A 36 year Cleveland City Council veteran, Councilman Michael D. Polensek has had the honor to serve Council since 1978, serving 11 terms as a representative. He is the “Dean” of Cleveland City Council and has represented Cleveland’s Ward 11 since January 1982, prior to that he represented Ward 26 in the Collinwood and Nottingham communities. In January 2014, he was sworn in to now Ward 8.
Councilman Polensek has a consistent record of progressive civic leadership and is instrumental in development of the Ward 8 community. He served as President of City Council from 1999 to 2002. In that position, he worked diligently for his community as well as to create a legislative body that provided strong leadership for all of Cleveland’s neighborhoods. Through his leadership, Council created the Neighborhood Equity Fund, which targeted $21 million for neighborhood development projects in each Council Ward.
As a Council Member, Councilman Polensek fulfills his obligation to the people of his community by working with the City’s Administration to ensure that the best services are provided to Ward 8. He is proud to be able to serve the neighborhood where he was born and raised and is honored to be able to continue to make a difference in the Ward 8 community.
Councilman Polensek serves is a member of the Safety; Workforce and Community Benefits; and Utilities Committees.
Councilman Polensek is active in many civic organizations including the Collinwood Homeowner’s and Tenant’s Association; the Nottingham Civic Club; the East 185th, East 140th, East 156 Neighborhood Associations; Waterloo Arts; and the NAACP. He currently serves as an Executive Board member of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. He also serves with other organizations including the Salvation Army Temple Corps Advisory Committee, board member of the Golden Age Centers of Greater Cleveland, and the Hospice of the Western Reserve Advisory Committee. He is also the founder of the Collinwood Nottingham Villages and the Northeast Shores Development Corporations in Ward 8.
Councilman Polensek was born on E. 120th Street north of St. Clair Avenue in the Glenville neighborhood. As a small child, his family moved into the Collinwood community. A proud product of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Councilman Polensek attended the Nottingham and Hannah Gibbons Elementary Schools and graduated from Collinwood High School, where is a member of the Collinwood High School Hall of Fame. He studied Industrial Supervision at Cuyahoga Community College through the Cleveland Scholarship Program. He was employed at White Motors on St. Clair Avenue where his involvement in Local 32 of the United Auto Workers led to his first run for public office. He also worked in the area of youth development with the Lake Erie Girl Scout Council as a program specialist before being elected to Council.
Councilman Polensek has supported many community based projects throughout his tenure as a Cleveland City Councilman. His most recent project was the $11 million Collinwood Recreation Center located at 16500 Lakeshore Boulevard, the first gold leed certified building in Cleveland's history. Most recently, Councilman Polensek championed the effort to get the Cleveland Lakefront State Parks transfered to the Cleveland Metroparks System, thereby helping to expand the "Emerald Necklace." He is also the proud sponsor of the Historic Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District and Streetscape Project, which began in July 2013 and will conclude in late 2014. In addition, work has already begun on the Nottingham Village Commerce Park project, which will include the new headquarters for Manitowoc / Cleveland Range to be located at 18301 St. Clair Avenue.
Councilman Polensek and his wife, Kathy, live on Brian Avenue in the North Shore Collinwood area and he attends St. Mary's Catholic Church. He is the proud father of Lisa, Deana, Michael, Lauren and Andrew, and is a grandfather of one. Andrew, the Councilman’s youngest son, was a 2012 graduate of Cleveland Metropolitan School District STEM High School.
Back to top
- Workforce and Community Benefits