preserve various historic and natural sites in the city, including the Henninger House and the West Creek Watershed. [ [ Welcome to West Creek!] ]
#Henninger House, the oldest home in Parma, which was built in 1849, is planned to be part of the proposed Quarry Creek Historic District. [ [ Historic Henninger House Saved (OH)] ]


As of the census of 2000,GR|2 there were 85,655 people, 35,126 households, and 23,323 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,291.4 people per square mile (1,656.9/km²). There were 36,414 housing units at an average density of 1,824.3/sq mi (704.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.67% White, 1.06% Black, 0.14% Native American, 1.57% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population.

There were 35,126 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,920, and the median income for a family was $52,436. Males had a median income of $39,801 versus $27,701 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,293. About 3.3% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.


Parma ranks as one of the safest cities in the United States with a population between 60,000 and 100,000. Parma's ranking has declined in recent years from 17th safest to 19th safest. As of 3 November 2006, the rank has fallen further to 32nd. [ [ Parma Ranked 32nd Safest City Nationwide] ]


During the population boom between 1950 and 1980, Parma's commercial sector grew to match its residential sector. Since the 1950s, Parma has fostered the growth of many small businesses and been an operating hub for such well-known companies as General Motors, the Union Carbide Research Center, and Cox Cable Television.cite web
publisher=Case Western Reserve University
title=Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Parma
date=June 29, 2003

Located close to the city's town hall is Parmatown Mall, which is the location of the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce.


The city contains two public high schools: Parma Senior High School, and Normandy High School. Valley Forge High School, though part of the same district, is located in Parma Heights, Ohio. The schools share a common stadium for football and track events, called Byers Field. The rivalry that exists between these schools is well documented. [ "Even though rivalry may exist on the field of sports, the Spanish pen pals found connections to begin new friendships"] ; [ "“On the field, you think that the guys from Valley Forge and Parma are bad guys because they’re playing you tough trying to get the win” said recent Normandy graduate Dan Ebinger, who will play defensive end. “But, after you meet with them, you realize that they’re all actually pretty nice guys. It’s pretty nice getting to know them as people instead of just judging them by how they played against you.”"] ; [ "Normandy was upsetted last week against Parma. Over the years, a second rivalry has formed between Valley Forge & Normandy, the battle of Parma, a battle that would determine the better team."] ] Normandy High School is located in the southeastern part of the city, and its population is made up of students from south Parma, and Seven Hills. Valley Forge is located in the southwestern portion of Parma Heights, and includes students from southwestern Parma, as well as Parma Heights. Parma High School is located in the center of the city, and includes students from central and northern Parma.

Each high school has a corresponding middle school, and each middle school has a specific group of elementary schools. Together, each set of schools is known as a "cluster."

The city also is home to a private Catholic high school, Padua Franciscan High School. Founded in 1961 as a school for boys, Padua Franciscan became co-educational in 1983 and as of 2005 was the largest private, co-educational secondary school in northeast Ohio. [cite web|url=| OHSAA enrollment figures|accessdate=2007-03-07] Padua's principal rivalry is with Holy Name High School, located in nearby Parma Heights. [ [ "Holy Name (5-4) vs. Padua (6-3)" - article discusses how their game, called "Holy War Jr.", "is more about area bragging rights and pride."] ]

Television and radio towers

Parma is the location of most of the Cleveland area's television and FM radio transmission towers.

When Cleveland started to get television service in the late 1940s, WEWS-TV (Channel 5), the first television station in Ohio, picked a site on State Road. At the time, Parma was transitioning from a rural enclave to an urban area. Parma was selected for its high elevation. At almost 1,100 feet above sea level, it is 500 feet higher than downtown Cleveland. Other local stations followed, and nearly all local TV and FM radio outlets broadcast from Parma, or from other nearby suburbs.

The television towers are taller than downtown Cleveland's tallest buildings, and can be seen from great distance in Cleveland, and most of its southern suburbs. Airline pilots and broadcast experts call the collection of towers in and near Parma the Cleveland area's "antenna farm".

Heights of Cleveland's television towers

* WEWS-TV 5 (ABC) - 1,060 feet (State Road)
* WJW-TV 8 (FOX) - 1,080 feet (Pleasant Valley Road at State Road)
* WOIO-TV 19 (CBS) - 1,149 feet (Broadview Road)
* WKYC-TV 3 (NBC) - 1,150 feet (Broadview Road)


Frank D. Johnson1928-1933
Anthony A. Fleger1934-1935
Roland E. Reichert1936-1942
Sylvester Augustine1942-1945
Roland E. Reichert1946-1949
Lawrence Stary1950-1951
Stephen A. Zona1952-1957
Joseph W. Kadar1958-1959
Sylvester Augustine1960-1961
John Bobko1961
James W. Day1962-1967
John Petruska1967-1987
Michael A. Ries1988-1994
Gerald M. Boldt1994-2003
Dean DePiero2004-present [ [ The Political Graveyard: Mayors of Parma, Ohio] ] [Most of the list of mayors came from the city.]

Notable natives

*Hector Boiardi, better known as Chef Boyardee, died in Parma in 1985.
*Carmen Cozza, football coach at Yale University.
*David Chmielewski, son of singer Bret Michaels.
*Chris Apathy, voice of Garfield in the 2004 animated motion picture, ""
*Greg Krupa, professional songwriter, wrote the #1 hits "This I Promise You", "Born to Run", "Unskinny Bop"
*Dan Fritsche NHL, New York Rangers
*Tom Fritsche NHL, Prospect of Colorado Avalanche
*Mike Garcia (starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in the 1950s -- he ran "Big Bear Cleaners" in Parma, Ohio)
*Michael T. Good, NASA astronaut
*Brian Holzinger NHL, Buffalo Sabres
*Ted Levine Actor ("Silence of the Lambs", "The Mangler", "Monk", "The Hills Have Eyes")
*James A. Lovell American Astronaut (Apollo 13 mission) (a native of Cleveland, he spent part of his youth on Parma's north side)
*Mike Mizanin Professional Wrestler
*Clint Nageotte Professional Baseball Player
*Ransom E. Olds Automotive pioneer lived in Parma as a boy from 1874 to 1878. [ [ Robert Olds of Windsor and Suffield, CT and his descendants] ]
*Alan Ruck Actor ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Spin City"), graduate of Parma High
*John D. Rockefeller Oil Tycoon, Founded Standard Oil Company

References in Popular Culture

*Drew Carey's theme song, " [ Moon Over Parma] ", references Parma and many of Cleveland's suburbs.


References for Police Chiefs:

* [ Law Enforcement News]
* [ RECORD REVOLUTION No. 6, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. THE CITY OF PARMA, et al., Defendant-Appellee]

External links

* [ City of Parma]
* [ Parma Area Chamber of Commerce]
* [ Parma Early Childhood PTA]
* [ City Data]
* []
* [ Parma, Ohio Community Advocate] The handiest local reference guide available for the Parma, Ohio area. Updated daily.

Cleveland Suburb Finder

Geographic Location
North = Cleveland, Brooklyn, Old Brooklyn (Cleveland)
West = Brook Park, Parma Heights, Middleburg Heights
Center = Parma
East = Seven Hills, Independence, Brooklyn Heights
South = North Royalton, Broadview Heights

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