CH City Council needs to choose new member
To the Editor:
This is an open letter to Cleveland Heights City Council Members:
It's often said "politics is the art of compromise," but that sentiment appears lost on CH City Council members. On July 6, they decided NOT to decide which of four vetted candidates would fill the vacant seat created more than four months ago, when Melissa Yasinow resigned on March 3.
CH City Charter mandates council to choose a new member when a member resigns. By April 6, council [had] received 22 applications for the open seat. On June 22, it interviewed four finalists via Zoom meetings. Three weeks later, council members met, ostensibly to vote on the vacant-seat replacement, but, instead of fulfilling their mandated responsibility, they were unable to make a decision.
This lack of leadership could not have come at a more critical time for Cleveland Heights residents. Changes need to be made to ordinances and our city charter to prepare for the transition to a directly elected mayor form of government that voters overwhelmingly chose last November. This is a large and pressing task. It is compounded by the fact that we are living in unusually challenging times that create extraordinary demands on government.
A seventh vote could prevent 3-3 council vote stalemates. Given the various wide-ranging and unprecedented demands that council is required to fulfill, and especially the relatively short timeline to accomplish the tasks of charter change, we strongly encourage council to make its decision regarding a new council member as soon as possible.
We hope that council [will] choose that candidate based on her/his statements, application, background and interviews. We hope that council deliberations have answered the question, “Who has the most familiarity with the tasks at hand and would be ready on day one to put his/her energy and expertise to work for our greater good?"
Time is of the essence and there is much to do. Please choose the new council member now.
14 Cleveland Heights residents
Signed by David Krauss, Joy Roller, Kermit Lind, Rhonda Davis Lovejoy, Helen Hertz, Jo Fox, Tracey Lind, Paul Greenberg, Bob Brown, Paul Volpe, Sue Berger, Sue Dean Dyke, Karen Smith, Amy Jacobs.