The voters of Woodmere have spoken. In the Tuesday election, three of four council members up for recall lost their seats.
Though the voting margins were tight, the results showed residents were tired of the dysfunction in council and weary of the tension between some council members and the administration.
It’s now time for the remaining council members to quickly fill the empty seats and get down to village business. According to the village charter, sitting council members have 40 days to make the selections. If they fail to meet the deadline, the mayor must then appoint people to the empty council seats.
The vote was far from decisive. It’s not out of the question that a recount could change some results. Jennifer Mitchell Earley received 80 favorable votes and 93 for recall. Lisa Brockwell received 83 to stay in office and 90 to be recalled. Glenda Todd Miller received 85 to stay in office and 89 for recall, according the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Councilman Craig Wade retained his seat by a slim two-vote margin – 87-85.
The special election was scheduled after members of the Woodmere Project circulated recall petitions late last year, citing the infighting and lack of action by council. Not much was getting done. Seemingly simple issues – like allocating funds to keep the village website going – were the subject of debates and inaction.
We have repeatedly talked about the importance of voting. So, it’s discouraging to see that only 35.6 percent of registered Woodmere voters went to the polls on Tuesday. That’s a mere 174 out of 489 people qualified to cast a ballot.
Mayor Ben Holbert, who has been the subject of ridicule by some council members ousted on Tuesday, is taking the high road. He thanked them for their service and called for village leaders to work together.
Resident Rachel Kabb Effron, an attorney for the Woodmere Project, said residents are “looking forward to a new day.”
The voters have spoken. It’s time for council to get down to business.