Electing 'new core' team of CH council members is important
A new type of city council is required by the passage of Issue 26. Council will become a legislative body working with a directly elected executive mayor serving a four-year term. It no longer will act as a board of trustees that supervises a city manager it can fire at any time.
I served on city council in Cleveland Heights for eight years. I know the importance of council members who focus on truly important stuff, keep their egos on a leash, and know how to play well with others. I see the potential election of a new core group that could govern well.
Craig Cobb has admirable skills, both professional and personal. He is an experienced attorney and a cool head. He cares deeply about maintaining quality city services. He has been appointed twice to fill vacancies and serve on city council. He is respected by those who understand what the job will require, and he richly deserves election in his own right.
Tony Cuda showed intelligence and passion while advocating for passage of Issue 26. He understands what problems will be faced during the transition to a new form of government. His election would be helpful to a new mayor and to a new city council—each trying to define a proper role in a new system.
Davida Russell has proved her worth at council meetings by demonstrating dedication, passion, and determination. She has been a strong advocate for the often unappreciated Noble and Caledonia areas. Hers would be an important voice in future deliberations about how best to serve the entire city in a new system of government. She deserves election to a second term.
Melody Hart will remain on city council for two more years. That actually could prove helpful. She has financial expertise that will be very important. The new role of city council may require special attention to oversight responsibilities. Someone who knows how budgeting works could help make such oversight meaningful.
An election for a new city council might create ingredients of a good team. Cobb, Cuda, Russell and Hart each have shown in the past an ability to work constructively with others for the betterment of our city. I hope voters will give this team a try.
Alan Rapoport is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights. He served on CH City Council (1980–1987) and as mayor (1982–1987).