East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton, who was recalled by a 20-vote margin
in a low-turnout special election Tuesday, will retain his seat on the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Board of Trustees.
The county confirmed Wednesday morning that though Norton's term doesn't expire until March, 2018, County Executive Armond Budish "expects and hopes" that Norton will serve out the remainder. The recall
has no bearing on his appointment, a spokesperson told Scene
The RTA Board is a 10-member body with four appointments from the city of Cleveland, and three each from Cuyahoga County and the county Mayors and City Managers Association. Norton is an appointee of the County. The County's other two appointments are Nick Nardi, a labor leader, whose term is up in March of 2017; and Karen Gabriel Moss, an immigration attorney, whose term is up in March of 2019.
On Monday, county officials refused to speculate on the possibility that Norton would be recalled in the Tuesday election, an outcome that might call into question his board seat, Scene
suggested. A spokesperson said the county wasn't even entertaining the idea.
But Wednesday, the question proved to be irrelevant. As far as the County is concerned, Norton's Mayoral status was not a significant factor in his appointment. The County Executive's other two appointments aren't Mayors, a spokesperson reminded Scene.
And when we speculated that Norton probably would never have been considered if not for his Mayoral status, the spokesperson disagreed.
"His appointment is about his qualifications, not about his being an elected official," they said.
According to the RTA, Norton, regardless of his position, may serve until his term is complete "or until he chooses to resign."
And the county, for the record, said they were not expecting Norton to resign: "So he will serve out his term."