Letter to the editor: Cleveland mayor addresses video circulating social media

Cleveland Mayor Richard Boyett

To the Taxpayers and Concerned Citizens of the City of Cleveland:

My name is Richard Boyett and I am proud to be the mayor of Cleveland. I have been involved in city government at various times over a period of 40 years. I take the responsibilities that elected officials are required to perform as both serious and important with full transparency.  I am passionate about the City of Cleveland.  One of my main objectives through my years of service has been to gather information, analyze content and hear citizens’ concerns, and then make a decision that is right in every respect with honesty and integrity heading the list. 

Recently, the City of Cleveland city manager position became vacant. I recommended that a search firm be hired to find the best available candidate to fill the position. My recommendation was not approved, and a divided council chose to call a special meeting and forego a search to find the best candidate and instead elevated the newly hired public works director to the position of city manager. This was done without the open position being posted for interested candidates to apply, without interviews being allowed by all councilmembers, and without a full background investigation and credentials being verified. 

I was vehemently opposed to this decision, as were two councilmembers. The city manager position requires a heavy financial background, as well as experience in handling municipal and city affairs at the highest level.  It is odd that three elected officials would make a decision to hire someone without the basic fundamentals to handle the most important job in our city government and purposefully avoid trying to find the most qualified candidate. 

Equally disturbing is that someone would elect to take a job under these unfortunate and tumultuous circumstances and refuse to go through a standard interviewing and hiring process with eligible and qualified candidates once the position was posted. Anyone, including other City of Cleveland employees, should have had an equal opportunity to be considered for the city manager position.

Regardless, the city attorney was asked to prepare an employment contract by at least one councilmember.  There are too many details that followed to include all the events that transpired in this short letter.  However, it is important to note that, at the taxpayers’ expense, the city attorney was holding private meetings with the city manager, a councilmember(s), and a councilmember’s spouse on city property and/or by phone on an almost daily basis to discuss an employment contract.  I was livid that such meetings were taking place, particularly with the inclusion of a spouse of a councilmember and also that the city attorney permitted such events to transpire.  Once I became aware of these gatherings, I immediately demanded that the current meeting be stopped and I went to city hall to meet with the city manager.

I asked a city police officer to accompany me into the meeting.  I say what I think, and I mean what I say.  The police officer I brought with me was wearing a body cam, and I was fully aware of this during the confrontation.  I do not deny what I said – after all, there is a video to prove it.  I let my emotions get the best of me, and I used vulgarities and harsh words, and for that I have apologized publicly.  However, I do not apologize for my crude way of defining what I feel are the gross lack of qualifications of the city manager and his absolute disregard for taking a job for his own personal and financial gain with no regard to the City of Cleveland and the manner in which he and the elected officials went about the process.

I am fully aware that a video is in circulation of my confrontation with the city manager.  I am bothered and concerned by the fact that the video has ended up in the hands of politicians who are using this video as a wedge to gain votes and to challenge my character.  What is not seen on the video is a full disclosure of all the other events that took place leading up to that confrontation.  Body cam footage should not be used as political propaganda.

My primary goal and focus is to do what is right by the city, its citizens, and its taxpayers of the city.  I take my position seriously, and I will continue to follow that philosophy. 

I love my family, I love my country, and I love the City of Cleveland!  No one and no video can take any of that away!  I have taken a firm stand against the three councilmembers and the city attorney with regard to the hiring process of our city manager and the record clearly shows his lack of higher education and city managerial experience. 

I am against any employee being able to author or amend provisions in a city employment contract, particularly when it is to the detriment of our city to the tune of approximately $400,000.  The corrupt way in which the three councilmembers chose to avoid a search to find the highest and best available candidate(s) was wrong and not in the best interest of the taxpayers and was just another show of their self-serving, damaging and costly personal agendas. 

There is a city election being held on Saturday, May 7. Polls will be open that day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with early voting happening now through Friday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as Monday, May 2, and Tuesday, May 3, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  I strongly encourage eligible voters to do what you feel is right in your heart and what you feel is right for the future of our great community.  We are a growing and thriving city, and we have important work to do to keep Cleveland moving in a positive direction!  Vote like the state of the City of Cleveland depends on it because it does! 

May God continue to bless Cleveland!

With sincerity,

Richard Boyett

Mayor of the City of Cleveland

13 COMMENTS

  1. I support Mayor Boyett 100%. Sounds like Mr. Williams is a modern day scam artist. He needs to go back to the working on the streets in Humble. The taxpayers of Cleveland don’t want you here. I can’t wait for the audio to be leaked of the conversations he had with the city attorney, Carolyn McWaters and her husband! Drain the swamp!

  2. Anyone who supports the city manager better not complain about your city taxes. These back door deals made by corrupt politicians only hurt the taxpayers.

  3. Damn, Dickinson hired a consulting firm and we ended up with Theo Melancon, former Dayton City Manager, that put them into a dire financial crisis.

  4. I am disgusted and disappointed by every aspect of this. I have seen lemonade stands run better than the City of Cleveland. I believe blame lays on both sides of this issue. Does a City Charter even exist??? The only way I see out of this is an investigation by an outside organization such as a special prosecutor or the the Texas Rangers. This City needs a thorough cleaning from the top down and it needs to start at City Hall. It gives me no pleasure writing this, but enough is enough.

  5. I have only been a resident for 1 year, but I was heavily involved in State and and local issues in Harris/ Houston. I have seen, and been near many a disagreement between City Councils and Mayors, Witnessed feuds between Senators, Us and State Reps, etc.. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is not exclusive to Mayor Boyett. It may be hard to believe but They do in fact curse at each other, not saying that is acceptable behavior from individuals that should be held to a higher standard, but it happens. The hiring process is not always perfect, and may not produce the desired results, but it serves the purpose of keeping everything above board, and transparent. Not using the hiring process created an adverse optic, cronyism, nepotism, greed, to state a few. Mayor Boyett, “Not Good”, Maintaining a professional demeanor at all times, using clear concise language to emphasize disapproval, while offering alternative solutions, That’s my Mayor.

  6. I have seen the video tape and regardless to who’s side you are on, the actions by the Mayor are beyond belief. Can anyone really say that his conduct would be acceptable to you, if it happened to you? My immediate response would have been to slap the idiot in the face. How dare anyone think they can talk to another person like that much less in a working environment. WTH? This freaking WOK and Cancel Culture gooroo’s will surely support the Mayor and like I said, I don’t care who you want to back the actions are WRONG!!!

    Lets break this letter down –

    A. he wanted a search firm for the position and there was not one employed. Well this isn’t anything new, Mr. Pennington and Mrs. McDonald were both put into the CM position the same way but no one seemed to have a problem with that. I didn’t and didn’t hear in scuttle in the community so why now? And if the Mayor is displeased with this, why is he taking it out on Mr. Williams? He didn’t vote himself into that position?

    B. Mr. Williams refused to go through the interview process? But you just said that they didn’t open the interview process to anyone so how could he refuse to go through what you didn’t open. I have advanced at my company 3 times and 2 of those were without the job being posted and I never would have thought to say “wait, can you interview some others and see if you would like them better than me?” REALLY? No, I took the job because I knew I could do it and I did and got promoted again! Nothing wrong with that, it’s called believing in yourself.

    C. Does the Mayor need to be included in all meetings at City Hall? I didn’t think that was part of the position but maybe I am wrong. As long at the Open Meetings Act was not violated, then I don’t see what the big deal is. And I am quite sure that a City Attorney would not cross that line, that would hold him responsible and I mean legally.

    D. Why would you ask a police officer to come to a meeting unless you had ill intentions? I have never had a police officer come with me to a meeting and I have had some major disagreements with my co-workers. And from what I have read, and seen in the youtube videos, Mr. Williams contract is for the same amount of the previous CM, so how has he done the city wrong? And everyone says it is $400,00 but I replayed the youtube video of the night of approval and it was $150,000/year – thats $300,000 right? And why wouldn’t you take an advancement opportunity that puts itself in front of you? Everyone acts like he should have not taken it? Why, if he feels he is qualified, why not?

    E. 3/2 vote means the vote goes through. This is a democracy and praise God our country is still running under such a democracy. If it was a 3/2 vote, then obviously the three saw something in the man to put him there. I understand that Mr. Williams is from Humble, Texas, so I assume this isn’t a brother-in-law situation, like I have seen many times, or as some are calling it the “back door” way. Which I don’t understand, he has no ties here, no favoritism here, hell I am excited to see what he may bring to our town because we obviously need NEW BLOOD circulating here.

    I don’t see anything corrupt in this process, this is the process used by a city council – a vote. That’s why there are 5 members of council. And he claims others are using it for the upcoming election but I have only seen Erika Montesnieto try to boost herself from this disaster by noting she is running on the Bluebonnet FB. Otherwise, everywhere I have seen it and heard about have not been by candidates. Of course maybe they are pushing it IDK, I don’t personally know any of the candidates.

    I have lived in Cleveland my entire life and I know Mr. Boyett comes from old city money and that is probably why people “look the other way” and allow this to happen. What if you saw a video of a CM (not even Mr. Williams) but any CM talk to the Mayor like that? He would have been fired on the spot and as he should be,

    This letter to the editor is nothing but damage control and a chance to help push politics itself. The actions are wrong, they are embarrassing and a disgrace. You know the facts that no matter how much good you may do, they will only remember your screw ups – well this was a doozy of a screw up and many of you will totally back it, which is exactly why Cleveland is in the condition it is in. Heck let’s do what Mrs. Clay said and get rid of the entire staff….tell us how you really feel.

  7. All of city managers family and friends commenting on Facebook and other platforms are a joke. They don’t live in the city of Cleveland and can’t even vote in this election!!! I have been to the council meetings and Stacey Williams is mute and his lack of formal education is very apparent.

  8. Mr. Williams was asked by the Mayor, Marilyn Clay, and Danny Lee if he would allow the city to post the job and go through a proper hiring process, which would have been appropriate, seeing as he was only employed by the city for few months. Mr. Williams and the other council members refused to follow the law, as the city is supposed to be an equal opportunity employer. If Mr. Williams honestly thought he was the most qualified person for the job then why didn’t he allow them to post the job? Any honest and respectful person would have allowed this. Stacey Williams, James Franklin, Carolyn McWaters and Delores Terry were not concerned with the taxpayer and citizens of Cleveland, only their own selfish agendas.

    • Mr Williams didn’t refuse anything. Know the facts. He wasn’t asked permission to post the job, that’s stupid. He expressed an interest to the Mayor about the position when it came open and the snowball started from there. He never refused to be interviewed etc. In fact 2 of the 5 council members wouldn’t take time to even visit with him because they had their minds made up yet as Public Works Director everyone talked to him and he was best thing since buttered bread. Heck to this day 1 council member won’t talk with him still. And Stacy Williams is way more respectful of a man than most men could ever dream of being. Maybe all of you should get to know him before you blast his character and integrity and stop being told what you need to think. Alot of what your being told is BS

  9. Because the city manager Humble hired Has a B.A., and a Masters in Public Administration. He also had previously held positions in: Procurement and sourcing, Economic development, City secretary, and Assistant to the City manager. IMO, a very qualified candidate..

  10. Stacey Williams is not qualified to be the city manager here or any other city. If they had followed the proper hiring process he would have never met the qualifications based on his lack of higher education alone.

  11. I’m so tired of hearing that Stacey is a nice guy, that doesn’t mean he should have the highest paying job at the City of Cleveland making $120,000 plus! There are plenty of City of Cleveland employees who are nice that are equally as qualified and should have been able to apply. Wake up people. Stacey is a scam artist and only wants money! Why do you think he wasn’t the city manager in Humble?! He doesn’t even have a bachelor’s degree! I’ve watched the video and all of these self righteous people acting like they have virgin ears! Come on! Bye James Franklin and Delores Terry! The people have spoken!!! #ClevelandStrong

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