CH City Council should make council appointments

As we welcome our new [city council] colleague, the recent appointment of Janine Boyd has brought some questions to the minds of residents, who would like to know why the mayor, and not city council, made this decision.

The three of us would like to be very clear about this:

  • First and foremost, [we,] Council Members Larson, Russell and Cuda, believe council vacancies should always be filled by city council.
  • When no applicant appeared to have the support of at least four members of council, the three of us were willing to compromise and give up our first pick to consider several other qualified applicants.   
  • When we left executive session on Feb. 2, we expected Council President Hart to announce that we had not reached a consensus. Instead, a motion was made to take a vote on Ms. Boyd. That vote failed to produce a majority for Ms. Boyd. From our perspective, we saw no point in bringing forward another candidate's name, knowing that they also would not be supported by a majority of our members.
  • With more than 48 hours left to make a decision, the three of us were willing to continue to discuss other applicants and come to a consensus by compromising.
  • Bottom line: Council must be a strong, independent, co-equal branch of government, fully empowered to do its job.

The fact that council failed to compromise and make an appointment does not in any way diminish our new colleague. The charter is clear; if council fails to make an appointment, the mayor gets to choose.

The three of us would like to congratulate and welcome Ms. Boyd to city council. We are looking forward to working with her and expect to have a productive, collaborative relationship.

Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, and Davida Russell

Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, and Davida Russell currently serve on Cleveland Heights City Council.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 11:05 AM, 02.28.2023