News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Don Drumm Studios

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


New Cleveland ward map is unveiled, council could vote on it tomorrow
Controversial redistricting process draws the ire of some council members and residents
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
New Cleveland council wards drawn up by Council President Martin Sweeney and a consultant. The controversial map could come to a vote tomorrow.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Cleveland City Council could soon decide on a new ward map released just this morning. A special council meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow morning to review the new boundaries before calling for a vote.

Council President Martin Sweeney led the ward redrawing process, which sparked some controversy because it was conducted mostly behind closed doors.

WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the proposed map and what some council members have to say about it.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:38)


Cleveland needs to reduce its council wards from 19 to 17 because the city has lost population.

It's a process council goes through every 10 years based on U.S. Census numbers. This time, council President Sweeney hired a consultant to help draft the new ward map. The two worked closely together with less direct input than in the past from council members and residents.

But Sweeney says charges that the process was too secretive are not true. He says each council member told the consultants what their perfect ward would look like, and council members discussed the issues among themselves and with their constituents. And, an umbrella group representing the neighborhood development organizations was involved as well as others.

“We had regular meeting with the institutions and business community. People say we had a 'pressure cooker' going on. I say, with a pressure cooker, if it’s properly watched and managed, something wonderful comes out. And I think that’s what this redistricting process produced.”

Some council members are unhappy about the process or changes
Sweeney says all the wards are changed, including his. He says concern that the mostly black Glenville neighborhood would be chopped into several new wards is unfounded. Sweeney says it would remain 90 percent intact. But, as predicted, because of population shifts, the proposed map divides downtown Councilman Joe Cimperman’s ward into three.

“Obviously, downtown being split into three concerns me," Cimperman says. "Dividing communities from Collinwood to Glenville makes me wonder what the real purposes are. I’ve been asking for a copy of the map for almost three weeks, and today, the day before we vote, we actually got one. I don’t think that’s good government, and I hope we can get some questions answered.”

Cimperman says a bigger concern is that residents were not involved in the redrawing. He and others believe dividing neighborhoods will make it harder for council members to serve specific neighborhood needs.

Councilman charges that his ward was divided for a political favor
Speculation that Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood would be divided turns out to be true. The new map splits the ward in two, giving the southern half to Councilman Eugene Miller, whose current ward has lost the most population. For years, that neighborhood has been represented by Councilman Mike Polensek, who’s not happy about the change. He charges Sweeney with redrawing the boundaries to help Councilman Miller politically.

So, you tore up the Collinwood and Glenville neighborhood just to protect one councilman politically. This isn’t good for our citizens and it’s not good for the process because people have been denied access to the process of changing the ward lines.”

Polensek says he will not vote for the map as it’s drawn. Meanwhile, Sweeney denies Polensek’s allegation that his ward was redrawn to benefit Councilman Miller.

“He was doing what he always does, trying to stir things up. He just wanted to keep what he had. All wards changed, some more than others. And when we vote on this, it will be the true reflection of what council actually believes.”

Sweeney expects council to approve redrawn map
Sweeney needs 12 votes to suspend council rules and pass the new ward map on a first or second reading. If he gets 10 votes, the proposal must go through three readings. Sweeney believes he has the 12 votes he needs. If council doesn’t agree on the changes by next Monday, Mayor Frank Jackson will decide on the new boundaries.                                                                             

Listener Comments:

I do not like the proposed changes. I read my newletters and this is the first I have heard of this...was this announced somewhere and do the citizens of each ward have a say in this at all????


Posted by: Jodie Nicole Rainey (11th Ward) on March 26, 2013 7:03AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

U.S. Postal Service plans to close its sorting center in Akron
May as well close the center. I don't understand why they didn't do away with saturday mail a long time ago. We don't get our mail until sometimes 8pm, and in ...

The postal workers union is challenging mail-sorting closures in Ohio
Do not close the akron facilaty for mail processing. This will severly deminish mail service to the northeast ohio area, Cleveland can not handle this burden.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

Clarence Bozeman: In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University