It's prompted discussions in political circles -- a preliminary factfinding study for Cleveland CIty Council and talk among East Cleveland residents.


EAST CLEVELAND -- It's prompted discussions in political circles -- a preliminary fact-finding study for Cleveland City Council and talk among East Cleveland residents,.

The question...Should struggling East Cleveland be annexed by Cleveland?

East Cleveland's battling poverty, blight and crime. Cleveland needs to add more residents.

A random survey of people who live, work and hang out in East Cleveland found most were open to the idea.

East Cleveland's flirting with financial disaster, according to multiple findings by State Auditor David Yost.

It's laid off city workers and desperately needed police officers to stay afloat financially.

Resident Larry Hodge said, "I think it would do a lot of good. I think it would help East Cleveland, period."

Resident Lisa Hunter said, "I am all for it if they are going to fix things up....This city needs redoing. Everything is just messed up."

Mayor Gary Norton has not expressed an opinion on annexation. He's taken some media criticism for that.

He told us he did not have time to be interviewed and declined to answer questions that were texted to him.

At Cleveland City Hall, a preliminary investigation of the costs and benefits of a possible annexation has been authorized.

Cleveland State University's Ned Hill will compile and crunch numbers to show the possible consequences of taking on East Cleveland's people, problems and potential.

Council President Kevin Kelley said, "It is something that could be great for both communities but both communities would have to say this is what we want.'

And some East Clevelanders do not want to pull the plug on their city.

Walter Melton said, "I believe Mayor Norton is turning it around. If we all pull together like we started to, we don't need Cleveland to come out here."

The whole process would likely take years. Some think the city's desperate financial situation could make the possibility more urgent.

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