Kelley Introduces Legislation to Rename Ken Johnson Rec Center "Woodland Rec Center"

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Ken Johnson - PHOTO COURTESY OF CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL

  • Photo courtesy of Cleveland City Council

  • Ken Johnson

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley has introduced legislation to rename the Kenneth Johnson Recreation Center in Ward 4 the “Woodland Recreation Center.” The emergency ordinance will require a two-thirds majority vote for passage.

Ken Johnson was convicted late last month in federal court on 15 counts related to thefts in office first exposed in 2018 by Mark Naymik, then a columnist for Cleveland.com. Johnson will be sentenced in October alongside his longtime council assistant, Garnell Jamison, and faces up to 10 years in prison. He also officially surrendered his council seat.

The City of Cleveland, in response to Ward 4 demonstrators, quickly began the process of taking down Johnson’s name from the recreation center on Woodland Avenue. Johnson had long been chair of council’s municipal services and properties committee and was known to conduct business out of the neighborhood rec center. 

The proposed name would hearken back to the rec center’s roots. Originally built in the 1920s, the facility was formerly known as the Woodland Avenue Bath House. It underwent substantial renovations in 2018.

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