Cleves' fate brings out a big effort

Saturday, October 31, 1998

BY LEW MOORES
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CLEVES -- Proponents of both sides of the dissolution issue are spending the weekend getting out a final mailing to registered voters and urging supporters to get to the polls on Tuesday.

Organizers of Team EFFECT, the group campaigning to dissolve the village into surrounding Miami Township, said they are going door-to-door in this community of 2,300 asking for voter support. SAVE organizers, meanwhile, who oppose dissolution, were also contacting voters and arranging rides for those who needed transportation to the two polling places in the village.

"We're telling them this is an election that's closer to home than any issue on any ballot at any time in history as far as we're concerned down here," said Ron Bowling, organizer of SAVE (Save A Village Environment).

Team EFFECT has been hammering at recently released findings by the Ohio State Auditor's office critical of past financial record keeping in the village. They say it is further evidence of the need to do away with local village government, its high local taxes and its inadequate tax base.

"They can't even account for our money," said Joe Whitton, a Team EFFECT organizer.

A no vote on Issue 20 will mean the village remains a political jurisdiction in Hamilton County. A yes vote dissolves the village. Those urging a no vote say change should come through elections and trimming taxes.

Proponents say the village's tax base is too small and cutting taxes will only aggravate the problem.

"I feel confident that we're going to win by a fair amount," said SAVE's Mr. Bowling.

"It's just too hard to tell," said Team's Mr. Whitton. "When we're done we'll know we gave it our best."



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