Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sat, 08/25/2007 - 16:57.


Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed, County Auditor Frank Russo , and Lakewood City Councilman Ryan Demro shake hands – after sales tax referendum petition efforts fail to obtain necessary 10% of Cuyahoga County registered voters’ signatures.

The putitontheballot.com campaign to force the sales tax onto the ballot failed to obtain the state required 10% of the voters signatures in the 30 day time frame allowed.  I admit this effort did seem almost impossible from the outset, but, as we discussed at REI, there is equity in failure.  Now that we have had first hand experience with a semi-internet operation, we can begin to eliminate the flaws and plan for the future.  I will be posting thoughts about this on realneo in the coming days.


All the persons who worked on the campaign were unpaid volunteers.  Since my experience with REI several years ago at Case, I haven’t been involved with  such a intellectually stimulating group.    I am intriqued to learn more about what motivates such a group to put their hearts and soles and souls and wallets into a public interest effort – that public interest  in this case was seeing that a 20 year, million dollar per week, county sales and use tax hike was put on the ballot and voted up or down by the Cuyahoga County Voters.


My friends and acquaintances collected 10s of thousands of signatures through the County, but we failed to garner the necessary amount to guarantee that when the signatures were vetted by the Board of Elections that there would be the 45,000 good registered voter’s signatures to guarantee that the sales and use tax increase would be forced onto the spring general county ballot.


So the dominant feeling was that we should not turn the signatures into the auditor and waste the county taxpayers' money going through them only to determine that they were insufficient.


Did we FAIL?   Yes and No.   We failed with the math, but we succeeded with the organizational experience, we succeeded in bolstering the democratic process, we succeeded in achieving organizational experience which will allow the further democratization of the citizens of Cuyahoga County


Thanks very much to all those who signed the petition and put their faith in the process.  I personally apologize that the put it on the ballot.com organization was not better financed and not more organized so that we could have brought success for all those who signed the petition.…


It was worth the effort.

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Thank you

What I ask now is - how do we change what is inherently unfair?

1. The fact that the commissioners can pass the increase without voter approval - do we want to do something about that? What are our options?

2. The fact that the time to get signatures is 30 days from the vote that passed it.  Do we increase the length of time to get them? decrease the number of signatures needed? Both?

3. Make absolutely positively certain that people who we believe will represent and manage our interests in a preferable way get elected to replace the elected officials currently in office?

Maybe Put It On The Ballot has only just begun?

stay tuned

Jill, please stay tuned (as I know you will). You're asking many of the right questions.

good take

I liked the bit about "soles."

Gloria and I now have time to get new shoes next week.

See you very soon. Great working with you.

Gloria Ferris reports on put it on the ballot.com referendum

 In light of the present effort in the City of Cleveland to have Dan Gilbert's 88 million dollar tax gift put to the vote of the people of Cleveland,  I found it helpful to review past referenda and found this report by Gloria Ferris.

Ornery Democracy

  This battle is not over and I for one am grateful that our ornery citizens made the challenge possible.  You are all heroes and you know who you are, which is more than I can say for our representatives.