Near Westside Public Meeting - Cleveland City Council – 2009 Ward Redistricting Process

Submitted by briancummins on Fri, 02/20/2009 - 19:27.

Near Westside Cleveland City Council Members.

Community Partners:
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Esperanza, Inc, Hispanic Business Association, Hispanic Roundtable, Merrick House, Near West Side/May Dugan Multi-Service Center, Northeast Ohio Citizens League, Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation, Spanish American Committee, Stockyard Redevelopment Organization, Tremont West Development Corporation, Westside Community House.

A community meeting to share information with the public pertaining to the approved Charter Amendment that requires Cleveland City Council to re-divide the City into wards using a population-based model with a ratio of one ward to every 25, 000 residents. Estimated population figures compiled by the US Census Bureau and other reliable sources are being used to estimate population (see legislation referenced below).

7:00 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Applewood Center, Jones Campus, Multipurpose room 3518 W. 25th Street
(entrance off of Daisy Avenue).

Final Ballot Language, passed 11-4-2008;
Cleveland City Council – City Record;
November ballot may contain Cleveland City Council reduction
by Henry J. Gomez/Plain Dealer Reporter, 9/2/2008
Cleveland City Council reduction close to approval
by Henry J. Gomez/Plain Dealer Reporter, 11/4/2008

2008 Charter Review Commission’s policy recommendation to create Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts

In addition to the meeting announcement above, I have called on my colleagues, as well as Mayor Jackson’s Administration, to pursue deliberations that would lead the City of Cleveland to adopt the 2008 Charter Review Commission’s policy recommendation to create Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts. Here is an excerpt of my communication which is provided as an attachment:

…In carrying out this redistricting process this year and in the future, following the decennial census of 2010, I recommend that we along with the Administration pursue and adopt the Charter Review Commission’s Policy Recommendation # 3 that was submitted to City Council in August, 2008 called for “the creation of Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts”.

The rational for this recommendation was for it to be a “companion proposal to any reduction in the number of City Council ward representatives”, and that neighborhood districts would help ensure efficient management and delivery of services and better public involvement. The recommendation (see attached) was passed with a ten to zero vote with four persons abstaining and was recommended to be placed on the ballot along with the council rightsizing legislation. Although that did not occur, I believe it would now be prudent to pursue the establishment of the legislation in cooperation and partnership with the Mayor and his Administration as well as community stakeholders.

Additionally, here is the Charter Review Commission’s policy recommendation in full:

Final Report to City Council
August 1, 2008


Recommendations. POLICY RECOMMENDATION #3 (Proposal #139)

The Charter Review Commission recommends to City Council, as a companion proposal to any reduction in the number of City Council ward representatives, the creation of Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts, which should be constituted and operate more or less as described in points (1) through (4) below. To the extent that any Charter revision is determined to be required for this proposal to be enacted, the Commission recommends the submission of that revision to the voters at the same time as such a reduction in City Council representatives.

(1) The Council should establish, by ordinance, Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts in the City. Each district should consist of undivided, contiguous wards and contain mo more than one-fifth (1/5) of the total residential population of the City, as determined by the most recent decennial U.S. Census.

(2) Each Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service District should be represented by a district commission consisting of the members of Council representing the wards located in the district as ex officio members; a district resident or business proprietor representing each bona fide nonprofit community association located in the district selected by each association; and additional district residents chosen by the voters of the district as Council determines. Bona fide nonprofit community associations in a district should be determined through standards established by ordinance of Council. Each district commission should hold a regular monthly meeting at a location in the district, with notice of the place and time for the meetings provided to all district residents. Commission members should serve without pay, provided however that Council might authorize the reimbursement of expenses incurred by commission members in the performance of their official duties up to a maximum amount per member per year as determined by the Council.

(3) The City departments that provide direct services, such as safety, community and economic development, recreation, utility, community relations, code enforcement and right-of-way services, to residents or businesses throughout the city should be required by ordinance to prepare an annual service plan for each Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service District. Each annual service plan should include an organizational table identifying the City employee or employees in each service department with direct authority and supervisory responsibility for the provision of services within each district. To the maximum feasible extent, each service department should be required to adopt an administrative structure consistent with, and responsive to, the Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts. The Mayor should submit the annual service plan to each district commission by no later than November 30th of each year. Each district commission should conduct a public review and evaluation of the annual service plan, including conducting at least one public hearing in the district with the time and place of the hearing advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. Based on this review and evaluation, each district commission should submit written comments on the annual service plan to Council within 60 days of receipt of the annual service plan from the Mayor.

(4) In addition to the review and evaluation of annual service plans, each district commission should monitor implementation of the plan and the general delivery of services by City departments in their district; receive and investigate complaints or recommendations from district residents and businesses regarding City services; and recommend legislation or administrative policy measures to improve service by City departments to their district. The director of a City department, or a person designated by the director, should be required to attend each commission meeting at which his or her presence is requested.

Reason: If Council decides to place an issue on the ballot to change the size of City Council, then the Commission recommends that the Council consider this recommendation to establish Neighborhood Service Districts to improve government services to the City’s neighborhoods.

Vote: Yes: 10; No: 0; Abstain: 4

CUMMINS -- Neighborhood (re-)District & Service District Memo 2-4-09.doc28.5 KB
( categories: )


With the present ward geography, Councilman Cimperman has all the high rollers from Downtown Cleveland - wanna-be and established developers mostly - and consequently Mr. Cimperman has much more campaign financing than any of the other Councilors except President Sweeney.  

Since money = clout, the new ward boundaries should all go into downtown (or have a disconnected piece of downtown) Cleveland - setting up a system in which each ward would be a "spoke" - taking a slice of downtown and reaching out into Cleveland's boundaries with other adjacent towns might be one possible boundary scheme - but would not acknowledge "neighborhoods".  

Mr. Gomez has shown that he is one employee of the DDealer who is responsible - because he has listed the campaign finances of each Cleveland City Councilor and shows that the discrepancy between them is startling and provocative.   (Here is the link to the DDealer February 12, 2009 article by Henry Gomez which I picked up from Brewed Fresh Daily).  Sweeney has a "leadership fund" (read "councilor who gets leadership $ will vote my way slush fund")which should be outlawed.

Redistricting Meeting tonight

What is the intended outcome of this meeting?

Intended outcome --


The intended outcomes are:

  1. that participants are informed as to the process City Council is applying to the redistricting.  Understanding the criteria and voting rights issues that are being considered.
  2. that the summary concerns and opinions that are gathered from planned smaller group breakouts are communicated back to City Council after the meeeting.
  3. That we obtain contact information and inform citizens of decisions when they are made as well as provide a space on to post comments and publically document the community engagement process.
  4. That this serve as a beginning of a more open process by which we can follow when we hopefully take up an introduction to considering the Charter Commission recommendations for Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts (hopefully in 2010) as well as the redistricing process and likley reduction in wards that will occur due to the 2010 census.

For additional information being provided as handouts I'll try to post the finalized agenda and timeline and process explanation handouts in a seperate posting.

Brian Cummins
Cleveland city Council, Ward15

Brian: How Did Outcomes Compare to Intentions?

While I'm sure this is covered elsewhere, could you summarize how well the process and meeting referenced here met the "intended outcomes" you listed above, and what must be done and changed before March 31.

Disrupt IT