APNewsBreak: Poor suburb softens on merger with Cleveland

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — Leaders of one of Ohio’s poorest cities have dropped their opposition to being annexed by neighboring Cleveland.

East Cleveland City Council President Thomas Wheeler told The Associated Press this week that a merger with Cleveland appears to be unavoidable.

It’s a shift East Cleveland residents hope could provide basic services the city hasn’t been able to afford for years.

Mayor Gary Norton has been pushing for a merger for several years. But he has been stymied by a City Council that had believed that the city could survive on its own.

East Cleveland struggles to pay city workers, can’t afford to fix its streets or plow snow, and owes its creditors more than $3.5 million.

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