Ohio – Small Town Mayor Helps Student Filmmakers

Fairview Park –

Eileen Ann Patton, the five-term mayor of this Cleveland area suburb is retiring at the end of the year, and decided to have a short video created where city government officials would speak about their role in the community. The idea was to make the people who work for the town be just a little bit more accessible to it’s citizens. Instead of turning towards an expensive production company that would cost taxpayers money, she enlisted the help of students at the local high school.

Two senior students from Fairview High, Andrew Repasy and Alex DiGennaro, took on the project and from all accounts did a wonderful job shooting, interviewing, editing, and mixing the 28 minute film. The video was debuted during the April 3 State of the Community address given by the Mayor’s office. In a world where every person with an internet connection can create and distribute whatever content they would like, giving students an chance to produce something official for the town was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I was very thrilled to be involved in this project, working with our city’s leaders, along with my friend,” Andrew said to cleveland.com. “We planned how we would create this video. We decided on a list of questions to ask the departments.”

Both Andrew and Alex are planning on attending college in the fall at the University of Dayton and Baldwin Wallace University, respectively. Andrew plans on studying acoustic and mechanical engineering while Alex is looking to go into film producing. This is far from their first foray into film-making, though. Both had participated in the 48 Hour Cleveland Film Festival as well as creating videos with friends to upload to YouTube.

Creating a supportive community has long been the goal of the mayor, and as she looks back on her nearly twenty years in city government, the accomplishments are plain. Once blighted areas are now thriving business centers and the town is growing.

She elaborated in the video presentation: “Due to the support of the residents that we have in our community, for which I will be forever grateful, we have together been able to…continue to improve our parks…our senior center is thriving, and our development department…has developed thriving and exciting projects throughout the city.”

Once retired, Mayor Patton will enjoy more time with Jim, her husband of 42 years, and their four children and four grandchildren.