The City of Cleveland estimates it has spent almost $242 million at the stadium since 2010. The facility generated about $68 million in revenue over that time.
The City of Cleveland estimates it has spent almost $242 million at the stadium since 2010. The facility generated about $68 million in revenue over that time. Credit: Data from the City of Cleveland. Illustration by Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

Covered by Documenters Janelle James and Tim Zelina

The cost of Browns Stadium: The Browns could soon ask Cleveland to help finance renovations to the city-owned lakefront stadium, and Ward 2 resident Essie Williams offered her opinion on the topic. Williams encouraged council to not spend more taxpayer money on that stadium or a new one. How much exactly has the city put into the stadium? About $350 million since 1998, according to an analysis by Signal Cleveland’s Nick Castele.

Battle for ballot initiatives: Ward 15 Council Member Jenny Spencer drew attention to an Ohio special election set for Aug. 8. Voters will decide whether to stiffen requirements for residents and advocacy groups wanting to put issues on statewide election ballots. It would also make approval of those issues — called ballot initiatives — more difficult, raising the requirement from 51% of votes in favor to 60%. Spencer urged the public to vote no on the proposed constitutional amendment. The Republican-led Ohio Legislature approved this election in early May. It comes as organizers are gathering signatures in support of an abortion-rights ballot initiative.  

On council’s radar: Council introduced several proposals and referred them to committees for discussion. Some of that legislation includes: 

  • 12 weeks of paid paternity leave for city workers
  • Rescinding city landmark status from the former Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Building
  • Adding about $122 million to a fund reserved for federal stimulus money. The fund is reserved for specific uses. Council recently nixed “civic participation” as one of those uses.

Watch the full public comments or read transcripts edited by Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell on the Public Comment CLE website created by Ohio City resident Angelo Trivisonno.

Read the Twitter thread by Documenter Tim Zelina:

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.

Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.