Jessica Cleveland has always felt called to public service positions. Her first jobs were in prevention services and youth counselling, and she now works in aged care in Elderwood.
Cleveland has also represented the city of Hornell’s Sixth Ward for the past seven years, but soon will be working for all full-time Maple City residents.
Hornell made the position of deputy mayor a full-time position in city government. Cleveland, which has served as deputy mayor under Mayor John Buckley since 2018, will step into the full-time deputy mayor position beginning Sept. 26.
“The public service has always called my name,” Cleveland said. “I always had this responsibility to give back, and everything I tried to do, I did 100%. I hope to be as successful in this area as in my past roles.
City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve salary increases associated with the position for the remainder of the city’s fiscal year. The position of full-time deputy mayor will be paid at $56,000 per year. Deputy Mayor is an appointed position in municipal government and the role is not defined as part-time or full-time.
Rather than hiring for multiple positions, city officials decided that the role of deputy mayor could be used to strengthen several areas of need within city government.
“You can use the deputy mayor as you see fit or as needed (depending on the charter). There’s a lot of flexibility there,” Buckley said. beneficial.”
Cleveland will focus on three main areas – Hornell Area Transit (HAT), code enforcement and providing information to residents. HAT has been operating in Hornell for over three decades. It was created to provide public transport for a modest fare within the city and to neighboring towns.
Cleveland has chaired the HAT committee since 2018. She said transportation and public relations are in her “wheelhouse” thanks to her work at Elderwood and the council. The city is exploring greater use of social media to connect with residents and considering the feasibility of a city newsletter.
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“Even though I know this stuff and have this background, doing it full time will be a little different. I hope to hit the ground running,” Cleveland said. naturally, but I have a lot to learn about how things were done and how things can be done, and what we plan to develop in the future. We want to improve things as best we can. »
The addition of a full-time deputy mayor is expected to boost the administrative capacity of a city that has grown markedly in recent years with a strengthened manufacturing base, new businesses and a handful of major housing projects.
Cleveland, a Republican, will step down from her position on the Common Council at the September meeting, opening the door for a nomination to finish her term through 2023. The Council had another resignation earlier this year after Democrat John Allison left Third Ward. . Pastor Cedric Cooper has been appointed to fill this vacancy.
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