From The Plain Dealer

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald pledged last week to make public all proposals for selling county property, before any deals are approved by the county council.

“Once we’ve negotiated, we’ll go to council,” he said in an interview. “They’ll put it on the docket for a public meeting, they’ll reveal it on the agenda. At that point, everything becomes transparent. And our decision at that point will not be final or irreversible.”

FitzGerald made the pledge two days after the county’s real estate consultant told County Council that only the names of developers would be publicly disclosed before deals were struck for properties. Other details would be discussed in closed-door sessions.

Today, the county will ask developers for proposals to buy any of 13 county-owned properties, including the ill-fated Ameritrust complex. Developers also can proposal to build, sell or lease office space for a new county headquarters and a storage facility.

By asking for proposals, rather than competitive bids that are made public at the time they are opened, the county is allowed by state law to privately discuss possible deals.

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