How the Heights voted

In the Nov. 7 election, Cleveland Heights voters elected a new council member to fill one of three seats. In University Heights, voters opted to return four incumbent candidates to UH City Council, and voters approved all six city charter amendments that were on the ballot.

In Cleveland Heights, where six candidates vied for three full-term (4-year) seats on council, voters re-elected Gail Larson (8,479 votes/23.07 percent), and elected incumbent mayoral appointee Janine R. Boyd (7,349/20 percent) and challenger Jim Petras (8,327/22.66 percent). 

Incumbent Melody Joy Hart (6,330/17.22 percent), who currently serves as council president, was not re-elected. The two unsuccessful challengers were Jeanne V. Gordon (3,604/9.81 percent) and Jon Benedict (2,661/7.24 percent).

In University Heights, nine candidates were on the ballot to fill four full-term (4-year) seats. UH voters elected the four candidates currently serving on city council: Michele Weiss (2,332/15.89 percent), vice mayor; John P. Rach (2,172/14.80 percent); Threse Marshall (2,063/14.06 percent), who was appointed to council in May; and Winifred J. Weizer (1,927/13.13 percent), appointed to council in June.

The unsuccessful candidates were Alicia Sloan (1,545/10.53 percent), Micah Maliskas (1,407/9.59 percent), Jonathan A. Bartell (1,372/9.35 percent), Hallie Shalev Turnberrez (1,191/8.12 percent), and Vincent E. Stokes II (663/4.52 percent).

Running unopposed were two candidates for the CH-UH Board of Education, Gabe Crenshaw and Phil Trimble, each of whom will serve a four-year term.

Also unopposed in his race was Judge James J. Costello, who was re-elected to serve a six-year term as Cleveland Heights Municipal Court judge.

Also on the ballot in University Heights were six proposed charter amendments, all of which passed:

Gender neutrality and non-substantive changes: Replaces gendered terms and language with gender-neutral and gender-inclusive terms and language, and permits council, by unanimous vote, to make non-substantive corrections and revisions to the Charter without going through the lengthy Charter-amendment process.

Department name modernization: Changes titles of administrative officers and names of administrative departments to be consistent with those currently used by the city, and prohibits council from eliminating the Division of Public Safety.

Recall elections: Changes the process so that the removal of an elected officer by recall election results in a vacancy, to be filled under applicable provisions of the existing Charter.

Initiative and referendum: Changes the number of signatures required on petitions for an initiative or referendum from a percentage of registered voters to a percentage of total ballots cast in the city’s last regular municipal election, and increases such percentages.

Council’s presiding officer: Relieves the mayor of this responsibility and provides that the vice mayor (a member of council) is to preside. The mayor and department directors are entitled to non-voting seats at council meetings so that the executive branch may communicate its interests to council.

Anti-discrimination: Prohibits discrimination by the city based on a person’s membership in certain protected classes or groups unless reasonably necessary to normal operations and having a substantial relationship to job function and responsibilities. 

Kim Sergio Inglis

Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer, and is a Cuyahoga County master gardener.

Read More on Elections
Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 1:25 PM, 11.14.2023