Ed Hauser's Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Public Records Request - one man for the citizens

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/18/2006 - 02:25.

 There is lots of major news related to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and their plans for the region, these days. They have appointed a new President, Adam Wasserman, to replace Gary Failor, and their efforts to bulldoze the East Bank of the Flats, for developer Scott Wolstein and his mother, have moved through the Cleveland Planning Commission - next stop, court. More important, outside public news and vision, the Port Authority is in the process of a costly review of the need for their operations and facilities, and there is at least one effort in town to make that analysis more useful, honest, public and visible, thanks to one man... port watchdog "Citizen" Ed Hauser, of course. Read his public records requests and correspondence on this below, as an excellent demonstration of how citizens should act in NEO. Then think, why does he care so much, and do you care enough?

 

Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 13:25:16 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Fwd: Port Public Records Request & Comments

Dear Media Contacts:
 
I am forwarding the email message and attachments sent to public officials.  I will submit similar public records requests to the city of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Administration.  It's important to inspect the public records to get a thorough understanding of these studies and plans.  The results may lead to waterfront development projects that will change the face of Cleveland forever and have the potential to cost billions of taxpayer dollars.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions.
 
Sincerely,
Ed Hauser


Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 13:12:16 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Port Public Records Request & Comments

Dear Public Officials:
 
I am pasting and attaching a copy of my public records request submitted to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port Authority).  This records request is in regard to the Port Authority Relocation Feasibility Study and Future Development Proposals for the Port Authority Eastside Maritime Facilities/Properties.  I am also attaching my public comments to the Port Authority Board (09/08/06), which were never answered, and my public comments to the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners (08/23/06).
 
My public records request was addressed to Gary Failor, President of the Port Authority.  However, at today's Port Authority board meeting, they hired Adam Wasserman as the new President of the Port Authority.  I wish Mr. Wasserman all the best and hope that the Port Authority will begin a new era of more accountability to the taxpayers and public it serves.
 
Biography copied from the World Cities Alliance website: "Adam J. Wasserman has served as Director of Arlington Economic Development since 1997. He is a founder and Chairman of the World Cities Alliance. Prior to joining Arlington, he was Manager of Strategic Development for Central and South West Corporation. Mr. Wasserman has also worked in economic development in Baltimore County where he was Deputy Director and in New York for the New York City Public Development Corporation. He has a BS and a Master of Environmental Science degree from Arizona State University. From 1999 - 2000 he served as Chairman of the Area Business Development Officials Committee (ABDOC) of the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI)."

 
          
December 15, 2006
 
To:       
Gary Failor
President
Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
1375 East Ninth Street, Suite 2300
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
           
From:   
Ed Hauser
11125 Lake Avenue #402
Cleveland, Ohio 44102
 
cc: Interested Citizens, Organizations, Public Officials and the Media
 
Subject: Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority: Public Records Request 2006-1
 
Dear President Failor:
 
Pursuant to the Ohio's Sunshine Laws and the Federal Freedom of Information Act, please assemble and provide the following public records listed below for inspection and/or copying.  Please send me a written reply to this public records request within five business days to notify me which of the records will be available for immediate inspection and/or copying.  Afterward, I will contact you to arrange for a date and time for me to inspect the assembled public records while the Port Authority assembles the remainder of the public records, if needed.
 
1) Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port Authority) Relocation Feasibility Study
1.1) Request for Qualifications (RFQ) / Letters-of Interest (LOI)
1.2) Requests for Proposals (RFP)
1.3) Scope of Work and /or Services (SOW/S)
1.4) All Consultants Responses to the RFQ, LOI, RFP, and SOW/S
1.5) Documentation of the Consultants interviews and selection process
1.6) Contract with URS Corporation for the Port Authority Relocation Feasibility Study
1.7) Revised Scope of Work /Services with URS Corporation
1.8) Documentation of meetings and correspondence with the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County
 
2) Proposals and Meetings with Developers and/or Consultants for the Future Development of the Port Authority Eastside Maritime Facilities/Properties (Dock 20-Dock 30)
2.1) Request for Qualifications (RFQ) / Letters-of Interest (LOI)
2.2) Request for Proposals (RFP)
2.3) Scope of Work and /or Services (SOW/S)
2.4) All Developer's and/or Consultant's responses to the RFQ, LOI, RFP, and SOW/S
2.5) Documentation of Future Plans submitted by Developers and/or Consultants
2.6) Documentation of the Developers and/or Consultants interviews and selection process
2.7) Agreements and/or Contracts with Developers and/or Consultants for Future Development
2.8) Documentation of meetings and correspondence with the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County
2.9) Documentation of the travel itinerary and expense reports for John Carney and/or Port Authority staff for travel to and from Las Vegas, Nevada for a convention in May 2006.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Ed Hauser
 

>
September 8, 2006

To:
Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority - Board of Directors

John Carney, Chair; Michael Wager, Vice Chair; Monte Ahuja; Rose Rodriguez-Bardwell; Candace  Jones; Robert Peto; Steven Williams; and Leonard Young

One Cleveland Center
1375 East Ninth Street, Suite 2300
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

From:
Ed Hauser
11125 Lake Avenue #402
Cleveland, Ohio 44102

cc: Interested Citizens, Public Officials, Organizations and the Media

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, President- Gary Failor 

Subject: Request for the Port Authority to cancel its contract with URS regarding the Port Relocation Feasibility Study

*REPLY REQUESTED*

Dear Board of Directors:

I am requesting that the Port Authority Board of Directors cancel its contract with URS regarding the Port Relocation Feasibility Study.  The Port Authority and URS have 60 days from July 21, 2006 to cancel this contract.

For the following reason and concerns, I believe the Port Authority should cancel the contract with URS for the Port Relocation Study:

* Cuyahoga County Planning Commission has been in the process of conducting a comprehensive study for the entire Port of Cleveland

* US Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an Environmental Impact Statement for the Dredged Materials Management Plan

* No Public Consensus to relocate the entire Port Authority eastside maritime facilities

* No public consensus to build a new Port Authority cargo handling facility on Whiskey Island Marina

* Missing public records regarding the last study between the Port Authority, URS and Oglebay Norton

* Port Authority deleted its obligation to conduct public hearings for its future development plans from its Rules and Regulations and lobbied state legislators to repeal those laws from the Ohio Revised Code

* Pattern of dysfunctional planning efforts by the Port Authority for future development plans

* Potential conflict of interest between the Port Authority Chair and the proposed developer

Respectfully submitted,

Ed Hauser

 
August 23, 2006

To:
Honorable Board of County Commissioners
Jimmy Dimora, Tim Hagan, and Peter Lawson Jones
1219 Ontario Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

From:
Ed Hauser
11125 Lake Avenue #402
Cleveland, Ohio 44102

cc: Interested Citizens, Public Officials, Organizations, Stakeholders, and the Media

Subject:  
Formal Request for the Board of County Commissioners to proceed with the Cuyahoga County's "Cleveland Lakefront / Cuyahoga River Maritime Facilities Study"

Dear Honorable Board of County Commissioners:

On July 27 and August 10, 2006, I testified in front of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) making an urgent request for the county to proceed with its Cleveland Lakefront / Cuyahoga River Maritime Facilities Study for $200,000.  On July 21, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port Authority) approved a Port Relocation Feasibility Study for $900,000.  The urgency of my request is because of a statement made in a Plain Dealer article, "The county, which set aside money for its own independent study last year, will now drop those plans and work with the port."  The county administrator confirmed that to be true, at this time.

Therefore, I am resubmitting my request in writing and ask the BOCC reconsider my formal request for the county to proceed with its Cleveland Lakefront / Cuyahoga River Maritime Facilities Study.  I will briefly explain the logic behind my request and that the taxpayers must finally get the information we need to make logical decisions regarding Port Authority, private maritime operators and the Cleveland waterfront.

I am attaching a "Detailed Timeline" and "Brief Timeline" of waterfront planning efforts in Cleveland during the last decade.  The Timelines demonstrate the dysfunctional planning efforts for our waterfront and the need for valid studies and assessments regarding our waterways.  For example, over a nine (9) year period, the plans for Cuyahoga County's Whiskey Island Parkland (now Wendy Park) have changed nine (9) times.  This type of dysfunctional planning can no longer be tolerated.  The people of Northeast Ohio deserve a "comprehensive" assessment of the current and future maritime needs for the public and private operations along the lakefront and riverfront.

In the very near future, I will submit extensive public record requests to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Cuyahoga County, and the city of Cleveland.  For over eight (8) years, I have participated in the public processes for waterfront development and will continue to investigate how our governments operate and spend our tax dollars.  I will also suggest the "Next Steps" that need to taken to restore the public's trust and confidence in planning for Cleveland's waterways.

The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority are taking two very different approaches to its studies and assessments.  The county will do a comprehensive study of the current and future needs of the maritime operations along the lakefront and riverfront.  The Port Authority is narrowly focused on relocating its east side operations and building a new gravel dock.

Next Steps to Restore the Public's Trust and Confidence in Planning for Our Waterways

1) Proceed with the County's Cleveland Lakefront / Cuyahoga River Maritime Facilities Study (Project completion within ten months after Project Award date)

Quoted from the County's Maritime Study - Problem Statement:

As a major partner in the Northeast Ohio economy, the BOCC [Board of County Commissioners] believes that the Cleveland Harbor lacks a comprehensive strategy for what its maritime and public role will be in the future and the markets it will serve.  This lack of strategy affects the Harbor's long-term viability and capability, the maritime operators that utilize Port facilities, the industries that depend on the maritime shipping and the public that seeks increasing access to Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.

Therefore, the BOCC has decided to undertake a study of the maritime facilities of the Cleveland Lakefront and the Cuyahoga River to obtain the necessary information and analysis to assist them and their partners in making key decisions in regards to:

1) Role of the Cleveland Harbor;

2) Location, extent, and type of maritime shipping operations needed at the Port of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River navigation channel (including the Old River Channel that forms the southern boundary of Whiskey Island) to serve the Northeast Ohio economy into the 21st century; and

3) How to best leverage the Lake Erie and Cuyahoga River waterfronts for a wide variety of activities.

2) Cancel the contract between the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and URS for the Port Relocation Feasibility Study - The contract includes a 60-day cancellation option by either party (Project completed within six months)

The Port Authority's relocation study is a waste of taxpayer money because:

2a) Results of the US Army Corps of Engineer's federal mandated Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be available until January 2008. 

* Results may determine that a new Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) will be built on a site other than the Cleveland Harbor West Breakwall.
* Results may also determine that the new CDF is will be used for purposes other than the relocation of a 100-acre Port Facility.
* Port Facility relocation to the West Breakwall has many negative impacts associated with it, including but not limited to: Environmental (aquatic habitats, water and air pollution…); Aesthetics (ugly views of warehouses, cranes, trucks… on our beautiful Great Lake); Rebuilding Existing Transportation Infrastructure (maritime, highway, and rail); and of course the Tremendous Costs to the Taxpayers.

2b) Building a new Gravel Dock for Oglebay Norton on the County's Whiskey Island Marina property has nothing to do with relocating the Port Authority's East Side Operations to the West Breakwall.

* This Gravel Dock Project will cost the county taxpayers over $30 million with a Return on Investment (ROI) of over 150 years.  Costs = $33.5 Million = Construction ($20.5 M) + Land Acquisition ($6 M) + Boater Long Term Leases ($2 M) + Access Road ($3 M) + Bridge ($2 M).  The Port leases 10 acres for bulk storage on Dock 20 for about $200K/year. ROI=167.5 years=$33.5M/$200K=Unacceptable

3) After the results and findings of the County's Cleveland Lakefront / Cuyahoga River Maritime Facilities Study; and the USACE Dredged Material Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement:

* Revisit the feasibility of the Port Authority's Port Relocation Feasibility Study.
* Revisit the feasibility of the City of Cleveland's Waterfront District Plan.
* Implement a valid planning process for our waterways that truly involves the community.
* Implement a valid plan for our waterways that will make the community thrive and be proud of!