CEM says 'thank you, letís work together'
Cleveland Heights voters made history on Nov. 5, 2019. They voted—by a majority in every precinct across the city—to transform a nearly 100-year-old council-manager system to an elected-mayor form of government they believe will be more accountable to the voters.
They said they want a mayor who will spend full time leading Cleveland Heights in a new way to address our challenges and maximize our assets—a mayor who will be our voice across the region and state.
Now that voters have spoken, we need to pull together and make the transition as one community: city council, the administration, city employees and citizens need to collaborate to transform our government into one that is truly representative of the voters’ decision.
About a year ago, 10 people created Citizens for an Elected Mayor (CEM) to launch the charter amendment initiative. Support came from a nonpartisan, broadly based, grassroots coalition of volunteers who put in hard work, diligent effort and, ultimately, votes that achieved a new reality that can benefit us and future generations.
CEM would like to thank everyone who attended events, gathered signatures, signed the initiative petition, invited neighbors into their homes, shared thoughts on social and traditional media, talked to elected officials, put up yard signs, distributed literature, made financial contributions, and donated professional services.
Passionate volunteers made it all possible. Thank you for showing that people—friends, neighbors and even strangers—can make a difference.
With Issue 26 now in the history books, we ask everyone, regardless of how they voted or whether they voted, to apply their energy to the next challenge, which is just as great. Our community must come together to begin preparing for a mayoral election in November 2021, and the first directly elected mayor taking office in January 2022.
All those who cast ballots acted from sincere conviction and desire to continue to make the Heights the best it can be. We are fortunate to live in a city where people have great passion about the community’s future and are deeply engaged in civic affairs.
Outgoing council members Carol Roe and Craig Cobb are among those who have been dedicated to Cleveland Heights; we thank them for their service on council. We congratulate incoming council members Melody Hart and Davida Russell, and re-elected members Mary Dunbar and Kahlil Seren.
We encourage all citizens to remain civically engaged and help ensure a strong future. There is much work to be done. We look forward to working side-by-side with everyone to ensure that Cleveland Heights remains a special place.
Michael Bennett, a 29-year resident of Cleveland Heights, is secretary of Citizens for an Elected Mayor. He submitted this opinion on behalf of the organization.