Mentor ( MEN-tər) is a city in Lake County, Ohio, United States. Mentor was first settled in 1797. The population was 47,159 at the 2010 census. In July 2010, CNNMoney.com ranked Mentor 37th in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.
In 1876 James A. Garfield purchased a home in Mentor, from which he conducted the first successful front porch campaign for the presidency. Garfield coined the term "Mentorite" when referring to a native of Mentor. That house is now maintained as the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. The city is home to Headlands Beach State Park, the longest public swimming beach in Ohio. The city is a major center of retail stores, ranking sixth-largest in Ohio as of 2012, and restaurants, ranking seventh-largest in the state as of 2012. US 20 (Mentor Avenue) is the major retail center, which includes the Great Lakes Mall, with additional shopping and strip malls found along most major roads. Convenient Food Mart is based in Mentor. Major products include medical related, polymers, plastics, electric boards and other peripherals that generally serve the computer and automation industries. Two major railroads pass through the city, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.
Mentor's school system consists of nine elementary schools, three middle schools, and Mentor High School. Like many school systems in Ohio, Mentor Schools suffered a financial crisis in the early 2000s, but passed a large levy and is now largely on solid footing. It is one of the fastest Ohio school systems ever to emerge from fiscal emergency. The financial difficulties were due in part to years of accounting fraud.
City government is based on a city manager executive appointed by city council. The city encourages development of light industry, which is reflected in its diverse economy and very low property taxes.
Many bike paths have been built in Mentor in recent years.
The pronunciation of the city's name is a shibboleth, with some residents pronouncing it as "men-ner" and outsiders using the more conventional "men-tore", while in the media and among most residents, "men-ter" is prominent. The city's slogan, "It's better in Mentor," reflects this fact.
Mentor is named after the Greek figure Mentor, in keeping with the Connecticut Western Reserve settlers' tradition, as well as that of most other Americans at the time, of celebrating aspects of Greek classicism (nearby Solon, Macedonia, Euclid, and Akron also were named using that principle).
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