Cleveland weighs merger with struggling neighbor
The U. S. city of Cleveland may annex its blighted neighbor, East Cleveland, in an effort to help the struggling city. Leila Atassi reports for Cleveland.com that the “merger” is being explored by Cleveland Council President Kevin Kelley.
The idea is to bring impoverished East Cleveland under the larger city’s management and services. But Kelley wants to ensure that any annexation wouldn’t undermine Cleveland residents, the article says.
Cleveland only should proceed with the friendly takeover if three criteria are met, Kelley cautioned. There should be funding from the state government or elsewhere to pay for any capital-intensive projects. East Cleveland’s liabilities, including its municipal debt, must be resolved. And the combination should not reduce or diminish public services to Cleveland residents.
Unable to recover from the most recent U. S. housing crisis, East Cleveland has been in fiscal emergency since 2012, Cleveland.com notes here. More than 50 percent of East Cleveland residents have incomes below the poverty line, according to City-Data. com.