Brooklyn Centre & Old Brooklyn targeted for slice and dice by Council Leadership

Submitted by briancummins on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 22:25.

Journal of a frustrated but energized Councilman…


After meeting with Council consultants on Thursday late afternoon, I had to prepare for a Councilman's report for a 60-year old civic association that serves the eastern portion of Brooklyn Centre named Southwest Citizens Area Council.

I had an hour to calm down from my anger in realizing that the neighborhoods that I currently serve have been targeted to be cut-up, divided, and distributed to two additional Wards.

I questioned myself if I should break the news, or wait for a calmer moment and different  time and place to break the news to the leaders of the organization.  Clearly the news could not wait.  The splitting into two wards of Brooklyn Centre and the potential loss of being able to represent any of Old Brooklyn had to, and needs to be, shared immediately and with as many people in Cleveland as possible.

The neighborhoods of Ward 15 are being proposed to be cut, divided and reapportioned into four different wards. with only the western half of Brooklyn Centre being combined and folded into the majority of the area now known as Ward 14.  The remaining portions of the ward would be divided up between Wards 12, 13 and 16.

The Brooklyn Centre neighborhood is proposed to be split in two, using Pearl Road as an east-west dividing line between two different wards (current Wards 13 (Councilman Santiago) and 15). The eastern portion of Brooklyn Centre would be reapportioned as a part of what is currently known as Ward 13 (Councilman Cimperman).  As described above, the western portion of Brooklyn Centre, between Pearl Road and Fulton Road, would become part of the new Majority-Minority Hispanic Ward that is currently (for the most part), known as Ward 14.

The Old Brooklyn neighborhood portions of Ward 15 would be eliminated in their entirety and reapportioned to three different wards: current Ward 12 (Councilman Brancatelli); Ward 13; and, Ward 16 (Kelley).

Proposed reapportionments of Ward 15, Old Brooklyn:

The current Ward 12 situated on the City’s southeast side would be extended westward, across the Cuyahoga Valley to include the southeast area, i.e., the area that borders Brooklyn Heights from W. Schaaf, to Broadview, to Tampa, to W. 20th, to 19th, portions of Treadway and then using Valley as the boundary to the west.

The current Ward 13 situated in portions of the northeast, downtown and northwest areas of the city would extend southward to incorporate portions to include Valley Road to the east, Pearl Road to the west and Broadview road to the North.

The current Ward 16 (Councilman Kelley), currently situated in the south and northwest section of Old Brooklyn and southern portions of Stockyards would expand eastward and northward to include the remaining Ward 15 area from W. 57th and Memphis to Pearl Road.

Proposed maps have not yet been distributed but have been reviewed with the consultant.
NOTE: Descriptions and proposed boundaries are not exact and are NOT anticipated to be changed by more than 1,000 persons before being finalized.

When I have more time I’ll try to post a map that can provide a visual for what I described above.

Essentially what was presented at this past Wednesday's public meeting (and I assisted in writing the talking notes) was false.  If I found out on Thursday that the draft maps and boundaries were pretty much set in place without anticipation of significant change, we should of told the public the truth.  Instead, false statement were made under the pretense that nothing is set, or nothing is certain yet

In fact, as I found out less than 24-hrs afterwards, Council Leadership knew that an eastside and a westside ward would be eliminated.  They knew for certain that an eastside ward would have to reach broadly and deep into the Westside to take in population due to the large loss of population from the eastside.  How large of a loss is a mystery as no detailed information has been provided to me with regards to the block by block population estimates we received from CSU.

I have not been informed of the details of any other newly proposed Ward boundaries other than those areas of other Wards impacting Ward 15.

Although requested previously and requested in writing today, I have not been provided with any detailed population estimates (estimated by block), which the consultants hired by City Council obtained, under sub-contract from Cleveland State University. The consultants for City Council have explained that this information is normally not made public until the proposed new ward boundaries are finalized by the legislative body.

Due to the extreme degree of changes being proposed to the existing neighborhoods of Ward 15, I am in the process of requesting the population detail information as well as draft maps being used to explain the proposed new Ward boundaries to individual Council members through the Clerk of Council.

The reason for my request is to be able to understand more clearly the rational for the consultants proposed changes and if there would be any other alternatives that would mitigate the detrimental results of separating our historic neighborhoods into multiple new ward boundaries. It is my contention that the information that I am requesting falls under the requirements of the State of Ohio’s Public Records Act and should thereby be made available and not held private until the new Ward boundaries are finalized for council’s approval.

NOTE: The median population figure and generally acceptable variance for each of the 19 Wards with an estimated population of 427,000 as of February 15, 2009 is: 22,473 persons; with a variance of +/– 5% = 1,124; representing a range of 21,349 - 23,597 persons per Ward.

Council will be deliberating and then voting on a finalized version of the new 19 Wards by no later than April 1, 2009.  I will make any new information I receive pertaining to the reapportionment process for Ward 15 available on this web site.

After a long and spirited discussion (after I explained what is proposed and after the official civic association meeting - a 501c3), there was, and now continues to be actions in organizing protests at City Hall this coming Monday and every Monday thereafter until these extreme measures to break-up these neighborhoods are reversed or at a minimum tempered so as not to damage both of them so brutally.


Brian Cummins

Cleveland City Councilman, Ward 15

Plain Dealer's article from this evening covering this issue:

Cleveland's shrinking City Council will likely leave Brian Cummins without a ward

by Henry J. Gomez/Plain Dealer Reporter Friday March 06, 2009

Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins could be an odd man out as the council downsizesNew boundaries that will shape Cleveland's soon-to-be-smaller City Council are beginning to come into focus.

Council consultants favor a plan that would combine a tiny piece of the West Side ward Brian Cummins now lives in and represents with a much larger portion of the ward now led by Joe Santiago. That would set up a potential showdown between the two in this year's elections.

See full article at:

Proposed Ward 15 neighborhood split - 2010.jpg377.59 KB
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CSU Planning=Cleveland Foundation

Brian, I've seen you in action raising public awareness about issues like taxation without representation for the MedCon, and holding all accountable on that project today - you have pissed off the wrong powerful people and I am not at all surprised they have plans to do you in.

If CSU is planning this it is a Cleveland Foundation plan and you need to attack there - send your people to Playhouse Square each Monday!

Disrupt IT

Who is Triad?

Considering CSU hired Triad Consulting of Rocky River - largely a bunch of CSU, Case and Kent grads - to decide your ward and the definition of our community, I believe we need to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE at TRIAD, including EVERY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP for the past 10 years.

Why did CSU hire them. Who hired CSU in the first place. HOW MANY DOLLARS PAID TO EVERYONE BY WHOM? Who is in charge of this at CSU, and who do they report to. What contracts and reports have been generated - ALL EMAILS BETWEEN ALL PARTIES. Look for the name "Akers" Whitehead and Richards on cc's. 

That is the information to request.

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Meet Joe Santiago

The numbers and people behind them


I have respect for the Consultants.  They've been doing reapportionment work for along time.  I do not envy their work because the business of reapportionment is a dirty one when done in a vacuum as opposed to more progressive governmental jurisdictions that use such things as non-partisan commissions or community processes for public involvment.  Although they are working on behalf of all 21 Councilmembers, clearly, as in any other political body, direction in terms of the process and communications must come from the body's leadership.

Triad is City Council's primary contractor responsible for the word of redistricting/redrawing new Ward boundaries.  Triad in turn hired CSU (CSU is the subcontractor) to conduct the actual population estimate work that was competed at the end of January.  CSU's Dr. Mark Salling and his team at the Northern Ohio Data & information Service are highly regarded and the information available on their site is excellent.



What was the public engagement strategy?

Brian - we live in the most impoverished city in America and it has gotten this way over a long time and is getting worse because of lots of well respected, smart "consultants", professors and students at CSU, Case and Kent all doing consulting funded largely by industry and foundations, instead of hard public economic, social and environmental research, and so those smart people rarely speak up about anything that is against the machine... remember what happened to Ed Morrison when he spoke up, even just a little tiny bit.

Now we have a regional strategic plan that is ALL OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE - developed by the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION's Fund For Our Economic Future, supported through FFOEF funded research and development at CSU and Case... and we have Strategic Investment Initiative plans controlling the current and future planning of Cleveland - and the $ billions for implementing all that - controlled by the Fund's founding Cleveland Foundation, supported through their research funded R&D at Case, Kent and CSU - they are altogether restructuring County government and Cleveland council redistricting, largely without citizen understanding and interaction, and all the money for all of this ultimately comes from taxpayers, and, I repeat, is $ billions.

Government intelligence has been completely outsourced to the foundations, controlled by industry. How stupid is all this?

You do not go to Chicago, or Toronto, and ask Foundations for permission to innovate the region... you work with citizens and government. Where else in the world do you have to go to a Foundation to get something in a city done? It is an embarrassment!

Was there an RFP for the redistricting consulting? Did it specify a public engagement process? Was one proposed or followed.

Where is the contract and how much was paid to Triad and CSU?

Since I live in East Cleveland I haven't followed this subject closely and I'm glad you have brought it up. With only a few weeks until Jackson may get to decide for everyone, what are your recommended next steps for citizens to get up to speed and engaged?

What are the smoking guns we are looking for?

What are the plans for the East Side - what council people are being squeezed on my side of town?

Disrupt IT

And what is the deal with Nancy Lesic and City Council?

I never could understand how you people could do that!

Is she still under contract with Council? How much has been her cost to citizens each year ever?

What has been her impact?

Disrupt IT

The Diocese

  Brian has also pissed off the Diocese, so connect the dots there, too.

Cummins, Polensek, Keane, Zone and Reed could topple Sweeney and his despicable crew, by mobilizing those angry Catholics and others affected by the Diocese's attempt to make commercial real estate killings off these congregations in the city.  Cimperman handed over St. Andrews for thirty pieces of silver.  Whatever happens to Brian Cummins--he can at least go down knowing he did not betray his people.

put up or shut up

Laura, you're being unfair to the diocese and make it more difficult to work our arrangements when you just accuse based on diffuse feelings of paranoia--which are probably justified, just not properly targeted.

If you have evidence, come forward with it. Put up.

If you're just throwing so much shit up against the wall, knowing something must stick, knock it off. Shut up.


Ditch Santiago

 Brian, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Should the worst happen and they redistrict you out, I sincerely hope you will run against Santiago. I don't know you well, but your recommendations are good. You seem to be honest. You discourse above the 4th grade level.

I will work my fingers to the bone to help you get elected Ward 14 councilperson.


 After thinking about this, I guess I was a little selfish in saying - hey - welcome to ward 14. I mean your constituents stand to lose a good representative. I guess I was just trying to be positive.

I don't get this redistricting schema. Did they say the reasoning behind this decision? I'm appalled that Kevin Kelly stood in front of a crowd and bald faced lied to them. I'm appalled that Sweeney would keep this important information from the residents at the meeting. But I'm not surprised.

Cleveland politics are a neverending saga of selfishness and opportunism. The only thing that keeps me in my master's program (urban planning and design) is the idea of getting my degree and getting the hell out of here. This city squashes civic-mindedness like a roach under its shoe. I already know I'll never make it here.


 If you run against Joe Santiago, I will also work for you.


South Hills neighborhood is slated to be represented by Brancatelli ?  That alone should mobilize a lot of home owners to storm City Hall.   

The redistricting is a blatant attempt to destroy neighborhoods that have begun to mobilize some political clout.  The redistricting would effectively disable Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn residents to what end?



Redistricting commentary - Brian's song

This is simply a lowdown dirty shame - Brian, you have been a leader in the realm of stimulating citizen engagement and valuing citizen input.  If there were a truly logical reason for your ward to be skewered (for lack of a better term) in this fashion, please  help me understand it.  While other councilpeople supposedly had their remarks prepared for them, you did your own research, have epitomized hard work, and have worked to set a great example for other councilpeople to follow.  As mentioned before I really valued your comments at the redistricting forum - and aside from the few councilpeople that cared enough to attend - Kudos Zach Reed, and a little-boo for Joe Cimperman - I've liked you and the good you stand for, but where were you?).  I don't mean to be overly critical - but here is a forum, designed to value attendee input - and dealing with a major restructuring that impacts all of Council and all of us - and a minority of Council shows?   This may be just part of the endemic apathy that cannot be the example set by our leaders.  I can only imagine the 'internal' politics dealt with in council meetings themselves - but its one team, right?  Or at least it should be - for the good of the Whole of Cleveland.   So again, perhaps facilitated forums helping to gain perspective for the Council as a Whole - perhaps even a Council Retreat in idyllic, natural surroundings - might help achieve a greater measure of council unity and shared vision for those that public servants are meant to serve - to find the right blend of value for their ward-constituencies and the Cleveland constituency as a whole.  That faciliation should function on multiple system levels and raise awareness of participants to these many levels to achieve better functional and collaborative outcomes.  

We talked in forums at Applewood that day about natural boundaries, inclusiveness of all ward-representatives facilitated by technology - and encouraging participation, buy-in, and shared vision via additional platforms.

However, the problem remains in reaching that those still tech-averse or simply lacking ubiquitous access to online media.  The digital divide is still very, very real for many of our disadvantaged, such as those in ward's like Kevin Conwell's #9, for example.  I suppose there are many issues to consider to achieve true and equitable representation and action from our citizenry - part of it stems from a 'learned apathy and inertia' cultivated by frustrations amongst the citizenry with the levels of local leadership as a whole - perhaps not due to the efforts of the well-intended - but rather due to unfortunate levels of divisiveness and resentment within Council.  Its been far too long that focus by Councilpeople has been primarily on the needs of their individual wards - and that's all well and good as a primary focal point - what Ward stewardship is about on a primary level.  Yet if there could only be an awareness of another level of system simultaneously-  that greater level in the interest of the common good and well being of all our city's people - we could have outcomes that would be so much richer - rather than the historical fifedoms reminiscent of feudal times.

Hang in there Brian, many here will support you, I feel -  but fundamentally - I personally will - to the end.



Cimperman gets a pass on the Applewood meeting

Cimperman was at a safety meeting at the Old Stone Church that was scheduled by downtown leaders on the same day and time of the Applewood meeting. It was regrding the East 12 shootings. He had his hands full that night. He gets a free pass.

The question should be where was Sweeney? He sent his mouthpeice Kevin Kelley to the dog and pony show.



As you know, I'm a great admirer of your service to the community. I will be contacting your office Monday. You tell me how I can help.

People Get ON THE BUS

See Deb Zeleny's post at Save our Land 


  Yeah...this is Positively Cleveland!!!

What are the underlying implications of this article and why would our "leaders" want this story to run in the NYT magazine on the same day, that the Cleveland Film Festival also paid for an expensive promotional insert (my guess would be that they didn't give it a thought...just spend millions to advertise the city, and, at the same time, undermine it all with one cover story.  Afterall, who can resist a photo-op cover story and any coverage...any coverage at all?)???

Oh, sure, Brancatelli looks good in a trenchcoat and can mug like a gumshoe for the camera, but what has he done to really stop the mess in Slavic Village, one of the neighborhoods benefitting from special NPI Strategic Investement Iniative funds???  And what are the implications of the Rokakis/Frangos land bank's wholesale demo strategy solution for all the unfortunate neighborhoods, say, like Brooklyn Centre, located outside the SII areas?  Are we SOL?

Chickens arriving home


Since you were the most enthusiastic Council advocate of redistricting to even fewer wards during the Charter Review hearings (fifteen at most), and you didn't campaign against Issue 39 when it was on the ballot in November -- and passed by a 60-40 margin -- I assume that your anger is not about having the wards redrawn to bigger boundaries.  Because you support Council reduction, right?

So do you have some alternative plan by which Dykes could draw "fair" ward lines for nineteen (or seventeen) wards that

a) keeps 100% of Brooklyn Centre in one ward, and in which

b) you get to keep more of your current voters without moving, and

c) some other historic neighborhood(s) don't get split between wards, and

d) every ward gets roughly 23,000 residents?

Seems like now would be the time to roll it out.




What are the anchors of our wards?

Good questions, Bill.

My issues here are not with any specific plans, but conflicts of interests among planners and commingling of funds and resources between foundations, government and the private sector. Like Ed Hauser, I contend the processes are broken, therefore the planning and plans are broken... so I don't trust any nodes in the broken system.

If we throw away all the current plans for Cleveland, and reject all the processes and data used to create those plans, for cause, and we start from scratch, with an entirely new process, what would be the neighborhoods and wards designed by the remaining people of Cleveland (rather than lots of outsiders), and how would all that connect with the region?

Do you have a plan, Bill?

Do you have any relations with any of the parties planning the current plans, which would raise conflicts of interests relative to you submitting a plan (are you paid for planning things in Cleveland already)? From your blog "About":

I’ve lived and worked in Cleveland neighborhoods since 1980. I’ve raised three kids here (not all by myself, of course). I’ve never run for office but I’ve known a lot of politicians, worked on a few campaigns, and spent my share of time at City Hall. I’ve also spent thousands of hours engaged in “the civic process” at the neighborhood level — as an organizer, a CDC director, a community board member, and just a neighbor. After twenty-plus years of this, I consider myself a reasonably well-informed citizen of the city. By which I mean that I can usually follow the game with a scorecard, if I concentrate real hard.

Disrupt IT


Who are you shilling for Bill?  Do you think that the redrawn districts make sense?  Take Brian Cummins out of it. 

You really feel it makes sense to redraw Brancatelli's ward to include South Hills?  If so, I see now why you were chosen to serve on the charter commission, which by the way, was a total joke.

 Bill:  Don't understand

Bill:  Don't understand the snideness of your remarks regarding Cummins.

There is plenty to be critical and dismissive about the present City Council, its leadership and its record. 

Council  reduction was likely on someone's agenda given Cleveland's population losses so one could hardly blame one member. I'd also suggest the population figure the consultants have come up with won't hold up come the 2010 Census when we see truer figures on the city's population decline.


Brian Cummins would be supported in Ward 14

People that live in my area of Ward 14 would love a progressive leader like Brian Cummins. We have a complete incompetent individual that does everyone's bidding but the people he represents.

I understand it is not acceptable for Sweeney and his consultants to divide and conquer. That panel for the constructed for Chater Review was mostly hand picked shills for Sweeney and Jackson. Just look at their campaign funding reports. See how many cut checks to Sweeney and other Councilmembers.


Redistricting cost benefit analysis

As an economist, I'm curious what are the drivers, costs and benefits of this redistricting?... and I don't want to hear Fannie Lewis demanded it from her death bed, Sweeney.

There was a political movement and campaign to get a charter amendment raised and passed. Who proposed and drove this, who paid the bill, and how much?

There was the cost of adding and administering this item through the election process. Who paid the bill, and how much?

Now we have CSU and Triad (one in the same?) being paid to plan our city. Who paid the bill, and how much?

Who else is being paid and contracted to handle related matters, like legal, administrative, and Public Relations to confuse the citizens? Who paid the bill, and how much?

How much in internal resources are being spent - time of each council person and staff, the mayor and his staff, and all the consultants and foundation and CDC folks and non-profit and profit sector agents running around to influence this issue? Who paid the bills, and how much?

I'd put the hard cost numbers in the $10s millions.

As Roldo points out, the process and outcomes will be proven totally wrong, when we use good data and analyses in the future. It will be proven even more wrong when we engage the public in the redistricting planning process.

Most likely, an informed, engaged public will say scrap the whole idea and let's keep things the way they are, and just replace many, many of the councilpeople representing the existing wards poorly.

So what is the proposed cost savings of all this?

I think everything about this process and the supposed purposes are wrong, and this is a huge waste of people's time and money, and we need to get to the bottom of the reasons it is happening at all - who started this slushball rolling?

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Shill and snide

Laura, I can read a map and count.  So when my Councilman makes himself a poster child for something I think is a bad idea, and then it happens and the results are exactly the bad thing that I was afraid of, and then he acts like it's all somebody else's fault, I find that kind of irritating.

Who am I shilling for? Look in the mirror, neighbor.

Roldo, I didn't say one Councilman made it happen, but Brian sure as hell enabled it.  Now he's got what he wanted.  So now the problem is not the thing he said he wanted (and got) but the "transparency" of the process. 

Okay, I'm for transparency.  Let's have the PD find that map and print it, instead of just giving a megaphone to one Councilman. And let's hear what my Councilman would advocate instead of what's on that map. 

Is that too snide for you? Sorry.

move forward despite

To give all this attention to the ward boundaries may make little sense.

I don't know that our ward affiliation makes much difference in the long haul.

It's still the same basket of problems.

Secession is the only real strategic move that makes much sense to me.

Otherwise, we have no control of our destiny.

How long can a neighborhood exist in the care of the challenged? I'd say we've survived thus far against the odds. We can do as much, and even better, on our own, without having to always fight our government and our nonprofits. We will become our government, and make our nonprofits functional.


Shill and snide

Oh, and Laura, I can't comment on the whole plan because I haven't seen it -- only what Brian says about a small part of it.  I'm probably going to think it's full of awful ideas because the whole reduction enterprise is stupid, and doing it without data in 2009 is criminally irresponsible.  But it's what 60% of the city voted for.  I blogged against it and voted against it. How about you?

As for Brancatelli and South Hills, I don't think it's a great idea in general, but I predict that once the neighbors there get to know Tony they're going to think they died and went tro Heaven.

Why were citizens forced to vote for something stupid

By your account this whole mess is stupid. I accept your account.

It has cost Clevelanders, GCP members and foundations $ millions and is an embarrassment for all.

Who is responsible?

Citizens didn't decide to vote on this - they were forced to vote on this. Who paid to force citizens to vote on this?

My guess is the Cuyahoga County Republican Party, via their usual suspects.

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Norm, we ought to connect the dots here

I think it would be highly instructive if you would begin to connect the dots here. You're right, probably. We need to know the "players" (Yecch, gag, etc.), the relationships, and who did what, specifically.


PD and Cronies Caught Naked By Falling Tides

Besides driving our newspaper bankrupt and out of business, and firing lots of friends of the community who worked there, it seems Gold/Egg at the PD have been reading REALNEO and learned how corrupt the town where they have laid their carpet bags really is, and how complicit the PD leadership has been in covering up corruption, and shilling for corrupt people and forces.

As they dig out of their biggest problems, like protecting corrupt real estate developers who are headed for jail, the PD backpedals and pre-positions on scandals exposed by the community on REALNEO:

They acknowledge the process for redistricting Cleveland is a mess, and call for a new process.

They start revealing the Cleveland Leadership and Universities strategy to reimagine Cleveland by gaming numbers, rather than really competing in the new economy. There it is buried...

Skeptics question whether or not Ohio really is outperforming its neighbors. In November, economic development experts said the state is much more aggressive than others in reporting new factories or plant expansions. One of them, Jeff Finkle, president of the International Economic Development Council, said the award doesn't mask the fact that Ohio is losing more jobs than it is creating.

Which makes me wonder if this is a region-wide game... are all the decks being stacked to make NEO look better by key national indexes, like the annual Site Selection survey, and that of city sustainability in SustainLane... which raised Cleveland's ranking largely for "improved reporting"...

Since hiring its first sustainability program manager in 2005, the city of Cleveland has worked to improve itself across the sustainable-spectrum. And the Rustbelt city has done a heck of a job, taking a giant leap up SustainLane's charts this year. Even if improved reporting is largely responsible for the gain, that's a sign Cleveland is taking its ecological health seriously. And speaking of health, Clevelanders should have ample opportunity to eat right, with 225 community gardens and 25 for-profit farms within the city limits... and more on the way, thanks to a new zoning classification for the Urban Garden District. Perhaps one of the most exciting developments is the city's participation in an effort to start an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. If this project flies, it'll help Cleveland's energy utility to source 25 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. An even simpler step Cleveland could take? Offer residents curbside recycling.

From what I see of SustainLane's real analysis of our Sustainability positioning, we are a joke.

Now I must question the value of all NEO metrics reported to all national agencies and research organizations - are there really 225 community gardens and by what measure... are they really just a Joker in "Community Leaders" decks. SustainLane is too nice to challenge them on this, yet, but Unreal NEO can't game the global metrics system for long, and their balloon will burst.

Connect the dots!

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 Bill: I didn't say

Bill: I didn't say anything, I don't think, about one or any number of Council members causing or pushing reduction. At this point I guess the number of Council member doesn't really mean much but the quality of Council/Mayor does. I find the Sweeney/Westbrook/Jackson leadership lacking and the issue to be more relevant to address.

I voted against the council reduction

  Bill, let's just admit that the idea of installing Brancatelli in South Hills is the SOS operating in  Cleveland...and someone's idea of shoring up his support among "white" voters.  GCP/NPI/SII group thinks that it will take Cleveland another twenty years to catch up with the rest of the country and vote based on content of character...I think that your shadow partner will find out sooner than later that we as are not as STUPID as they want to corral us.


(And, I am not shilling for Brian, as well as everyone else, know that I have had my major differences with his policies, especially as it relates to demolitions.  Full disclosure--I voted for Brian Cummins, because I voted against Emily Lipovan.  Who did you vote for?).

CDC ' S are behing this

Colleen Gilson was on the Charter Review comm., She shilled this commision on behalf of the CDC's on behalf on CNDC. Why does she keep cutting campaign checks? Does she have political asperations?

April FOOL Mayor's Deadline Must Be Changed

The biggest fraud about this process is the tight time-frame now - must have redistrict plan by end of March or our esteemed mayor gives us all an April Fool's present on the FIRST.

BULLSHIT. Who wrote this legislation, planned the process, and set the timeframe...?!?!

If there is one thing certain it is that it does not matter one cent whether this is decided on March 31, April Fool Day, or my birthday, as the benefits are minor, the costs huge, and the harm of doing this wrong immeasurable.

We have done too many stupid public works in Cleveland, for the wrong reasons, driven by the wrong people, for too damn long, and this cycle of bullying and corruption must stop.

If there is not a good solution that has been reached through good public processes by March 31st, then more time must be spent addressing the issue.

Mayor Jackson has no business in these affairs, and has plenty else to worry about on Fool's Day.

Brian, you should raise this reasonable concern immediately - anyone trying to slam this down our throats is an enemy - anyone agreeing we need to spend the right amount of time on the right processes has potential to serve society well.

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"Private" public records scream foul

My reaction to this “re-districting”  is  that the process is broken and dirty.

 I need to  hear only ONE thing – that the publicly paid for population records are “private at this time” - to come to my conclusion .   The only  reason that the public records are being kept “private” (but obviously public to those favored few who have access to them and have come up with the present plans)  is to gain illegitimate leverage in the process.

 Clearly, the census methods and results are of vital importance NOW – not when the study and redistricting is substantially complete -  in determining  whether the re-districting process is equitable – or a pre-loaded fait-accompli. 

 Bill, I think your questions to Brian are good and fair.       But Brian couldn’t even answer your questions yet.     Both you and Brian know the West side well and could make good suggestions for redistricting,  but without the CSU figures neither of you can make informed boundary suggestions.

 I believe the redistricting goal in Cleveland is to drive out Cleveland City Councilors who speak with an independent voice – leaving Cleveland with brain/morally dead actors like Mr. Sweeney,  and the many other mute and malleable ward Councilors from mute wards.  

 Viva la Shrinking City!


My "plan"


No, I don't get paid to plan anything in Cleveland unless you count trying to figure out how to build and support neighborhood technology initiatives, which as you know has been my work for over a decade.

Yes, I have lots of "relationships" with various interested parties.  Including Brian, who nominated me for the Charter Review Commission, and with whom I have shared all of these disagreements for over a year.

No, I don't have a "plan" for ward lines in 2009.  My position is, and has been:  Council reduction is a distraction from real issues.  But if it's going to happen, it shouldn't happen until 2013 when there will be actual Census data to base it on.  And  then it should be done in public, with lots of lead time, with a prior public discussion of what city neighborhoods are "real" (organic, not planning or CDC artifacts) and with an eye to keeping them politically intact, and it should be accompanies by a reorganization of administrative departments to align the wards with coherent planning districts.  All of which I argued for in the Charter Review Commission and wrote about in my blog, and much of which the Commission actually recommended to Council.

I think Council should put Triad's map on the table yesterday, and let everybody in the city have at it.  But that won't change the fact that redistricting in 2009 will be 100% driven by politics rather than data or principles.  Because there is no data, and "principles" have nothing to do with anyone's reaction to this mess, including (I'm afraid) Brian's and the PD's.

But that what 60% of my fellow citizens voted for in November.  Unfortunately, you get what you pay for.


You're on the Inside, so who is behind this?

You are clearly, personally on top of this - so who are the people behind making this happen the way it has happened. I know citizens didn't rally to put this on the ballot. You seem to know so share more inside insight.

Are there minutes from the Charter Review meetings - were they recorded? Is there a website chronicling the process and outcomes... any indicators and metrics in place?

I'm trying to understand exactly why we have this distraction and expense now... ?

Disrupt IT

Links for history

The vote

  Vote here

A little logic is in order here, the vote on council reduction did not determine the redistricting boundaries....only reduction by the numbers. 

My choice is winning, as #1 looser

Thanks Laura - I voted for the councilperson who seems most dishonest... seems the most important fundamental to me... as of now, 21 people agree with me.

Disrupt IT

had to vote out the illiterate coward...

 or I would have gone for the lying meglomaniac...

hard choice to make, I'll tell ya.

Cleveland Council 'right-sizes' For The Suburban Business Elite


Thanks for the link. Answers lots of questions.

In a future Smoking Gun write up I will profile the corruption of regionalism linked to those profiting most, like the Akers family of Collaborent and NEOSO.

Collaborent created and now operates the Northeast Ohio Sourcing Office (NEOSO), a council of governments serving a 13-county area. NEOSO improves the economic condition of governments by creating leverage to help them contain operating costs and increase staff capacity.

I am sick of seeing him pimp his republican causes and friends who destroyed Cleveland, from his white flight farmland-turned blight Xurb called Pepper Pike. He and his cronies must go...

From the Scene article you link:

Annual cost savings to Clevelanders: about $300,000. To business interests: fuggedaboutit.

"IF YOU LOOK AT other large cities, most are larger than Cleveland, but they, in most cases, have much smaller councils. If it works well in those other big cities, why not for Cleveland?"

This is Pepper Pike Mayor Bruce Akers, who acknowledges being platform committee chairman more than five years ago for a county Republican Party attack on the sometimes unwieldy size of Cleveland Council. (Pepper Pike's ratio of Council representation, by the way, is one member per 857 residents.) Their hopes were for a reduction to 11, Akers says.

Disrupt IT


what are the ties here to entities like KeyBank and the GCP, or whatever they're calling themselves today?



Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Your comment is awaiting moderation . You will never see this at please add to this string of opinions on the near westside redistricting.

moderation as in....

- the process of eliminating or lessening extremes, in order to ensure normality (yummmmm.... norMALity)

- to preside over or act as chairman of (so what... no chairWOman)

- to become less violent, severe, or intense (what the hell did you write, Laura???)

and my FAVorite:




Response and additional explanation

Bill, Roldo, Laura…

A plan? I do have some ideas of how we could minimize the gerrymandering of wards.

The proposed ward 12, which would include Slavic Village, part of Old Brooklyn, South Hills, Skylane/Starlight, etc…; and, the proposed ward 13, which would include the near eastside, Downtown, Ohio City, Tremont, Brooklyn Centre and part of Old Brooklyn, are both configured to serve political interests contrary to mine and the citizens of the present Ward 15.

Gerrymandering is a disenfranchisement of voters as it makes it harder for the stakeholders to build a broad consensus. I envision more compact wards drawn to preserve contiguous neighborhoods… think squares, ovals, rectangles instead of the sprawling and irregular wards 12 and 13 that were proposed to me on Thursday.

What are the numbers and methods?

Thursday was the first time that I was informed of the boundaries for the new ward.

On Friday, I requested the detailed population numbers after being declined twice in the last two weeks. That evening, between my meeting with the consultants and the night’s civic meeting, and after being made aware of the gerrymandering, I confirmed the Public Record’s law and our entitlement to this information.

Three weeks ago, I met with a three of my colleagues and the consultants and discussed what population shifts we would consider. There was a mention of eastern wards moving westward at that time, but there was no mention about the amount of population that would have to be made up on the westside.  I don't know if the consultants knew the number at the time, nor if the information was withheld for political reasons.

In the discussion there was no indication of any specific population numbers or geographic area that would have indicated to me the loss of 3/4th of the ward and a splitting-up of Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre into 4 different wards.

We can not formulate a detailed solution without detailed population data or knowledge of other new ward boundaries.

Two questions that I asked the consultants on Thursday were: 1) If there are 4 to 6 wards on the east and near westside that are below the average new ward population (22,400) could those wards absorb sufficient population (4,000 – 6,000 combined) to avoid having Ward 12 push southwest into Old Brooklyn? And, 2) Could some of the boundaries be shifted slightly without significantly impacting those areas in terms of cohesion, minorities? etc… I received no response and a refusal to provide specific population numbers.

I was told by the consultants that since Ohio City had been split-up in the past, Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre was the selected area to be significantly impacted this time around.

I was told – “tell your people to focus on ways that the new 2013 boundaries can be drawn to rectify what we are doing today”.

I was also told that after the 2010 census and when the ward boundaries are redrawn again in 2011 in advance of the 2013 elections, and based on the projected population loss, two wards will be lost from the eastside.

Yes, I pushed for deeper reform in terms of fewer wards (based on an analysis of peer cities – academic and possibly not practical) but most importantly, I recommended at-large seat(s) to try to create some focus on city-wide issues by City Council.

I actually voted NO when it came to placing the redistricting on the ballot. I disagreed that the redistricting should be done for two elections in a row - but I agreed with a minority of councilors who wanted to delay the reform until 2013 - after the 2010 federal census was complete.

I did all of this while at the same time I was trying to get information out to the public for discourse and discussion – for better public process.

Finally, in terms of public process and inclusion, I’ve recommended the creation of Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts, which Bill Callahan led in the drafting for the Charter Review Commission. The Commission recommended this as a companion piece to the re-districting proposal.  This should begin post-haste after this year’s fall elections.

In fact, the Cleveland Neighborhood Development Corporation is currently contracting with someone to learn and apply what was recently done in Pittsburgh in terms of merging and defining service areas or specialty services so that we can begin to look at creating efficiencies in our CDC sector. Recall that Councilman Kelley and I worked together to do this in 2006. This is combined with my 9-year effort to highlight the importance of civic associations.

I appreciate the constructive criticism. There has not been enough thoughtful debate. The culture and power structures in our city and within the wards and neighborhoods can inhibit this. There are as clear benefits to our governance structure as there are disadvantages, but leaving the status quo unchallenged and not bringing forth new ideas or promoting discourse will doom us to failure. The status quo encompasses a pettiness and an abuse of power – gerrymandering, and fear or lack of respect, if not contempt for public process.


2008 Charter Review Commission’s policy recommendation to create Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts

My plan for redistricting

  Representation should be districted based on recognized neighborhoods.  In some cases, a number of neighborhoods may be consolidated into one ward.

Wikipedia describes the following Cleveland neighorhoods--

Brooklyn Centre • Buckeye-Shaker • Central • Clark-Fulton • Corlett • Cudell • Detroit-Shoreway • Downtown • Edgewater • Euclid-Green • Goodrich-Kirtland Park • Fairfax • Forest Hills • Glenville • Hough • Industrial Valley • Jefferson • Kamm's Corners • Kinsman • Lee-Miles • Mt. Pleasant • North Broadway • North Collinwood • Ohio City • Old Brooklyn • Puritas-Longmead • Riverside • South Broadway • South Collinwood • St. Clair-Superior • Stockyards • Tremont • Union-Miles Park • University • West Boulevard • Woodland Hills

(This list notably is missing Slavic Village (why?) and probably other neighborhoods, but it is a start)

Surely, the numbers can be massaged to keep neighborhoods intact.  If not, then, I recommend following Tim Ferris' advice to Cleveland residents not happy with the redistricting boundaries--We secede from Cleveland.

 * And a little history here for the Rocky River-based Triad Group's effort to create a "Hispanic" ward...the Wilson Plan didn't work in Europe and it's not going to work in Cleveland...

"We can't build a ward that has a majority of Hispanics," said Dykes, of Triad Research Group. "But we try to come as close to having as many Hispanics as we can without having ward boundaries that look like an octopus. That's why Brian finds himself in that ward."

I agree completely... now what are the anchors/centers?

If I look at Glenville, or Hough, I see many ways to define them and many neighborhood centers to consider - making them especially strong neighborhoods to save. I agree completely we need to keep what makes neighborhoods strong intact within one area of representation. Of course, with the wrecking ball of the poor planners and development professionals of our region swinging over our heads, there is little historic fabric of interest anywhere in Northeast Ohio to bother building around... we are near the tipping point where Cleveland as a historically important city becomes completely irredeemable.

I wonder why we look at ward representation by population at all. Cimperman's ward includes all the big downtown businesses and power brokers Downtown, and the polluters in the Flat, and that seems to be all he cares about - he shouldn't represent any residents outside that special-interest zone, as those who control Cimperman have interests often strongly against those of citizens (e.g. Mittal polluting on Tremont... Sherwin Williams avoiding responsibility for lead-poisoned families in Tremont).

And the idea of a Hispanic ward is insane. What does that mean - a Santiago Ward? Clearly we need to develop more Hispanic leaders and a strong and vibrant economy supporting Hispanics at every level, but to redline them into one part of town... I'm sick of this suburban desire to segregate Clevelanders.

Who came up with the Latino-Zone strategy and where is the social modelling data to prove this is something of value to anyone in the community, other than Santiago.

Disrupt IT


Norm, the bells of St. Barbara's tolled this morning.  I think the congregation is making a more concerted effort to be heard in the community. Most of the attendees are suburbanites, who come back to their home neighborhood.  Obviously, houses of worship provide community in Cleveland and, as the churches/mosques/synagogues/temples move further outside the boundaries of the city proper, so goes community, which is truly a sad irony.* 

I have always had a hard time with religion, despite a great love for ecclesiastic architecture...I suppose it makes sense that I gravitated towards a library career, because I believe libraries can define open access communities and serve as community anchors.  The other obvious anchors in our neighborhoods--our schools and our rec centers.  The Schools as Neighborhood Resources (SNR) program needs to be more widely advertised and expanded.  I would also add stores--as much as folks want to condemn some retail..ALDIs and Dave's are urban anchors...but, when they approach Wal-mart size, they destroy a neighborhood.

These are just a few suggestions.  It's not all the gloom and doom portrayed in today's New York Times article.  We can pick up the pieces, but we need real leaders willing to take on the greed and corruption in the city and in our region.  Build from the center out, not from the outside-in. Start by using the tools available like receivership and point-of-sale inspections to take back houses and GIVE them to families.

*Imagine if congregations/assemblies just required their parishes to walk to service....Also, the Cleveland Museum of Art's temporary migration of the VIVA program to locations such as St. Stanislaus needs to be made permanent.

Mapping our anchors

I agree, there are many types of anchors found in healthy neighborhoods... places for meeting, worship, learning, shopping, working, relaxing... what are the layers of infrastructure, services and attractions core to liveable, sustainable neighborhoods and where do we find concentrations of such anchors in Northeast Ohio?

They would not be found in Pepper Pike, at all, ever. They would be found in Old Brooklyn, I suspect.

Let's get working on the right planning maps for the future of this region - if our colleges and universities and government can't do it, we'll have to use public information from the Internet and libraries and citizen activism and ground-work to get the job done.

We need to inventory and rate our neighborhood assets - start with your own neighborhood... what matters most to you?

Disrupt IT

TRIAD needs to be investigated..

Who the hell are these people anyway?  Norm says:

I believe we need to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE at TRIAD, including EVERY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP for the past 10 years. 

TRIAD and CSU connections

At least three of the employees at Triad are grads of programs (related to census/opinion research) at Cleveland State University.  

Remember that it was CSU election monitors who were vote observers at Tremont West Development  Corp (TWDC) in TWDC's last election?   And the head of Triad, Robert R. Dykes, Principal & CEO was a past member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association.

Now with these connections, it seems that there is a conflict of interest in Triad even hiring CSU to do the census.   Triad has CSU on both sides of the issue - on their payroll directly, and under contract.   This wouldn't pass any ethics test. 

And with Dykes a past GCGA member,  his nuetrallity in any census and subsequent gerrymandering is easily questioned.     (think Mr. Dykes knows Joe Roman? or any of the Ratner, Miller, Wolstein, developers?)

So - City of Clevelander's tax money is being spent in an unethical manner.   What's new?

If a private, not governmental, census had to be taken to determine new political boundaries, the work should have been contracted to an out-of-the-region company.  

This "census" should be taken to court seeking an injunction against its implementation - but who's going to pay for that?


Same conflicts of interest at all local universities

Jeff - you went to Harvard - you're in Boston - why don't you go by the Kennedy School and see what folks there think about all this.

My sense is there has been a collusive back-room planning process between universities, foundations, and some in politics and industry here, where they all work to support each other's interests, without any sense of reality or real concern for citizen interests.

University management strategy has become a growth at any cost game - spend, spend, spend... grow , grow, grow... so every interest in town has been pushing funds to higher education and encouraged residents to spend... feed the machine. Yet local and regional demographics suggest enrollments in traditional colleges and universities and even community colleges are at risk, and returns on investments in such traditional educations may not be all they have been promoted to be - especially at the cost of supporting fancy, bloated institutions.

So the higher education industry - ONE OF OUR "SWEET SPOTS", consultants say - is in deep trouble and trying to make money any way possible... mostly from government grants and subsidy.

But in Cleveland, where government money is commingled with industry and foundation money, and put under control of foundation leadership, universities are paid and controlled by foundations, rather than citizens. Hence all this Regionalism and Redistricting BS, forced on the region by our universities and consultants like Triad, distracting real government leadership and citizens from making the changes to the region that will help it thrive in the future.

So who is funding Triad?... deep down, the Cleveland Foundation, like so much else wrong here about planning our economic future.

Disrupt IT

Pull Sweeney's Campaign Funding for 2008 and the Leadership Fund

I wonder how many people with Triad gave Martin Sweeney money? Or the Council Leadership Fund? Why is Colleen Gilson keep giving campaign checks to Cimperman and Sweeney if not others too?

Colleen Gilson head of Cleveland Neighborhood Devel. Coalition

 Hello Henry,    Link in a source showing those Gilson campaign contributions, could you please.   Here is a link to a Crains Profile of Ms. Gilson, who was the ex director of TWDC.

  I didn't know there even was a   Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition, serving “as the collective voice of community development corporations in Cleveland”.  So the Cleveland CDC's comprise a "parallel", un-elected government in Cleveland.   Funded by the Federal gov, the Cleveland Foundation, and other entities.

 Parallel to the mute City Council. Negating the need for bonafide public participation. 

Viva la Shrinking City!

Campaign Finance reports

Hi Jeff,

These are not online. They are documents from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. They are either quarterly, semi-annual, or yearly reports the Councilmembers have to turn in based on each year. But each sheet has dozens of names.  I would think you would have to scan and post the whole report to show this, it would not be fair to other contributors. But it would be eye-opening.

Plus I do not have the Martin Sweeney report anymore, I gave them to Chuck Hoven at the Plain Press about a year ago. But I have Santiago's and Cimperman's if anyone would like to copy them, and could scan them like into big PDF files to put on RealNeo, it could pose some questions.

I also have the Council leadership Fund last year or two. Also Have Lynn Murray's reports. She ran for Judge last year and lost. She is a Magistrate with the City of Cleveland, he husband Glen is a Plans Examiner with the City of Cleveland, and Lynn is on the Board of Derectors of TWDC and is their current Treasurer on the Executive Board. These documents have some familiar names.

I am involved with a few projects right now, and it would be hard to take this one on. I would have to go back thru 100's of pages to find Gilson's contributions and check numbers over the past few years. But it would be fair to say in obama fashion, she has spread the wealth around.



Check out the CNDC website.  A few more interesting names.

Things I agree with Councilman Cummins (and others) about

Brian, thanks for your response.

I should disclose that Brian called me this morning and we had a long talk, which I appreciate. We agreed to disagree (somewhat) about the role he played in the Charter Review discussion of Council reduction.  However, here are two things we agree about:

1) All parties to the redistricting discussion, including Council leadership and Bob Dykes, claim to agree on the principle that ward redistricting should strive to keep  genuine neighborhoods intact, i.e. within the same ward.  Splitting Brooklyn Centre down the middle of 25th Street would be a blatant violation of that "principle", apparently for pure gerrymandering reasons, and it should not be allowed to happen.

2) Whatever maps and population "data" Triad has given Council at this point, it's inexcusable, counterproductive and dumb for Council leadership to try to keep them under wraps --  three and a half weeks away from the frigging approval deadline. 



Staying on point

Based on my knowledge and experience with Triad and CSU, I have no reason to doubt their integrity and quality of their work.  I posted information to this affect early on in this entry.

My focus is informing people and gaining support in ensuring the population data details are released and available for review and then reducing the damage that the current proposal does to the neighbohoods that I represent. 

I regret that I made comments on Friday related to the impacts that this may have on me personally.  I am an elected official  and my job is to represent the interests of my constiguency.

The facts are that Council Leadership represented their intentions to draw boundaries from the outside-in and to strive to keep neighborhoods whole.  The proposal put forth that I saw and how it impacts the current Ward 15 neighborhoods contradicts their stated goals and process.

Some may want to pursue other issues but I do not want to be drawn into discussing what is assumed to be the politics behind this.

The people and the neighborhoods must be placed first.

That should reflect our discussions here.

 There is no way you can

There is no way you can divorce politics from redistricting. Or redistricting from politics. It is politics.

Bob Dykes certainly has the competency to do what he does. However, Bob Dykes knows for whom he works - Council leadership. You cannot divorce what he does  from those who employ him - and have for years.

No seperation but focus on changing the outcome of this proposal

Roldo, I agree and can't stop anyone from discussing the political issues on this open forum -- the gerrymandering by definition is political.

I just think the larger questions of the roles of the region's universities, foundations, GCP, related political contributions etc... are not as relevant in the immediate term as what actions need to be taken to ensure the proposed ward boundaries are changed.

Wards in other parts of the city can be effected, outreach and other forms of communication are needed. Equally important to issues of politics and power, is what power is being suppressed or inhibited. What are some of the root causes of why our city, county and regional government entities have such an aversion to fair and thorough public engagement processes and healthy discourse.

Issues pertaining to race, continued segregation, cross-cultural ignorance, allocation of funding, old and outdated political protocols, government and non-profit inefficiencies, lack of (independently-minded) leadership development, the setting and following of priorities, all need attention.

Today’s corporate media is quick to marginalize the story to the most banal, salacious, and controversial points.

We need to drive constructive discussions that can result in actions and outcomes. Theoretical or speculative discussions can take up our valuable time and attention. It’s hard enough to keep focused in the storm of dysfunctionality called Cleveland politics.

We need to concentrate on our most immediate problems facing our city, our people, our children and socio-economic malaise.  A similar tone was set in Tom Bier's piece in today's PD Forum pages - Saving cleveland's Core.


MAP - Approximatation of Proposed 2010 Ward 15 Boundaries

See the attachment added to this post for an approximation of the proposed 2010 Ward 15 re-apportionment.

2010 Ward 14 / Ward 13 re-apportionment

Brian do you have a proposed map on how ward 14 and ward 13 split going north up West 25th. I think people would like to see how that breaks out to get a better picture. We may me able to get some people from ward 14 and ward 13 involved.


I want to see the whole city of Cleveland picture

Now I am really interested to see what is planned for my part of town!

We need to see all these maps - how do we arrange public access!!?!?!?

Disrupt IT


How much are we paying the Rocky River "experts" to draw up these maps? Natural boundaries like a RIVER, deep valleys and creeks obviously have no influence on the boundary lines...

I have a mental picture of a bunch of Rocky River High School kids, smoking weed and divvying up a map...okay, the irish people go here, the spanish-speaking people go here...the dark-skinned people go here...the party animals go here...and the tax-abated city community development people go here...

and for those really crappy areas

"you just move in the artists and the gays"

Major posts and links

Here is the latest posts on the Plain Dealer and links to other major sites covering the issue:

Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins wants an alternative to carving up his ward in redistricting
Posted by Henry J. Gomez/Plain Dealer Reporter March 09, 2009

As Cleveland draws new ward lines, it should let the public in on the process - editorial
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

UrbanOhio - Re: Cleveland City Council
Other sites - internet communities the issue is being tracked and discussed on include:,16011.60.html

UrbanOhio - Re: Cleveland: Old Brooklyn,13801.210.html

OhioDailyBlog - Cleveland's Ward 15 to be Divided Two and Three Ways
Submitted by Paul Schroeder on Mon, 03/09/2009

OhioDailyBlog - Reduce Cleveland City Council? Well, Let's Talk About That
Submitted by Anthony Fossaceca on Thu, 03/05/2009 - There is also a good collection of video of the meeting from last Wednesday that can also be found on

 Here is some of the first

Here is some of the first confirmations of the proposed reapportionment populations totals for the current Ward 15 area.  Additional information will be forthcoming as I have a meeting with the consultants tomorrow.


Approximate population break-out -
proposed reapportionment current Ward 15 area
Old Brooklyn
Brooklyn Centre
Ward 12
Ward 13
Ward 14
Ward 16

Sweeney explains

Meet with Council President Martin Sweeney--

Wednesday evening @ 7 P.M.

Ward 20 Republican Club meeting @ The Slovenian Home W130th & McGowan.

Slovenian National Home Westpark
4583 W 130th St
Cleveland, OH 44135

(216) 941-3224‎

Regardless of your political affiliation, please attend as the ward redistricting is supposed to be explained by Mr.Sweeney.


Laura, we won't be there this evening, but I'd like somebody to ask a few things of Marty the Whiz Kid:

--why are we fudging the numbers on population at 427,500--the people who actually deal with headcount estimate the real figures are about 50,000 to 60,000 less than that--two whole wards, at least. We need truth in the headcount.

--Given truth in the headcount, then right now, we should be at 17, not 19 councilpeople. Scratch two more, and redraw again before going final.

--What is the cost to redo all the election board materials, the stationery, the maps, and so forth? Why are we omitting this cost in the analysis? It's better to do it once now than twice in as many years.

answers yet?

Is anyone able to answer these questions yet--why the inflated estimate of population, and how much will the ward reduction revamp cost in admin costs?

april fool's day...

 laura - do you thnk it matters that its on April Fool's Day???

Too funny

  I would say call before actually heading out....Mizz Debra you are too sharp for NEO :)  Give my love to the chickens.

Reggie's day out

Reggie (the baby chick - born 3/3/09) had his/her first day out with the bIg girls today... Ooh the drama!!!!

I had to spend most of my afternoon sitting on the back porch steps with a spray bottle (water) to break up the hen fights (and my camera, of course.... and a Great Lakes, of course). Finally, I spotted hawks cruising by over and over and I shooshied the mama and baby back into their house.

How much more exciting does life get?

FBI sting


By now, we all know that Jackson is making a bid for four more years.  The question I have is whether the FBI will catch up with the developer-controlled machinations in the Building and Housing department before Clevelanders reelect Jackson.  It goes beyond a few folks taking money on the side.  The buildings that were demolished serve some greater "development" plan, albeit, not the plan, that I, as a resident, would endorse.

The Plain Dealer needs to look into the prioritization of demolitions in Cleveland.  Are vacant building demos fast-tracked to assist development plans?  If so, does the developer pay the City of Cleveland back for the service of clearing a property?  It's your money, folks.

My understanding of what goes on can only focus on the west side of Cleveland, because it is where I live.  Can anyone relate their experiences with demolitions that have taken place in other Cleveland neighborhoods--and, especially, in East Cleveland? 

As part of the campaign strategy, I know that Collinwood is still being promised its rec center and that there are promises being made to not redraw the boundaries of Polensek's ward, when the next round of four additional council seats are whittled away.  What happens to Sweeney?  Will his constituents vote him in, AGAIN?  Which council folks will survive the elections?  Are we headed on the path of Detroit?

I am fed up--while I have generally been grateful for the few measly city services reinstated by Frank Jackson--recycling, Saturday hours at the rec centers--I have been appalled that he has allowed the CDCs and the newly created, Greater Cleveland Partnership/Plain Dealer/Clinic/County Treasurer-controlled Land Revitalization Corp to assume greater power to slice and dice and bulldoze, and that his Sweeney puppet council has not put any visible monies into street and infrastructure repairs (only Detroit-Shoreway, but I have not taken the time to analyze that money pot).  Also, Jackson has done nothing to stop the heinous, business-as-usual abuse of funds by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District administrators, especially as it pertains to the buildings program.

I am sad to see no viable alternative to the Cleveland and Cuyahoga County machine.  Will someone, ANYONE, please give me a choice?! 

Afterall, you don't have to live in Cleveland to work here!

Redistricting redistributes $$$

  If you can--it's not easy--plow through the previous posts.  Redistricting is all about redistribution of HUD funding to keep the shadow work of the CDCs afloat in NEO. 

Don't believe for a minute that Anthony Brancatelli is good for Ward gerrymandered to Ward 12.  I submitted my complaint to the Elections Commission (for what it is worth)...Brancatelli's poverty dollars from Slavic Village can now fuel the completely useless Old Brooklyn Development Corporation with the extra bodies provided by the residents of South Hills.  They know it and they ran his recent "RE-elect" propaganda in the Old Brooklyn News.  And so it goes...

The probable cause hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the Office of the Ohio Elections Commission in Columbus.  If you would like to contest the campaign language used by Anthony Brancatelli to mislead residents in the South Hills neighborhood of Cleveland, please call Commission Secretary Betty Springer at 614-466-3205.