Perspective | Residents put kibosh on suburbs merger

1:47 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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Cutting back on redundant wasteful government. Saving precious tax dollars...streamlining and upgrading services.

They are all noble ideas good government advocates have talked about for a long time.

Many argued Cuyahoga County's 58 independent communities could be and should be consolidated.

All in all, they are goals that most people would likely support. At least in theory.

But if pursuing those goals would mean losing your hometown's identity and more familiar, responsive officials at your city or village hall, well, that's apparently a different story.

Two years ago, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald stood with a group of mayors from east side suburbs and touted launching an effort that could lead to a merger.

The idea was to connect Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere.

If it were to happen, it would be a gradual step-by-step process with citizen input and research studies.

Well, two years later, the ballyhooed idea has apparently fizzled out.

Why?

Because more residents disliked the idea than embraced it.

FitzGerald had called the possibility, "a bold collaboration by four leaders willing to do the smart and right thing for their communities."

The original timeline called for putting a proposal on the ballot this fall.

All the suburbs were once part of the same predecessor community of Orange Township.

They now share schools and recreation programs.

But the ties between people and their communities are apparently too strong to overcome.

The research will continue. But it seems likely to wind up as binders collecting dust on a shelf rather than a compelling blueprint  to merge.

There's a valid comparison with people's attitude toward Congress.

They think it's a dysfunctional disgrace and ought to be remade.

But they like their Congressperson. They like the idea of change, as long as it's not too close to home.

Fix the big problem. But don't mess with me or mine.

WKYC-TV

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