John Monroe Appointed Council President
The City of Euclid’s political landscape continues to reshape itself as John Monroe was appointed President of City Council. Following a few weeks of uncertainty about who would lead Euclid’s City Council, Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail appointed Monroe after Council failed to elect its own candidate. The Council Presidency became open when Holzheimer Gail was elected Mayor, vacating her role as head of City Council.
Voting on several occasions to elect Councilman Kristian Jarosz, Councilman Pat Delaney or Councilman Daryl Langman, none of the candidates were able to garner a majority vote in favor of their candidacy from among fellow council members. Reaching a stalemate, “Daryl (Langman) and I recommended to the Mayor that she appoint someone not currently sitting on council,” according to Jarosz.
In an email announcing her decision to City Council, Holzheimer Gail wanted someone who would provide strong leadership while bringing council together. “I have known John for many years, and trust that he will lead in a professional, balanced, participatory, and fair manner,” stated Holzheimer Gail in her email.
While serving in his first elected position, Euclid politics is nothing new to Monroe. He has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission since 2007 and has been an active volunteer in local community organizations. He also served on the Euclid Housing Improvement Board in 2002. Monroe is a lifelong Euclid resident whose father served as law director in the early 1970s and later as a magistrate for Euclid Municipal Court. Monroe once ran for a council seat in 2005, but was unsuccessful in his bid.
“I was honored to be asked,” said Monroe when asked about his reaction to the opportunity to serve as Council President. A real estate attorney with the law firm Mansour Gavin, LPA, Monroe said he has attended or presented at “literally thousands of council meetings over the years” as part of his work representing clients in many cities. He emphasized that his goal is to run fair and efficient council meetings.
“I think I can contribute based on seeing how other cities run their council meetings,” said Monroe.
Monroe is one of three new members to the City Council. Taneika Hill is new to council and is representing Ward 3. Charlene Mancuso, a former member councilperson, is back on council serving Ward 5.
In considering the many issues facing Euclid, Monroe cited topics such as code enforcement and the City’s budget as key things Council will address. “Our first job is really to go through the 2016 budget. That’s priority one. It’s going to be the Mayor’s first budget and I know she’s been working with all her directors. I can tell you the mayor has been very open to being open and transparent,” said Monroe.
On the horizon is the potential impact of the City of Cleveland’s proposed income tax increase. Due to reciprocity, where Euclid citizens working in Cleveland receive credit from Euclid for any income taxes paid to Cleveland, Euclid’s budget could take a $900,000 hit if the tax increase is approved by Cleveland voters.
“We have to plan for it in either event. There’s two ways to address budget issues. You increase revenue or cut expenses. We’ll have to wait to see, when and if that happens. Nothing is a done deal yet,” added Monroe.
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