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New Councilman Appointed

Mar 18, 2016
Council unanimously approved the appointment of Kerry McCormack who was sworn in as the new councilman of Ward 3 which encompasses the downtown business district, the Flats, Ohio City and Tremont neighborhoods, as well as a portion of Clark-Fulton and the Stockyards.

McCormack replaces long-time Councilman Joe Cimperman, who announced in early 2016 that he planned to step down after 18 years in office. Cimperman, who recommended McCormack, vacated his seat to become director of Global Cleveland, a non-profit organization working to attract immigrants, foreign investments and overseas businesses to Greater Cleveland. 

McCormack, 28, resigned from his job as Director of Community Affairs for Ohio City Inc., a neighborhood development organization, to assume the council seat.

During his tenure at Ohio City Inc., McCormack, who is fluent in Spanish, created new community-based programming as well as strengthened existing ones including the Near West Recreation League, which has grown to include 1,000 children from the near west side participating in T-ball, basketball, softball and other sports. He has worked to expand and grow the Ohio City Fresh Food Collaborative, the six acre farm, and farmers market, just one mile from downtown Cleveland. He’s also developed Ohio City Nonprofit Dialogues and the Ohio City LGBT Neighborhood Initiative, among others, and supervises a small staff at the development corporation. 

“I am honored to have been selected by Councilman Cimperman to succeed him,” McCormack said. “As great as he’s been, it gives me a challenge to add to all the accomplishments Joe’s had.

“I am committed to continue his legacy and build upon that.”

Cimperman was elected to council in 1997, also at the age of 27, and took office in 1998. He announced he would resign from council in January to head Global Cleveland, the non-profit tasked with recruiting immigrants and refugees as well as foreign investment and businesses to Greater Cleveland. 

He is credited with helping turn downtown into one of the hottest residential areas with more than 16,000 people calling it home, as well working to bring back the East Bank of the Flats, and building upon the strengths in Ohio City and Tremont to make them into destinations for both living and entertainment. Cimperman has also been a champion of the city’s now nationally recognized urban agricultural projects.

“Kerry McCormack already works with constituents, from newcomers in condos to our residents at Riverview and Lakeview Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority estates. He can work collaboratively and effectively with all the citizens,” Cimperman said. “He has the heart of service and has my full faith and support.

“I know the people of Ward 3 will feel as lucky as I do to work with him.”

McCormack is a lifelong Cleveland resident and a home owner in the Ohio City neighborhood. He is the son of Judge Timothy McCormack, who sits on the Court of Appeals Of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District. Kerry McCormack graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and from Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.

On Monday, April 4, Council Clerk Patricia Britt will officially read Cimperman’s resignation into the record. 

Under Cleveland’s City Charter, because the appointment comes with less than two years left in the term, McCormack, if appointed, will not have to run for the seat in a special election. Instead he will run for re-election with the rest of council in 2017.