Green Party to protest proposed water rate hike on steps of Cleveland City Hall this evening

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Members of the local Green Party plan to picket outside Cleveland City Hall this evening to protest a proposed rate hike by the city’s Division of Water and to call for the resignation of Public Utilities Director Barry Withers.

The protest, on the front steps of City Hall, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Some City Council members, including Green Party member Brian Cummins, were outraged Friday when they learned that Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration had included $20 million in new revenue from a rate increase that would take effect in the last half of 2011.

Council members learned of the proposed rate hike for the first time during budget hearings on Friday. A Jackson spokeswoman said the administration would be submitting a study that shows why the water division needs to raise rates in March.

The city cannot raise water rates without council’s approval.

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