Biography of Mayor Gary W. Starr
Gary William Starr was sworn in as the Mayor of the City of Middleburg Heights in January 1981 and has since enjoyed the privilege of serving the citizens of the community. He has continued to dedicate his life and career to public service and has distinguished himself as a principled, forward thinking mayor.
As a longtime resident of Middleburg Heights, Mayor Starr has sought to continuously improve the city he has been proud to call home for years. He has presided over several decades of growth, with the city’s property values escalating from an assessment of $500 million in the 1980’s to a prosperous $1.4 billion today. Additionally, he has overseen the promulgation of a series of municipal ordinances that have transformed Middleburg Heights into a more professional, beautiful, and competitive city. Some of Mayor Starr’s proudest achievements have included:
• Longest serving Mayor and elected official in the history of Middleburg Heights – 37 consecutive years
• Was the youngest Mayor of a city in the State of Ohio (January 1981) – age 30
• The longest serving Mayor presently and one of the longest serving Mayors in the United States – 32 years
• A state-of-the-art and nationally renowned community center constructed in 2000
• Revitalized and enhanced municipal infrastructure including a new fire station, service center, and expansions to
• Integration of a Lake-to-Lake Trail connected through the city
• Establishment of a paramedic service and attraction of the healthcare industry
• Successfully fostering a healthy economic and business presence within the city
Mayor Starr’s early life was spent growing up in Middleburg Heights where he attended Midpark High School and then matriculated to Ashland University where he attained a bachelor of arts in history. He subsequently pursued and obtained a juris doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law. From that point on, Mayor Starr entered into what has now become decades of serving the public. He has worked for both Democrats and Republicans, beginning his career under the guidance of U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum and then successfully serving as Cuyahoga County Deputy Auditor for George Voinovich. Afterwards, he then decided to invest himself in the city he called home by running for Middleburg Heights City Council, an office to which he was elected three times.
Mayor Starr’s commitment to public service extends to the Northeast Ohio region as well through a variety of roles and memberships in various of organizations. He has served as a member of the Southwest General Hospital board of trustees, Gateway Corporation, North Coast Harbor Corporation, and for 20 years on the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District board of trustees. He belongs to several professional associations as well, including the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association, the Mayors Association of Ohio, the Ohio Municipal League, and the Water Environment Federation. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including recognition by the Ohio Jaycees as one of the “Five Outstanding Young Men” in the state of Ohio and in 1993 he was named to the first class of the Midpark High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Mayor Starr continues to work for and reside in Middleburg Heights with his family. He is married to his wife Susan and has two sons Andrew and Peter. In his leisure time, Mayor Starr enjoys golfing, karate, and exercising and living a healthy life.