Mayor Biography

Merle S. Gorden, MayorGorden

Beachwood Mayor Merle S. Gorden has been involved in the City’s government for more than 30 years.  He has watched Beachwood grow and prosper for nearly 60 years.  He served as a volunteer firefighter, Member of City Council, Council President and is now serving his fifth Mayoral term.  Mayor Gorden has been extensively involved in the City’s success and is committed to leading the community toward a strong and bright future.

For businesses, residents and visitors, Beachwood is a financially strong, high amenity, conveniently located community where it is easy to enjoy life and succeed in business.  Mayor Gorden encourages constant dialogue among top officials at the City, Beachwood City Schools and the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce.  Together, Mayor Gorden and this team of local leaders have helped create a dynamic business core, a vibrant retail and commercial area, outstanding neighborhoods and one of the state’s top-ranked school systems.  

Beachwood’s property taxes are low and residents working in other municipalities receive a 100% municipal income tax credit.  Beachwood’s neighborhoods are safe and well-kept with housing values among the highest in Cuyahoga County.  Mayor Gorden is proud of the excellent municipal services and amenities the City offers, including highly-rated police and fire departments, a $5 million aquatic center, eight tournament size tennis courts and a city park with 2 miles of trails.  

These outstanding services are largely supported by Beachwood’s successful businesses.  Beachwood’s business community, composed of more than 25,000 employees and approximately 2,500 companies, ranges in size from Fortune 500 companies to small start-up ventures.  Mayor Gorden’s efforts to constantly improve Beachwood are reflected in the City’s Economic Development achievements.  Investment by Beachwood businesses total more than $700 Million since 2009.

In addition to being one of Northeast Ohio’s most sought after locations for families and businesses, Beachwood is also one of the region’s most popular destination cities.  More than 100,000 visitors pass through Beachwood daily, many to enjoy the area’s best shopping and dining options.  An advocate of regional cooperation, Gorden has taken steps toward sharing services within Northeast Ohio by working with County and State agencies as well as nearby municipalities.   Beachwood Police currently provide dispatch services for Pepper Pike. 

However, Mayor Gorden doesn’t take any of the City’s numerous assets for granted.  Despite the many recent, considerable developments, he continues to push and advocate for new ways to help Beachwood continue to grow and improve upon its well-earned, excellent reputation.  Prior to becoming an elected official, this Beachwood native owned several businesses.  He married his high school sweetheart and they have two children.

Current and Former Activities

Current Activities are in bold; Former Activities are in italics.

Elected Positions

Mayor / Safety Director, City Of Beachwood

Council President, City Of Beachwood

Member of Council, City Of Beachwood

Democratic Ward Leader - Beachwood
Democratic Precinct Committee Leader, Precinct A

Boards and Commissions

Beachwood Board of Zoning Appeals

Beachwood Planning & Zoning Commission

Beachwood Records Commission

Beachwood Recreation Board
Cuyahoga County Planning Commission

Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Policy Committee

Hillcrest Hospital Community Advisory Committee

South Pointe Hospital Community Advisory Committee
State Auditor's Northeast Ohio Regional Advisory Board

Civic Organizations/Affiliations

American Red Cross Advisory Council, Member

Beachwood 75th Anniversary Organizer

Beachwood Arts Council, Trustee

Beachwood Centennial Celebration Organizer
Beachwood Chamber of Commerce, Member

Beachwood Civic League

Beachwood Convention and Visitors Bureau
Beachwood FOPA, Founding Member

Beachwood Historical Society, Member
Beachwood Sunday Fun Day, Co-Chair

Former Beachwood Volunteer Fire Fighter Lt., Member

Beachwood Booster League, Member

Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association, Member

Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland
Friends of the Library, Member
Mayor’s Association of Ohio, Member

Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, Volunteer

Northeast Ohio Mayors & City Managers Association
Ohio Association of Public Safety Directors, Member

Ohio Municipal League, Member

Project Love/Values-in-Action Advisory Board, Member

Temple Israel, Member, Past Trustee

Temple-Tifereth Israel