NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — The new mayor of Newburgh Heights will be officially sworn in on Monday, during a ceremony at the Village Hall.
Gigi Traore is the first black mayor in the village’s 118 year history. She replaces Trevor Elkins, who resigned in disgrace last month. Traore has established a ground-breaking political resume since moving to the village in 2017.
She told FOX 8, “this is my fourth time making history here in Newburgh Heights, I was the first-appointed, first-elected and now first Black mayor for the community and so we’re very excited.”
Traore, who had served as president pro tempore of the village council, technically became mayor in April, after Trevor Elkins pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, and resigned as part of a plea bargain. Investigators say Elkins was paying his personal expenses with campaign contributions.
The new mayor says it’s time for the village to move on from the Elkins scandal.
“That was outside the village, thankfully that had no impact or engagement with us at all, that was his own personal campaign finance and so we wish him well, we thank him for his ten years of leadership,” she said.
While Trevor Elkins had a history of clashing with critics of the village, including Greater Clevelanders who accused him of establishing a speed trap on I-77 to fill the village coffers, Mayor Traore is promising a different management style.
“My administration is going to be focusing on streamlining all our operations, insuring that there is a transparent and efficient local government, also open to the public, we’re also going to be focusing on development, we’re in a prime area for development,” she said.
Many people would like to know if the new mayor will continue the village’s speed camera enforcement on I-77, that has been the subject of many complaints.
However, Mayor Traore told us that she cannot comment, because the camera program is part of a case, that is now being considered by the Ohio Supreme Court.