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Strongsville City Council picks Matt Patten, former state legislator, to fill vacant Ward 1 council seat

December 21, 2018

Strongsville City Council picks Matt Patten, former state legislator, to fill vacant Ward 1 council seat

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- City Council has chosen Matt Patten, a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, to fill the vacant Ward 1 council seat.

However, the pick might have become snagged on a legal technicality, because council failed to notify cleveland.com of a special Dec. 10 meeting, where it voted 6-0 to approve Patten’s appointment.

Under Ohio Sunshine Laws, councils and school boards must notify media 24 hours in advance of any special meeting, if a media outlet has requested such notification. The council clerk’s office acknowledged Friday (Dec. 21) that it had mistakenly left cleveland.com off the notification list.

That could mean that council never legitimately chose Patten as Ward 1 councilman and may nullify his swearing into office during the Dec. 17 council meeting.

Further, it may call into question every piece of legislation Patten voted on Dec. 17, after he was sworn in. That night, council approved 20 ordinances and two resolutions, according to the city website.

Law Director Neal Jamison and council President Joe DeMio could not be reached in time for this story regarding the failure of council to notify cleveland.com of the Dec. 10 special meeting, and whether council once more needs to vote on Patten’s appointment, swear him in and vote on legislation passed Dec. 17.

Patten was one of 13 residents who applied for the Ward 1 council seat. He would complete the term of the late Michael Daymut, who died Nov. 16 after resigning from council on Nov. 10. The term ends Dec. 31, 2019.

According to Patten’s resume, he served in the Ohio House in 2009 and 2010 in District 18. He helped secure a $250,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for three new youth baseball fields in Strongsville and helped create space for a new outdoor aquatics center next to the Walter F. Ehrnfelt Recreation & Senior Center.

Also, Patten co-hosted two town hall meetings in Strongsville to educate residents with all-electric homes about new all-electric rates.

Patten authored House Bill 6, which created the Ohio Film Tax Credit, enabling a new industry to take hold in Ohio, according to his resume. He authored House Bill 330, which allows school districts to join purchasing agreements with the Ohio Department of Transportation, thus saving money on road salt, machinery and equipment.

Patten said he’s involved with several local community groups, including Strongsville Homecoming, Cub Scouts, Strongsville City Schools, Strongsville Swim League, Strongsville Athletic Boosters and Knights of Columbus. He’s also been a youth sports coach.

Patten, a Democrat, is labor-management coordinator for Laborers’ International Union of North America Ohio. He lives on Sagamore Circle with his wife, Katherine, and their children Ella, 15, Nicholas, 14, Jack, 12, and Gabrielle, 9.

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