Buses Replace Street Cars 1948-1949 Pictured Above


Edward M. Kuca, Jr. is serving his third elected term as Office of Mayor for the City of Benwood. Born on January 9, 1947 in Benwood and is the son of Rose and Edward Kuca, Sr. At an early age he was taught by his father the values of hard work and civic responsibility, for he himself was a public servant for 24 years as a Benwood Councilman.

In 1977, he first became involved in city government when he was appointed by council to serve on the Benwood Park Board. He served on this board until 1988 and was president of the board for 7 years.

In July of 1988, he began his political career when he was elected to the seat of First Ward Councilperson and served 15 continuous years in that capacity. He served as Acting Mayor in July of 2003 until he was later appointed to the Office of Mayor on August 12, 2003. He was first elected to the Office of Mayor on May 12, 2004 and began his first term July 1, 2004. Since that time he was re-elected in 2006, and again in 2008. Voters voted on a charter amendment in 2008 changing the term of office from a 2 year term to a 4 year term. His current term will expire June 30, 2012.

In his first year of office, he was faced with a major challenge of a huge financial short fall in the city. His key goal was to see that the city became financially solvent again. One year later, the city went from a serious deficit situation to a significant surplus in the city funds.

During the past six years as Mayor, he has been instrumental in acquiring grant funds and giving the citizens back their hard earned tax dollars for over $1.5 million in capital outlay projects and improvements. The most current construction in progress is a $450,000 Floodwall Improvement Project. Kuca is very devoted to improving the quality of life for all Benwood residents.

The most outstanding trait about Kuca, is his genuine love and concern for his church, family, city and citizens. He has proven his loyalty to St. John Church by serving on the Parish Council and donating his time in many other aspects. Also, he is a member of the American Legion, the Warwood Vets and the Garibaldi Lodge.

Mayor Kuca resides on Roosevelt Avenue with his wife Gerry who is employed as office manager for Valley Cardiology, Inc. in Wheeling and has a daughter Jennifer Kuca Hopper who lives in Buford, GA. She is the Manager of Piedmont Hospital’s Health and Fitness Center in Atlanta. Jennifer’s husband Eric Michael Hopper is a country pop singer and song writer who won a CBS News Morning Show “Living Room Live” contest and many others.  

The Mayor is the chief executive officer of all the day-to-day operations of the city and spends much time supervising all the work of appointed officers and employees. It is his responsibility to see that all the orders, by-laws, ordinances and resolutions of the council are faithfully executed. He presides over the meetings of council but has no vote except in case of a tie.


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