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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 City Council Search: 20 Apply For Vacant Seat

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, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"city-council-election-2011-candidate-jeff-coryell"} -->, and , who ran for Cleveland Heights City Council in November 2011 and when former council member . Evans, Stein, Vice Mayor Dennis Wilcox and Councilwoman Mary Dunbar . Coryell lost by

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