As Stephens takes county council seat, CH seeks her replacement
Cleveland Heights City Council is seeking a replacement for former Council Member Cheryl Stephens, who was elected to represent District 10 on Cuyahoga County Council on Nov. 6 and officially took her seat there Nov. 27. Stephens had served on CH City Council since 2010 and had been reelected for her third, four-year term in November 2017.
The city has posted an application online (www.clevelandheights.com/councilapplication) and has set a deadline of 5 p.m., Jan. 15.
The application asks candidates to answer several questions and attach a resume or CV. A PDF of the form can be printed from the website and e-mailed, mailed or hand-delivered to CH City Hall. Applicants are asked to describe the “special qualities, abilities, skills, insights or perspectives” that they would bring to a position on council, as well as their goals for improving the city.
Mayor Carol Roe said that the city will follow a process similar to the one it followed for the last council vacancy. The local chapter of the League of Women Voters will interview all applicants, and videos of those interviews will be shared online with the public. Council members will review each interview and select three people to interview in person.
Roe said that while council’s hope is to have the vacancy filled as soon as possible, members didn’t want the busy holiday season to prevent interested candidates from applying. She added “how quickly the position can be filled depends on how many applications the city receives and how quickly the candidates can be interviewed.”
Once CH City Council selects a new member, that person will serve for the remainder of 2019 and will have to run for the remainder of the unexpired term in the November general election.
Stephens defeated incumbent Cuyahoga County Council Member Michael Houser in the May 2018 Democratic primary, and ran unopposed in the November election. She represents District 10, which includes Bratenahl, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and portions of Wards 8 and 10 in Cleveland.
Throughout her time on Cleveland Heights City Council, Stephens served in many capacities. She was chair of the Administrative Services and Finance committees, and co-chaired the successful Issue 53 income tax levy campaign. Stephens was elected vice mayor of Cleveland Heights by her colleagues in 2014 and mayor in 2016.
Stephens currently works full time as CEO of the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, and was formerly the director of acquisition, disposition and development for the Cuyahoga Land Bank from 2009 to 2017.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.