Barbee announces candidacy for CH City Council

Greetings fellow Cleveland Heights residents, my name is Lee E. Barbee II. I would like to introduce myself as a candidate for Cleveland Heights City Council.

I was born in Cleveland. My family moved to the Forest Hill area of Cleveland Heights in 1970. My parents (Lee Barbee Sr. and his wife, Marlene) wanted to move from our home on 124th Street, off of St. Clair Avenue. The neighborhood was changing, and our home was robbed several times. I remember an incident as a child: We returned home and I saw the robber inside; he walked past the front window. My father became the protector he was and enacted his Second Amendment right and reached for a gun. He instructed us to go to his brother’s house around the corner while he secured the premises.

My father retired after working for 44 years at a Ford Motor plant; my mother worked 20 years at General Electric at Nela Park. The home I live in was our family home, which I have vowed to always keep in our family. The traditions that were started here in Cleveland Heights reverberate through our family to this day, and I will keep them abreast.

I live in the home I grew up in because I love the neighborhood, and I always have. Every time I hear the sound of owls in the late evening it reminds me of quiet summer days in Forest Hill. This section of Cleveland Heights is different from others: the residents are zoned to attend East Cleveland City Schools (East Cleveland, once a formidable suburb). Forest Hill is divided by the East Cleveland School District (ECSD) and the East Cleveland side of Forest Hill. So, I have voted on ECSD issues and city of Cleveland Heights issues. Individuals from past to present have moved into this unique and beautiful area and been confused and defeated. They have sought help from courts to send their children to Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, and have failed.

I applied [to join] the Citizens Advisory Committee and was recently appointed to serve on it. I believe in this community! I am not running as a Democrat or Republican. I will be running as an independent, non-partisan candidate whose interest is all residents. [Editor’s note: All elections for Cleveland Heights office are nonpartisan. Per the city’s charter, all ballots used in elections provided for in the charter “shall be without party marks or designations.”]

I believe that 2021 should be the year of diplomacy. We should be teaching our kids and other adults that, no matter what your party affiliate is, we should all use diplomacy toward one another. We can all agree to disagree, but move forward as a community based on the entire body as a whole.

For example, we have just witnessed a division of opinion with the CH-UH school levy; but we should accept the decision of the people and move forward as a community. At the same time, the winning side of the vote should take into consideration those who opposed the issue and work together as a community.

This was an issue within the Forest Hill homeowners association; because we disagreed on an approach to an issue, we became tribalized in our perceptions of one another. This was one of the main things Machiavelli spoke of; therefore, please consider me for a CH City Council seat for 2021, to bring the city together to achieve common goals for the progress of Cleveland Heights—my home and yours.

Lee Barbee

Lee Barbee is a candidate for CH City Council.

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Volume 14, Issue 1, Posted 10:50 AM, 01.01.2021