Certainty of conflict of interest insures Nancy Lesic's clients must be excluded from future planning

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 07/02/2006 - 08:55.

In a really fascinating development, the Plain Dealer attempts today to structure a deal whereby Cleveland citizens accept the idea that the former press secretary to the very dubious former Mayor Mike White, highest-level PR-statute Nancy Lesic is now under contract with the President of the Cleveland City Council, for $48,000, while also being PR-statute  to the Port Authority, and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Authority, and COSE, and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and Greater Cleveland Growth Association, and Gateway Development Corporation,  and Cleveland Neighborhood Development Corporation, and  Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, and many forces in the Insurance Industry, and some very big developers in town like Wolstein Group, and First Interstate Properties, and Ferchill Group, and Rysar Properties, and Fairmount Properties, lots of which are doing business with each other.

Lesic describes herself on her website as follows: "Lesic has built a niche working with real estate developers involved in retail, residential and commercial projects. She has led communications on a number of development and urban rehab projects, including directing public engagement and legislative relations on efforts such as the City of Cleveland’s lakefront planning effort, the revitalization of Cleveland’s Flats neighborhood and other large-scale public works projects." The ill-conceived Browns stadium and Rock Hall tombs are her fault as well... from her site: "She guided communications for the nationally-renowned campaign to "Save Our Browns", the construction and opening of Cleveland's new professional football stadium, the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and many other events and economic development projects."

While it is hard to image why the Cleveland City Council wants a real estate development PR-statute, it is certain that the choice of Lesic raises absolute conflicts of interest regarding all dealings of all the parties she has ever touched in her carreer in PR and government, blowing apart any plans for lakefront and Flats now in place. And she coming public in this way allows us to put a name and face on all that mess the city and port have created down by the lake and in the Flats.

This is a truly wonderful development, as it means all the backroom dealing between the city, port and Wolstein and Fairmount Properties et al for the East Bank Flats, for example, can now be thrown out and we can begin new planning with open eyes - Lesic is conflicted out of every big deal in the works and ahead.

Amazing how short sighted and uncreative our community leaders are - like one good rolodex from a decade ago, puffed up with lots of insider real estate dealing, is worth compromising the entire community and careers of eveyone involved. Now all deals go back to the drwaing boards, to the extent they even had real plans, and the players must all change.

So, who is going to step up to be the next big PR-statute in town, and are any clean outside developers going to come forward otpropose any truly exciting and innovative developments for the community that are worthy of honest leaders' support to replace the bad deals from the past that are on the table today?

the program never changes

One reason we're as behind as we are here is that the players never change, and there's no need for a new program. It's time for a complete makeover, as you, Norm, know only too well.

Makeover in progress... so who is stepping up for what?

I agree a makeover is needed, and that will be so healthy and will do our region and people so much good. I'm taking on driving improvements with lead poisoning, urban planning, the digital divide,  free open source software, social computing and networking, the mainstream media, fine arts economy, and equitable new economy development... and the disgraceful "Indians" brand. That's about all I can handle, for now, although I'm involved as a suppoter of so much more and I'll always help every other progressive leader I find, as much as I may. To the revolution!

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BFD discussing mapping government networks

I was really happy to see George Nemeth post about this on Brewed Fresh Daily today, and want to point to another posting there that nurtures a concept this community should pursue - mapping the social network of the local government. Here's the related string from BFD - anyone willing to help wth the actual mapping?

Filed under: Social Networks — George @ 4:27 pm

Great post by Valdis. I’m going to excerpt a bit more then I like to, so I can capture all of why you need to click through and read it:

Our calling patterns, our money flows… it is not surprising that next to be analyzed are our blogging patterns. Who blogs what, and who links to whom, is open source information. This data is public and available to anyone — no court approval required. The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes this and are funding a study.

But, do terrorists blog??? Real terrorists with real plans? I doubt it. However, people with political views and affiliations do blog…

In a political war[the upcoming elections of 2006 and 2008?], the battling parties would like to know their opponent’s structures — how are they organized, who are the key nodes in their network, and where are their points of failure…

Disrupting terrorist networks is a good thing — we want to dismantle their networks. But is it a good thing to do with your neighbors and fellow citizens? Political polarization is an effective election strategy, but it just makes us weaker as a group to our foes…

Network Weaving: Un-Weaving Networks II

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  1. Interesting posting - in conclusion Valdis asks “will the bloggers map the government?” and that we may and must do at a local level. Take a look at the posting on Nancy Lesic at http://realneo.us/node/2682 and coverage in today’s PD and map her network… the data is all there… nodes and links that for over 10 years have paid her to interconnect very big developers including Wolstein Group, First Interstate Properties, Ferchill Group, Rysar Properties, and Fairmount Properties, and the port authority, the airport, the Browns and stadium, the Rock Hall, the convention bureau, the Cleveland Neighborhood Development Corporation, Gateway Development Corporation, COSE (10,000s of businesses), GCP (150 largest businesses), State Government, Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, pharmaceutical and insurance industries, now Cleveland city council, and for 8 years former mayor White and all their mutual former relations. Clearly she’s a nexus of NEO real estate and economic development power-brokering… Carney is a similar, much more secretive such nexus. The PD certainly seems to reinforce all these nodes and links, so there seems to be a supernatural elasticity to all of this, making it isolated and unique. If you don’t like what all those parties are doing to the region, disrupt the ability of the Lesic and Carney nexuses to link their networks together and all those nodes and connections will be disrupted, at least for a while. But, if there are not alternative networks, strong nodes and links interconnected to grow the overall economy here, then the Lesic/Carney-nexus cannot not be disrupted, or will go further underground, or simply be rebranded, and the networks will self-heal to current-state. Other interesting related network maps would present interconnections of the developers to each other, and tenants to developers (KMart, WalMart, Borders, etc.), and residential unit class and type to developer, and all that to their ecological impacts, and their links to government entities and specific officials, which will clearly show the impact of these networks and nodes on the NEO regional reality. Very interesting potentials in all of this.

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