Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for July 12th, 2007

The Arrogance of Power Sadly is Alive and Thriving in Cleveland

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Recent events in Cleveland regarding the arrogance of two County Commissioners is disturbing to say the least, and it is time the voters of Cleveland and the County send a message that they are no longer going to accept “business as usual”. When elected officials believe that they know better and that they no longer have a need to consult or inform the people who elected them we have a real problem. And, it is time for change. Again and again, we see evidence of elected officials no longer remembering that they are elected to serve the public. They see no reason to inform and include the very people they serve in the dialogue. They need to be reminded they are not monarchs who are selected by birth but rather elected by the electorate who decide their fate. When I hear comments like the “public would not understand” or “we can do what we want”, something has changed and it has not changed for the better. Today, I begin a chronicle of examples of Arrogance by not only elected officials but by developers and others who believe “they know better”.

Jimmy Dimora About six weeks ago, I heard a disturbing story concerning the Democratic Party Executive Committee Meeting. County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, who also serves as the Cuyahoga Democratic Party Chairman as well, informed the community leaders that the only speakers allowed at Ward Club meetings would be endorsed candidates. Previously, all Democratic Party candidates were allowed to speak at our ward club meetings. Now, the edict from on high has come down to let us know that only endorsed candidates and/or incumbents are allowed podium time because we need to show a united front to the opposition. This is not the democratic way. Essentially, Mr. Dimora told the precinct committeepeople we will not allow the electorate to make the decision we will make it for them. Probably, because the “public would not understand” and how could people who don’t understand ever make a decision without US telling them what to do. How insulting!

Tim Hagan Rumor has it, that when he delivers the Medical Mart/Convention Center plans on a platter to Christopher Kennedy and company and Forest City Enterprises he is out of here. He has a wife who lives in New York that wants him there and not here. Sure sounds like a plan to me, deliver another tax supported entity to downtown Cleveland and then, leave the scene long before we know the outcome of the decision. I am sure that part of the rush to get this thing on the table is so that he can leave before the 2008 election. Leaving before the election will allow Jimmy Dimora and company to APPOINT the next county commissioner. Essentially, allowing that person to run as an incumbent. Tim Hagan for years has considered himself “Mr. Liberal” , but I am having a hard time believing his label for himself. His comments in the press saying that the public is uninformed and that he knows best because the public can’t make decisions flies in the face of that characterization. Actions speak louder than words and looking back on the history of Mr. Hagan’s stint as commissioner shows that he has been a friend to business more often than the public. Look at his history of backing regressive taxes as a way to raise revenues.

Al Ratner Recently, Roldo Bartomole related a conversation he had with Mr. Ratner that essentially verifies that Forest City Enterprises has fine tuned the ability of using the federal government as their own “risk’free” bank for projects across the nation. Development shifting the risk to the public sector and not to the business community where it should be. Why not bring a Medical Mart/Convention Center to town when the business leaders will reap the profits and the public will bear the risk? If 50 trade shows don’t come to Cleveland and it becomes a failed experiment, the public will bear the brunt of the ramifications. Make no mistake it will be our fault-no skilled workforce, not safe, not cosmopolitan enough. You name it and the reason will appear and it won’t be anyone’s fault but the public’s.
If we are going to bear the risk, shouldn’t we have the data needed to make an informed decision? Shouldn’t we walk into this agreement with eyes wide open? Don’t we have the right to make the decision? When did this all go so wrong, and why?

The Plain Dealer How hard is it to report who does something? It’s great that there is an article mentioning today’s forum at the library sponsored by “CoolCleveland.com and a group of bloggers” but  it’s Meet.The.Bloggers. What is so hard about putting that in the article? It’s less words.

Written by Gloria Ferris

July 12th, 2007 at 8:54 am

Posted in Cleveland