MAYOR DANIEL S. POCEK
City of Bedford, Ohio
Dan Pocek is currently the Mayor of the City of Bedford. Mr. Pocek was first elected Mayor in 1999 then again in 2001, 2005 and 2009. During his tenure, he was instrumental in organizing the Bedford Community Development Corporation, an organization dedicated to revitalizing the downtown Bedford business district and strengthening existing businesses within the city. Under Mayor Pocek’s leadership, Bedford completed plans initiated to build a new $16.7 million municipal complex. The complex, featuring the city hall, police station, fire station, and Bedford Municipal Court, was opened on time and under budget in May 2003.
Mr. Pocek is well known for his favorite saying, “I wasn’t born in Bedford, but I got here as quickly as I could.” He has embodied this commitment to the Bedford community, first as a teacher in the Bedford School District and later as a public official with more than 14 years experience at the local and state level. Mr. Pocek was a social studies teacher at Heskett Middle School from 1969 to 1983. He was Bedford’s Ward 5 Councilman from 1975 to 1991. From 1983 to 1990, he served as Deputy Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation under the Administration of then Governor Richard Celeste. In 1991 to 1997, Mr. Pocek served as an administrative assistant to the Cuyahoga County Engineer.
In 2004, one of Mayor Pocek’s campaign promises of revitalizing downtown Bedford came to fruition when a $1.2 million streetscape project was completed with revitalized store fronts, the rerouting of major power lines around the downtown district and the installation of antique lighting throughout the area. Also, in 2004, Mr. Pocek was appointed to the Executive Board of the First Suburbs Consortium which is the first inner ring suburb organization in the country which was formed in 1998. In December 2004, Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, D. C., President of the National League of Cities, appointed Mayor Pocek Vice-Chairman of the First Tier Suburbs for 2005 and has been an advocate for greater regional cooperation.
A result of his Vice-Chairmanship of the First Tier Suburbs, Mayor Pocek has developed relationships with many of the leaders of Inner Ring Suburbs throughout the country. In May 2005, Mayor Pocek was invited to speak at the national convention of the American Architects Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada on issues of redeveloping inner ring suburbs. In August 2005, Mayor Pocek and members of Council and Administration traveled to Ferndale, Michigan to discuss common issues with the Mayor and Administration of Ferndale. They are a leading example of a progressive inner ring suburb in the State of Michigan. While still being involved with the First Suburbs Consortium in Cuyahoga County, he has become an advocate in dealing with issues on foreclosures and its impact on the inner ring suburbs. Also in the month of August 2005, Mayor Pocek helped facilitate the formation of the first statewide organization of inner ring suburbs in the country which is known as Ohio’s First Suburbs Consortium.
In November 2005, National League of Cities President Jim Hunt appointed Mayor Pocek to Chair the First Tier Suburbs Council for 2006. Under his chairmanship, the Mayor hosted a Steering Committee meeting in Bedford in July 2006 with 20 participants from all over the nation. He has lobbied for and has succeeded in putting the foreclosure issue on the national agenda at the National League of Cities Conference in Reno, Nevada in December 2006. In 2006, Mr. Pocek participated and was quoted in the Brooking’s Institute’s Publication, “1/5th of America, A Comprehensive Guide To America’s First Suburbs.” As a result of this exposure, Mr. Pocek has been quoted in the New York Times and USA Today on the same issue.
In 2006, Mayor Pocek was an adviser and early supporter of Governor Ted Strickland and Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher of the State of Ohio. He helped the Governor’s transition team by serving on a committee that helped draft the Governor’s Urban Strategy.
Mayor Pocek also served on the Future Cities Committee’s sub-committee on regionalism. From 2006 to 2008, he was on the Board of Directors. While on the Board of the Directors, he was the first person to begin to warn of the dangers of the foreclosure epidemic a year before this became a national problem. Mayor Pocek is currently a member of the Advisory Council and has just recently been appointed by President Kathleen Novak, 2009 National League of Cities President, to be the Advisory Council Representative on the Future Cities Committee. In addition, the Mayor has also been appointed to the Small Cities Council and the Steering Committee of the Leadership Committee.
Mr. Pocek taught Political Science at Cuyahoga Community College and Public Administration at Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs. He was also Interim Director of the Public Works Management Program at the College of Urban Affairs in 1993.
Mr. Pocek attended Cuyahoga Community College from 1965 to 1967. He then transferred to Kent State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. He earned his master’s degree from John Carroll University.
In his private life, Mr. Pocek is a marketing specialist with DLZ Corp., a full-service architectural and engineering firm with corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. His clients include mayors, county commissioners, county engineers, sanitary engineers, and school systems. He and his wife, Christine, have two sons, Darren, Todd, daughter-in-law Debra and two grandsons, Brayden and Bryce.