The MAYORAL ADMINISTRATION OF RALPH J. PERK (1972-77) came at a time when serious financial problems were developing in the city, and the mayor was able to obtain federal revenue sharing funds to help meet current expenses. Perk began his political career in 1940 as a Republican precinct committeeman and was appointed to the staff of the Ohio attorney general's office in 1950. From 1953-62 he was a member of Cleveland City Council, representing the Broadway-E. 55th St. area. Perk was elected county auditor in 1962 and served until 1971 when he won election as the first Republican mayor of Cleveland since
Inflation and the 1973 recession contributed to a 30% increase in city expenses while Perk was mayor, and it was necessary to borrow where permissable against bond funds and general revenue-sharing funds to help cover the deficits. As one of the few big-city Republican mayors at the time, he also obtained federal grants from the Nixon administration to help fight crime and establish a new citywide emergency medical service unit.
In Jan. 1972, Perk's decision to establish a regional sewer district resolved a 2-year dispute with the
Ralph J. Perk Papers, WRHS.