Cleveland police chief announces resignation after voters choose mayor, pass Issue 24: Roundtable

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Cleveland voters endorsed change on Tuesday with the election of Justin Bibb as the new mayor and the passage of Issue 24.  It is a charter amendment that shifts oversight of police discipline, training and policies to a 13-member Community Police Commission. 

Yesterday the first of those changes materialized when Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams announced his resignation after leading the department for seven years.  Williams says he will leave on January 3 but that his role at an awards ceremony on Thursday would be his “last official act” as chief. 

Williams had been staunchly against the passage of Issue 24 and opponents had claimed the measure would force officers to leave. Supporters of Issue 24 however said the measure was worth it saying it meant the days of police officers investigating themselves in Cleveland are over. 

Cleveland city council members and those just-elected will meet Friday to decide who will be the next council president. Kevin Kelley gave up the position and his seat on council to run for mayor. Ward 6 Councilman, Blaine Griffin, is expected to be the frontrunner for the position—but other council members may be seeking the post as well. Griffin has been viewed as Kelley's likely successor. 

Republican lawmakers in Columbus have introduced two proposed maps for new congressional districts.  One map is from the Ohio House, the other is from the Ohio Senate. Both maps favor Republicans. Ohio will have 15 seats in Congress after losing a seat based on results of the 2020 United States Census.  Lawmakers are back drawing the maps after the process booted back to them when the Ohio Redistricting Commission ended its work without producing a congressional map.

Two federal rules issued this week will make vaccines mandatory for up to 100 million additional American workers. One issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services impacts 17 million healthcare workers.  This rule requires workers at healthcare facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments to have all employees fully vaccinated by January 4.  This rule builds on the previous mandate issued by the Biden Administration that impacted federal workers and contractors.

A second rule issued by the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration impacts 84 million workers.  It requires companies with more than 100 workers to be fully vaccinated by January 4 or face weekly testing. Legal challenges are already being filed against the federal rules including from Ohio. 

Parents in Ohio can begin having children between the ages of five and 11 vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The Centers for Disease Control authorized the lower dosage pediatric vaccine for this age group earlier this week.  Doctor Bruce Vanderhoff, the director of the Ohio Department of Health says there will be an ample supply of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine said yesterday that more than 850 children had already received their first pediatric dose of the vaccine in Ohio. 

Governor DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine remain quarantined at their home in Greene County after coming into contact with two staffers who tested positive for COVID-19. The governor canceled all his public appearances through Sunday and says he is being tested daily. 

One of the events that the governor had to drop from his schedule in order to quarantine, was the ribbon-cutting on the Opportunity Corridor this past Wednesday. The long awaited project will connect I-490 to University Circle. But drivers will not be able to use the new road until next week.  

Guests: 

Marlene Harris-Taylor, Managing Producer for Health, Ideastream Public Media
Matt Richmond, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV
 

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