Since its incorporation in 1955, Reminderville has been governed by a bevy of mayors, twelve to be exact, all of whom have contributed to the continuous progress of the village. The achievements of four of the most prominent mayors are highlighted below.
The first mayor of Reminderville was Clement Reminder, a member of the famed Reminder family that is the namesake of the village. Illness shortened his fledgling political career. He spent less than a single year in office.
Ray Williams, one of the most important figures in the brief history of Reminderville, was the third mayor of the village, holding office from 1960 to 1963 and then again from 1976 through 1983. Overall the Democratic mayor served twelve years in office for the village he loved and dedicated his life to. He was one of the founders of the village; while he was in office Glenwood Drive was constructed.
It was during Ray Williams’s second term as Reminderville mayor that the population exploded from 215 residents in 1970 to approximately 2,000 in 1983. During this same period the village budget ballooned from $10,000 to $675,000 annually.
In addition to his storied career as Reminderville mayor, Williams also spent thirty-two years at Republic Steel as a crane operator. For a period he served as president of United Steelworkers Local 2665 and at the time of his demise was the Vice-President of Republic Steel retiree’s organization. Ray W. Williams Park, located next to the Reminderville Village Hall and Fire Station, was dedicated on December 31, 1983 .
From 1988 to 1998 Tom Schmida was mayor of the village. If that wasn’t enough he also served as vice-president of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union for the first two years of his mayoral tenure and then president of the same teachers union from 1990 to the present.
The most recent mayor Sam Alonso, a native of Fairmont, West Virginia, migrated to the area in 1993—mistakenly believing he and his family had set down roots in Aurora. What turned out to be Aurora’s loss proved quite fortuitous for Reminderville. Thirty-one years as a union rep at General Motors endowed Alonso with the ability to communicate and negotiate making him an ideal candidate for mayor of the village.
Local corruptions lead to his run for mayor. While budgeting was being conducted in 1999 it was discovered that Palmer Peterson, the mayor of the moment, had been taking money allotted to the fire department and using it to make the budget balance for the next year. Alonso, at the time a councilman for the village, informed that Peterson money earmarked for the RFD could not be used to the balance the budget. Peterson’s response was a challenge to Alonso’s authority: “If you don’t like it you run for mayor.” Alonso did just that: easily defeating his predecessor nearly three to one.
The early days of his mayoral reign were rife with hardship: discovery of a clerk/ treasurer who pilfered over $100,000 of village funds and a police chief who was illegally moonlighting as security manager of Geauga Lake Park. These early setbacks were quickly overcome by Alonso. His accomplishments have been numerous and varied:
• Construction of a new village hall
• Renovation of Glenwood Boulevard (including new bike lanes)
• Helping to establish the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) of the Village of Reminderville and Twinsburg Township in 2002. The JEDD’s primary purpose is to promote jobs and economic development in the two participating communities.