Thursday, May 28, 2009

Zanotti: expect reform announcement next week

I just had a quick talk with Martin Zanotti, mayor of Parma Heights and a major player in the county reform effort. An announcement should come next week about whether the reforms will launch a petition drive this year.

"I believe we’re very close to being complete with our work," he says. "I would think that if we’re going to be in a position to move forward, we would know that next week." If they decide they're not prepared to make reform happen this year, they'll announce that too.

The goal is to produce a charter for Cuyahoga County, which would create a new government with expanded powers. Reformers have been talking about creating a county executive and county council and making several elected officials (recorder, treasurer, etc.) appointed positions instead.

"If we're successful, we hope to announce we're going forward with a comprehensive inclusive effort to get a petition drive moving immediately toward a November ballot issue," Zanotti says.

That would mean producing a proposed charter by next week. "We know what the rules are. If [we're] passing a petition, charter language [has] to go with it."

Then they'd have until July 13 to get 45,458 signatures.

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