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Cleveland Heights voters approve referendum to change city’s government to strong mayor format

Cleveland Heights City Hall.
Posted at 11:06 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 23:06:43-05

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Cleveland Heights voters approved a measure to replace their city’s council-manager system of government to a strong mayor format, according to unofficial election results from Tuesday’s General Election.

"I am always proud of all the things that make Cleveland Heights such a special place to live," said Mayor Carol Roe in a statement Tuesday night. "The passion and engagement of our residents was reflected in the Issue 26 campaign. People on both sides of Issue 26 worked tirelessly promoting what they thought was best for the City. In the end, the voters spoke and decided the time was right to change our form of government to the Mayor-Council form, directly electing a full-time Mayor."

Voters ultimately approved the measure with 64% of the vote to 36% against, according to the county's unofficial election results.

Cleveland Heights has had the council-manager form of government for nearly 100 years – since 1921. Under that system, seven council members elected to four-year terms approve the hiring of the city manager, and the position of mayor is elected from the council members as council president.

The new strong mayor format will have Cleveland Heights’ mayor carrying out the role of the city’s chief executive both in title and in duties.

"As a Council, it is important that our residents feel that they are being heard and that their concerns are addressed," Mayor Roe stated. "I assure you we will work tirelessly to represent and serve our community and ensure a smooth transition. We remain committed to work hard for all in our community to ensure a safe, vibrant, attractive City."

Read more: Cleveland Heights voters to decide question of how they will be governed going forward