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Government and Politics

Cleveland City Council chooses Kevin Kelley as its new president
Kelley will replace Councilman Martin Sweeney who did not want a third term as president

Kevin Niedermier
Cleveland Councilman Kevin Kelley will replace Martin Sweeney as the body's president.
Courtesy of Cleveland City Council
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In The Region:

Cleveland City Council has elected its next president. In a special caucus meeting this morning council picked Kevin Kelly to replace two-term president Martin Sweeney. Kelley will be sworn in this January. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on Kelley’s plans for council.

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The vote to install Kevin Kelley as president comes after Tuesday’s reelection of all 17 incumbent council members. The body was recently reduced from 19 wards to 17 due to population loss. Kelley, who’s serving his second council term, says Sweeney left a strong foundation to build on.  Kelley plans to change the way council committees are structured because of its reduced size, possibly merging committees with overlapping functions like Parks and Recreation and Public Works. He also vows to propose “aggressive and progressive” legislation that takes advantage of Cleveland’s economic recovery.

“For example, last year when there were more income tax receivables than we had budgeted for we were able to hire 25 police officers to deal with gun violence. So, it will be programs like that, safety, services, things that matter to citizens.”

Last year Kelley was appointed chairman of council’s powerful finance committee by President Sweeney to give Kelley more legislative experience. Sweeney easily won reelection to his council seat Tuesday, but then announced he would not seek a third term as president.                                          

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