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Cuyahoga County Reform Commission Backs off Big Changes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 9:24 PM

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In their meeting yesterday the commission appears to have lost momentum for moving toward a new form of county government.

Up until last night the current three-member board of county commissioners looked like it would soon be history.  Instead, a majority on the reform commission were moving toward recommending that it be replaced with something akin to an executive and legislative body, and reduce the number of elected officials.  David Abbot chairs the commission.

ABBOT: Some version of the board of county commissioners, perhaps with a president with executive powers on top of a structure that has fewer elected offices is a more efficient and effective way to govern the county.

But former Congressman Louis Stokes, a member of the commission, spoke out against that model at the meeting, saying it would dilute the voice of minorities.  Other commission members then indicated they won’t move forward on an executive structure.  After the meeting David Abbott who heads the Gund Foundation and is chairman of the government reform commission said current three-member commissioner system will probably be retained.  The commission is expected though to vote for consolidation of several county positions and make most of those appointed jobs instead of elected ones.  The commission will meet one final time this coming Friday before preparing its final report. 

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