Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cuyahoga County's boards of revision turn page on past with new members and refreshed approach

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- All three wore business suits.

Two men, one woman. Each with a calculator, stapler, staple remover, legal pad and pen.

They were polite but aggressive in the questions they asked the residential real estate developer and his lawyer, seated across the short conference table. An aging cassette-tape recorder and a overflowing dish of plastic-wrapped breath mints sat between them.

The hearing lasted more than a hour.

Eight months ago, it would have been quite a different scene. The attire would have been more casual. A bottle of Wite-Out might have been alongside the other supplies.

More than an hour? Maybe, if there was a hearing at all. Breath mints? Forget about it.

Welcome to Cuyahoga County's boards of revision, version 2.0. Three weeks ago, a reform-driven county government refreshed the way challenges to property valuations are handled.

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