Cuyahoga County Government Reform Initiative (2009)

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The Cuyahoga County Government Reform Initiative was a set of two ballot measures that were on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Cuyahoga County for county voters. Issue #5 would have set up a committee to analyze the possibility of changing the structure of the county government. Issue #6 will directly alter the county government, enacting a charter. Since Issue 6 was enacted by the public vote, the measure will alter the county government.

Election results

Issue 5 was defeated.[1]

Issue 5
Result Votes Percentage
Defeatedd No 243,038 72.03%
Yes 94,383 27.97%
Total votes 337,421 100.00%
Voter turnout NA%

Issue 6 was approved.[1]

Issue 6
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 226,341 66.18%
No 115,651 33.82%
Total votes 341,992 100.00%
Voter turnout NA%

Issue 5

This issue differed from 6 in that it sought to create a 15 member council that would recommend a new government structure for the people to vote on in the next election year. Council members were more in favor of this because it would save their jobs at least in the near term and would also save their salary cuts that would occur if 5 passes.[2]

Ballot summary

Shall a County Charter Commission be chosen?

Issue 6

Issue 6 will change the three-commissioner system to an elected county executive and 11 area representatives. The elected executive would have the power to appoint department heads.

A petition was circulated by Cuyahoga County residents in order to place the issue in front of the commissioners for public vote. Residents had until July 13 to submit 45,000 signatures from area registered voters. The initiative followed an FBI investigation alleging contract steering and nepotism in the county government, focusing on Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Ballot summary

Shall a county charter be adopted providing for an elected county executive, an elected county prosecutor, eleven county council members elected by district, and all other county officers appointed by the county executive whose appointments are subject to the confirmation by council and who shall serve at the pleasure of the county executive?


Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, U.S. Representatives Marcia Fudge and Dennis Kucinich have all spoken out against the reform proposal.

East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer said proposal would only lead to corruption because of the high level of power ascertained to the proposed executive position: "You will see a level of political thuggery the likes you have never seen."


A prominent black state senator, Nina Turner, won big with Issue 6 passing. She was almost alone in being the only black Democrat to support this issue. Due to its passing, she has been elevated in the ranks of prominent Democrats in Ohio. What she will do next after her term is expired, run for the new seat she created possibly, is still unclear. What is clear is that those that stand by what they think to be fair and right garner more support from residents after the fact.[3]

See also

External links

Additional reading