Board of Elections verifies petition for East Cleveland annexation

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East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton submits the annexation petition on July 15, 2015.

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CLEVELAND- The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections announced on Friday it verified a petition for East Cleveland annexation. It’s the first of many of steps to merge the city with Cleveland.

On Wednesday, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton submitted the petition, which contained 827 valid signatures.

“Not only did they have to gather signatures of registered voters, but those voters also had to have cast a ballot in the November 2013 general election,” Board of Elections Director Pat McDonald said in a news release on Friday.

McDonald said the soonest the issue could appear on a ballot would be the March 2016 presidential primary election.

The board of elections also outlined the next steps in the annexation process.

  • Once the certified petition is presented to the city of East Cleveland, the city has 30 days to appoint three commissioners who will be responsible for negotiating the terms of the annexation with the city of Cleveland.
  • The city of Cleveland will then have 30 days to appoint its own three commissioners to
    negotiate annexation terms.
  • The six commissioners will have 120 days to negotiate annexation terms. Only four of the six commissioners must agree upon the terms in order to proceed.
  • Once terms are agreed upon, both cities will have 30 days to certify the issue to the board of elections.
  • If the board of elections receives the issue by Dec. 16 it will be placed on the ballot for the March 15, 2016 primary election. If received after Dec. 16, the issue will be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 8, 2016 general election.
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