Hughes was among several applicants for the City Council seat left open by the April 27 death of 15-year Councilman Bill Robertson. He was selected by Council members earlier this week from the field of hopefuls.
Moving to the Council forced Hughes’ resignation from the CU board which officially occurred Thursday.
This left the chairman’s seat empty which was then filled by Vice Chairman Aubrey Ector who was elected unanimously to the leadership role by his board peers — Mitchell Lyle, Eddie Cartwright and Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland.
Lyle was then elected board vice chairman to succeed Ector; this vote also was unanimous.
Ector is a Cleveland pastor and software analyst for Olin Corp. Lyle served years ago on the former Cleveland City Commission.
With its new slate of officers, the board then welcomed newly appointed member Chari Buckner, a 2007 retiree from TVA. Buckner, who now leads marketing and advertising for Ralph Buckner Funeral Homes & Crematory, had worked for TVA for 14 years. Upon her retirement, she had worked as customer service manager in TVA’s Cleveland-based offices on South Lee Highway.
Her TVA role was to serve in a liaison capacity between the regional utility and eight public utilities, one of which was Cleveland Utilities.
Buckner currently serves as president of the executive committee of the Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation.
Buckner’s CU board appointment became official with her brief swearing-in ceremony by Rowland.
Acting in his new capacity as board chairman, Ector welcomed Buckner to the group and pointed to the importance of having her TVA background, experience and knowledge on the Cleveland Utilities board.
To the full board, Ector said he was humbled by his selection as the chairman to succeed Hughes.
“I thank you for this opportunity,” Ector said. “I know we will continue to do the job we have done in the past.”
Like his predecessor in last month’s board meeting, Ector singled out the work of Cleveland Utilities employees, the office staff and the relentless line crew members who labored through several days of 16-hour shifts to restore an estimated one-fourth of CU’s electric grid that was ripped apart by the April 27 storms and tornadoes.
Ector also praised the leadership of General Manager Tom Wheeler in restoring CU’s infrastructure in spite of the multiple challenges posed by the severity of the storms.