East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton Now Open to Merger Discussion


We've been reporting for years how East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton remained staunchly opposed to any talk of merger with the city of Cleveland. He famously told a crowd of residents during his State of the City speech in 2014 that there would be no merger, literally saying, "Not a merger. You hear me? Not a merger."

Well. So last night Norton held a "conference call town hall meeting" with residents to address some of the ongoing systemic financial problems in his city. It was a somewhat ironic notion, given that the city has had problems keeping its own Sprint cell phone networks on. 

WCPN has the story:
Speaking on a conference call meeting with constituents, [Norton] said the [merger] process could begin with a petition drive. Under state law, that would set up a commission to negotiate annexation proceedings.

“I believe that if this petition is put forward, Cleveland will agree to form the commission with us and to study the issues,” Norton said. “And hopefully it will be a win-win situation.”
While Norton isn't taking up either side of the issue, he is most certainly leagues away from his stance from last year.

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