CH City Charter appointment process works

Councils and boards typically have an odd number of members so that stalemates can be avoided. When there are an even number, stalemates are not uncommon.

This was the case several years ago in Cleveland Heights, where the appointment of a new council member took close to a year to be resolved.

After that, a charter amendment was put in place to require an appointment within 45 days. If the council has a stalemate, after 45 days the mayor appoints a new council member. This is common in most cities.

In the most recent resignation, by Josie Moore [close to] Christmas holidays, the six-member council was unable to reach an appointment within the designated time.

On day 43, there was a motion for the Honorable former [state] Representative Janine Boyd, who had been on council previously and also spent eight years in the state legislature. Although there were many good candidates, no one else came close to her relevant experience. Nevertheless, the vote was a 3-3 split. In that meeting, no one else put forward a motion for any of the other candidates.

On days 43 and 44, no two council members exercised their right to demand another meeting. So, ultimately the mayor appointed within his 10-day requirement.

Ideally, it is preferable that council appoints. But sometimes, even when people vote their conscience, they may not reach a consensus. But, the good news is that the charter amendment did what it was supposed to do. It ensured a timely appointment to CH City Council.

Melody Joy Hart

Melody Joy Hart is the Cleveland Heights City Council president. She has 35 years of experience in finance as an executive.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 11:06 AM, 02.28.2023