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Cleveland names interim city manager

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    New Cleveland interim city manager Stacy Williams. The Vindicator | Russell Payne
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    Outgoing City Manager Bobby Pennington addresses the Cleveland City Council during a contentious discussion on the appointment of an interim city manager. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

With outgoing City Manager Bobby Pennington’s time with the City of Cleveland winding down and the need to begin a search for a new city manager, City Council met last Friday afternoon to consider an interim appointment to fill the post. What was thought to be a typical procedural meeting turned somewhat heated in a vote that saw Public Works Director Stacy Williams named to fill that interim role.

Councilmembers Carolyn McWaters, Delores Terry, and Mayor Pro-tem James Franklin voted to approve the selection of Williams, who has been with the city since October 2021. Councilmembers Danny Lee and Marilyn Clay, along with Mayor Richard Boyett, had some issues with the appointment, most specifically the process in which Williams was chosen for the job.

“The reason why I voted against Stacy as city manager is because I have never seen Stacy’s resume before coming into the meeting,” Lee continued, “I would have like to have had the opportunity to have talked to him.”

Boyett appeared more frustrated by the process and made clear that he was unhappy about the entire ordeal. He was very animated in his displeasure with the review process to select an interim city manager. The mayor did go on to speak positively about Williams and complimented him on the work he was doing in the public works department.

“I think he is doing an excellent job as public works director,” said Boyett.

Pennington then addressed the appointment of Williams and spoke directly to him to offer words of encouragement and address the council on the appointment going forward.

“Stacy, you are going to do amazing as the interim. I think that you will have everyone behind you, and I want to make sure the council that you give him the opportunity to have a clean slate. We may not have been able to agree on the specifics on the position, but you are going to have a great interim working for you,” concluded Pennington.

Williams began his new role this week and brings an extensive resume to the position, with over 30 years of experience.