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Highland Heights Rejects County Anti-Poaching Protocol

Majority of officials do not see benefit of signing on.

will not be signing the anti-poaching agreement created by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

The matter was discussed at Tuesday's City Council caucus meeting and officials were clearly against the idea.

Mayor Scott Coleman said the purpose is to keep cities from soliciting businesses from elsewhere in Cuyahoga County. He said the city does not do that now and would not benefit from an anti-poaching agreement that doesn't include Mentor, a Lake County community that has drawn business from Highland Heights.

"It would be more effective if some of the neighboring counties would be part of this as well," Coleman said.

Councilman Robert Mastrangelo said there would be some advantages to signing the agreement. He said it would prevent Lyndhurst from coming to Highland Heights.

"Having their force behind us may help people from going to Mentor," he added.

But other council members didn't see the benefit, including the $100 million economic development fund the county intends to establish. Councilwoman Cathy Murphy said it's unclear where the county would get that money.

"It really seems like this is not solidified," she said.

"If it's a good agreement, that wouldn't be necessary," Councilman Leo Lombardo added, referring to the $100 million fund.

Council President Scott Mills also questioned how the county would fund the program.

"I think we should just stay the way we are," he said.

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