Chris Ronayne Stepping Down as President of University Circle Inc. As He Campaigns for County Executive

The UCI president will run for county executive - Chris Ronayne Twitter
Chris Ronayne Twitter
The UCI president will run for county executive

Chris Ronayne, who has led University Circle Inc. for the last 16 years, will officially step down on Oct. 1 as he campaigns for county executive.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead University Circle Inc. for 16 years,” Ronayne said in a press release. “When I began at UCI we envisioned a neighborhood without borders that welcomed visitors from near and far, that engaged students from around the world and from neighborhoods next door, and a place with amazing public spaces, events, small businesses and new housing opportunities. I am thrilled with the progress my team and I have made during my time here.”

Gary Hanson, the Former Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra Gary Hanson will serve as interim UCI president while the organization conducts a nationwide search for Ronayne's permanent replacement.

County executive Armond Budish has not yet indicated whether he'll run for re-election. He ran unopposed for his second term and has led a generally disastrous administration.

"We need to talk about what county government is," Ronayne told Scene earlier this year. "Everyone uses it by their needs. There's a huge social safety network, there's also bridges and sewers in communities everywhere. We need a more robust dialogue about what this county is, what do the people want."

He points to cities and counties like Akron and Summit and Pittsburgh and Allegheny where cooperation and collaboration between executives and mayors have put their regions far ahead of where Cleveland and Cuyahoga County currently stand.

"That's hopefully the future," he said.

As the 2022 primary season approaches, Ronayne has been talking about the county jail, the various and plentiful issues of the Budish administration, and a need for greater transparency in county government, especially when it comes to the region's finances.

Republican Lee Weingart, the onetime Boy Commissioner of Cuyahoga County, last year announced that he's also running for county executive in 2022.
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Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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