East Cleveland petitions state for bankruptcy protection
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio– East Cleveland takes a desperate step towards keeping the city running.
Citing decades of economic decline and dramatic decreases in revenue, East Cleveland is petitioning to the state of Ohio for bankruptcy protection.
In a letter to the state commissioner, East Cleveland states it does not have the money to provide basic police, fire and EMS protection, and standard city services.
Bankruptcy protection is one way to keep from losing taxpayer money. Mayor Gary Norton, Jr. said it would also help the city restructure its costs and debts.
“What we have to do in East Cleveland is use this tool to protect the revenue that we do have so we can target it toward the city services –especially safety forces, keep them on the street, keep them protecting people— while we really try to fix the overall economic problem in East Cleveland that will hopefully be fixed through something like a city merger,” Norton said.
East Cleveland has petitioned to merge with the city of Cleveland. But, that action has been delayed in the courts.