Perspective: Sparse citywide vote expected for new council

6:50 PM, Sep 9, 2013   |    comments
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Cleveland's era of a newly downsized city council is expected to begin with a  downsized sparse turnout of primary election voters Tuesday.

Cleveland's shrinking population is again forcing council to shrink, this time from 19 to 17 seats.

Many people think that is still way more council members than Cleveland really needs.

Cleveland voters have had to familiarize themselves with newly reshaped wards.

But a seat on Council still attracts the politically ambitious. And in 11 of the new 17 wards, there's a traffic jam of three or more candidates vying for the councilperson's job.

The two top vote-getters in each will make the cut for November's finale, when the turnout should be higher because of the mayoral race between Mayor Frank Jackson and challenger Ken Lanci.

Most of the attention is on several contests.

In new Ward 2, the question is whether voters will give Zack Reed a third chance to prove he can kick his alcohol addiction and continue his work at City Hall. Three other candidates want to replace him.

In Ward 10, two incumbents and three other candidates are in the free-for-all.

Jeff Johnson and Eugene Miller are the present council members striving to keep their jobs.

There's lots of political intrigue compounded by Councilman Miller's controversial address change and recorded rants at 9-1-1 operators. Two colleagues are working hard on Johnson's behalf. Mayor Jackson has backed Miller.

In Ward 14, three candidates are going after Brian Cummins' slot.

Two -- Nelson Cintron Jr. and Janet Garcia -- are hoping to give the Hispanic community its only voice on council.

Council's taken its lumps over the summer because of members' misconduct and political shenanigans.

And a very, very small number of voters are expected to decide who will make the cut for November's main event.


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