Cleveland Heights City Council Search: 20 Apply For Vacant Seat
Cleveland Heights reopened the search for the seat vacated by Phyllis Evans' resignation and received more applications.
Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley announced today that 20 people are now vying for the vacant Cleveland Heights City Council seat.
Council decided to reopen its search in August after it determined that former Councilwoman Phyllis Evans, who resigned in May, would not be considered for the position.
Evans, 67, applied for the role she left, hoping that she would be able to continue to receive her benefits from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and regain the spot she held on council for nearly 20 years.
“We decided to reopen the search based on the fact that many people told us that they would have applied, but they thought that Phyllis was going to get the position," Kelley said in an interview in August.
Kelley had said that council would consider her and the original pool of 11 applicants who made the July 25 deadline.
But according to a press release from City Council, it "decided not to appoint Evans to the vacant seat upon review of the opinion from OPERS that indicates that her health benefits would be in jeopardy."
Now 20 people will be considered. Four who had applied but missed the first deadline were added, and five more applied before the new Sept. 10 deadline.
Kelley said he would like to conduct interviews between now and the first week of October and interview three to five candidates.
"I'd like someone seated as soon as possible after that," he said.
But he added that there is no timeline dictated by the city's charter, so council is under no time constraint, and they don't have to appoint anyone.
"But it would be nice to have a seventh member on council," he said.
Jeff Coryell, Mike Gaynier and Keba Sylla, who ran for Cleveland Heights City Council in November 2011 and applied to council when former council member Mark Tumeo resigned, are among the applicants. Councilman Jason Stein was appointed to Tumeo's seat and was re-elected unopposed in 2011.
The person appointed will fill Evans' seat until November 2013. They will then need to run for re-election to the position to serve until the term ends, Dec. 31, 2015.
Below is the full list of applicants. New applicants have an asterisk by their names:
- David Bergstein
- David Biel
- Janine Boyd*
- Kammer Boyle*
- Jessica Cohen
- Jeff Coryell
- Martin Cosentino*
- Daniel Cronin
- Pleurat Dreshaj
- Mike Gaynier
- Marcus Henry*
- Sheronda Isler-Hunter*
- Robert Koonce
- Gary Maddox*
- Sean McMillion*
- Ronald Oswick*
- Keba Sylla
- Robert Taylor
- Thomas Weiler*
- Gina Weisblat