Because of population loss, two Cleveland City Council slots will be eliminated in January when the new council is seated. Council President Martin J Sweeney has been derided for how the new ward boundaries were drawn. Accusations of favoritism, and the seemingly secretive nature of the process have dominated local media. Now, Sweeney offers his view to ideastream's Rick Jackson,
With the residential decrease heavier in certain areas of the city, those wards were going to have to expand geographically; to stay level in terms of representation - roughly 23-thousand folks per council member...
But word got out of possible substantive changes angered some people, and though a few rumors proved to be wrong - some others were not...
Among the changes are the representation in several neighborhoods - and boundaries in virtually every ward.
Downtown was partly divided, while areas like Ohio City and Glenville were nearly consolidated under one representative.
Yet the full council voted 17-2 to accept the new map, as drawn by consultants and City Council President Martin Sweeney.
Saying no was Joe Cimperman, who represents downtown and the near west side - and Mike Polensek, who represents most of Collinwood and the Northeast corner of Cleveland.
Sweeney explains some of why the changes happened as they did - and started by challenging those who said the process was done behind closed doors.