Parma voters ended Mayor Dean DePiero's honeymoon on Election Day, rejecting a levy to fund the police and a proposed charter that would have let City Council impose the levy on its own. Now, DePiero ("The Flamingo Kid," August 2004) will have to cut about $1.8 million from the budget, possibly laying off police and other city workers. Voters were surely angry that no one had been punished for the Parma police scandal. An investigator says several cops were paid for working for the city and outside employers simultaneously and that the retired ex-police chief may have forged records. But DePiero is waiting for a special prosecutor to act before he fires or suspends anyone.
Euclid residents voted to keep Cleveand's Providence Baptist Church from moving to town ("Promised Land," October 2004). Sixty percent of voters sided with activists who claimed the church's land would generate more taxes as an industrial development and that the church's builder may have botched a project in Collinwood. The Rev. Robert Gries had warned Euclid Catholics that the anti-church referendum "flies in the face of the ... vision that we are one people, one community." Providence is suing the city for religious discrimination under a law the activists claim is unconstitutional. Providence has offered to settle the suit and set aside a few acres for industry and city parks, but at press time the city hadn't decided whether to accept the offer.