CH Council Member Jeff Coryell announces resignation
Cleveland Heights Council Member Jeff Coryell announced his resignation from council, effective Dec. 31, at the Cleveland Heights Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Nov. 9.
“I will be stepping down from city council effective the end of 2015 so that I can move to Detroit and be reunited with my spouse, Phyllis L. Crocker, who was appointed Dean of the School of Law at University of Detroit Mercy in early 2014,” said Coryell.
Coryell will have completed two years of a four-year term on Cleveland Heights City Council that began in January 2014.
“This decision was extremely difficult because I love Cleveland Heights and consider it my true home, especially since my 21 years of residence here is far longer than any other place I have lived,” he said. “Sadly, however, no place can long be a happy home for me when my wife and I do not live there together. It has been a delight to reside here and a great honor and privilege to serve this wonderful community on council over the past two years, but the time has come for me to step down and move on.”
Coryell had been active with many community groups prior to his election to council. He had served as a board member for both FutureHeights and Reaching Heights, and as a steering committee member for Sustainable Heights Network. He was the founder of Heights Community Garden Network, which is now called Growing Heights. He had also served as president of the Cleveland Heights Democrats.
“Through his leadership, Jeff has brought many areas of the community together,” said Richard Stewart, president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors. “Most recently, he’s been involved with the formation of the Heights Community Development Alliance, a group of residents and merchants who are working to market the city and fill storefront vacancies. His leadership will be missed.”
“Although we are a great and unique city, and I am confident that we have a very bright future, I also am aware that our community faces significant challenges and I deeply regret that I will not continue to be a part of working to overcome them in the coming years,” said Coryell. “I want to thank the many friends, neighbors, colleagues and constituents who have made living here and representing this community on city council a wonderful and rewarding experience.”
According to the city's charter, Cleveland Heights City Council must appoint someone to fill Coryell’s unexpired term. Vice Mayor Cheryl Stephens said that although council has not yet decided on a timeline, it will solicit applications for the position. "We are looking for someone who loves Cleveland Heights as much we do," said Stephens. "someone who values diversity and who will work toward the best future for our community."
Whomever council chooses to fill the vacancy will serve the two years of the unexpired term. The seat will be up for election in the next municipal election, which will take place in November 2017.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.