Hart has it all
I am supporting Melody Hart for Mayor of Cleveland Heights because she is the single candidate that checks all the boxes.
As part of my work on the Citizens for an Elected Mayor (CEM) Transition Subcommittee, I worked with Council Member Hart, who brought neighboring mayors together [for a forum] to discuss what leadership should look like, and I saw firsthand how she got the job done in a collaborative manner. This is her strong point and why she's earned praise from city staff.
Rather than sounding off on an issue, she investigates and works behind the scenes to gather information and bring people together, a trait stressed at the forum. Heading the newly established executive branch will be challenging. The ability to execute and lead departments, while playing well with others, is Hart's strong point. That's how things get done.
Hart is also tops in the financial department—a quality emphasized and stressed as vital for managing a city successfully by every neighboring mayor. With years in the field, both private and public, at Quaker, Fisher-Price and Goodyear most prominently, she managed over $5 billion in multi-national debt, and set up treasury and finance departments for transition, requiring management and negotiation skills along with her expertise in money management.
To pass any agenda, a mayor will have to prove the sense of the dollars and cents to get city council's approval. Hart has experience leading people as well as the financial clarity to lead us with aplomb. Combine that with her capacity to listen and care, and Hart is exactly what Cleveland Heights needs, the total package.
While working on CEM, I envisioned our first mayor bringing this total package to Cleveland Heights. Imagine a city led by someone lacking even one [part]!
Hart understands the procedural and legislative changes that are necessary as we move from one branch of government to two—and there are many. Failure to get this right will be a failure for the city, and mean unnecessary delays.
There is a big lift coming in establishing an executive branch. Hart has been involved since the beginning. Having researched and hosted a forum with the recently transitioned [to an executive branch] East Providence, R.I., Hart understands the cultural change that our city is poised to experience, and is the sole candidate with the management, financial and executive experience to lead Cleveland Heights into the next 100 years.
Susan Efroymson has worked on Citizens for an Elected Mayor and the Cleveland Heights Refuse and Recycling Task Force, and is currently on the Citizens Advisory Committee. She is a mother and grandmother active in the Millikin neighborhood.