County To Begin East Suburbs' Merger Study

Talks of four east side suburbs merging into one are continuing following news that Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald selected the Rochester, N.Y.-based Center for Governmental Research to oversee the study process.

In mid-2011, county leaders and four local mayors announced intentions to merge Moreland Hills, Orange Village, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. The study will begin shortly, funded by the state's Local Government Innovation Fund grant and a $34,130 NOACA grant, and is expected to yield information this summer.

(We still think MoreOrangeWoodPepper would be a most excellent name for whatever community comes out of this whole thing.)

Former Sun News reporter Faith Boone reported in June 2011 that one hope is to have an issue on the ballot this November.

"Because merger may be challenging for residents to accept, we must also take advantage of the excellent benefits to be gained from regional cooperative opportunities, short of formal merger, which the study should reveal," Mayor Richard Bain of Pepper Pike says.

...Which means the unprecedented nature of a merger like this will be weighed alongside other collaborative opportunities. "Regionalism!," as shouted from on high at the county administration's HQ, is the budget-dictated soup du jour and one can bet that this study will act as a bellwether for future examples of sharing resources and crossing political boundaries.

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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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