The city has reached a compromise with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in the consolidation of some polling locations for this year’s general election.
Last week, board officials met once again with Solon Mayor Edward H. Kraus, who was joined by representatives of the Solon Recreation Department and Councilman Robert N. Pelunis.
Mr. Pelunis, along with the city’s administration, had expressed concern over the availability of parking at the Community Center, where voters in Wards 2, 3 and 7 are to cast their ballots this fall. The concern was that the lack of parking may turn voters away.
“We did reach an agreement,” Mayor Kraus said. “That was our goal.”
What the city agreed to is to keep Ward 1 at Grantwood Golf Course; Ward 6 at City Hall; Ward 4 at the Solon United Methodist Church; Ward 5 at Advent Lutheran Church and consolidate Wards 2,3 and 7 at the gymnasium at the Community Center.
The gymnasium will be closed for the day for voting, although the operations of the rest of the center will remain open. Also as part of the compromise, the city will close the Solon Senior Center during the general election this fall to allow for those parking spots to be used.
“The gym is the largest area and most conducive to voting,” the mayor said.
There will be parking all throughout the Community Center. They had toyed with the idea of having designated spots for voters, but instead decided to close the adjoining center.
“That was the change we were all looking for,” Mayor Kraus said, and “how we will make sure we have adequate parking.
“I think this is a good result,” Mayor Kraus said. “The big issue for us is parking and to make sure if someone is coming to vote, they won’t be turned away because they don’t have a place to park.”
Having the senior center parking lot dedicated to Election Day “gives us a lot of comfort,” the mayor said.
There will also be different ways to enter the community center building for voting, including coming through the senior center, the main entrance of the community center or through the back door of the gym.
“This satisfies our parking concerns and all of the logistics,” the mayor said.
Mr. Pelunis said his concerns are satisfied with this compromise.
“There will be enough parking,” Mr. Pelunis said, noting that the lot is being expanded as part of a project at the senior center moving forward. “A lot of the issues I was concerned with” have been alleviated, he said.
The senior center will remain open during this September’s primary election for Solon on Sept. 10, but closed for the general election Nov. 5.
“We’ll see how everything works out,” Mr. Pelunis said.