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East Cleveland City Council gets year off to chaotic start

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jan 04, 2023

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — On Tuesday evening, East Cleveland City Council met and while there was a proposed 2023 budget that needed to be addressed, members of the council addressed one another with shouting and disagreements instead.

The meeting, filled with conflict, was focused on who leads council and who is eligible to sit in the Ward 3 seat.

Council President Nathaniel Martin was voted from his seat by the council early in the meeting with Korean Stevenson replacing him in a 3-2 vote, with Stevenson voting for herself.

Stevenson announced that Mark McClain, Martin's recent appointment to the Ward 3 seat, is not eligible to sit on council.

"Mr. McClain was registered to vote in the city of East Cleveland on 8-23-22. Mr. McClain voted in the city of East Cleveland on 11-8-22. That is not a year, therefore Mr. McClain is disqualified for being council in the city of East Cleveland," Stevenson said.

A disqualified McClain refused to physically move from his seat even after Stevenson moved to swear in Lateek Shabazz as Ward 3 councilman.

A representative from the city's law department tried to interject as Shabazz was sworn in, saying he, too, is ineligible for the Ward 3 seat, but was met with more yelling, "I didn't ask you, madame, this is not your fight madame, point of order, Lateek please come forward," Stevenson responded.

Shabazz was quickly sworn in. McClain attempted to second a motion after being removed from the council, and an undecided 2023 budget still hangs in the balance.

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