2013 election brings new faces to CH Council, familiar ones to UH

Newly elected CH City Council members: Jeff Coryell, Melissa Yasinow, Jason Stein, Cheryl Stephens and Janine Boyd.

Cleveland Heights City Council will have two new members in 2014. Newcomer Jeff Coryell, who previously ran for council in 2011, garnered the most votes, 6,595. Melissa Yasinow, who ran for the first time, received the second most votes, 6,126. Incumbents Cheryl Stephens and Jason Stein were re-elected with 5,761 and 5,753 votes respectively.

All will be sworn in at the first council meeting of the new year, at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 6, in council chambers.

Janine Boyd, who ran unopposed, was elected to an unexpired two-year term to Cleveland Heights City Council. She also will be sworn in on Jan. 6.

“I'm honored to have received an extraordinary level of support in the election,” said Jeff Coryell. “I look forward to working hard to help renew our city's legacy of diversity, innovation, leadership and progressive values.”

“I am truly honored and humbled to have been elected, and am grateful to Cleveland Heights residents,” said Melissa Yasinow. “I look forward to serving them.”

Yasinow said that while she will spend her first several weeks in council getting to know her fellow members and learning the ropes, she does have one initiative that she would like to bring to council’s attention right away.

“Cleveland Heights needs an expanded human rights ordinance to protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination in employment across the city,” she said. “While Cleveland Heights enacted a Domestic Partner Registry in 2003 and has an ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of LGBT status in city hiring, it needs to be expanded citywide.”

“With the Gay Games coming to Cleveland in 2014,” she continued, “I want to be sure that the City of Cleveland Heights is a welcoming community.”

Coryell said that he also supports “an inclusive human rights ordinance that prohibits discrimination by private employers and in places of public accommodation against members of the LGBT community.”

One of the first orders of business for the new council will be to select a mayor. According to the city charter, Cleveland Heights City Council is to select a mayor from among its members every two years. Edward Kelley, who has served as the city’s mayor since 1997, did not run for re-election to council and will retire from office when his term expires at the end of 2013. The five members elected to council this fall, as well as returning members Dennis Wilcox and Mary Dunbar, are potential mayoral candidates.

In University Heights, voters re-elected Mayor Susan Infeld, who ran unopposed. Current council members Susan Pardee, Mike Wiseman and Phil Ertel were elected with 1,542, 1,316 and 1,297 votes respectively. Nancy English, former clerk of council for the city, ran unopposed for a two-year term and was elected to city council.

[See detailed results for CH and UH elections. To see results for all of Cuyahoga County, visit the board of elections website.]

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 1:09 PM, 11.12.2013