Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM
Local elected officials are putting their weight behind the ballot issue tax that would support the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and others talked up the benefits the Port Authority brings to the county outside the ArcelorMittal Steel plant in Cleveland.
FitzGerald says the port's activities are directly linked to jobs, and protecting jobs is a top priority.
FitzGerald: "There's 18,000 people whose jobs are directly related to what the port does. And those are real jobs that you can raise a family on. The steelworkers who are here, can testify to that fact."
Last year, the port authority tried to pass a much more expansive levy, but it was defeated. The current levy collects 3.1 million dollars each year - money Port Authority board member Jan Roller says is critical to maintaining its operations.
Roller: "We intend to take advantage of every minute available to us from now until the polls close on November 5th, to ask voters to keep our port open and strong. Because Cuyahoga County can't afford anything else."
The levy won't raise taxes, but it will preserve the current tax of $3.50 per year on every $100,000 worth of real estate. Also on the ballot will be a new tax to support the county's mental health services.