Incumbents Jason Stein, Michael Ungar and Melissa Yasinow were elected to serve on Cleveland Heights City Council Nov. 7 along with Mayor Cheryl Stephens. The four incumbents ran against newcomer Tas Nadas and write-in candidate Ray Douglas Wilson.
According to final, unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Yasinow garnered 6,930 votes, or 23.3 percent, Stephens 6,723 votes, or 22.6 percent, Ungar 6,506 votes, 21.8 percent, and Stein 5,892 votes, or 19.8 percent. Nadas had 3,699 votes, or 12.4 percent, and 53 votes, or .2 percent, went to the write in.
This will be Yasinow’s second term on council and she said she is grateful to her friends and colleagues who supported her.
“I’m looking forward to working with them and to working with those who got elected to the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board for the next four years,” she said. “I want to see progress, I want to see development in the city and I want to see a focus on the north side of town, the Noble neighborhood.”
In a twist of the mentor-mentored relationship, Yasinow and Ungar teamed up to campaign together with Yasinow showing Ungar the ropes.
“He has a lot of real world experience,” Yasinow said. “But this was his first time on the ballot... It was really just a wonderful experience to get to work with him. It’s a lot more fun when you’re putting in yard signs and knocking on doors when you have a partner.”
Ungar said he wouldn’t have run with anyone else.
“It was a wonderful partnership with Melissa,” Ungar said. “I can’t imagine, I guess in fairness I don’t have anything to compare it to because this was my first run for office.
After being appointed, he said he is “thrilled to have the citizens of Cleveland Heights allow him to serve another four years and said the election of himself with Stein and Yasinow is a proud moment for the Jewish community.
“We’re three Jewish people, that’s incredible,” he said. “What it is reflective of is three people, Jason, Melissa and myself, who are very well received no matter what the constituency, because it doesn’t matter to us what your religious belief is, what the color of your skin is or any such thing because we did well. All three of us did well in every area of the city.”
This will mark Stein’s third term on council and he is optimistic about Cleveland Height’s future, but was not surprised by his re-election. Looking forward he wants to improve the Noble district, develop Top of the Hill and create regional cooperative opportunities to improve city services while reducing costs.
“I believe Cleveland Heights is on the upcoming,” he said. “It’s such a great honor to serve the people of Cleveland Heights. I was born and raised here. I went to the public schools. This community has nurtured me, it’s cared about me, it’s loved me and I love to be able to give back to the community that has given me so much and to know they still love me and approve the work I’m doing.”