This is a new blog with a simple purpose — to make it easier for Cleveland citizens to understand what’s happening in the Cleveland City Charter Review process, as the members of the Charter Review Commission (including me) spend the last month of our allotted time deciding what changes  to recommend to City Council in our city’s basic governing document.

At this moment Commission members have received formal language for 138 proposed changes to twelve of the Charter’s twenty chapters.  There will be more.  One obvious example: Last week City Council President Martin Sweeney made a presentation to the Commission asking us to recommend a new way of setting the number of Council wards.  There will certainly be other “Council reform” plans formally proposed in the near future.

The idea of this blog is to create easier public access to all these proposals, the documents submitted with them, the schedule of Commission events for the coming month, and the decisions leading up to our final report and recommendations to City Council.

Along the way I’ll try to post some road maps of the different (and often conflicting) proposals for change in specific areas like Civil Service and election rules.  But I don’t intend to engage in much opinionating here — my main blog, Callahan’s Cleveland Diary, gives me more than enough opportunity for that.

So here’s Cleveland Charter Review 2008, a special Cleveland Diary project.  I hope it’s helpful.