"COLLABORATION" - THE AIM, NOT RESULT

Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 17:33.

Let me get this straight. The Cleveland Foundation is now the target of the Cleveland Plain Dealer? You got to be kidding me.

 

The Sunday assault on the Cleveland Foundation decision to not give the Fund for Our Economic Future much new money suggests to me that the PD’s leadership doesn’t quite know what it is doing. In a front-page article and some blunderbuss from Brent Larkin, the PD slammed an institution that it has never had a bad word for in the past.

 

Ease into it, why don’t ya.

 

The “past” is the past at the PD these days and sometimes now that’s very good. Not always, however. Sometimes it gets overplayed. The paper is jumping on things. And jumping pretty hard.

 

The PD leadership – Terry Egger and Susan Goldberg – doesn’t know the community. And apparently they’re not eager to. They seemed to take a leap on this one, suggesting they are listening to voices and have taken sides. So, let her rip. Even if it may not be clear.

 

News, schmooze, we’ll tell you what to believe.

 

The new aggressiveness of the PD overall is welcomed. But some selectivity is in order.  At times it seems the paper is just looking for a fight. Grrrr.  

 

Now, if there has been a more critical voice about the Cleveland Foundation through the years, I guess I have to own up to it.

 

But I get the feeling that some new guys who think so highly of themselves - Brad Whitehead and the gang – have it in mind to be our new True Leaders – Entrepreneurs, Inc. They know what’s best. Fell in love with technology.

 

They maybe don’t think that helping Cleveland or Cuyahoga County counts for much anymore. Maybe they believe the core here really is dead. And not worth the opportunity to even lend a small helping hand.

 

I’m a bit surprised at the stridency of Dave Abbott of the Gund Foundation. He’s also chairman of the Fund. First, I always thought Abbott was a Cleveland city proper supporter.  Abbott, in my experience, could never get much excited where it counted. He was a Tim Hagan man as Cuyahoga County administrator before he went truly corporate. As an original board member of Gateway there was nary a bad word about that abysmal operation. He was quiet as a mouse as the debt mounted.

 

Now, he’s roaring. “Silly and absurd” are knifing words. That’s how he described reaction to a column written for the PD supporting “collaboration” – the theme word of the Fund. It ran as an op/ed in the PD.

 

Ronn Richard, boss of the Cleveland Foundation, apparently is touchy that his institution has given millions of dollars to the Fund but has one vote – same as entities that gave $100,000. That’s what he offers to give each year now. But he did know the rules when he entered the deal.

 

The PD’s bomb hardly fit the “collaborative” theme everyone seems to think keen.

 

The publicity may have widened the gap between Richard of the Cleveland Foundation and Abbott of the smaller Gund Foundation. Usually, the two foundations are as collaborative in funding as two entities could get.

 

Maybe having the dirty linen hanging out is good but obviously it can be disruptive. A commodity overstocked here.

 

Back to your corners, guys.

 

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