Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
ASS BACKWARD THINKING KEEPS CLEVELAND BACK
Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 06/14/2009 - 16:22.
Can you sense the panic?
Certainly the Plain Dealer does. Maybe it’s leading it. Maybe it’s helping to make it up.
All you have to do is read the Sunday PD lead editorial, “Reluctant reformers,” to hear the gnashing of teeth over the dead-in-the-water Cuyahoga County reform package amid a corruption scandal.
On the next editorial page, the PD follows with a frantic op-ed column by Tom Bier, Cleveland State University’s urban affairs executive in residence. Bier’s fretting about Opportunity Corridor. Tom, calm down. Bier gets space in the PD because he talks their talk but can be cited as an independent voice, an academic voice.
He has long been earnest and urgent about the troubles of Cleveland. I respect him for this. However, I don’t see him attacking on the tremendous waste that has gone into the private sector in town. I’d like a little more balance, even on this issue.
Bier decries the desire for input by the Council members from wards through which the $350-million (a cost he doesn’t mention) road will travel from East 55th Street to Cleveland’s cultural, educational and medical center. My take on the road: http://realneo.us/content/opportunity-corridor-driven-pds-egger
He intimates that they will pressure businesses “to employ particular people, to form partnerships or subcontract with particular other businesses, to make contributions to certain parties, and so on.”
You mean, Tom, there’s politics going here? And with only $350-million at stake?
Bier uses the word “virus,” a rather explosive word today. He’s aiming to shock. He’s really upset. He wants to “kill the virus,” I guess, of politics. Good luck there.
Politicians will play politics. Business and civic leaders play a heavy-handed game, too. No one ever says anything about killing the later virus.
So I wonder (really I don’t) if the PD will get another academic to talk about some of the drawbacks of “OPPORTUNITY” Corridor. Will there be any balance in the coverage about a road pushed by an elite committee co-headed by PD publisher Terry Egger? Or is this a done deal?
This ass-backward thinking is what keeps Cleveland back. You try to put a road – nickname it Opportunity (but never say for whom) – through an impoverished area and expect the deprived to say, please take what you want.
No need for thanks.
It won’t play that way. Someone will use the opportunity as an opportunity.
This is ass-backward because for oh so long the people left in these poverty areas haven’t been given the necessary help and opportunity by those businesses – and labor unions. So fronts now to operate in cities that are essentially black controlled on the specious claims of being screwed. Somebody’s getting screwed but not those who take advantage and are allowed to take advantage by the powers that be.
So you want peace, as they say, give a little justice.
Otherwise, there is a virus alert.
Business has had plenty of government help by the city, county and state. It’s been take, take and take. Time to give a little.
Yes, some pols have used the issue to feather their and their friends businesses via front/make-believe construction and consulting firms. Get real and do something about it. Don’t use it as an excuse to charge “insular interests stall opportunity,” as the headline of Bier’s piece says.
The reform issue, as I’ve said before, needs reform. It has the stink of special interests and that’s not the way toward reform. See here for what it needs: