Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
CLEVELAND TO LOSE A STRONG POLITICAL VOICE?
Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 03/10/2009 - 11:15.
Well, wouldn’t you know it?
Redistricting in City Council is always about screwing somebody who doesn’t go along with the gang and rewarding those who do.
So it was no surprise to hear that the new redistricting plan – which I’d call the Sweeney/Westbrook/Jackson – plan to get rid of an up and coming local political voice – Councilman Brian Cummins.
Cummins showed independence, thoughtfulness and some courage.
He’s really got to go!
Cummins has been too outspoken for his political health. He didn’t learn the Council way – keep your head down and go along enough
to get along.
So the powers that be – Sweeney (that’s Martin, the Council President) Westbrook (that’s veteran former Council President and Sweeney’s political shoulder) and Jackson (that’s Frank the Mayor) – drew the line of Cummins’ ward so that he’d lose his base.
I missed some of this intrigue, having been out of town for a time.
I didn’t care for the way Bill Callahan, a long-time Westbrook political ally, took after Cummins on RealNEO. Callahan certainly has the right to comment. He even lives in Cummins’ Ward 15 and he’s been a credible voice on city issues.
Westbrook was a renegade politician kept out of City Council by George Forbes after being chosen, as tradition dictated, by retiring Councilman Benny Bonanno. However, he has been a get-along, go-along survivor since 1980. He hasn’t lived up to expectations and became a toady for former Mayor Michael White. It’s also of interest that his wife, Helen Williams, a Cleveland Foundation executive, was a member of the Greater Cleveland Partnership panel that selected the Tower City site for the Med Mart and new Convention Center last August.
I didn’t like the snide shots Callahan took and made comment on this site. I’d have thought he might be angrier with Council leadership for cutting up his ward.
One could also ask why Callahan wasn’t just as upset as Cummins about the cut up of the ward where both live.
Cummins has been outspoken, even favored Council reduction, a risky proposition with fellow members. So he will likely pay the price.
So will Ward 15. And so will the rest of the people of Cleveland.
Because we just killed another responsible, intelligent voice.
And that’s the real tragedy of this episode. We have so many intelligent voices that we can afford to get rid of a few. That’s my snide showing.