Monday, May 15, 2017

Blaine Griffin to be sworn in tonight as Ward 6 councilman

Leaving mayor’s cabinet after 12 years, taking cut in pay to fulfill longtime dream

CLEVELAND — Blaine Griffin, who has been a Frank Jackson loyalist since his appointment as Cleveland’s Director of Community Relations in 2006 — he ran the mayor’s re-election campaigns in 2009 and 2013 — will be appointed tonight as the new Ward 6 Councilman, after winning pro forma approval from Council’s Democratic Caucus earlier today.
Griffin will replace Mamie Mitchell, who is stepping aside for health reasons. Mitchell was appointed to the seat in 2008 and won elections in 2009 and 2013 to keep it.

Griffin’s appointment has been in the works for some time. It likely would have come sooner but Mitchell’s vote was needed for the controversial Q deal. It would not have been seemly for Griffin to come from the executive side of City Hall and immediately cast a vote for the deal.

Ward 6 is one of Cleveland’s most diverse wards, encompassing the East Side neighborhoods of Fairfax, Larchmere, Little Italy, Woodland Hills, Buckeye-Shaker and parts of University Circle, North Broadway, Slavic Village and Union-Miles.

All council seats and the mayoralty will be on the ballot this fall. A sizable number of challengers are eager to take on virtually every incumbent. Griffin’s most formidable challengers are likely to be John A. Boyd and Josh Perkins McHamm. At least five others had pulled petitions to run for the seat as of last Friday. Boyd, who lost to Mitchell in 2013 by about 750 votes, has already taken aim in social media posts at “outsiders” controlling the seat via appointment. McHamm, who has a construction background, is likely to be the best financed candidate in the race.

Griffin bought a home in the ward in 1999 and has long desired to serve on council. He takes a sizable pay cut to do so now. He ran for the seat in 2001 but was soundly defeated by Pat Britt. He has since become a seasoned public official and politician, running numerous campaigns. He currently serves as vice chairman of the County Democratic Party.

You can read his official bio here as posted on the city’s webpage.

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