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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cuyahoga County Council will consider charter amendments, 40-year extension of hotel tax

Cuyahoga County Council will consider charter amendments,
40-year extension of hotel tax

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County Council is meeting at 5 p.m. to consider a 40-year extension of the county's bed tax, as well as possible amendments to the county's governing charter, and we'll be covering it live.
Northeast Ohio Media Group Andrew J. Tobias will attend and provide live updates in the comments section at the bottom of this post. The meeting will be council's first at the new county building at East Ninth Street and Prospect Avenue.
Council is also expected to approve the proposed 40-year extension of a portion of the county's bed tax to provide additional funding to Positively Ceveland, the local convention and tourism bureau.
Council is expected to consider seven different possible charter amendments.
Among the proposed amendments:
  • Requiring approval of a majority of county council to fire the county sheriff. Currently, the county executive can unilaterally fire the sheriff without giving any reason.
  • Changing the county charter to make the county agency of inspector general a permanent feature of county government and give the position similar protections to those contained in the sheriff amendment.
  • Making the protection and promotion of the right to vote a permanent part of the county charter.
  • Requiring those running for county executive to live in the county for two years prior to officially filing as a candidate.
These proposed amendments received preliminary approval from a council committee last month. However, each individual amendment needs 'yes' votes from eight members of council -- a higher threshold than the preliminary approval -- in order to be sent to the November ballot for final approval from voters. 
Council also is expected to vote to approve leasing a warehouse just east of downtown Cleveland to hold the county's archives.

That deal has been on ice since last October, when council members raised concerns over the condition of the property and questioned County Executive Ed FitzGerald's overall plan for storing records.
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