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The Sound of Ideas

Building Consensus on County Reform

Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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Building Consensus on County Reform The clock is ticking on efforts to reform Cuyahoga County government. Any plan that will go before voters in November needs 46,000 signatures by July 13th in order to make it on to the ballot. The biggest sticking points right now have to do with minority representation. Hammering out a compromise has gone on for a year behind closed doors. We’ll talk to some county leaders involved in these closed-door sessions to find out what ideas are competing, what obstacles are present and what needs to be done to reach consensus. Join us for the Sound of Ideas at 9 on 90.3.


Economy, Making Change, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest


Lillian Greene, Cuyahoga County Recorder
Rob Frost, Cuyahoga County GOP Chair
Kevin O'Brien, Cleveland State University

Additional Information

Cuyahoga County Government Reform Groups Join Forces by Mark Namik, The Plain Dealer
Cuyahoga County Government Restructuring Plan Still in the Works by Joe Guillen, The Plain Dealer
Read the Commission on Cuyahoga County Government Reform draft report, prepared by The Center for Public Management, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University
Read the Report of the Commission on Cuyahoga County Government Reform, by the County Reform Commission
Read the Citizens Guide to Cuyahoga County Government, courtesy of the League of Women Voters

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.

Laura 11:00 AM 6/3/09

To begin, the reformation process can be characterized by letting the foxes design the hen house’s security. Secondly, corruption will always occur, thusly designing a new form of county government under that premise is a waste of money. Finally, the key change would be to create a structure which rewards vision, risk taking and creativity. Otherwise, not matter what we do, the region will suffer because our problems will not be solved.

Rich 11:04 AM 6/3/09

I don’t understand why there is this urgency to reform Cuyahoga County. Yes, the County is dysfunctional. But in terms of negative effects on peoples lives, it is the relationship between the State and its localities that is most dysfunctional. Witness the fact that we pass predatory lending laws locally and the State responds by passing a law that makes it illegal for localities to pass predatory lending laws. Thus the Ohio legislature bears great responsibility for a lot of the devastating result of predatory lending in Cleveland. There are numerous examples of this: the concealed weapons regulations for example- a bunch of conspiracy theorists in the legislature want people to believe that the government is going to take away their guns, so they can’t allow Cleveland to strengthen the concealed carry regulations (because that, they allege, would be the first step to outlawing guns). Please ask any Cleveland police officer just how dysfunctional that decision is. And why do we need to legislative bodies at the State level? Bicameral legislature has its reasons on a national level, but really serves no purpose when it gets down to the State legislative district level. It just serves as an opportunity for more demagogues and kooks to get a platform to accuse people of socialism or any other right wing trash while collecting a salary from the tax payers. They don’t “legislate” anything except their narrow bigotry and anti-urban prejudices. Reform the State first, then County reform and even regionalism will be able to show significant impact on peoples’ everyday lives.

Skip, Chesterland 11:04 AM 6/3/09

Is the greater good not what government should be about? That is NOT to say that minority interests should not be considered, but not to the exclusion of what is the best interest of the greater Cleveland area.

Cliff S. 11:05 AM 6/3/09

Why do you want to change a delivery system that actually works, and to what? And you`ll need to explain the corporate and municipal interests. Such as a city lures a corporation out of Cleveland and in a few years another community steals it again. That suburb is powerless to defend itself. If you don`t protect Cleveland, your heart, you will die.

Marianne 11:05 AM 6/3/09

Recorder Greene says this County would never elect a black person as a County Executive. That’s absurd. We elected a black President. Why does she sell our County so short?????

Ayl 11:05 AM 6/3/09

A consolidated government within Cuyahoga government is over due. It is apparent and more so obvious that the current elected office holders are just trying to protect their positions. Since the current office holders are confident in their performance, let them approve term limits.

Those that oppose the consolidated government concept should visit, Jacksonville, FL (Duval County), Dallas, TX (Dallas, TX), Summit County, OH, etc. I have lived in those areas and I am impressed with the way government works much better than what we have.

Cuyahoga County is broken and it is only broken due to the ongoing inept individuals that are only serving at the public food line.


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