Council Passes Controversial Ward Boundaries

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Cleveland City Council meeting, 3/26

CLEVELAND– Cleveland City Council voted Tuesday to pass new ward boundaries. It was passed by a vote of 17 to 2.

Dozens of people showed up at Monday night’s council meeting, some wearing duct tape over their mouths, to protest the new ward boundaries.

The new boundaries were drawn up by Council President Martin Sweeney.

Monday evening, Sweeney said, “It’s been a process for 18 months. Each council person had the ability to go in their neighborhoods, have neighborhood meetings. Community development groups were engaged. I’m quite confident of the transparency we had.”

The new wards will split Collinwood into two wards and downtown Cleveland into three wards, among other changes.

Voters approved the redistricting, which takes the number of wards and city council members from 19 to 17.

The reason for losing two wards is population decline over the last 10 years.

The changes would take effect Jan. 6, 2014.

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(FOX 8’s Emily Valdez contributed to this report.)