Not long after city officials hinted that they might further tax residents, one man persistently challenged local government and tried to talk to them out of an income tax increase.
Thanks to a nomination from Angela Marino, Mark Zetzer is one of the Shaker Heights Patch People of the Year.
"Mark Zetzer worked tirelessly to advocate and educate community leaders and residents on how to return Shaker to a premier community where people want to live, raise their families and grow their businesses," Marino wrote. "He is passionate about Shaker and its potential to return to greatness."
Zetzer formed the Shaker Heights Taxpayers Union this year in hopes of galvanizing residents against a local government he thought was too big and spending too much. The group's major undertaking was a campaign against the 0.5 percent income tax increase. Zetzer made local radio appearances, wrote blogs and placed campaign signs throughout the community through election day.
"He stands by his convictions and is not discouraged by others' fear of change or unwillingness to get involved," Marino wrote. "He has proposed a model of collaboration among residents, elected officials and business owners to make Shaker a leader in the 21st Century."
The increase would go on to pass 64 percent to 36 percent, but Zetzer said he would continue speaking up for Shaker Heights taxpayers.
"We're going to remain," Zetzer told Patch following the election. "We think we have a big job ahead of us to educate residents and voters about how the city and public school system can cut costs, control taxes and grow revenues by growing the tax base instead of just endlessly raising taxes all the time.
"We want to educate."