CLEVELAND NEEDS A GAME-CHANGER

Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 14:49.

You could hear the envy in his voice as he grumbles that when Jeff Johnson walks into a room all eyes moved to him. He takes the air out of the room, said a friendly rival.

 

Johnson had that effect on people. Youthful, movie-star looks and a smile to go along. Maybe he still has the magic. We’ll soon see.

 

Johnson, 51, hasn’t lost his looks but the boyishness is gone. He also has to recover from a very bad decision that derailed a political career that seemed destined for big things.

 

Starting over by running for a seat he held a couple of decades ago does not seem that engaging. Yet, Johnson seems intent on proving himself all over again. He’s hiking daily door-to-door in Glenville as a candidate for Cleveland City Council’s Ward 8.

 

Johnson has had his share of tough times. Getting caught on camera, seemingly demanding a promised campaign donation that appeared as a payoff, revealed a cocky politician on film. He was lured into performing before a hidden camera for the FBI. I think he was set-up but he played into the drama.

 

I had seen the same brash Johnson before. So the act revealed by the film didn’t surprise me. It was haughty. Indeed, Jeff was playacting a tough, savvy Cleveland politician, which he really wasn’t. He was a bit naïve but earnest.

 

He did his time. He did his penance.

 

JEFF AS HE USED TO BE

 

So I want to remember the Jeff Johnson I knew. And I want him back at City Hall, hopefully more mature. But hopefully still cocky enough to speak out as I heard him do before.

 

That’s because Cleveland needs some sparkle. Needs some tension. Needs some hope. Needs some vision.

 

He walks door-to-door as someone who really wants to be a Councilman. To start over. Council members are servants. At least that’s the way they portray themselves. Less legislators; more clerks. Clerks to get the garbage picked up, dogs to bark less, and drunks to be quieter. Though they complain about these demands they are the ones who trained the public to expect this brand of attention.

 

Johnson says he’s getting good reception at Glenville doors. People still know him. They also know of his past.

 

He says he’s “more humble, wiser.” More humble would be wise.

 

Former Mayor Jane Campbell gave him an opportunity when she became mayor. She brought him back to City Hall. He worked his job – quietly. When Frank Jackson ran against a weakened Campbell, Johnson didn’t bolt to another African-American as many might. He, in essence, repaid his debt for his opportunity to renew.

 

Jackson, however, dumped him when he took office.

 

UNWELCOMING CITY HALL?

 

That’s politics. However, now I believe there’s some skittishness at City Hall. What if Johnson returns on his own power? Voter power.

 

Is he a rival to Jackson? Is he a rival to Council President Marty Sweeney? Whether he wants to be or not, the answer is “It would seem so.”

 

Part of the reason is his experience. The other part is that Council is never heavy with talent. Johnson will stand out whether he wants to or not.

 

Heads still will turn when he enters a room. It can’t be helped.

 

The thing about Johnson that I most admired was his insistence upon being heard and being respected. Not so easy when you are in a minor and often a minority of one. That was when Council President George Forbes ruled with an iron fist. And an iron chair.

 

Forbes tossed the chair at Johnson in a closed meeting that was supposed to be a peace-maker for the two. The chair hit a glancing blow. No blood.

 

The problem, back in 1988, involved a project promised to Johnson for his ward. Forbes held it up as a tactic to break the young Councilman.

 

Around that time I wrote that “Johnson had to endure racial ostracism, physical and verbal abuse and all kinds of threats. False rumors were even circulated bout him in an attempt to break his spirit. It didn’t work.” Forbes called him a “mulatto punk.” Tough stuff.

 

Forbes orchestrated an open attack by other Council members. Obedience was owed.

 

BEAT UP - BUT STANDING UP

 

I listened as one black – and only black - Council member after another beat up on Johnson. Forbes was orchestrating.

 

“I’m embarrassed. My kids are embarrassed. My neighborhood is embarrassed,” said one member. He had been charged with sexual harassment - to speak of embarrassing.

 

Most brutal of all was veteran member Ken Johnson. He complained that Jeff had the same last name as he. “You have been a disgrace to me, to my people and to this council,” said K. Johnson. Another attack racially tinged.

 

“You’re too young to get killed… so please sit down and talk,” pleaded Fannie Lewis.

 

It was the most brutal verbal beating I ever watched.

 

Nearly overcome with emotions, Johnson responded to his colleagues, “You talk about respect for the chair. I have never across this table called him a name, disrespected him, unless you consider a disagreement disrespect, which I don’t.

 

“How about respect for me? How about respect for fellow councilmen? Because we gave him authority to be president, we didn’t give him authority to disrespect. And that’s the bottom line – a human being to human being. He has disrespected me… I have not been brought up to accept that from anyone,” said Johnson.

 

I believe that Johnson earned Forbes respect, if not his tolerance, that day. How could he not? It was his finest moment.

 

The present Council President, Marty Sweeney, would not like to see Johnson coming back to City Hall. Heavy lies the crown.

 

Sweeney said that he and the Council would be backing Shari Cloud, a young woman who took Sabra Pierce Scott’s spot as Councilwoman. She’s a three-month rookie. Sweeney’s backing was expected. How vigorously he does works will indicate just how hard-nosed he might want to be with Johnson.

 

Sweeney has the choice of giving Cloud substantial financial help or waiting through the primary in September to see the lay of the land in the race. Thus, not risking alienating Johnson too much.

 

At this point, I think Johnson has other thoughts rather than breaking into office fighting. Nor do I believe Johnson has eyes on being Council President, though he may be unlikely to join with the Sweeney leadership crew.

 

Johnson’s return (along with Brian Cummins in Ward 14) could spice the Council with some progressive thinking. Some backbone, too. A serious void in this Council.

 

A HISTORY THAT WENT SOUR

 

Cleveland has suffered a lack of political leadership with a strong progressive quality for a long, long time. I’d say going back to Carl Stokes with a short visit with Dennis Kucinich.

 

The rise of a black political power hardly resulted in a prolonged period of activist government. The phenomenon did give rise to a more liberal period. It didn’t last long and pretty soon we had a Mayor George Voinovich and then Mayor Michael White. Both represented corporate interests. Voinovich, indeed, had competition on that score with Forbes, who had his own coterie of corporate friends.

 

William Nelson a political scientist at Ohio State University, in a book entitled “Cleveland: The Elevation of Black Political Power,” helped outline its demise some years ago.

 

“The decade of the 1970s witnessed a sharp transformation in the character and structure of Black politics in Cleveland. During the Stokes era the fundamental goal of Black politics was the redistribution of power in ways that would allow blacks to control their own destinies and share equally in the rewards of government. The return of black leadership into the Democratic party fold after Stokes’ departure changed the fundamental goal of black politics from community uplift to self-aggrandizement.”

 

He went on to write: “It has been replaced with a focus on individual benefits and the concentration of power in the hands of a small political elite.”

 

Well, that’s the situation Cleveland still finds itself. It will take a lot more than a Jeff Johnson to change it.

 

However, it’s time to scramble again. The town needs a shaking. Jeff, I hope you have not become too careful and too conservative for the job. You’ll need help, of course.

 

Anyone can see how badly Cleveland wants that jolt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Suburban chess

  I am going to say this again, Roldo--with all due respect.  You are not part of THE GAME we live with here in the City of Cleveland.  We are not chess pieces. 

So far, you are telling those of us who do live in Cleveland (you live in Cleveland Heights) that residents in Ward 8 should put a convicted felon, Jeff Johnson, back in office, because you LIKE his personality.  You are telling Ward 14 residents not to put Nelson Cintron back in office, because you do NOT LIKE his personality.  Where are the specifics?

I am sorry--but a convicted felon is the last person I want anywhere near our already corrupt city machine...

Here's a thought, though...move here...and run for mayor.  You will have my vote.  On second thought, run anyway...I don't believe you have to live here to work here.

McShane, I know you have

McShane, I know you have strong feelings about these matters.

However, I go by character and intelligence. Cummins is long on both. Cintron is short on both.

You make your choice as you wish.

You can talk all you want about my not being in the GAME. But I gave up many years and did it at heavy costs to observe Cleveland and speak out.

And you aren't going to stop me.

Write on Roldo...

Proof there is intelligent life in Cleveland, to the Heights!

Roldo, thanks for covering this and all the politics at play here right now, and always

Disrupt IT

Jeff Johnson

For what it is worth, I have always liked Jeff Johnson and am happy that he is back. What a loss of talent it would be to lose him forever. The voters know his record and he will either get in, or not, but no one will be pulling the wool over the voters eyes in making that decision.

With all due repect, Laura,  you can't compare the intellect of a Jeff Johnson to a Nelson Cintron. I like both personally but Jeff has the ability  and smarts to learn and grow from mistakes. Nelson has yet to take a break from running from office, work in the private sector, and learn why he lost his seat after 8 years.

Debbie Webb

Experience and Talent

I've supported Jeff from the get-go.  Cleveland City Council needs leadership and fresh ideas.  Johnson's experience, talent and temperment make him an ideal candidate. 

Electing Johnson threatens Sweeney's presidency.  It's the East Side block of council people who keep him in office.  For the most part, they can't raise a dime; totally dependent upon his Council Leadership Fund.  Thanks Roldo!
 

Kate Dupuis, also a Ward 14 resident

 

 

All NEO is in the Cleveland "game"

 

Since the City of Cleveland is the 500 pound gorilla which influences all of the NEO region, all of us in NEO are in THE Cleveland Politics GAME whether we like it or not.   The mayor of Cleveland probably has more day to day impact on those who live in outlying suburb cities than the does the mayor of the outlying suburb.  
 

 Many people may not realize it, but if you live in, say, Maple Heights, it will make a difference to you if Brian Cummins is elected, or if Mr. Cintron or Mr. Santiago are elected in ward 14. For example, if Mr. Cummins is elected, the balance of power supporting Mayor Jackson will perhaps change.  That in turn can change the entire direction in which Cleveland heads- and that will impact Maple Heights citizens.

nice

 observation...

Stop you or anyone

  I don't expect to stop you or any one from voting based on their own judgement.  I just want to understand why A FELON is forgiveable in your book and some of the other folks here are not.  I have not made up my mind on any one yet in Ward 14, but I live with the consequences of very bad judgement around here.

It seems pretty apparent to me that regardless of how you personally judge and quantify intelligence--that Jeff Johnson is a person who is capable of extremely bad judgement.

CaJ9PCdxaH

To ImcShane:

I would like to pose this question to you:  "Have you or anyone in your family ever made a mistake?  Have you been appointed sole Judge of who has repented or not?  If everyone who made a mistake had to pay for it for life we wouldn't have many Ministers, Politicians, Doctors, or Lawyers, not to mention people who live the ordinary life.  It's pretty easy to see something has happened in your life to make you cynical and bitter.  I will pray for you.

Maverick

Read the entire blog...not just one post...

LMcshane offers reasonable questions to others who pose the issues you are citing... she's saying what you are defending if you pay further attention to the entire blog.

It's my understanding that someone is being critical of another person, but supporting a "felon" and she's asking why that other person doesn't deserve the same fair forgiveness as the one the other person supports who is a felon? 

Furthermore, for anyone advocating forgiveness, that flat out comes on here for their first blog to call out an individual about cynicism and bitterness...I'd pose the question of: Have you ever met LMcshane? 

We appreciate your civic involvement, but please do try to read the full post and the blog attached through it's entirety before prematurely calling one person out without clearly understanding more about them... we all agree to disagree alot around here...but for the most part...we care a great deal about our community at large and invite you to be a productive participant.

Maverick

  Maverick: Of course, I have made mistakes.  But, I am not running for political office and I am more than willing to forgive minor transgressions on the part of those who poltically represent us, but not the gross violation of public trust committed by Jeff Johnson and others, as the corruption probe in NEO will reveal.  We have been served the set-up for too long. We need higher standards. 

Specifics

  Please show me the great accomplishments of Jeff Johnson....I would like to see the list, not just everyone blathering about how blown away they are by his looks and "intelligence." 

Convicted Felons

My perception of Jeff Johnson is colored by experience having a father who committed  a Federal offense and spent 16 years in Alcatraz.  After release, he worked hard, lived a law abiding life and contributed to his community as best one can when one has a prison record.  My dad was a worthwhile person who made a huge mistake and yet managed to rise above.  I have researched Johnson, spoken to him and wholeheartedly believe he is the best candidate for his ward.  Kate Dupuis

i was just thinking...

 i'd hate to be judged for all of my past mistakes. that was nicely put, kate.

Meanwhile, there's a separate issue of not taking responsibility for mistakes. i think tHAt is where many of our current politicians (I aint naming names, Santiago) fail us. I don't want someone in an office of public trust that hasn't the integrity to own their errors, and learn from them, and do better.

I think ...

Laura,

I think what Roldo is saying is that he believes Jeff Johnson would shake up things at City Hall. Very few of the 21 members there now rock the boat, for whatever reasons. The history Roldo is sharing suggests that Johnson would not be among the silent.

Nelson Cintron probably would not be, either, though few remember that he served as the council's majority leader for a time when Mike Polensek was council president. How he climbed to that position says something about his political chops, I think. (You can read more by following the link this Cleveland Scene article: http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/el-gallito/Content?oid=1473269)

Before I forget, I have a question for the Cintron and Nagin camps, since both are regulars on Real NEO: What happened with Cintron and Nagin? They used to be tight ... was there some sort of falling out? I might not know all the history, but I find it interesting.

Back to Ward 8, I have seen a lot of spirit out of the four candidates in that race. Shari Cloud has only been on the job three months, but she seems knowledgeable and earnest. Ronnie Jones and Valeri Coats both have brought interesting ideas to the table, as well. And Johnson has the experience factor, as well as some of the things that Roldo mentioned. Jeff Johnson Part One began before my time at the paper (and before my time in kindergarten!) so I appreciate Roldo's institutional memory here.

ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney often tells readers that he doesn't root for teams or players, he roots for good stories. I feel the same way ... and the Ward 8 and Ward 14 races are good stories, fun ones to follow in this election year.

 

after Action Jackson's declaration

 yesterday (of backing Santiago because he's a go along), it is refreshing -  the idea of having a shaker upper in city government. 

Batter up! Invitation from Henry G

  Henry G--I like your baseball philosophy of life.  I know both Rick Nagin and Nelson Cintron.  Both have indicated to me that there is no bad blood between either one of them. 
 

So, that makes me wonder

Are they working together still? Is one in the race to help siphon votes from someone else? Just an honest question.

 

cintron/nagin

 Henry, this is a question that a number of people are asking as Nagin ran Cintron past campaigns and was the "brains" behind Cintron (in my opinion) when he was in office. I also think, but you would know, that Nagin ran the recent Cintron campaign for state rep.  Such closeness and no bad blood or a coordinated move? Politics, bedfellows, and all.

Debbie

Rick Nagin - All Politics are Loco 2005

 

Wow, where has all the time gone. Remember this Scene/Free Times story. All the players are still here, well except Merle the Queen.

Where is the Queen??

  Yes--Henry S. All Politics are still Loco in 2009...only worse.

Let's also not forget, who appointed the Queen...
 

Good question

I seriously doubt it, but worth asking both of them--point blank.  Let's face it...this is just a total dogfight over here.  Working together?--does anyone in NEO work together??? On the whole, Brian, Rick, Nelson...are decent guys...I would ask Moises Torres why is he really running? 

No one has the trump card in this race, or any real strategy as far as I can tell...except perhaps Santiago...with the Sweeney/Jackson endorsement...

My money would be on Torres voting to undermine Cintron against Santiago..because, if you want to understand bad blood...you really need to try and decipher any attempts to organize the "Latin" vote in NEO.  What a mess...
 

Sweeney has not endorsed Santiago

At least not over Cummins. He is contributing Council Leadership Fund money to both, hedging his bets, so to speak.

Triad Group

  Henry G: Sweeney/Jackson endorsed Santiago via the Triad Group....via redistricted ward boundaries....

DWebb: the only reason Nagin and Cintron are probably not running a campaign together can be chalked up to ego...pure and simple.  Meanwhile, no one questions Moises Torres motives...interesting...
 

Jerleen/PD: why don't we have a full accounting of our shadow government via the CDCs in NEO?  Jerleen, you and I know why--because it keeps us, garden variety citizens, out of the loop and disempowered. 

Roldo: This forum is about all of us--not just Clevelanders--getting off the floor, as you put it.

shadow government

Just the term gives me the creeps. Like the idea though. Maybe call it something else? Unless Cheney is nearby in a bunker and it is a secret.

I have no idea what motivates Torres. He grew up in the house next door to me but was gone by the time I bought the house. Wonderful parents. His brother, Frank, was a Lt. with CPD, then turned small housing developer. Isn't he managing the campaign? The family has moved on so I don't know the story there and I also haven't heard his drumbeat in this election. 

Amen to that lmcshane. 

Amen to that lmcshane. 

triad group

LMcshane, Roldo was responding to my piece that was about Cleveland. If Cleveland gets better, Greater Cleveland gets better. Cleveland, Greater Cleveland, NEO, all interdependent.

 

Torres...if he was so tight with the Mayor...why NO endorsement?

I thought that the Mayor was going to endorse Moises Torres? That's what the word from quite a few people was...and then all of a sudden it was on Cleveland.com that the Mayor endorsed Santiago? Confusion...

Torres is a good hearted person with great intentions... I have spoken to him enumerable times. However, the underground latino community's political agenda is questionable... they are pushing to save what they are terming, "THE LATINO REPRESENTATIVE SEAT." The leadership of several hispanic not for profit organizations are polarizing their constituents by promoting Torres. They are neglecting to invite the other 6 candidates to their activities which enable him to be invited. I do not agree with that. That's wonderful for the hispanic leadership to steer votes in this manner... but what about the rest of the candidates and the residents rights etc.??? (I yelled at Moises about this steering, unethical practices, and polarization.) He agreed, but told me "that this is the way it is." I flat out disagreed with the games being portrayed on our community as a whole. It's a disgrace.

We discussed in depth the stonewalling that was being dealt out by the hispanic community... although neither of us agreed about the situation...he was left in a rock and a hard place of speaking the truth against his own people. He validated several issues and knows that it's not ethical. However, it'd be political suicide for him to fight the regime of his own people.... the hispanics, his police affiliations, and the city hall regime... about the well known corruption in all areas. That frustrated me highly... because he means well but is too inclined to remain loyal to questionable role players in our arena.

He wears a shirt that says, "FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE" ... Look, let's not vote to support any of the politicians who are willing to support-"politics as usual in Cleveland..." That regime is on it's way out! 

 

Who really is Moses Torres?

 

I attended the end of the Unity Walk Thursday night when everyone converged on the Soap Opera Laundry. I seen almost all the Ward 14 Candidates in attendance. But I only seen Moses Torres take a shameless plug at politicing at this event with supporters holding signs etc. To me unity over taking back are community is not about politics, its about everyone coming together to be on one page including political rivals.

I find it interesting these so called Hispanic leaders do not even live in Cleveland but want to have a puppet. It does seem that they are putting support behind Moses Torres.

I basicly listened more then I spoke on Thursday night. It seemed Moses Torres gained the ire of both of the two other Hispanics in the race.

I overheard Joie Santiago stating to a Ward 14 resident the Moses Torres is a slumlord. Does anyone no more about this? With the blight in Ward 14 id he actually then the right choice?

I listened to Nelson Cintron telling people that he would vote for Joe Santiago if it was between Torres ans Santiago. And that Moses Torres would only promote Hispanic people and not everyone in the ward.

Why is there such polerization amoungst the Hispanic candidates? Something is really wrong with this picture?

I can't wait for a debate, I really want to see a Ward 14 style shooting from the hip debate on some playground or park in Ward 14.

I will vote for the correct person that will not favor skin color or ethnicity. I want a councilman that will represent all of us.

Ward 14: Hispanic Polarization

Well, that's why I do support Nelson Cintron Jr...

The fact that Moises Santiago actually took a deep breath, then ackowledged and validated how frustrated he was by his own hispanic community's actions against Nelson Cintron Jr. spoke worlds about the internal leadership struggles they are facing. 

I've found Nelson Cintron Jr. to be "left out" of their arenas because he won't play their unethical games. They don't respect his ethical considerations at every turn. That's why they want their pawn, Moises Torres...or as you put it rather well---- a "PUPPET" ON THEIR (PURSE) STRINGS!

Nelson Cintron Jr. represents equilaterally. He's taught me so much about "fairness, human rights, respecting others, and ethics" throughout this campaign. He doesn't always agree with me. As a matter of fact, his tolerance has taught me and enlightened me immensely. I appreciate a leader who can do that without being offensive, rude, or polarizing. He promotes unification, believes in respecting the residents, and he knows the requirements of the position without hesitation. I believe that Nelson Cintron Jr. has a great deal of positive knowledge, skills, and abilities to share with our community at large.

Torres

Yes, a puppet and a pawn that would do anything to promote himself and make money at the same time.

disrespect in ward 14

Rebecca Kempton

 Wow Henry…. You are so right to ask this question!!

 
I too was applaud by Mr. Torres obvious politicking during this community event.
 
I like so many in our community walked the walk that started at 2nd district police station and ended at the plaza on west 25th street. I walked a good deal of the walk behind Mr. Torres and what I believe was his family. I watched as Mr. Torres walked up on to porches and talked to residents that were watching the procession. I watched him hand out campaign literature.
 
 As the walked progressed I became more and more agitated to the point that I walked up next to Joe Santiago and asked him if he thought it was tacky to campaign during a unity march he agreed that it was and assured me what I already knew that he was not campaigning at this event.
 
At that point I quicken my pace and ended up near a different Ward 14 Candidate Rick Nagain who was not actively campaigning but had supporters with him sporting his campaigns logo on tee-shirts to me this was just as tacky.
 
After the march and the speeches were completed at the west 25th street plaza I took Joe Santiago’s advice and asked Mr. Torres why he chose to use this event as a campaign stop.
 
He seemed shocked at my question but answered me respectfully albeit a little sarcastic by saying “He had know intention of missing any opportunity to reach out to voters and that this event was a great opportunity.”
 
In my mind this confirmed what I alread suspected that this was more about his ego that our ward. I reaffirmed my opinion that it was disrespectful and he should not have done it.
 
He continued to try to make me see it from his prospective by telling me that “the mayor had advised him to he had to work hard and campaign so that we did not have another four years of destruction and chaos.”
 
  
 I was truly surprised and a little taken back by the comment that the mayor was advising him because Cleve.com had just (two hours before) reported that the Mayor was supporting Santiago.
 
I told him what was reported and then ended the conversation by agreeing to disagree.
 
The victim’s of violence and there families in our ward that spurred the walk in the first place deserve canadites and politicians that are willing to support the community without a personal agenda for a mere two hours.  
 
 
Henry, your second point as to why there is such polarization amongst the Hispanic candidates.
 
 Could possibly have something to do with the fact that the Mayor may be secretly supporting his former staff member instead of Joe Santiago.
 
Wouldn’t be refreshing if for once the residents of ward 14 got support from city hall?

Torres

Torres lies a lot about how close he is with the Mayor. Torres has a big ego and doesn't care as long as he gets something out of HIS CAUSE. The Mayor advised him??? Plezzzzzzzz. I doubt that very seriously. He lied just like he lied on TV about his close friendship with the civil service president. Moises does not care for Santiago and will do what it takes to split the vote.

I'm sure he is very upset that the Mayor is not endorsing him. But who cares. Maybe his former boss will help him out. She seemed to support him 120%.

Torres

Torres owns and rent out property. He often worked on city time to take care of issues with his properties when working for the city as stated by several city employees. A slumlord. No evidence of that, but I am sure he made sure things were taken care of even when on city time. Do your research on his business and verify it. You'll see.

There are a number of his former hispanic co-workers that can confirm this information I'm sure.

Torres

Torres is a deceiver. He is very good at convincing people that he is for the people when he is for himself. He lies to put himself in positions that he does not deserve. He misuse his authority and undermine people who try to help others. Torres may have received money to run to split the vote in ward 14. I would not be surprised at all. Watch out for Torres and do a bit more checking on him before making an important decision to waste your vote on him.

politics as usual

You are right! Torres knows the game and will play it until he gets what he wants. Again, where is he getting this money to spend on his campaign? No job, but T-Shirts, Banners, Websites?! Come on! Who is paying for him to split the votes?! 'FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE'?! DON'T BELIEVE IT ONE BIT!!!

the monster is ours

 We have created a monster in this city. City Council should act as legislators. Residents expect them to solve barking dog issues, navigate for them through city services, and hound them for parts of CDBG funds. And the council reps buy into it as this also buys them power. Clark Metro has had years of problems that pre-date Santiago. Instead of the membership coming together to solve the problem, alongs come a rep that defunds them for his own reasons. This scenario is played out over and over, year after year, through out the city. It was much harder for a councilperson to cut funds, or spent tax payers dollars when there were strong neigborhood groups, but they have been gone for years. People seem to have accepted the isloation of wards versus neighborhoods (my neighborhood is in Ward 13 and 14). Even the neighborhoods are artificial, having been designated as such for statistical planning purposes. I think that it would take city wide organizing to turn things around, and residents who solve the barking dog problem without the involvement of their council rep. It would mean networking with the neighbors that we don't like, and when we learn, teaching others so that they too can advocate for themselves.

It is a lot if work. It takes a long time. 

It would also take all of us taking responsibity for the City that we live in, and to be cynical, and forgive me for that, we just are not there. Yet.

Spend CDBG funds where they are needed.

Rebecca Kempton

 
Debra Webb
 
First please let me say that I couldn’t agree more that residents need to be more pro active and I’m all for helping oneself as well as my neighbor ( I do that all of the time).
 
However with that being said I have no problem with councilman or their staff acting ombudsmen for the community they were elected to represent. Staying in constant contact with the constituents serves as great sounding board to the wants and needs of the residents.  A hands on councilman will have a better perspective of what is best for the community he or she represents.
 
I really don’t understand what you mean by “hound them for parts of CDBG funds”.
 
 Why shouldn’t the residents of an area like “Clark Metro” ask the person who holds the purse strings for their fair share?  The councilman holds the purse strings!
 
The areas where CDBG funds should be being spent are being neglected in favor of and areas that should no longer be receive that funding. Examples on the Westside include Ohio City, Tremont West and Detroit Shore-way.
 
If I’m interrupting what you are saying correctly. I to believe that affluent areas like Ohio City, Tremont get the CDBG funds because they have strong neighborhood groups and  informed and savvy residents/ CDC boards that manipulate and influence the councilperson.
 
If that is what you are saying you could not be more correct. Because that is exactly what’s happing.
 
 Don’t you see a problem with that?? Not only is unethical it potentially illegal.
 
Is that how you want your tax dollars disbursed?  Are you okay with that kind of corruption?
 
HUD CDBG entitlements should be used to revitalize neighborhoods, and provide economic development, in low- and moderate-income areas.
 
Santiago said “the center of ward 14 was like a rotten apple it’s blighted and an economy nightmare”. He is right the area of Clark Metro defiantly meets the criteria that HUD has set. It’s a community that would benefit from CDBD funds.  
However for the last three and a half years he spent the money that he was allotted from the CDBG pie in Tremont, Ohio City and Flats Oxbow and not where it would have the most impact.
 
Why?????? 
 
Again it I’m interrupting correctly you say it’s the fault of the residents in Clark- Metro because we did not “Band together and demand our fair share”.
 
The residents of the area did band together they asked, begged, pleaded with the councilman to support Clark-Metro on almost any terms including probationary. He refused over and over not even willing to talk to the board on many occasions. 
 
 
He did of course support things in the community the residents did not want like Nightclubs and bars. (But that’s for another post).
In closing
 
I want to be clear I have nothing against Ohio City, Tremont or any other part of the city that has reinvented itself.
I complete concede that OCNW and TWDC are old and respected agency in our city (I remember being 10 years old and working on street clean ups in OC).
 
 
But the reality of the improvement in both of those areas reaches far beyond block clubs and community pot lucks.
The improvement was catapulted by the interest of developers who had the foresight of what the area could be. So they purchased property with the help of the CDC that was given CDBG dollars to improve their areas. ( the kick backs and backroom deals are for another post).
 
So now 10-30 years later they are great places to live work or dine!!
They need to maintain and continue to improve but that’s should be up to the residents and the private sector not tax dollars.
It’s time to spend CDBG funds where they are needed and where they were intended for.
 
Rebecca Kempton
Clark Metro/ ward 14 resident and stakeholder.

 

 

CDBG

Rebecca, I agree with a great deal of your postings with a major exception: I believe that CDBG dollars should not be alloted to the council reps who then award favorite groups with money. It should never make it into the council representative "hands".

We have way too many problems in the City that that money could address rather than being used as "award" money. Sure, some of it goes for good stuff. A lot of it is not, and many people and groups fight over it and we  all become more divided. How is it handled it other cities?

As far as Ohio City (Tremonters can speak for themselves) goes, I would love to have an accounting of all publc investments that has lead to the current day. I know that there is a lot of concern about CDBG money, but when I look at the newer deveopment, the tax abatements, the cost to connect new water and new sewer lines, new sidewalks to replace what was torn up to connect these lines, then the street repairs post constructions, plus tying up Building & Housing insprectors, we are talking a huge amount of tax dollars  and it is not benefitting the people who have lived here and worked hard to make it a better place.

Ironically, those of us who have worked to address drugs, arson, vandalism and other crimes are often not treated well by the new comers who are suspicious of "inner city types".

I am not impressed with the resturants and bar business. W. 25th is not a retail strip anymore for those if us who live in the area. Other than the West Side Market, there isn't a lot going on. Yes, the area is busy weekend nights as people come into "town" but is my life better for it?

This is the Reagan trickle down theory still at work many years later. It starts with the use of public dollars to benefit private investors and somehow we at the bottom are supposed to lap up the drops as they fall.

I do not share your endorsement of OCNW. I am appalled at their lack of sensivity to the greater area that they are suppose to serve and their focus on the historic district. They have opposed any moves toward low income housing and want programs that serve the poor out of the neighborhood. Most of the programs that they have fought against predate the gentrification of the area. I am no longer a member.

Santiago? We agree.

BTW: Debra is another person. I am Debbie .

 

Rebecca

Rebecca Kempton

 
Debbie-
 
You may be surprised to find we agree more than you think.
 
If my earlier post gave you the impression I’m am okay with council members doling CDBD funds. Let me state for the record I would love for the distribution of funds to be taken out of there hands!!!
 
I’m at work so I have to run for now but it would seem that I’ve been inspired  to add my two cents to the lively discussion here on REAL NEO so I’m sure I’ll have something to say later.
 
I look forward to working to bring our community together.
 
Rebecca Kempton

Webb, you make a lot of

Webb, you make a lot of sense.

The block grant money helps City Hall/Council members maintain control. The CDC's are beholden to their funders. The old neighborhood groups that made demands seem to have totally disappeared. Residents have to organize for themselves. They have to fund themselves (very important because foundations, public money steers the decision-making). And you are right, it's very hard to do. It takes people who are totally dedicated and willing to give of their time and energy.

 

But Clevelanders HAVE TO GET OFF THE FLOOR THEMSELVES.

That's my question - if the

That's my question - if the Block Grant Money helps City Hall maintain control - where does funders like NPI fit in?  As with Tremont West, NPI is their biggest funders - so, since they provide more grand money than the city, is it a fair assessment to believe that they are in control as opposed to the councilman?

Organizing the Citizens...

Santiago single handedly destroyed what was left of our sense of community, of block clubs, and made anyone who thought about supporting the CMDC worry that they'd be retaliated, neglected, or even directly violated by his personal differences...as he had done to the CMDC itself.

Don't you know how Ward 14 residents have been totally diverted from the CMDC by Santiago's regime since the beginning of his term? He's sent our citizens to Stockyard, Ohio City, and TWDC for 4 years... promoting them...neglecting us.

He's pulled CDBG funding for 4 years, refused to communicate/work with anyone associated with the CDC, and furthermore practically retaliated with neglect and abusive actions anyone who did try to speak up or against his ways. He shut everyone in the community out of any planning, development, and refused to hear his residents when they stood and spoke at his dog and pony shows.

SO, until Santiago is OUT of the picture, enabling a feeling of SAFETY for our Citizens...I don't see any of the residents feeling confident to get out here  and fight his games b/c most cannot afford to be in housing court or be neglected any more by his actions.

THE FBI should have Santiago on charges when this is over for misuse of CDBG Funding. What's even more unbelievable is the fact that his choices to neglect us were validated by an entire CITY HALL regime? Did any one city council member even try to fight for WARD 14? Doesn't look like it from where I am sitting...

Personally, I believe that

Personally, I believe that Tremont West  took money that belonged in that neighborhood out of pure greed.  I mean they have big funders like NPI and yet they still thought it was appropriate to take the little bit of money that not only  belonged in Rebecca's community but was really needed by those residents.  

Rebecca has every right to be angry but I know from experience, screaming will only get you a sore throat.   It's called join forces.  People and residents must come together and start standing up for their rights.  Enough people start piling in at these committee meetings and demand to be heard.  We all need to find ways of creating bonds and alliances to form some type of "watch dog" resources to keep a barrier between the residents and retaliation strikes. 

OK, everytime something goes

OK, everytime something goes wrong or an issue pops up, somebody says, "call your councilman."  In this nightmare we have going on in Tremont (Ward 13), which also includes part of Ward 14, Tremont West seems to hold all the cards and wields power around like they're on a throne and we're just peons for the kickin'. 

Who actually has the power, the CDC or the Councilman?  Surely, he funds the CDC but does he actually have any power.  I overheard someone say that Councilman Cimperman was not the face of TWDC.  That may be true, but are they inclined to do his bidding?  Are they there to make him look good and keep his hands clean - just exactly how does that work?  I really want someone to explain it because I seem to be going around in a circle.

 

 

ok everytime

 Everytime someone says call your councilman, don't. Stop and ask yourself if you with the help of your fellow citizens, can do it yourself. Sure, the CDC will be council rep dependent, as that is the way it has been carefully molded. It is in the CDC and the council rep's best interest to keep that going. 

This is a perfect forum to build on and ask others if they have had similair problems, and how it was solved. Use any other forums availabe.Then you have to weed out what is really useful and what will work for you.You have to wade through a lot of opinion to get to actual experience.

Most of all, any action that you take that may make a stir, you have to make sure that you have your people lined up with you.

As to who has the power, a lot of people will say you, as the resident, the voter, etc. Yeah, yeah, in the perfect world.

A primer of how things got us here: years ago, there were neighborhood groups that were started as a result of poverty issues, and national action groups. In Cleveland, we had Near West Neighbors in Action, Citizens to Bring Back Broadway, and more. Organizers worked to establish block clubs, and there were leadership training. The block clubs set the agendas. The neighborhood groups founded the housing groups that set up the Cleveland Housing Network with a group in most communities (not wards) The Cleveland Catholic Diocese actually funded some of this, as well as Foundations. Then they got either stupid, or over eager, and along with a national group made an "action hit" on a country club where the powers that be attended. Long story short, funding lost, groups, to survive, got small peices of $$, became council dependent, and died. In the meantime, local development coorporations were set up to handle the commerical interest of neighborhoods in statiscal planning areas, hence the names of Tremont, OC, OB, Slavic Village, etc.  Along came the funders saying that they wanted to fund one group and not 21. NPI was born, and NPI consolidated the neighborhood housing groups and local development corporations into one group. Let's see, commerical vs. rehabbibg of homes for low to mod income. Who holds the majority vote? So CDC's become whatever the powers that be want them to.

Most of the funds from the rep to a CDC is not large in comparsion to what the total budget of NPI is. It is when it is divided that we people become divided. Those funds received by NPI for distribution are private and public funds, and go to NPI with strings attached. To stay alive, a CDC may accept funds for a project that they really don't like to keep payroll going. CDC's may also cultivate leadership that can be presented to funders as palpable. Lots of non profits look for the person who looks good, sounds good and can relate to the person with the purse strings.

CDC's operate money-wise, in a precarious state. They are not going to make waves and will stay status quo. Even if you take a CDC "over" you may find yourselff without staff because the funders won't give you money.

I hope that I have not bored you with this. I know this is very long, and I will say that this is history and opinion according to Debbie Webb.  I also hope that you keep on doing what you have been doing, and find ways to work around the power structure until you have a coalition that is strong enough to negoiate with TWDC, your represenative, and the funders.

Thank you Debbie.   When

Thank you Debbie.   When you try to untangle the webs, it like having a tiget by the tail.  I must say, I've been guilty of "calling the Councilman" but when you look at the big pie "budget" NPI is the biggest contributor.  In that case, am I understanding it that the Councilman really falls low on the pole as far as being the door to knock on if you want to need to do some housecleaning?  Now, legislation, are you saying that the councilman is in the driver's seat when it comes to getting local government changes, laws passed, city code, etc.?

I'm really looking for an education in local politics - 'cause of late, I get the feeling I'm being mollified in order to distract me from other directions?  Not a good idea.  There is clearly a game of political chess going on in our backyard because certain "game pieces" are being moved around lately.

 

 

 

mollified

No the council rep is not really low low down the chain. funding is too piecemeal for the cdc not to depend on that money. an example is that there is money available to paint the benches at lincoln park, and to do other visible, inexpensive improvements. the city is funding crime prevention. the cdc applies for five pieces of funds to a total of $60,000.

NPI is able to give 20,000 but for that, another plan is added as that is how the funders stipulate how their $$ are spent. Other funders  kick in with small amounts, with stipulations. The cdc really needs that total of $60,000 because that $60,000 is part of thier $200,000 budget. Out of that budget, they pay salaries, benefits, taxes, rent, ultilities, and the cost of supplies to run a business. For each block of funds to get to the $200,000 they are having to repeat the process I laid out in the $60,000 piece. 

Back to the $60,000. So now they are at $45,000 and approach the city for $15,000. The city has some money for crime prevention, and tell the group that they will give them 10,000 if they can get 5,000 from their council rep.

The pieces and the power.

I would be happy to get together with you sometime. We only live a mile apart. We are just in different statistical areas!

 

Thanks Debbie, That really

Thanks Debbie, That really sounds like a game plan.  The week of August 10, is good with the exception of an evening meeting or two.  My office is usually at IHOP in Steelyard commons, I don't  know where you might like to have a cup of coffee, but let me know what your schedule is if that week's not good and coffee's on me.

 

 

it is a plan

Jerleen, that sounds good. I also left out a really important detail. The mayor.

The mayor is supposed to actually run the City. The different department heads report to the mayor. Matt Carroll, head of health, reports to the mayor and not to 21 council reps.

If you have a problem with inspectors, garbage pick up, you call that department. If you get blown off, call the mayor's office. As often as you need to.

It is the Mayor who needs to do his job and should be called to task when city services are lacking, and yes, let your rep know as a courtsey if you want and if she or he won't fight you on it.

We have let Mayor's off the hook way too long.

I think I am done now.

Debbie

That is really important to

That is really important to know, thank you.

How about Monday, August 10, IHOP, you name time and I'll meet you there.

 

e-mail

 I just e-mailed you re: date.

Debbie

For those interested

Read Democratizing Cleveland - The Rise and Fall of Community Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio 1975 - 1985 by Randy Cunningham.  Randy is a West Sider.  Interesting read.  Will lend my copy to anyone.  Kate Dupuis

The Fall

  Here's the link to the closest library copy of Randy Cunningham's book:
 

http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/193970311

randy

 Good book, has a revised edition out. You can also order it from his website (he would appreciate the sell). www.arambalapress.com

 He is working on another book now, I think it is about labor (unions).

Debbie

Not everyone begged..

Rebecca, my experience with Clark Metro goes back to 1989.  CMCD, in my opinion, and many agree with me, has always been disorganized and ineffective.  Not only that, they were an embarrassment to the community. 

I recall the last large annual meeting  three or four years ago where the Director got into a public shouting match with a past CM employee, (while he was on the podium with a microphone) -  accusing her of being angry because he didn't hire her gay lover.  In front of  practically every single organization  representative on the  West side. 

The newsletters were a joke, arriving sometimes two months after the issue date.  When  Steve bacame director, I took him to lunch, offering support in addition to funds to mail the newsletter timely.  No response.

Several months prior to his leaving, Steve  met with our block club.  When I asked number of  CMCD members, he "thought" they had eleven! Randy, Board President didn't know either! 

I  was nominated to serve on a committee.  When I asked  repeatedly for description of my duties, absolutely NO ONE could tell me. 

Most recently, I attended almost a year's worth of Board meetings during which time everything other than the most mundane items were discussed iin Executive Committee.  More than one meeting was canceled with no notice - not even a note on the door. I felt the Board was conducting business behind closed doors; however, will give them benefit of doubt.

Two years ago at the last annual meeting, there were 16 people in attendance which included Chuck Hovan from Plain Press, the security cop and  the new Director.   That's when I gave up.

Rebecca, I know you worked long and hard to ressurect Clark Metro.  I respect your efforts but you can't beat a dead horse.  

After the election, we can begin again, hopefully a more united neighborhood. 

Kate Dupuis

 

 

A Clark Metro is needed

The neighborhood really needs a community group. Years ago, I worked for Clark Fulton Denison United. Clark Metro was a really small, maybe one person LDL that did storefront facade programs. I moved on before CFDU died, and one of that staff moved over to Clark Metro. Perhaps one of the problems was that the transition of this and the loss of the grassroots component helped lead to it being a staff directed rather than a neighborhood directed CDC. While this is the way it happens everywhere else, why did it fail there? There were problems and turnover for years before Santiago pulled the funding. I know that he claims that he did not, that CD did this, but let's be real.

Rather than resurrect Clark Metro, it there any chance of people finding common grounf and building a totally new group? 

New Group

Would love a totally new group, fresh start for all.  Except after the election, all the CDC's will be reviewed and combined to cut the number.  More likely a regional grouping serving larger areas. And, each CDC will have to generate funds for support because funding from the Feds  will be cut, in spite of the stimulous money.   Candidates D'Amico and Nagin are out of touch if they think they can resurrect Clark Metro or start a new CDC.    So......we shall wait and see. 

Kate Dupuis

 

Just a thought here, maybe

Just a thought here, maybe it was not the organization, it was the people running it.  Also, maybe Rebecca might have a fighting chance if the money designated for that area, didn't get channeled off to someplace else.  I think Rebecca could use some help, Kate, what part of Ward 14 do you live in?  

He Failed the cummunity

Rebecca Kempton

You fail to hear me!!
At this point I don't care what it's called or where it is. (Although I'm not really that happy with all CDC’s on the west side being under the umbrella of the Spanish American Committee).  Joe told me that was a real possibly.
 
 What I care about is that the money is spent where it is needed! Here in our area!!!
I want the politics’ out of it!! -If I could scream this from my roof top I would!!! ( but I would fall…lol)

 Rebecca

 

Kate & Rebecca

 You have such an opportunity here to bring factions together in the Clark Metro Area and start a new, unfunded group for the sole purpose of having a say as to what happens in the future and you need to do it now. Just get people together, find common ground, forget the politics, actually forbide the mention of CDBG and council for a few months, and focus on what you see the needs to be. Don't let drama interfere with your goals.

I am in the area everyday, I live less than half a mile from Clark Fulton, and I know the need is great. Until you all come together, and unite on some issues, politicians and CDC's will call the shots for you. It won't be easy to do and you need to in the end pick only a small number of issues, but when the factions unite, your chances of being heard will be greater. You will find that whoever the council rep turns out to be will more likely listen to one voice. 

I am sorry if this seems like I am preaching at you, or if this just won't work for you.

  Hello Ms. RK, Besides me,

 

Hello Ms. RK,
Besides me, many people hear you on the internet.
You don’t need to  go up on the roof (when I do the family freaks out!)
What is audible  isn't the elevation, or volume of your voice, but it's persuasive reasonableness.
The Ward 14 discussion has been one of the most dynamic in Realneo’s 5+ year history.
Many committed voices are building the discussion.  And the CDC's are clicking on this too...
 
best, jeffb

 

dynamic discussion

Ward 14 has never been boring. It is good to hear the committed voices and wonderful to "dialogue" (hate that term) with people like this.

We have to also remember that the 2010 census will impact us, and wards will again be reduced, and boundaries change again.  The charter admendment allows for 25,000 people per ward per council representative and there share has been a loss of residents since the last census in 2000.

That means that your new council rep may not be the one you have to work with after 2010, so if you are depending on a particuliar councilperson, your still to build yourself into a group that sets priorites and unites regardless of the politicians. Otherwise, you won't be any better off today than you will be in two years.

nightmares

Rebecca, before I go off to bed I have to address this or I will have nightmares, Santiago and the SAC and all the CDC's being under SAC.

He must have been under the influence to even think that this would ever happen, 

It's never as simple at that

Rebecca and I live a block apart and know one another well.  The problem is that I supported Santiago and she supported Cintron.  Unfortunately, CM became a political football between Cintron and Santiago.  Pragmatically and truthfully speaking, Santiago could not support Clark Metro once Nelson Cintron became involved.  The neighborhood suffered.  Rebecca and I are friends (I think).  I like her, enjoy her sense of humor,  respect all the hard work she puts into the community and I know we both want better things to happen.    Once again.......after the election   kd

United we stand

There are two candidates running who can unite the ward.  I believe one of them will win and then we can build our bridge.  I have made great efforts to unite the ward and the fact that Rebecca and I email each other, are FB friends, share information is the beginning.  Kate (I'm sure we're  boring the rest of the group with ward 14 intermural "sports" )

Roldo

This is all on your blog; you started it, and I want to say thanks. Tonight is the last night of my vacation, back to work tomorrow, I have to say that I have enjoyed this forum and discussion more than I can say. The rebel lurking in me has reemerged.  

So, again, thanks  to all, and I  hope that this continues.

Ward 14: Commo is Good...Don't Stop...CMDC Residents Need U

Dear Ladies...

Powerful words from you all... no, we are not bored...actually quite excited. Keep on discussing. Thanks for your initiative, investments of time & heart/soul into our community! The citizens need more folks with your dedication! They need to know how hard you all are fighting for them! Thanks a million for your work! 

The past issues with the CMDC are pretty much gone. They have entirely new people and direction in 2009. Perhaps, after the election...you'll come back to be a part of that change and share your wisdom! I believe that there are open seats on the BOD available to persons with your experience and

CMDC is still here...never left...but did get an entirely new BOD, staff, and reevaluated their position within the community when Santiago steadfastly refused to support their efforts.

There are some great new people who have dedicated themselves to our community, united, and who have been building on the core values of civic involvement, community relations, and resource referrals.

There are enumerable paid Youth who are working for them this summer through FRIDAY too. They have been hitting our community, cleaning out lots, and working to get the word out that we remain in the community. There are many other volunteers who grace the organization working in the office, attending to basic business matters, and who are fighting to keep the CMDC alive.

The BOD is working steadily to recover from all above cited challenges and to rebuild itself-without the support of Joe Santiago which is an unbelievable disgrace. Without funding, our volunteers are working to learn as they go at grassroots levels about enumerable issues. The staff are expeditously learning, engaging, and inviting sources with experience to come and be a part of the revitalization of our community.

The CMDC is hosting an AWARDS SHOW FOR THE YOUTH that worked there this summer on August 16th at the San Lorenzo Club and they are selling tickets to the event for like $12.00 (I think). They are now located on the third floor of the Lin Omni Center where Merrick House is across the street from Santiago's office...

Whether the CDC's merge or not.....CMDC is the only WARD 14 CDC left...who would they merge with?  Seeing as to how they have learned to survive for 4 years without funding from the councilman... They've gained the realistic insight of proposing and hosting events that will raise enough funds to get them off the ground and into areas of development in the near future.

It's worth giving the folks at the CMDC a chance to overcome the negative impact of Santiago's regime. Regardless of the history, we all must move forward collectively!!! The CMDC is still a membership driven organization...WARD 14 residents are automatically qualified for membership! So, try to be part of the plans and incorporate your wisdom to collaborate future efforts! 

I know that the folks who are there are working very hard to protect the rights and interests of the folks who have been violated since Santiago took office. It's time to support the people who are working hard for the community and particularly for the families in direct distress at this stage of the game.... Anyone with resources, considerations, or the energy to dedicate to this reclamation period should go there and jump in to be a part of the future! 

Important Meetings in Tremont District of Cleveland

Please attend the South of Jefferson Block Club meeting at 7pm next Tuesday (8/11/09) upstairs at Post 58 (2441 Professor Ave) and encourage your neighbors to attend. 

At the meeting:
* Express your concerns about important matters, such as the proposed Turkish restaurant between Thurman and Professor, the lack of parks in your immediate neighborhood, traffic, parking, harassment, etc.
* Become a voting member of the Block Club by attending three meetings this year (if you are not already),
* Run for either a position as co-chair of the Block Club or as secretary or to recruit and support a candidate

I expect that agenda items for the South of Jefferson Block Club meeting at 7pm Tuesday, upstairs, at Post 58 will include:

* Tremont Pointe (including some sort of presentation by someone associated with CWRU and perhaps the so-called Tremont Pointe Residents Association),

* The proposed Turkish Restaurant on Professor and its parking on Thurman (between Starkweather and Jefferson), along with the related concerns of long-time Tremont residents,

* A vote on the resolution asking for cooperation to establish new South of Jefferson neighborhood recreational facilities reading:
“We residents of the South of Jefferson neighborhood strongly urge the Tremont West Development Corporation, CHMA, the City of Cleveland, the developers of  the Towpath Trail project, residents, and other stakeholders to cooperate and arrange for adequate, permanent recreational facilities and services in our immediate neighborhood to help serve the needs of our expanding population.  We also request that the Tremont West Development Corporation actively help facilitate the necessary actions and publish monthly reports in Inside Tremont summarizing associated progress, plans, problems, and recommendations.”
By the way, so far 67 South of Jefferson Residents (mostly in Tremont Pointe and in the immediate vicinity) have signed the above as a petition

* The election of officers (who do you think should chair our meetings or be its secretary, and can you get them to attend and run for the office?),  If we have several candidates who support us, can we get them together to decide on one to run as our block club co-chair, so our vote is not divided?   I would like to run for secretary and have another concerned resident run to chair our meetings.  I saw nothing in the block club bylaws that would prevent us from electing a resident who is not yet a voting member as a chairperson.  

However, I have not seen a proposed agenda yet.  Michael DeNicola indicated that he would post an agenda on the South of Jefferson e-mail list this weekend and bring hard copy to the meeting.

If the Agenda does not include these items, or others that concern you, participants at the meeting have the power to add them and others.  The block club recently adopted bylaws that include Roberts Rules of Order, so that our concerns are not ignored. 

Do not be intimidated by the fancy name Roberts Rules of Order.  They are very common parliamentary procedures that are used in many organizations. For a summary and details, see http://www.robertsrules.org and http://www.robertsrules.com).  They are worth studying, since they can be used to both force issues to be dealt with and voted upon, or to block or amend proposals.  As part of the Block Club Bylaws, actions in accordance with the procedures cannot be successfully ignored (if we stand up for our rights),

If the Turkish Restaurant issue is not announced as dead on arrival, we can propose postponing any decision on it indefinitely (killing it), or (if proponents insist on a vote) postponing a vote least until November when all concerned nearby residents attending the meeting will have an opportunity to become voting members of the Block Club. 

I heard a rumor that there is some sort of meeting about traffic at Starkweather and Professor somewhere in Tremont at 6pm and the idea of making Starkweather one way all the way to W 7 St.  However, I do not have the details nor can I confirm if the rumor is true. If you have the details, or know the URL of a website with them, please let us know. 

Councilman Cimperman has asked me to meet with him Tuesday afternoon to discuss the concerns that I have been raising, etc.

* What are your concerns?

* What specific actions should we request from Councilman Cimperman?

Also, please consider joining the following e-mail lists that focus on strategies to address community concerns for Tremont as a whole, including local concerns for various neighborhoods:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tremonsters
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tremonttruths/

For South of Jefferson residents, also consider joining:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southofjefferson

If you have comments, suggestions, and better ideas please share them. If you reply to this message to all, everyone receiving it can see what you have to say and perhaps we can coordinate our response. Feel free to e-mail me at lcornett [at] en [dot] com

Sincerely,

Claude Lawrence Cornett, Jr.

PS:  Besides the South of Jefferson block club meeting next Tuesday, please attend and invite your neighbors to attend the Old South Side Community Coalition meeting on Monday 8/17/09 at 6:30pm at the Jefferson St Library (850 Jefferson Ave)

Larry. As noted on page 6 of

Larry.

As noted on page 6 of the August Issue of the Inside Tremont Newsletter:

"The public meeting to discuss traffic concerns and possible solutions on Starkweather Avenue near Professor Avenue and West 7th Street.  All are welcome!  Meeting on Tuesday, August 11th will be held at 6:00pm at Post #58."

 

 

jeff Johnson

 The PD endorsed Jeff Johnson today. I rarely agree with the PD then they surprise me by doing something right. Go Jeff!

Martin Sweeney

  The PD also endorsed Martin Sweeney...
 

sweeney/johnson

If you can call the endorsement by the PD of Sweeney an endorsement! It is 'here is the least worst of the lot, you don't have to give him the presidency, just return him.'

Jeff's endorsement was much better.

If you meet him, I bet you would like him.

Like him

I may like Jeff Johnson, but  I still would not vote for him.  The PD does not have to endorse any one--afterall, they deferred on the presidential election Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards...I am sure that the Ward 14 contenders are almost praying that the PD does NOT endorse them.  The PD also endorsed Santiago last go around. 
 

Also, it helps to have a little history here--on the walls.  Ask yourself, how long have residents lived without noise walls?  And why is this suddenly a priority???  Does it not smell of an easy contract?  If one or two folks have been here for the duration and they have issues with noise, then they should have ODOT pay them for the full value of their homes devalued by the construction of I-71, which took place almost 50 years ago.

We are living with intentional planned abandonment and the devastation wrought by greed.  It saddened me to read the editorial yesterday from a resident in the St. Hyacinth area of Cleveland.  This is the plan.  Our neighborhood is next. 

Noise walls failing by airport

Noise walls are bloat of corrupt, useless frill infrastructure that adds to the construction and maintenance cost of already bloated, poorly administered and deteriorating highway infrastructure - only fund ODOT to build the very minimum, as they are not positioned to maintain our roads for our children. These walls may benefit developers on properties around freeways, but the free marketplace takes care of them... they do not deserve public subsidy beyond, especially in this pathetic economic era.

Drive down I-71 south past Snow Road, by the airport, and observe the new noise walls are all falling apart. Taxpayer construction in this poor neighborhood is of such poor quality the walls are crumbling and will need to be replaced - how many years old are these? Why are they such poor quality, if rich areas get better construction. Who built them and what is our warranty. Looks like really poor grade concrete... haven't we seen use of that in other roads projects around here lately?

What taxpayers want to buy such problems for us now, and want to curse our children with them later?

Stupidity and corruption.

Disrupt IT

The history of the Opportunity Corridor, in the PD

Thanks for pointing out the editorial yesterday from a resident in the St. Hyacinth area of Cleveland.

That traces the history of the opportunity corridor, which has been planned and been in construction that long. They have been sucking the life out of the neighborhood in the pre-acquisition stage, to reduce site assembly costs, and get out as many people as possible for free through corruption of free markets and so attrition.

This poor sucker who wrote his woes in the PD - Jim Sickora - is one of the victims, and the death of his neighborhood is with intent. The PD should be ashamed for not admitting their roll in this death, decades in the planning and execution.

Opportunity for who?

 

Disrupt IT

Suckers

 That would make me a sucker, too...Archwood/Denison/Brooklyn Centre, change up the names, keep everyone confused...wait for the opportune moment.  Brooklyn Centre is expendable...the poor folks who live on the island of houses north of the zoo adjacent to the historic ball park--future exit ramp to the zoo off I-71.  Ask Dick Kerber at the Cleveland Metroparks about those folks...he knows the plan.  Just biding their time.

Torres is running to split

Torres is running to split the hispanic vote. I am sure whom ever gave him the funds to run and if he wins, he will be offered a cushy job like to one he had at his old job.