Mayor Ed Kelley announces he will not seek re-election in November
With a new city manager in place, the City of Cleveland Heights needs to prepare for more leadership changes. The city will have a new mayor come January. Mayor Edward J. Kelley, who has served as the city's mayor since 1997 and has been a member of city council since 1993, announced at the Aug. 5 city council meeting that he will not seek re-election in November.
“These last 20 years of service have been challenging, rewarding, heart-breaking, and humbling,” said Kelley at the meeting.
Cleveland Heights voters do not vote directly for mayor. Instead, members of Cleveland Heights City Council select the mayor—president of council—from among their members.
“I have been so blessed to work with this group of council members and their predecessors,” said Kelley. “I have developed lifelong friendships with many of them, that I know will continue beyond mine, and their, service on council. I value the time I have spent serving the residents of the City of Cleveland Heights and am so proud to call Cleveland Heights my home.”
Kelley said that the expansion of the city’s community center and the redevelopment of the Cedar Fairmount, Cedar Lee and Coventry Village business districts are among the things he is most proud of. He said the city is “the most beautiful and diverse city in the United States” and that “Cleveland Heights is in great shape.”
“The economic downturn of several years ago was a blow to us as it was to many inner-ring suburbs,” Kelley said. “I am confident that our efforts to combat the negative have succeeded in weathering this storm and we are poised and prepared to continue development in our business districts and housing stock.”
Cleveland Heights voters will vote for four members of council in November, each of whom will serve a four-year term. At least two of those seats will be occupied by new faces. Bonnie Caplan announced in June that she would not seek re-election. Current city council members Jason Stein and Cheryl Stephens have filed petitions with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to run.
Janine Boyd, who was appointed in October 2012 to replace longtime council member Phyllis Evans, who resigned in June 2012, must run in November to retain her seat for a two-year term. She will run in a separate category, and she must be challenged directly for that seat.
So far, four challengers have filed to seek a four-year term on Cleveland Heights City Council in November, Jeff Coryell, Fran Mentch, Keba Sylla and Melissa Yasinow. The four-year-term seats will go to the top four vote getters. The filing deadline is Sept. 6.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.