City council appointments hurt democracy

To the Editor:

Cleveland Heights residents overwhelmingly supported Issue 26 [on the November 2019 ballot] because it was a vote for change—a change that gave residents the ability to vote for mayor. We supported Issue 26 because we wanted more transparency, accountability, and say in who runs our city by democratically electing our representatives instead of relying on city council appointments. After 100 years without having an elected mayor accountable to residents, Issue 26 was a vote for change that residents wanted.

More appointments to Cleveland Heights City Council would be a step in the wrong direction. Appointments undermine democracy and allow people to appoint their friends and allies, opening the door for potential corruption, bribery and favoritism.

City council should heed the residents’ vote for a more democratic city by leaving the current council appointment decision to a vote by residents. With 22 [original] applicants for the open council seat, we clearly have a lot of residents interested in serving. City council has already narrowed its selection down to four candidates—who’s to say whether qualified applicants haven’t already been ruled out or overlooked? All applicants interested in the position should get to know the residents, and let residents pick the best candidate in a fair and democratic election.

AnnDenise Lewis Nash

AnnDenise Lewis Nash
Cleveland Heights

Read More on Letters To The Editor
Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 11:24 AM, 08.10.2020