Todd Gulley is the newest addition to Eastlake City Council after being appointed as council member at-large on Oct. 1.
Gulley, pastor of Willo-Lake Church of the Nazarene, was selected among eight candidates by city council.
Originally from Ashtabula, Gulley became pastor of Willo-Lake in 2009. He began his involvement with the city by working with council member Michael Zuren a few years ago after a meeting between local non-profits.
“As pastor of the church, I was trying to look for opportunities to get involved in the city and what’s happening,” Gulley said. “So I went to the meeting to find out what that was about and maybe meet some other folks, some networking… From that, I helped Mike out being a judge at dog shows, ice cream eating contests… I’ve helped with all the different events.”
Last spring, Gulley said that he became a member of the city’s Charter Review Committee. He is also the chaplain of the Eastlake VFW Post 3863.
Gulley said that he noticed the opening for a city council seat after the retirement of Ken Hoefle and eventually submitted a letter of interest.
Following an interview Oct. 1, Gulley was appointed to the council. He will serve the remainder of Hoefle’s term, which runs through 2021.
Council President John Meyers said that all of the candidates were qualified for the open seat, but that Gulley “stood out above the rest.”
As far as future plans, Gulley said he wants to start by getting to know the rest of city council, administration and department heads, as well as helping them get to know him better.
“I’ve had some thoughts but I need to check with some folks to make sure that idea hasn’t already been down the pipeline,” he said. “I hope to be listening far more than I’m talking (at first). Because I’ve only been an outsider observer to city government.”
Gulley said that he has two children at Eastlake North and the School of Innovation in Willoughby Hills.
“We love the city and we love everything that Eastlake is about,” Gulley said. “That’s one of the things I mentioned in my letter of interest, that I’m excited to work with the mayor and city council — whether I was appointed or not — I just was excited to continue to help make the city a better place to live.
Gulley added that, regardless of being appointed, he would have continued being involved with the city and the Eastlake community.
“If they saw fit to appoint me, well then that’s awesome, but if not, I would continue to do everything that I was doing before,” he said.
Gulley said that his work for the Charter Review Committee helped him learn more about the city prior to his appointment to council.
“Being part of that, too, has helped me to see what’s in the charter, some unique things about city government, when things were amended before and the reasons behind that — and getting to know the city that way,” he said.
Gulley is scheduled to be formally sworn in during the next regular council meeting. As for now, he said he doesn’t know whether or not he will run for the office again in 2021.
“That’ll be a decision for another day,” he said.