Wednesday, July 15, 2015
BREAKING NEWS: EAST CLEVELAND CITIZENS SUBMIT PETITIONS FOR ANNEXATION BY CITY OF CLEVELAND
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections announced this afternoon that it has received approximately 1,600 petition signatures for the East Cleveland annexation issue and has begun the work on their verification. According to State law, at least 559 valid signatures are required to initiate the annexation process that would conclude with the City of East Cleveland becoming part of the City of Cleveland.
Pat McDonald, Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections expects the signature verification process to be completed by the end of this week. In order for a signature to be valid the voter must have cast a ballot in the last municipal election and be a resident of the City. “If the number of required signatures is reached and certified, it will then be up to the elected officials of East Cleveland to move the process forward,” said McDonald in a statement released by the Board.
According to McDonald, the process East Cleveland officials must follow includes (this is just a summary there are some actions and possible scenarios that are not included):
· Declaring their intention to go into negotiations with the City of Cleveland to be annexed
· Appointing members of a commission from both cities who would negotiate the terms of the annexation
· Following negotiations, ballot language would be created
· Each voter would be mailed information concerning the conditions of the annexation
· The annexation question would be put to voters during a Primary or General Election
If all of the requirements for annexation are met the Cleveland City Council has the option of putting the issue before their voters or approving the annexation by a vote of Council.
If the effort falls short of collecting the 559 signatures state law does not allow the petitioners to gather additional signatures to reach their goal: (R.C. 3501.38 (I)(2)(b). However, they may choose start all over again with a brand new petition Drive.