Hoping To Get 'Q' Referendum on November Ballot, Councilmen Push for Earlier Meeting

Councilman Jeff Johnson outside City Hall on Tuesday.
Councilman Jeff Johnson outside City Hall on Tuesday.

Four Cleveland city councilmen are calling on the council's president to reschedule a meeting in the hopes of putting the Q deal referendum on the November 7th ballot.

The referendum would ask voters whether they support the city's plan to spend tax dollars on renovating Quicken Loans Arena. The council clerk at first refused to accept petitions calling for a referendum. But the Ohio Supreme Court ruled this month that the city must accept the petitions.  

The battle now is about timing and the city's charter. It states that a referendum must be held at least 60 days after the council clerk notifies the council at a regularly scheduled meeting.

That's why four councilmen – including Jeff Johnson, who’s running for Mayor -- want the council president to move up next month's meeting to September 6. 

"You went down there, you caused the delay," Johnson said, "you have to find a solution to this that doesn't cost the people any more money."

If the issue isn't on the ballot in November, the city would have to hold a special election. The County Board of Elections estimates that would cost taxpayers roughly $760,000.

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