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Charter review, constituent calls keep summer schedule full for Councilman Martin Keane: Cleveland City Council summer recess

July 25, 2018 GMT

Charter review, constituent calls keep summer schedule full for Councilman Martin Keane: Cleveland City Council summer recess

CLEVELAND, Ohio – City Council is on summer recess, but Councilman Martin Keane still is attending many meetings. 

Keane, who represents Ward 17, is chair of the Charter Review Commission. And while City Council has only two meetings scheduled for July and August, the commission meets regularly. 

This story is the fourth installment of a cleveland.com series that reports on what council members are doing during the summer recess.    

Cleveland’s charter requires appointment of a commission every 10 years to review the document for needed amendments and updates. Seven of the 15 members of the commission are members of City Council. 

The commission meets every other week. During the weeks in between, Keane works with council’s staff addressing issues the commission has raised in its meetings. 

Since its first meeting in April, the commission has gone section by section through hundreds of pages that make up the charter. The panel is about halfway through the document, Keane said. 

“We’re working through it,” Keane said. “We’re making some progress.” 

He expects the review will take several more months, though, before the commission issues its report to City Council on which changes it suggests for the ballot. 

Answering to 27,000 bosses  

Most of the rest of his time is spent dealing with constituent calls. 

“I try to stay out of City Hall as much as possible,” Keane said. 

Keane’s ward stretches from the Lakewood border south to Brook Park. In between it includes the Kamm’s Corners and Riverside neighborhoods, all part of what was once West Park.   

About 27,000 people live in the ward -- “27,000 bosses,” Keane says. 

Every day residents call looking for help with problems. 

They might deal with uncut high grass or loud neighbors or problems with tree limbs. 

“Today it has been everything from skunks to [water] shut off valve caps,” he said. 

Previous stories: Cleveland City Council summer recess 

Councilman Basheer Jones’ ‘big impact’ idea would extend development benefits to neighborhoods Tending to growth, tackling poverty issues key focus for Glenville councilman Cleveland councilman focused on development, potential job gains in East Side ward 

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