Sunday, March 25, 2001

Ohio mayors threaten to sue for census recount

The Associated Press

        TOLEDO — During the summer, when census workers canvassed Toledo's neighborhoods, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner followed them.

        He found out-of-town census workers who missed entire streets and who didn't have enough forms for the count, he said.

        “The Census 2000 operation was grossly inadequate, negligently executed, and we strongly believe that an undercount has occurred,” said Mr. Finkbeiner, who estimates census workers missed as many as 7,000 people — mostly in Toledo minority neighborhoods.

        Cleveland and Cincinnati are considering challenging the 2000 Census figures, and Lorain, Lima and Mansfield say they will take a closer look, too.

        “We receive millions of dollars in grants that are contingent on population,” said Lorain Mayor Craig Foltin. “We have a lot to lose by being undercounted.”

        The Census Bureau is asking critics to remain patient until June, when a formal challenge process starts.

        Instead, Toledo joined a federal lawsuit led by Los Angeles asking for a second set of figures.

        Cleveland Mayor Michael White has hired a lawfirm to join the suit.

        In Cincinnati, where the population dropped 9 percent to 331,285, City Planning Director Liz Blume said her office will conduct a detailed, block-by-block review to determine whether the count was wrong.


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