In 1955, John F. Kennedy published the now world-famous Profiles In Courage which described decisions made by politicians who realized that their actions constituted political suicide. President Kennedy tells us that they did this simply because they wanted to do the right thing.
Ohio proudly noted that Edmund G. Ross was one of these profiles. Ross hailed from Ashland, Ohio and attended college in Sandusky. Kennedy describes his fortitude as he goes against his own party, casting his vote against the conviction of President Andrew Johnson facing impeachment.
There is another profile in courage right here in Euclid, Ohio in the form of incumbent Mayor Bill Cervenik.
A few years ago the Mayor fought to preserve the zoning rights of a church in the face of ugly opposition. This resulted in a recall election in which the citizens of Euclid affirmed the Mayor's brave actions despite political pundits who said that his stand-up approach to decision making would be his downfall.
In another matter, recent rancor within the police department caused him to intervene, Cervenik appointing new leadership and commissioning a study regarding changes needed at police headquarters. Again, these moves made Cervenik a lightning rod for criticism. Despite this, the department has begun to heal as a result of his response to the problem.
Over the last four years, Mayor Cervenik has shepherded the city budget like no other Mayor in Northeast Ohio. While other communities are facing layoffs in safety forces, Euclid's budget keeps our neighborhoods safe because of the Mayor's foresight in protecting against a downward turn in the economy. He, along with the City Council, passed unpopular measures in order to ensure our safety.
It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly but who does actually strive to do the deeds who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
A terrific film released in 1995 features Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen in the film called The American President. In one scene, President Andrew Shepherd turns to his closest aide, that aide never having placed his own name on the ballot.
That's how I feel right about now.
The man that's been willing to go into the arena is Mayor Bill Cervenik.
He has quietly been our community's profile in courage and I hope that the voters in Euclid have the good sense to reward his unwavering efforts to make Euclid a better place by returning him to office in the November elections.