Cleveland Heights, This Is A Serious Question

Will our first elected mayor be a serial tax evader?

Lynn Tramonte
3 min readOct 29, 2021
The headline asks “Is this the leader for Cleveland Heights?” and is followed by a headline from Cleveland Stonewall Democrats that says “Cleveland Heights Mayoral Candidate Danforth Stated She Would Only Advocate for LGBTQIA+ Rights If It Was Popular With Other Constituent Demographics”
Mailer from Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, October 2021

I’ve been surprised to see Barbara Danforth signs in certain people’s yards in Cleveland Heights. Because real local journalism is on the endangered species list, there is an information vacuum about her past and present, which presages her future.


You have to be a serious tax evader to get taken to court. Danforth has been sued multiple times, by the Ohio Department of Taxation, RITA, and even the City of Cleveland Heights, for failure to pay taxes.

Paying taxes is not optional! It is a core commitment in our social contract.

I’m all for debating taxation levels, service quality, funding priorities, and accountability. We have the right to debate those things because we pay taxes. A person who repeatedly failed to pay taxes in her city is not qualified to be that city’s mayor.

We only know about Danforth’s financial mismanagement because some residents are attempting to fill the information vacuum, like the website But our reach is limited. And Danforth is skilled at avoiding accountability.

She has also exhibited poor character and lack of growth when questioned about police violence and her stance on LGBTQIA+ equality. Her instincts are out of step with the core values of many Cleveland Heights residents. I wrote about this in the Cleveland Jewish News, and Greg Coleridge goes into greater detail as he calls on Danforth to end her campaign.

On the positive side, this is not an election about choosing the better (or least-bad) of two bad candidates. Kahlil Seren, the city’s Vice-Mayor, is a candidate I am proud to support enthusiastically—because of who he is, not what he isn’t.

Kahlil is principled, intelligent, and rigorous. Working for the Cuyahoga County Council and in leadership positions on the Cleveland Heights Council, he has unrivaled experience in government policy, planning, implementation, and an enduring commitment to equity, the environment, and justice.

There is a reason why Seren—not Danforth—has been endorsed by the Plain Dealer/, major northeast Ohio unions, constituency groups, Democratic institutions, and many others. There’s also a reason why Danforth—not Seren—has been endorsed by the Cleveland Heights Republican Club (if that really exists).

This mailer from the Cleveland Heights Republican Club has a photo of Kahlil Seren with the Democratic Party logo superimposed on it and a Facebook post her wrote accepting the county party endorsement. The mailer asks “Is this partisan ‘progressive’ really the kind of new mayor you want for our city?”
Mailer from the Cleveland Heights Republican Club, October 2021

Someone who doesn’t pay taxes, gets hauled into court by the city, region, and state, has experienced six home foreclosures and a bankruptcy, and keeps losing her law license needs financial and organizational counseling. She should not be in charge of our city’s $50 million+ budget.

Kahlil Seren will be a terrific mayor for our entire city. Vote on or before November 2.



Lynn Tramonte

Director, Ohio Immigrant Alliance. Daughter, sister, Mom, wine drinker, proud NE Ohioan! Lifetime #immigration advocate. Views are my own, unless you agree!