Cleveland Heights council president urges unity
This council has been a very productive council. In 2022, we passed about 183 legislations and we are on track this year for about the same amount. This council has moved the city forward quickly in many ways and has a good legislative and budgetary record.
A few accomplishments include:
- Unprecedented budget hearings over five days resulting in a more diligent process, resulting in a more thorough understanding by council.
- We passed major legislation such as the Pay-to-Stay extension; Cedar Lee Meadowbrook Development and the starting of construction; the lead-free homes initiative; making city fringe benefits fairer for LGBTQIA+ employees; banning conversion therapy; enacting and seating a Charter Review Commission.
- We have had two council vacancies to fill under the new 45-day time limit and we succeeded on the first and failed on the second, so the mayor appointed a replacement on the second.
What has not been productive is council relations. We should only focus our time and attention on what helps the residents, not on other council members. As leaders, each of us is responsible for our actions and our collaboration and treating each other with respect.
Council is a body, not a basket of separate individuals. Our focus for our residents’ benefit is to act like a body—to be Team Cleveland Heights. I am happily on that team and challenge all my colleagues to work with me as Team Cleveland Heights.
As we move forward, we need to complete the allocation of ARPA funds and form some specific rules of engagement. Putting in place specific rules was voted down by this council, but all council members have now committed to holding that discussion. That is all part of coming together to work as a body.
I will continue to work to be a cohesive body—Team Cleveland Heights—and to make the city a better place, moving us forward into a strong future.
Melody Joy Hart is the Cleveland Heights City Council president. She has 35 years of experience in finance as an executive, and is a certified public accountant, certified in treasury and in financial planning and analysis. She is running for re-election to CH City Council this November.