In CH mayor, we need a leaderónot another manager

As we venture into unfamiliar territory in local government, our choice for Cleveland Heights’ first elected mayor comes down to one question: Who can LEAD our city on this journey in a way that makes the most out of this opportunity?

My opponent will tell you that what’s important is having someone who would run government like a business, with experience answering to a board of directors. I think she’s setting the bar too low. If the answer to our challenges was just competent management, we could have stuck with a city manager. We deserve—and should expect—more from our mayor.

Being mayor isn’t just the technical job of managing public employees as a cautious corporate caretaker. Mayors have to LEAD. Leadership means standing in the vanguard and fighting for progress. Bold, forward-thinking leadership brings people together in common purpose as a community. Running the government is the mechanism for delivering on that common purpose. Making local government a partner with residents to make our lives better and make our city stronger is a skill I’ve developed by stepping up and doing it.

I’ve spent the last 15 years learning how to lead local government and working to get the most out of government on behalf of the people we serve. I’ve been honored to have your support twice for my candidacy for city council. As the first Black man to serve as Cleveland Heights’ vice mayor, and current vice president of council, I’ve worked hard during my time in office to lead in ways that have made a difference for our city, proposing initiatives that: 

  • Commit to reducing our carbon footprint by 30% or more by 2030, 
  • Protect our neighborhoods against banks that refuse to keep up foreclosed homes, and
  • Keep landlords from discriminating against renters based on their sources of income.

Our first mayor will be entrusted with our hopes for Cleveland Heights’ future—the hopes we had when we decided to adopt this new form of government. My Heights H.O.P.E.S. plan is a blueprint for turning these hopes into reality. HEALTHY. OPEN. PROSPEROUS. EQUITABLE. SAFE. These are the qualities that we all want for Cleveland Heights. If you—like me—expect more than the status quo from city government, and want a more vibrant, sustainable and resilient Cleveland Heights, I respectfully ask you to vote for me, Kahlil Seren, for mayor on or before Nov. 2.

Kahlil Seren

Kahlil Seren is the vice president of CH City Council and a candidate for mayor in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 12:02 PM, 10.01.2021