Editorial: Smaller City Council

Cleveland, OH - The Cleveland City Council swallowed hard and did the right thing last week by voting to make itself smaller. They approved a plan by Council President Martin Sweeney to put a city charter revision on this November's ballot that would trim the twenty-one member council by four seats. It will be up to Cleveland voters in November to approve the plan and it's hard to imagine why they wouldn't.

The Cleveland City Council is one of the largest for a city this size in the entire nation - its members literally tripping over each other at council meetings - when they bother to show up.   The Plain Dealer revealed in June that between January of 2006 and May of this year, council members missed a total of 689 meetings. The council members make $78K dollars a year and - along with paid staffers and office costs - cutting four seats would save the city more than $300K dollars year. At 17, a reduced city council is still too large for the population of this city -but it's a cut in the right direction.