Hart states council has duty to select new member

To the Editor:

I have received a letter from 14 respected citizens regarding council having a duty to appoint a seventh council member. I agree with them.

I know the mayor said publicly that he thought we did not have to appoint someone, and at least one other council person has posted on Facebook that we might not appoint someone, but, in my view, making this decision is our duty.

Because the city manager resigned at our last meeting, we had to deal with her replacement and the transition to another executive leader. So we did not meet on the appointment, which we had intended to do, but will debate it in an August meeting. I only agreed to vote for an August recess when council agreed to have an August meeting to debate the appointment.

That said—there are four great candidates for the seat and only six current council members. We have to get the agreement of four of us to appoint one of those candidates. The odds here are tough and if we reach impasse we will need to have a public vote so all can see where each of us stands. I have suggested to council a process whereby our voting could first narrow the candidates to two, which would make an end resolution more likely. It should not be difficult to collaborate. If any one of us doesn’t get our preferred candidate, the outcome would still be good given the excellent candidates.

I believe it is our job to overcome an impasse. We need to come to a resolution and should not end the meeting until we have fulfilled our duty. None of us will able to publicly address what goes on in executive sessions. But the end result will be an open vote in council. Rest assured I have already made my selection and am willing to do my duty to debate and collaborate to come to a resolution. I am urging council as a body to do so as well.

Melody Hart

Melody Hart
Cleveland Heights City Council member

Read More on Letters To The Editor
Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 4:09 PM, 07.24.2020