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The City of Cleveland wants to spend $12 million to rescue Shaker Square from receivership, turn it over to nonprofits for repairs, and sell it to a new owner. Some critics, though, say the city is overpaying for the center and it’s a waste of precious tax dollars. With repair needs looming and tenants leaving the square, City Council is set to vote on a deal as early as next week.
Cleveland City Council’s habit of invoking legal technicalities that alter the normal process for passing ordinances may seem mundane or bureaucratic, but it raises questions about why the rules exist if they are almost universally disregarded and how these practices bear on government accessibility and civic engagement.
On an early September evening, about a dozen neighbors gathered in the backyard of Phil and Christina Buck on Cleveland’s west side for a meet-and-greet with City Council president and mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley. The candidate, dressed casually in a short-sleeve shirt and leaning forward in his lawn chair, listened intently as an Ohio City resident complained about absentee landlords.