WOODMERE — Village Council members have a position to fill now that Councilman Charles Smith resigned on March 17 after his recent election to the post. Mr. Smith, who served as mayor of the village from 2010-2017, said that his resignation was effective immediately.

In an email to the Times on Friday, Mr. Smith said that he needs to address his health but wished the Village of Woodmere and its organizations the best.

“I think it came as a surprise to all the council members,” Councilman Craig Wade said last week.

According to the village charter, a vacancy on council must be filled by a majority vote of the remaining six council members. If the vacancy is not filled within 40 days, the mayor appoints a council replacement.

The new council person would serve until Dec. 31, 2021. In the fall of 2021, the appointed candidate may run for the unexpired term, which would end Dec. 31, 2023, according to Law Director Frank Consolo.

In the past, Mr. Wade said that the council reached out to candidates from the most recent council race to see if they are still interested in the position. Then council meets with the candidates to vet them, which he said may be difficult due to the state’s stay-at-home order linked COVID-19, a novel coronavirus .

“Last time, I encouraged residents to come visit Village Hall,” he said.

Sitting council members would not be part of the vetting process if they are related to a candidate. For example, SharNette McCully, Mr. Wade’s wife, ran for council last fall. If council chooses to reach out to former candidates, she would be among that pool.

Mr. Smith was elected to council in November and won one of four available seats in a race with eight candidates. The other three candidates who did not win a seat besides Ms. McCully were Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Seth Young, former Councilman Tennyson Adams and resident Beata Fleszar.

During his campaign, Mr. Smith said that he planned to return to village government because he did not like the direction that the village was headed in.

At the January organizational meeting, Mr. Smith ran against Councilwoman Jennifer Mitchell Earley for the position of council president. Ms. Earley has held the position of council president in 2011, 2018, 2019 and 2020. He lost in a 4-3 council vote.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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