Question of the Day: Which NEO leader should replace Dimora?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 07/30/2008 - 08:54.

Northeast Ohio has some of the dirtiest water and beaches in the world, because we have some of the dirtiest leadership in the world, and that is very poor for Cleveland's image and economy. Fortunately, it seems the region is now positioned to clean up at least one of our messes.

Northeast Ohio now rocks from a burbilly scandal extraordinaire, caused by longtime corrupt regional politicians and their cronies, as consistently documented on REALNEO and being investigated by the FBI and IRS, which most likely will lead to the fall of County Commissioner and Democratic Party Boss Jimmy Dimora, and other political leaders, and the prosecution of regional corporate and political bosses. That is real NEO, today, and pathetic.

A benchmark of the regional performance of all our collective leadership is that Northeast Ohio has some of the dirtiest beaches in America, as that is the direct fault of all levels of regional leadership, for generations past and present, and a failure completely within regional control, and responsibility. Obvious leadership concerns exist over many regional County Commissioners, mayors, councilpeople, department directors and staff, foundation and non-profit directors, and leadership and board members of all types of regional organizations, institutions and businesses.

Our community must identify new leaders who will completely reform our regional identity and standards of conduct, which must include protecting our environment.

Who are leaders now in our community, who are worthy of praise in these times of regional shame and failure, and are worthy candidates to replace Dimora as County Commissioner? Someone who would be a worthy steward of our environment, eradicate lead poisoning, eliminate fraud and corruption, manage our finances well, and reinvent our economy, as is a commissioner's power and job. Who is qualified and available on the horizon?

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Worthy of praise?

I hear crickets...

I nominate Chris Ronayne to replace Dimora as CC

In 2005, when an apparent member of the UCI President search committee asked my opinion who should be the next leader of that most important community development organization, I suggested we find a real global innovator from outside the usual list of local suspects - someone who would further Hundert's vision to make University Circle the "World's Most Powerful Learning Environment"... an objective I respected.  I suggested we find someone like one of the planners from the Netherlands featured at a then recent planning forum at CSU... someone above the political fray who would really think out of the box. When the searcher suggested Chris Ronayne, I objected because he was needed in his position of the time, Cleveland Chief of Staff, and was more positioned to be a regional administrator within government than planner of our arts and culture core. I suggested the best job for Chris, long term, was Cuyahoga County administrator. I believe the time for that has come.

Chris was selected to lead UCI, none-the-less... and the media credites him with doing a fine job administering and leading that important organization... and Cleveland Magazine and others talk of Chris as a future Cleveland mayor candidate. A REALNEO poll shows him having a shot, but I voted against him on that count, too... we need a very different character to lead the city into the future, no matter what the establishment may think.

I've stood firm that the best fit for Chris Ronayne is for County Commissioner, and I don't think I'm the only one thinking this. Note some hard core PR for Chris in the media and coming out of UCI-allies right now, right as the Dimora melt-down is heating up.

As a county commissioner. I think Chris will bring the right social intellect and bullying style to challenge Hagan, and compliment Lawson-Jones, to drive change at the county administration and regional level, while growing county love for Cleveland and our urban core. While he will drive big box projects like Opportunity Corridor, as county commissioner, he already does that as UCI president, with similar clout.

So shifting Chris to county commissioner eliminates one establishment planner from the head table, by removing him as UCI president, offering the opportunity for a breath of fresh air in that critical position (not that there is any guarantee that may happen).

Chris has strong foundation, media, institutional and industry support - young and suburban enough to probably have avoided lead poisoning, he's bright and inspiring - good reach on his West Side and at the cultural core on the East, he is a slam-dunk to get elected and will bring strong confidence to the establishment here, which may actually increase their value and role in the urban core.

My nomination comes with the reservation he must demonstrate some wisdom on energy, lead poisoning, social service and the environment.

Any thoughts on Chris Ronayne for this position? Other candidates you would like to nominate?

Disrupt IT

Gini Aveni

Only if Gini Aveni is appointed President of the Metroparks board... and is allowed to supervise Chris Ronayne and help him to maintain his integrity... and to keep him from selling out to developers quick to make a federal buck off the poverty and race equation... and if he promises to kill the Opportunity Corridor..and to invest in shoring up the real transportation and utility networks that serve as the lifeline to our community.