Cleveland Heights City Council Candidate Allosious K. Snodgrass
Education: MBA, Cleveland State University (expected 2023); B.A., Political Science, minor in Urban Public Management, CSU; Certified Economic Development Finance Professional, National Development Council
Current occupation: Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of an area Community Development Corp
Qualifications: I have a combination of work, educational, political, and volunteer experiences; and have built relationships at every level of government that will enable me to serve the residents of Cleveland Heights and help lead our city into a new era of growth and prosperity through the lens of Housing and Economic Development.
Do you think our business districts are healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that? Please discuss specific districts, such as Noble and Severance.
We have a great opportunity to drive economic development that is equitable across all business districts in CH. Every neighborhood is within walking distance of a business district. Yet, only four business districts have an organized entity/group that focuses on the success of that specific district. In order to create equitable economic growth, the city council and the administration must organize all unorganized business districts and help implement plans to enable each district to thrive. We have an opportunity to develop Severance into an international destination combined with innovative industry and mixed-use development. We have an opportunity to develop the Noble corridor into a thriving strip of shops and restaurants.
What role should environmental considerations play in the city’s policies and actions?
Having a good-quality of life means having fresh water–to drink, cook with, shower with, etc.; it means having clean air to breathe; it means making sure we protect biodiversity, and it means protecting our greenspaces and vegetation (especially our trees). Every project, every purchase should have protecting our environment as a top point of consideration before approval. We must make a minimal impact on our already fragile environment, which has been abused by generations of activities that have negatively impacted our environment.
How, and in what time frame, should a vacancy on city council be filled?
In order to uphold our Democratic right to representation, we must fill any council vacancy with urgency. I believe the following is key when filling a council vacancy: Council must fill the vacancy within thirty days of vacancy; the entire process MUST be public and streamed/saved to YouTube; the city council clerk must publish on social media, in local newspapers, and in city news the vacancy and application process to fill the vacancy within four business days of vacancy; and appointed member must meet/uphold county, state, and federal requirements/ethics; the applicant must hold residency requirements in the city at least one year prior to the opening of the application process and must complete a questionnaire.
What opportunities, if any, do you see for regional collaboration between Cleveland Heights and other local governments to provide services or facilities?
With budget cuts from the federal and state governments, we must look at new ways to increase the quality of life, number of city service offerings, quality of city services and save money–for residents in Cleveland Heights through the lens of housing, economic development, and infrastructure. This issue should not be tackled by our government alone. Instead, we should implement a multi-jurisdictional plan to offer shared services, yet remain an independent municipality. These shared services include: Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Senior Services, Facility Sharing Agreements (Rec. Centers/Park Shelters), Recycling and Waste Management, Infrastructure Maintenance, Purchasing, Joint Lobbying, Transportation, and Youth Services.
What are your thoughts about the responsiveness of the city’s elected officials and staff to citizens' concerns?
Elected officials are elected by the people. Executive-Legislative staff are employed by the people. Thus, both elected officials and city staff must remain committed to the very people who hired them. I have learned that residents simply do not know who to express their concerns to. I will work with city council leadership to assign each council member to a ward (the Board of Elections has existing wards for Cleveland Heights). By assigning each member to a ward, this enables residents to have a “point person'' who can help with concerns or issues. This also helps distinguish “lip service politicians” from the “public servants that can deliver for residents.”