Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Question of the Day: Do The Port Authority and the PD Still Have a Long Hard Fall From Grace Ahead, Together?
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 11/22/2009 - 12:15.
November 21, 2009, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published a get-out-of-jail-free editorial for seemingly life-term Cleveland Port Authority dictator John Carney, and his board of directors - "A Cleveland Port Authority board already wounded can't afford conflict-of-interest charges -- editorial" - that fully acknowledges "the port is so broke it may not be able to assure continued operations of the Cleveland harbor, much less pay to relocate and expand".
Yet, the PD editors do not call for changes to the current Port Board. Quite the opposite, the PD empowers them to move into the real estate development business... despite their bond rating having sunk near junk.
Part Cover-My-Ass journalism - part last-ditch Port propaganda - the PD "editors" are writing in DEFENSE mode, and set the desired "tone" of their message by obfuscating and trivializing the real issues of poor port leadership, reporting "it's best to take with a grain of salt the latest charges from Quay 55 developer Mark Coffin that a rival developer, John Carney, who sits on the Port Authority board, is the nefarious mastermind of a plot to move the port to East 55th Street and ruin the views enjoyed by the apartment dwellers of Coffin's Quay 55".
This "Quay 55" issue just came up last week and is a red herring - for over a decade, Carney has been using his position on the Board of the Port Authority to improve his personal real estate interests, which is why "the port is so broke it may not be able to assure continued operations of the Cleveland harbor".
The Coffin challenge of port corruption is just one of a long list of challenges of Port leadership, over many years, which necessitated the Hauser Amendment... and largely killed Ed Hauser.
The highly pro-Carney/Port Authority PD acknowledges: "there is a built-in conflict in allowing any individual whose business interests overlap with port projects -- whether in progress or contemplated -- to sit on the Port Authority board" and "Carney, despite his long civic engagement and service on the board, has real-estate interests nearby that could be in play in the various transformations, relocations, expansions or reconfigurations the port is contemplating".
But, rather than demanding that Carney and the other Board members resign - for failure to lead the Port well, and for obvious business conflicts of interest - the PD encourages the world to give Carney and the current board control of $100,000,000s more in public funds, to develop our "Lakefront".
The PD suggests we change the board in the future, concluding: "People whose business interests overlap with current or contemplated port projects should be made ineligible for future board positions."
"People whose business interests overlap with current or contemplated port projects should be made ineligible FOR FUTURE BOARD POSITIONS"!?!?!
What about for the current slate of Directors, who are the reason "the port is so broke it may not be able to assure continued operations of the Cleveland harbor".
It makes far more sense to completely reorganize the Port Board and authority now - replace the entire Board of Directors, before hiring any more staff, and before the current board may do more harm.
The current BOD of the Port is as follows (you conclude for yourself who is likely to have conflicts of interest):
Further, in "SUNK: How the Port Authority wasted precious time and money on ill-conceived plans", Scene reports: "With the election of Mayor Frank Jackson in 2005, a series of events began that would ultimately leave the Port Authority in turmoil", raising questions about the oversight of the Port Authority by Cleveland City Hall, raising further concerns about how Port Board members should be selected in the future:
Add to this pathetic story highlights from prior PD reporting on the drowning of the Port Authority in red ink:
Still, the PD encourages us to keep the Port Board intact. Why?
Because the board members are "made" big-shots in the community.
And, because many other "made" big shots have made business investments based on Port Dictator Carney's plans, and they want to profit on these business and real estate interests.
In other words, the PD proposes we keep in place the currently conflicted and incompetent board members, who made the port "so broke it may not be able to assure continued operations of the Cleveland harbor", and we let them plan and manage $100,000,000s more in developments here, to benefit just a few of themselves and their friends.
The Port Authority and the PD still clearly have long hard falls from grace ahead.
We are all witnesses.
What will be really interesting is to see the PD publish their usual "hindsight is 20/20" articles about this unfortunate community's failure to demand accountability and elect good leadership... when the Army Corps feds need to bail the Port out (literally), and FBI feds get around to investigating how the Cleveland Port became such a burden to the nation.
Like, in hindsight, the PD concludes the people in this community should have prevented the rapes and mass-murders at the Sowell house, in Cleveland, which occurred over the same time frame the Port Authority has been raping the entire community.
In it's own defense, the PD already points to one "red flag" it buried in an old editorial, forgiving past conflicts of interest by Carney at the Port Authority, as proof of balanced journalism... in their many years of blindly supporting Carney and the Port board's ever-changing and foolish plans... from destroying Whiskey Island, to bulldozing the Flats, to accessorizing the Lakefront, to blighting Hough.
We at REALNEO have seen John Carney and his board for who they are - we saw how they treated Ed Hauser - and we expect justice.
Besides all the stated and to-be-realized financial costs of the Port Board's foolishness, unreported Port Board conflicts and incompetency wasted many years of Ed Hauser's life, and countless hours of citizens' time.
The PD will say, it is, of course, Clevelanders' fault for getting raped.
In fact, the Port mess is the fault of Cleveland voters who, in 2005, elected Frank Jackson mayor of Cleveland, allowing him to appointed six of the nine Port Board members who have failed the community. Several weeks ago, 77% of Clevelanders reelected Frank Jackson as Mayor for four more years, meaning the Port is his responsibility for four more years.
Ed Hauser always said "The Process is Broken", and was right
We in the REALNEO community have long been fully aware of the disgraceful performance of the Port Authority and their board - and the pathetic foolishness of their plans - and have reported on that extensively here... and the PD has always covered that up.
With REALNEO, we have fixed the broken process in this community - stopped the brainwashing by the mainstream media here - and it is now clear it is the PD and Port Boards that are broken.
The biggest raping of Clevelanders has certainly not been at the Sowell house. It has occurred in Cleveland-area Board Rooms.
The only hope for all the unreal NEO rapists to get away with their crimes, after many more years of destruction of our community, will be to divert $ billions more in Federal stimulus money to their same wrong business interests, for their usual wrong purposes.
The people of Real NEO must continue to warn Obama and the rest of the world to stop throwing good money after bad, here.
The Port needs $100,000,000s just to survive, now.
Flats "developer" Wolstein's DDR just got a $400,000,000 Federal "Stimulus" package, yet will still need $100,000,000s to build something where they bulldozed our heritage Flats district.
All the powers that be here will soon NEED Ohio VOTERS to give them $ billions more taxdollars for a Fourth Frontier, as they suck our Third Frontier dry (anyone in real NEO benefit from that?).
The Fund For Our Economic Future is a bust, and will not have ongoing foundation support at past levels, so must shift its burdens to taxpayers - e.g. OneCommunity is seeking over $150 million from Obama, for MORE "broadband" here... er, somewhere... wherever "OneCommunity" may be???
Anyone here, besides Case stakeholders, really benefit much from the last 8 years and $10s millions of OneCommunity, in this community?
Oh yeah, they now offer free wifi at the Airport.
At least real NEOans may get on line at the airport for free to read REALNEO as they wait for their flights to get the hell out of unreal NEO.
If Obama does not give our region as much of the $ billions in further federal stimulus that our powers that be are counting on, the "economic development" house of cards of Northeast Ohio will all swoosh to the ground, leaving behind little to show for a decade of effort and $1,000,000,000s in real public spending.
I'm certainly expecting exactly that, here, and see the disintegration of the Port Authority at the leading edge of this collapse.
Fortunately, nobody in REALNEO believes in the Power That Be's house of cards, so we really are just glad to see evil people fall and get out of the way of citizens, so good people may start moving the community forward... none of us were counting on that 50,000 job Port relocation con-job the Powers That Be have been smoke-and-mirroring us with all these years... we are smarter than that.
Besides replacing the entire Plain Dealer editorial board, the best way to begin fixing the regional economy is to remove the entire Board of Directors of the Port Authority, and all staff, and change the process for appointing new board members so the Mayor of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Commissioners (RIP) are not involved, and ELECT a new board that hires a new director and staff that will be accountable to the citizens, and succeed in making the Port of Cleveland an asset of the community again.
In the mean time, the Port should operate at the lowest possible activity levels, and certainly not undertake any significant new initiatives, other than complying with Federal laws, requirements and mandates to keep the shipping operations running at maximum efficiency.
As another option, local Port development, management and shipping operations could be contracted out to a third party, or other Port Authority, like from Toldeo.
By no means should the current Port Board, planning and operations model be followed by this community any longer.