Recall election date set to decide whether to oust Berea city councilman

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:24 PM EDT
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BEREA, Ohio (WOIO) - A date has been set to vote on whether to oust a Berea city councilman from his seat.

Dozens of residents say they’re fed up with councilman Leon Dozier’s broken promises and lack of action.

Dozier claims he’s being unfairly targeted.

“If they can push that through and they want me out, get somebody else better, hey go for it!” Dozier said.

Honester Davidson has lived on Berea’s North End for 65 years and he is just one of many people who have lost thousands of dollars every time there’s a heavy rainstorm.

“Last year we had about $10,000 worth of damage in our basement,” recalled Davidson. “The year before we had about $20,000. We’re losing washer, dryer, hot water tank. We have furniture down in the basement. We’ve had at least 3 or 4 feet of water. It’s just constantly a problem over the last 10 or 15 years.”

Resident Dennis Knowles says it’s also a health hazard.

“When heavy rains happen the sewer system backs up into your house and you have sewage, water, dirty water coming into your house,” Knowles said.

Sisters Gail and Gay Grizzell claim councilman Leon Dozier has dodged phone calls and emails from his constituents. The councilman claims he switched cell phone providers and didn’t realize his voicemail wasn’t set up.

“He has an issue with returning phone calls with responding to emails,” said Gail Grizzell. “I have received emails from others in the community that have said Leon just does not respond and I’ve also heard from others, so this is not news its just that people are sick and tired of it.”

These frustrated residents claim Dozier didn’t follow through on his promises including using American Rescue funds to fix the flooding problem. Councilman Dozier claims it’s a conflict of interest.

“I flood too, and I refused to sponsor legislation that would put money back into our pockets so I would benefit from that, so I said that that’s unethical as a councilman to write something that I’m gonna benefit from,” Dozier said.

19 News asked him why he wouldn’t still want to help the dozens of other people affected in his neighborhood.

“Not that money because we are putting money into the sewer system,” Dozier said. “Matter of fact the city of Berea has put over $3,000,000 into solving the problem and of course, it hasn’t worked so we’re trying something different. We’re going to reline the sewers.”

At least 70 of councilman Leon Dozier’s constituents would like to see him go, but he said he’s not concerned.

“Not really,” Dozier said. “I’m not even worried about it, to be honest.

The recall election will be held on September 13th, that’s when every resident of ward 1 will be able to vote to decide whether Dozier keeps his council seat.

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