Confused about the competing county reform proposals (Issues 5 and 6)? Join the club. Is Issue 5 just a stall tactic to avoid facing problems in the county? Is Issue 6 really a plot to upend a functional system to benefit a handful of people, while pretending “corruption” makes it necessary? Is Cuyahoga a Native American word for oligarchy?

Citizens have a couple of opportunities to learn more in the next week. Tonight the Black Women’s Political Caucus is holding a forum from 5-8 p.m. at Cleveland State University Continuing Education Center Auditorium (2121 Euclid Ave.) They haven’t said who will be speaking for or against each issue, but two veterans of Cleveland politics, Arnold Pinkney and George Forbes, will be offering an overview of past reform efforts in Cuyahoga County.

At 7 p.m. next Thursday, October 15, at the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats’ regular meeting, speakers from both sides of the issue will present their case. It’s at the LGBT Community Center (6600 Detroit Ave.) Gay activist Patrick Shepherd, who is on the Issue 5 charter commission slate, will speak for Issue 5; Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc., will speak for Issue 6.

That same night, the Shaker Heights Democrats are sponsoring a forum on the issues from 7-9 p.m. at the Shaker Heights Middle School Auditorium (20600 Shaker Blvd). County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones — one of the originators of the Issue 5 charter commission — will speak on behalf of the issue. Shaker resident and C.P.A. Linda P. Lalley will speak for Issue 6. Tom Merriman of Channel 8 will moderate.

All events are free and open to the public. — Anastasia Pantsios

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