Jan. 20 forum to explore mayor-council government transition

Cleveland Heights Council Member Melody Joy Hart is sponsoring her second forum on the city’s transition to a mayor-council form of government.

This forum, scheduled for Jan. 20, 7 p.m., will highlight the process the city of East Providence, R.I., and its community took to transition from a city manager-council form of government to a mayor-council form.

The first elected mayor of East Providence, Mayor Bob DaSilva, along with East Providence Assistant City Solicitor Dylan Conley, will share East Providence’s story with forum participants. They’ll outline the opportunities and challenges they experienced, and continue to see, under the new form of government.

In East Providence, similar in size to Cleveland Heights, the results of the 2018 election were overwhelmingly in favor of a strong-mayor system. More than 20 other charter changes have been made by voters to facilitate the transition.

“In this time of COVID-19, which has impacted the East Providence staff, we are especially grateful to Mayor DaSilva and Mr. Conley for their willingness to share their thoughts and history to help us smooth the way for our transition,” Hart said. 

This forum is not an official event sponsored by the City of Cleveland Heights. It is being presented by Council Member Hart and a committee of concerned citizens.

To reserve a spot at this virtual forum, go to http://bit.ly/heights-mayor, and register by e-mail.

Additional information about the event can be found on Hart’s City Council Facebook page, @melodyhartcouncil. (Note: Responding “going” to a Facebook event is not the same as being registered. Attendees must register by e-mail, using the link above, to receive an e-mail with the virtual event’s information and link.)

[Asked about a possible mayoral run, Hart stated: “I have not decided whether to run as of yet. Many people have asked me to run and I am very seriously considering it. To do my due diligence on the decision, I have been meeting with other mayors, party leaders, community leaders and activists, and plan to make a decision in late February or early March, so stay tuned.”]

Gary Benjamin and Patricia Resende

Gary Benjamin is an attorney, mostly retired, in Cleveland Heights. He is the husband of Melody Joy Hart. Patricia Resende is communications director for East Providence, R.I. Contact Benjamin at 313-590-6136, or benjaminlawohio@gmail.com.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 1:34 PM, 01.14.2021