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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One (very small) step toward a smaller Cleveland City Council?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 4:57 PM

For years, our civic leaders have been discussing the possibility of reducing the number of seats on the Cleveland City Council. The body now stands at a fat 21 members, but seeing as how it does less work than an ODOT highway crew, many believe that it's unwise to keep paying that many people $70,000 a year – especially in a shrinking city. Of course, little progress has been made. The proposition essentially requires Council to A) do something and B) do something against members' best interests. Analysts believe that only an act of God could force them to do either. Some on Council even contend that nothing will change until the new Census comes out, so they can pretend to have a scientific rationale for whacking someone’s seat. They’ll just have to get someone to read the Census for them… But tomorrow, Council may finally take a miniscule step in the right direction. A committee has been convened to review the city’s charter and discuss issues that could be placed on the November ballot. One of those issues is the reduction of Council. Now we all know that committees are crematoriums where ideas are sent to die. In this case, the recommendations aren’t even due until July. But at least you can rest assured that plenty of hours will be wasted debating the firing of certain council members, even if nothing is ever done about it. And that’s what makes Cleveland government so endearing. – Lisa Rab


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