Dan O'Malley Will Resign from Lakewood City Council to Accept Port Authority Board Seat

click to enlarge Dan O'Malley, Executive Secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO, announces the endorsement of Dennis Kucinich, (7/16/21). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
Sam Allard / Scene
Dan O'Malley, Executive Secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO, announces the endorsement of Dennis Kucinich, (7/16/21).

Dan O'Malley, the Executive Secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO and the President of Lakewood City Council, will resign his elected position in Lakewood in order to accept a board seat with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. O'Malley announced his likely resignation at a Lakewood City Council meeting Monday evening. 

O'Malley told Scene that his resignation would become effective as soon Cleveland City Council approves his appointment, which mayor Justin Bibb announced Monday. Due to the Port's role as a local financing agency, no elected official may hold a seat on its board to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

In social media posts, O'Malley called his decision "bittersweet," but said he would be "firing on all cylinders" to serve Lakewood until his appointment is formalized.

Speaking with Scene this weekend, O'Malley said he reflected on the decision when Bibb approached him, but ultimately decided that the board seat at the Port was a powerful and valuable post from which to champion local labor. According to the Port, more than 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity are tied to the cargo that moves through Cleveland's harbor each year.

The labor representative on the board had been Dave Wondolowski, head of the local building and construction trades council, whom Bibb was pleased to boot after Wondolowski's rhetoric on the 2021 mayoral campaign trail.

O'Malley said that he was unlikely to have run for Lakewood City Council again next year, which made his decision easier. Per Lakewood City Charter, the other six council members will have 60 days to fill O'Malley's seat after his resignation.

"Our practice has been to solicit and accept resumes, conduct interviews, deliberate and then make an appointment," O'Malley said. The council presidency will be determined via election among the council members at the first meeting after his resignation.

O'Malley was one of five appointments to the Port Authority that Bibb nominated Monday. Two members, banker and board secretary J. Stefan Holmes and manufacturing executive Darrell McNair, were reappointed. Eaton executive April Miller Boise and JumpStart COO Teleange Thomas join O'Malley as the new appointees. All five of the new terms expire on Jan. 31, 2026. 

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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