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'This is a new era in Cleveland Heights'

Mayor discusses goals, priorities for city
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Posted at 11:14 PM, May 18, 2022

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — It took a century since Cleveland Heights was established as a city, but now the town's first mayor walks through city hall.

“This is a new era in Cleveland Heights, and I want people to understand that as the first mayor, it is incumbent on me to set a strong precedent,” said Mayor Khalil Seren.

For 100 years, Cleveland Heights was led by a city administrator who was hired by the city and not elected but voters wanted a change.

Seren said he plans to create change, and on the top of his agenda is restricting and improving departments, touting the city’s new recycling bins as an example.

“This was a way that we could improve a process, improve services to city residents and save money,” said Seren. “That’s the kind of thing that I want to see happen throughout our government.”

Seren said development is also a priority, he celebrated a number of new projects across the city but also touched on the troubled Severance Town Center, the shopping plaza went into foreclosure several years ago and was purchased by a new owner.

“We've been working to find developers who are interested and capable of taking on such a large project, having conversations with people who maybe have relationships with the current owner,” said Seren.

The mayor confirmed his police department is short about 10 officers, News 5 also found the city had 47 reports of violent crime in 2020, 14 more reports than in 2019.

Seren said he's working on hiring and addressing police staffing shortages and crime.

“There’s room for improvement, taking it back to a time where we had foot patrols in our business districts, bike patrols through our parks and so staffing up in our police department would be useful to bring back those services,” said Seren.

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