Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-2-23
FEBRUARY 2, 2023, special meeting
- Council seat appointment
- Council member comments
- Committee of the whole
Present were Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr. and Davida Russell. Mayor Kahlil Seren was not present. Also present were Clerk of Council Addie Balester and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting ran for 13 minutes.
Council seat appointment
Council met to consider making an appointment to the council seat vacated by Josie Moore’s December resignation. Only one candidate, Janine Boyd, was proposed. Mr. Cobb, Ms. Hart, Mr. Mattox voted in favor. Mr. Cuda, Ms. Larson, Ms. Russell opposed. The motion failed and, unless council acts by February 4, Mayor Seren will have ten days to make the appointment.
Council member comments
Cobb, Hart, and Mattox all described Ms. Boyd’s legislative experience, both on city council and the Ohio House of Representatives; her understanding of municipal and state government; her knowledge of Cleveland Heights; her ability to work with strong personalities and to accept criticism. Ms. Hart noted that this council, with three members having three years of experience and four members with only one year of experience, needs someone with collaborative experience.
Ms. Larson explained her preference for appointing someone qualified, currently involved in the community, and from an under-represented community, e.g., LGBTQ, youth, renters. Ms. Russell explained that she supported Ms. Boyd, but that her commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion meant she preferred other candidates that were representative of the LGBTQ community. Mr. Cuda explained his priority was for council to make the appointment and to be a strong independent body and regretted that no consensus on a compromise candidate was achieved. He offered to continue to meet to achieve that consensus.
Most members noted that there were many qualified candidates and thanked those willing to serve.
Committee of the whole
Committee of the whole met in executive session prior to the open meeting to consider the appointment.
LWV Observer: Jill Tatem.
Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found on the city website at: https://www.clevelandheights.com/1142/2021-Agendas-and-Minutes
Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of Cleveland Heights, OH” YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClevelandHeightsOH