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East Cleveland Mayor Recall Could Influence Merger Talks With Cleveland

A photo of Kevin Kelley.

A possible merger between Cleveland and East Cleveland has been further complicated by yesterday’s recall of East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton and Council President Thomas Wheeler.

Leaders of East Cleveland have been pushing for Cleveland to annex their troubled city. Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley says though the talks stalled earlier this year, the two cities had agreed on the direction the negotiations would take. Now, with the recall of Norton and Thomas, he says the nature of the talks may have changed.

“We just have to wait and see what happens. I don’t know what the new leadership will look like, what the new council will want to do. But, I’m going to take a step back, let the political winds, whatever, dust settle in East Cleveland, and when it’s time to resume discussions I’m going to be open to resuming discussions.”

Kelley says it’s important that the new leadership is fully behind merging the two cities, because Cleveland is not going to move forward on its own.