Does City Council need Right-Sizing? Restructuring?

Submitted by briancummins on Fri, 07/04/2008 - 11:48.

The Cleveland Charter Review will be taking proposals for changes to the Charter until July 15th.

So far there have been five proposals submitted that deal with the make-up of Cleveland City Council. They are as follows:

1) The Henley Urban Strategy Group (Gerald Henley) submitted a proposal at the June 18th Charter Review Commission meeting. The proposal is to change the structure and size of Council from the current 21-member, ward based council to a council of 11-members representing 7-wards and 4-at-large positions

- See Charter Review Commission Supplemental Materials, 6-18-08 Public Hearing notes:

2) Martin J. Sweeney, Council President introduced a proposal on June 19th for Council "right-sizing" to reduce the existing 21-member council to a size that would equal 1-member per 25,000 people, 17-members using the current 2006 US Census population estimate.

- June 19, 2008 - Charter Review Commission Meeting minutes:
- See Charter Review Commission Supplemental Materials, Council Right sizing proposal;

3, 4 & 5) Brian Cummins, Councilman, Ward 15 submitted three proposals on July 3rd. The preferred proposal is to restructure Council to a 14-ward and 3-at-large seat body; the second proposal is for a 14-ward and 1-at-large Council (at-large seat would be for the council Presidency); and the third proposal is to maintain the all-ward based Council but to reduce it to 15-seats. The proposals also include staggering elections so they occur every two years as opposed to 4-years and to redistrict the wards to conform as best as possible with the planning and police district boundaries.

- July 3, 2008 Charter Review Commission Meeting minutes:
-PDF copy of proposal:

Brian J. Cummins
bcummins [at] clevelandcitycouncil [dot] org

restructuring_council_bcummins_2008-july_vcr1.pdf293.36 KB
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Streetscape repairs?

  How many slated in Ward 15?  Keep your eye on the ball.  Serve your constituents.  Don't "settle" for what you can get.


Funny thing about council size. It is my observation that the fewer people who live in an area, the more services that area probably needs. It sounds counter-intuitive, but having lots of neighbors benefits safety, schools, cleanliness etc. I think the tabulation should take more than residents per councilmember into account. Somehow other data should enter into the discussion when determining the right ratio of residents to representation.

East Cleveland has 5 councilpeople for 25,000 people

Good point, Jenita. I was thinking about my community of around 25,000 people, and 3.5 square miles, with five councilpeople. Within this small town, and each council district, we have all sorts of complex issues and types of property. If a leadership formula is population based and 25,000 has meaning then we should have just one councilperson... or no council... or perhaps not exist. So it does seem this is the wrong math to apply to government rightsizing.

Disrupt IT