Eric J Brewer files charges against Cle Council President Kevin J. Kelley

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:41.

 From ERIC J BREWER: 

(See original post at FB https://www.facebook.com/eric.j.brewer.9)

Dan Gilbert, Kevin Kelley and Frank Jackson ain't getting away with this $88 million bullshit.

Today I filed an Affidavit to cause Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley to be arrested and prosecuted for dereliction of duty, obstruction of official business and personating a law enforcement officer. I'm in the picture being sworn in by a deputy clerk employed by Cleveland Clerk of Court Earl B. Turner on the 3rd floor of the Justice Center. The clerk's office called Judge Ron Adrine of Cleveland's municipal court. Employees under Judge Adrine's supervision assigned the complaint a number, 2017 – GAO15. This is the same type of complaint filed by the Cleveland 8 on behalf of Tamir Rice. Mine is just more extensive. Here's a link to a time and date stamped copy. http://www.pdf.investintech.com/…/f9a41ef6-2ba1-…/index.html

The basis of my complaint is simple. Council presidents don't negotiate, enter and sign contracts on behalf of municipal corporations under Ohio law. That's the job of the mayor and director of law, and I don't give a good gotdamned if Frank Jackson says this bullshit is okay and signed off on it. It's not. If Kelley wanted to negotiate council's copier contract and get a community benefits agreement from the vendor more power to him. Y'all would have seen Kelley's dumb ass on the news in handcuffs if he did that bullshit to me like he did Jackson. The mayor negotiates with Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers, Gateway Economic Development Corporation and Armond Budish. The director of law prepares the documents. Not a councilman.

The bottom line is even if Frank is okay with Kelley's duty-exceeding contract negotiation, it's against the law and he's weak for allowing it. Look folk. Mayors are not supposed to be treated like "tricks." Section 71 of the charter. Chief law enforcement officer. #1 badass. That's the job. Think Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

There are three separate branches of government under Ohio's constitution. The state's general laws separate the duties between the branches of government and so do Cleveland's charter and ordinances. This lunacy shows just how out-of-control these non-reading IEP assholes are who lead our city. It also shows the criminal minds of Gilbert and Budish for even accepting it.

Everyone who knew what I'm now sharing knows there is no question the mayor is the contract negotiating authority for the municipal corporation along with his director of law. Fred Nance has represented Cleveland. I supplied him with a libel statute that would have helped Mayor Mike White when I worked for him as a special assistant. I know he knows Cleveland's charter and ordinances and I won't accept any other perspective on it. I attended an “orientation” meeting of the Cuyahoga County Mayors & Managers Association in 2005 for new mayors and Squires' downtown offices with other mayors. At the end of the session the “instructor” offered the law firm's municipal services. Fred knows Kelley didn't have any gotdamned authority to negotiate an agreement on behalf of the city. He should be ashamed of himself for taking advantage of his city.

I'm not an attorney, just a former mayor. There are other acts that need to be taken to void Ord. No. 305-17 and Ord. No. 469-17 council enacted because of required duties Kelley, Jackson and the council majority failed to follow. There's a concept in law called “ultra vires.” It means in Latin, “beyond the powers.” The phrase “intra vires” means “within the powers.” Kelley was warned in Cleveland Ord. No. 612.15(e) not to go beyond the powers or “exceed the duties” of the public office. He fucked up. Big time. Jackson as you'll read in my complaint has already confirmed it.

Both ordinances are voided automatically because of the illegal acts. Any monies spent based on Kelley's two unlawfully negotiated ordinances are not the responsibility of Cleveland taxpayers. Save the litigation. Illegal acts committed by elected officials don't count. Besides that, this bullshit is going federal. I've already had the conversation.

Corporate Cleveland. Dan. It's better to deal with honest elected officials. Leave the deal-making scumbags alone. They get your named dragged through the mud and bring you into a whole lot of controversial shit you just don't want in your life. There are a multitude of mutually-beneficial ways for people who share a political corporation to achieve constructive goals. This isn't how it's done.

Below is what I wrote in the content of the complaint.

Now comes, Eric Jonathan Brewer, and after being duly-sworn according to law, deposes and states that he is of full legal age, has personal knowledge of all matters stated herein, and is otherwise competent to testify to the matters set forth below.

Further, Affiant states the following:

1. My name is Eric Jonathan Brewer.

2. I am a resident of Cleveland, Ohio in Cuyahoga County and have been for more than six months prior to this Affidavit.

3. I am the former Mayor of the City of East Cleveland, a former Special Assistant to the Mayor of Cleveland, former Chief of Staff to the Mayor of East Cleveland; and a veteran journalist with extensive knowledge of Cleveland municipal government and its officials that dates back to 1979.

4. I have had the opportunity to review events leading up to the enactment of Ord. No. 305-17 and Ord. No. 469-17 on April 24, 2017, and to compare the acts of Council's president to Cleveland's charter, ordinances and general laws governing municipal corporations. Both are the ordinances Kevin Kelley led Cleveland city council to deliberate and vote on that awarded $88 million to support funding the renovation of The Q sports arena.

5. Kevin Kelley at all relevant times during the acts that are the subject of this Affidavit served in the official capacity as President of Cleveland City Council and was administered oaths to perform the duties of a single legislative officer of the municipal corporation.

6. On April 24, 2017 Kelley, in his capacity as President of Council, scheduled and presided over a 3:00 p.m. news conference and delivered an announcement on the front steps of 601 Lakeside Avenue that weekend negotiations had resulted in “community benefits agreement.” The “agreement” purported to support Kelley's intent to deliver an $88 million “deal” that favored Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert's desire to obtain funds from the City of Cleveland to renovate The Q Arena.

7. The attached Cleveland Scene news story written by Sam Allard, and dated April 25, 2017, confirmed that Kelley, a member of the City of Cleveland's legislative branch of government, performed “administrative” contract negotiation and preparation duties Ohio law and Cleveland's charter reserved for the mayor and director of law. Specifically, Allard wrote the following: “According to Frank Jackson, it was Kelley himself who worked this weekend to negotiate these additional community benefits.”

8. Allard obtained the information for his news story from a video recording Mayor Frank Jackson uploaded to the city's website on Tuesday, April 25th. At 10 minutes and 33 seconds into the recording, Jackson spoke the following words to describe Res. No. 469-17: “This second piece is one that I have to give the council president a lot of credit for. He worked this arrangement along with many others. But primarily him. And this gives us the best community benefits that I've ever witnessed in my life as a public official since 1990.”

9. Four hours after Kelley's news conference, and at the 7:00 p.m. regular meeting of Cleveland city council, he presided over a vote to ratify the duty exceeding “community benefits” agreement he secretly negotiated on behalf of the municipal corporation, and in criminal violation of general state laws and ordinances that did not authorize a member of the legislative branch of government to perform the “administrative” duties of the Mayor and Director of Law.

10. Ord. No. 469-17 was not placed on the agenda and the public was given no advance notice of its existence pursuant to Cleveland's Charter and Ohio's open meetings laws. Neither were members of the city's legislative authority who learned of Kelley's legislation at 7 p.m.. It was not read three separate times as required by the Ordinance Enactment procedure identified in the city's Charter. It did not meet the definition of an “emergency” as prescribed by the Charter.

11. Kelley then presided over a voiced “yea or nay” vote on Ord. No. 469-17 and enacted it as an emergency with some of the following language: “Section 1. That the President of Council is authorized to accept commitments memorialized in this legislation and in Supplemental Agreement No. 1 to the Cooperative Agreement between the City of Cleveland and the County of Cuyahoga and the Cavaliers Operating Company LLC relating to the 2017 Quicken Loans Arena Project, which commitments include the following:

12. Kelley then followed with a vote to enact Ord. No. 305-17, which was referenced in Ord. No. 469-17.

13. To enact Ord. No. 305-17, Kelley chose not to preside over a voiced “yea or nay” vote Chapter 5, Section 30 of Cleveland's charter requires. Ord. No. 305-17 was enacted under the “assumption” that the council members who'd voted on April 7, 2017 would vote the same way. There was no roll-called “yea or nay” vote on Ord. No. 305-17.

14. During the regular council meeting on April 24, Assistant Director of Law Richard F. Horvath informed members of council that the Department of Law was not involved in Kelley's“community benefits” negotiations. Horvath is the city's chief corporate counsel.

15. Kelley is not an attorney licensed to practice law in Ohio nor is the President of Council authorized under any general law, Cleveland's charter local ordinance to perform legal duties on behalf of the municipal corporation.

16. The net effect of Horvath's public statement was that Kelley and other unnamed legislative officials had exceeded the authority of the public offices they hold and usurped the administrative authority of Mayor and the Director of Law to negotiate and prepare contracts on behalf of the municipal corporation under Ohio law and Cleveland's Charter.

17. Kelley is a member of Cleveland city council who was elected by a majority of the members of the legislative authority to perform the duties of the President of the Council pursuant to Chapter 5, Section 30 of Cleveland's charter. The duties prescribed to the President of Council were for Kelley to “preside at meetings of the Council and perform such duties as presiding officer as may be imposed upon him by the Council.”

18. In his official capacity as Council President, Kelley knew or should have known that Chapter 5, Section 26 of Cleveland's charter imposed the following limitations on his conduct as a member of the legislative branch of government. “No member of the Council shall, except in so far as is necessary in the performance of the duties of his office, directly or indirectly interfere in the conduct of the administrative department ...”

19. In his official capacity as Council President Kelley knew or should have known that R.C. 731.05, an unsuspended general law of the State of Ohio, instructed him not to perform any administrative duties of the municipal government that were reserved to the office of Mayor and Director of Law. “The powers of the legislative authority of a city shall be legislative only, it shall perform no administrative duties, and it shall neither appoint nor confirm any officer or employee in the city government except those of its own body, unless otherwise provided in Title VII [7] of the Revised Code.

20. Kelley further knew or should have known that in addition to R.C. 731.05's instructions above, he was also guided by the following words in the statute: “All contracts requiring the authority of the legislative authority for their execution shall be entered into and conducted to performance by the board or officers having charge of the matters to which they relate. After the authority to make such contracts has been given and the necessary appropriation made, the legislative authority shall take no further action thereon.”

21. Kelley knew or should have known that Chapter 5, Section 36 of Cleveland's Charter did not authorize the President of Council to preside over a meeting where emergency legislation was being introduced in violation of it. “... no measure making a grant, renewal or extension of a franchise or other special privilege, or regulating the rate to be charged for its services by any public utility, shall ever be so passed.”

22. Kelley knew or should have known that pursuant to Chapter 11, Section 70 of Cleveland's charter, “The executive and administrative powers of the City shall be vested in the Mayor, directors of departments and other administrative offices provided for in this Charter or by ordinance.”

23. Kelley particularly knew Chapter 11, Section 71 of Cleveland's charter spelled out in no uncertain terms that there can only be one duly-authorized mayor in charge of the city's administrative affairs, and that the section of the charter affirming this mayoral duty had remained unchanged since November 9, 1931. “It shall be the duty of the Mayor to act as chief conservator of the peace within the City; to supervise the administration of the affairs of the City; to see that all ordinances of the City are enforced; to recommend to the Council for adoption such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient; to keep the Council advised of the financial condition and future needs of the City; to prepare and submit to the Council such reports as may be required by that body, and to exercise such powers and perform such duties as are conferred or required by this Charter or by the laws of the State.”

24. Kelley knew pursuant to Chapter 15, Section 83 of Cleveland's Charter, under the heading Director of Law, that voters on November 9, 1931 enacted the unchanged duties of the official. “The Director of Law shall be an attorney at law admitted to practice in the State of Ohio. He shall be the legal adviser of and attorney and counsel for the City, and for all officers and departments thereof in matters relating to their official duties. He shall prosecute or defend all suits for and in behalf of the City, and shall prepare all contracts, bonds and other instruments in writing in which the City is concerned and shall endorse on each his approval of the form and correctness thereof. No such bond, contract or instrument shall become effective without such endorsement by the Director of Law thereon.”

25. The “official” duties of the President of Council as a single member of a 17-member legislative authority did not grant Kelley any legal authority whatsoever to negotiate and prepare a legal document he created and captioned a “community benefits agreement” or any other agreement that binds the municipal corporation of Cleveland.

26. More specifically, upon examination of the City Record for 2016 and 2017, there is no record of legislation council enacted authorizing the Mayor or Director of Law to negotiate or prepare a contract with the officials of Cuyahoga County, the Gateway Economic Development Corporation or the Cavaliers to deliver them $88 million in public funds to renovate The Q.

27. Absent any authorizing legislation prior to Kelley's secret weekend negotiations, no municipal official was granted any advance authority to otherwise engage or negotiate Q renovation or community benefits agreements with county and corporate officials.

28. The evidence and facts support the Affiant's R.C. 2935.09 claim that Kelley acted in excess of the duties granted to Presidents of Council under Cleveland's Charter and Ohio law when he personally negotiated a legal matter on the City of Cleveland's behalf, and that in so doing he obstructed the official business of the City of Cleveland by personating to others that he was the duly-authorized law enforcement officer of the municipal corporation with the authority to perform administrative duties granted to the Mayor and Director of law.

29. Affiant requests this Honorable Court to cause Kelley's arrest and prosecution pursuant to R.C. 2935.10, and for the offenses identified herein.

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Update Eric J Brewer's FOIA request

(see original post at FB https://www.facebook.com/eric.j.brewer.9)

On April 26th I delivered a public records request to Cleveland city council's deputy clerk, Alan Dreyer. He responded on May 3rd. I responded to his response on May 5th and I've posted it. My requests are in black letters. His responses are in red letters.

I've also posted the attachments I received from Dreyer. The Quicken Loans Arena letter Council President Kevin Kelley signed on behalf of the city. Ord. No. 305-17 and 469-17 are also included.

In my response to Dreyer below you'll see my concerns. I ask that before you read what I wrote below, that you first review the documents as a point of reference. It will make what I've written below easier to follow.

Dreyer functions as a deputy Clerk of Council under Patricia J. Britt. She's in the picture with Kelley. I attended council's meeting on May 1. I observed the proceedings and compared what I saw with the city's charter and Ohio law. Nothing about the meeting I saw complied with any aspect of the state's open meetings laws. You'll see how in my response below after you review the documents.

EJB - MAY 5 REPLY:

Mr. Dreyer,

It is regrettable that the public officials of the City of Cleveland choose to ignore general laws that prescribe the official duties they are mandated to perform.

1. I asked you for advance meeting notices pursuant to R.C. 121.22(5)(F). You responded that meeting notices are posted on the council website. R.C. 121.22(5)(F) reads as follows: "Every public body, by rule, shall establish a reasonable method whereby any person may determine the time and place of all regularly scheduled meetings and the time, place, and purpose of all special meetings. A public body shall not hold a special meeting unless it gives at least twenty-four hours' advance notice to the news media that have requested notification, except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action. In the event of an emergency, the member or members calling the meeting shall notify the news media that have requested notification immediately of the time, place, and purpose of the meeting. The rule shall provide that any person, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, may obtain reasonable advance notification of all meetings at which any specific type of public business is to be discussed. Provisions for advance notification may include, but are not limited to, mailing the agenda of meetings to all subscribers on a mailing list or mailing notices in self-addressed, stamped envelopes provided by the person."

All of the city's elected officials are required to be trained to comply with R.C. 121.22 and others by the Ohio Attorney General pursuant to R.C. 109.43(B).

"The attorney general shall develop, provide, and certify training programs and seminars for all elected officials or their appropriate designees in order to enhance the officials' knowledge of the duty to provide access to public records as required by section 149.43 of the Revised Code and to enhance their knowledge of the open meetings laws set forth in section 121.22 of the Revised Code. The training shall be three hours for every term of office for which the elected official was appointed or elected to the public office involved. The training shall provide elected officials or their appropriate designees with guidance in developing and updating their offices' policies as required under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. The successful completion by an elected official or by an elected official's appropriate designee of the training requirements established by the attorney general under this section shall satisfy the education requirements imposed on elected officials or their appropriate designees under division (E) of section 149.43 of the Revised Code."

I'll make no assumption as I see no such rule among the 57 Council has enacted that complies with R.C. 121.22. If such a rule exists I want a copy of it. If it doesn't exist, please provide me with an opinion from the director of law that exempts Cleveland city council from complying with R.C. 121.22.

2. I'll more narrowly define "advance legislation." There are two Council rules which described how legislation is requested and prepared.

Rule 38-1. Preparation of Legislation. In order that adequate time may be given to the preparation of legislation, members of Council shall present requests for legislation to the Law Department not later than 5:00 o’clock P.M. on the Friday preceding the meeting at which such legislation is to be introduced for first reading, and not later than 5:00 o’clock P.M. of the Wednesday preceding introduction of legislation for passage under suspension of the rules.

Rule 38-2. Request for Legislation. All legislation shall have indicated at the end thereof the date of preparation and the initials of the draftsman and typist; and all legislation originating in administrative departments shall contain in addition thereto the name of the head of the department or division for whom prepared and the name of the member of Council introducing such legislation shall be followed by the words “By request” in parentheses.

If the word "requested" legislation is a better word for you than "advance" legislation, the legislation I want is that which is prepared in the manner specified by the two rules. I do not have to wait until legislation is "introduced" as you claim. The requested legislation, including the form used to request it, are public records when they're created and you can claim no exemptions among those identified in R.C. 149.43(A)(1).

I'll amend this section of my request to obtain "the departmental requests" for Ord. No. 305-17 that was sponsored by Councilors Brancatelli and Kelley; and for Ord. No. 469-17 that was sponsored by Ward 1 Councilman Terrell Pruitt. I seek for each ordinance the forms submitted pursuant to the two council rules by the requesting department heads or members of council. No specific requesting "department" was identified in either ordinance.

I'll further amend this section to obtain copies of the forms each department head submitted for legislation pursuant to council's rules. The affected time period would be from September 1, 2016 through the current.

3. You did not provide any "budget amendments or realignments" that council may have enacted to accommodate the extended appropriation of admission tax funds for The Q renovation. The $88 million request was not in the 2017 Mayor's Estimate. The money does not appear to be in the 2017 appropriations.

I was informed that a budget amendment or realignment was enacted by council. You have provided me with a copy of Ord. No. 305-17 that violates one-subject-per-ordinance requirement of Chapter 5, Section 33 of the Charter. Ord. No. 305-17 amends Section 195.03 of the codified ordinances. That's one subject. It also authorizes the directors of finance and law to enter a cooperation agreement with Cuyahoga County. That's a second subject.

Neither the charter nor any general law of Ohio grants the directors of finance and law the legal authority to enter agreements that bind Cleveland as a municipal corporation. The mayor is the city's executive authority pursuant to Chapter 11, Section 67 of the Charter. Nonetheless, Ord. No. 305-17 is not an appropriations ordinance though it purports to appropriate funds to support the Quicken Loans Arena renovations in the agreement being entered with the county. Did council enact a "one subject" appropriations ordinance to appropriate admission tax funds to support the renovation? If such an ordinance exists I want a copy.

4. Thank you for sharing that Council President Kevin Kelley misled the residents of Cleveland with his unlawfully entered supplemental agreement that has been described by officials of the city as providing "community benefits."

5. As you have stated that there is no community benefits agreement, then provide me with the ordinance that prior to April 24, 2017 authorized the president of council, instead of the mayor, to enter negotiations with Len Komoroski. If there is an ordinance that authorizes the mayor, finance director or law director to negotiate with Komoroski and the county to discuss Q renovations in 2016 I seek that public record.

6. You have stated that council does not record its meetings and pointed me to the City Record. I've learned nothing from reading that document about how the council deliberated and discussed any issue before voting to enact legislation.

I attended a recent meeting seeking to observe and hear council discuss and deliberate pending legislation and noted two major violations of R.C. 121.22. No open discussion of any legislation. No roll call, show of hands or yea or nay vote.

R.C. 121.22 sets forth the following mandated duties on elected officials for conducting public meetings. "121.22 Public meetings - exception." "(A) This section shall be liberally construed to require public officials to take official action and to conduct all deliberations upon official business only in open meetings unless the subject matter is specifically excepted by law.

On page 91 of the 2016 Sunshine Law Handbook of Ohio's Attorney General further elaborates on the words "discussion" and "deliberation."

"With narrow exemptions, the Open Meetings Act requires the members of a public body to discuss and deliberate on official business only in open meetings. “Discussion” is the exchange of words, comments, or ideas by the members of a public body. “Deliberation” means the act of weighing and examining reasons for and against a choice. One court has described “deliberation” as a thorough discussion of all factors involved, a careful weighing of positive and negative factors, and a cautious consideration of the ramifications of the proposal, while gradually arriving at a decision. Another court described the term as involving “a decisional analysis, i.e., an exchange of views on the facts in an attempt to reach a decision.”

Council's Rule 20 sets forth the following as how the body is required to vote. “On the passage of every ordinance or resolution, and on the appointment of every officer, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, entered in full upon the records and published in the official journal. On any other question, the yeas and nays shall be entered upon the record on the request of any member. Upon the call of the yeas and nays, the Clerk shall call the names of members alphabetically and record the vote.”

2011 Ohio Op. Att’y Gen. No. 038 (secret ballot voting by a public body is antagonistic to the ability of the citizenry to observe the workings of their government and to hold their government representatives accountable).

The Ohio Attorney General's 2016 sunshine handbook further explains the following about the content of meeting minutes.

"A public body must keep full and accurate minutes of its meetings. Those minutes are not required to be a verbatim transcript of the proceedings, but must include enough facts and information to permit the public to understand and appreciate the rationale behind the public body’s decisions. The Ohio Supreme Court holds that minutes must include more than a record of roll call votes ..."

Deputy Clerk Dreyer, you have shared with me in #6 that the only available record of council's deliberation of public business at its regular meetings is the "roll call vote" in the City Record and that is not consistent with any aspect of R.C. 121.22.

As a citizen of Cleveland I am astounded at the rampant non-compliance that surrounds city council meetings and other areas of legislative governance. Every act seems designed to conceal Council and its leadership's misconduct. There is nothing about the meeting I attended that bares any remote resemblance to the requirements of R.C. 121.22 and I will address them with the appropriate legal authority.

Please promptly deliver the public records I've requested.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland dot com snubs Brewer Candidacy

Brewer knows where they keep the keys at Cleveland City Hall - the last thing CLE's elite (aka Forest City and Greater Cleveland Partnership) want is a smart mayor:

 

I'm offering this friendly advice to the Cleveland mayoral candidates. Do your homework and learn the official duties of a mayor if you don't want me dominating forums. Experience counts in these venues.

Cleveland voters want to know if you can “manage” the municipal corporation. They're not asking you to be the “leader” of the municipal corporation. Don't let that “leadership” bullshit Jeff Johnson and Zack Reed are selling confuse you. The mayor “supervises” the administrative affairs of the city, ensures all federal, state and local laws are enforced; and supervises the conduct of every other officer of the municipal corporation. If you read the duties of the office the word “leader” is nowhere among them. Seriously. These guys are not leaders. Never been. Never will be. That's an ego trip and you look like fools to those with experience for using it.

All the talk of “bold vision” and “leadership” is just pure nebulous bullshit and it sounded like it to me. You're going to be administered an oath of office to uphold federal and state constitutions and to obey and enforce the laws of the state as well as the charter and ordinances of Cleveland if you're blessed to win. I've watched more than one elected official "lead' their dumb "bold vision" azzes to jail because state and federal prosecutors told a jury they'd violated their oaths of office. With all due respect to Jeff, who I've known for 33 years politically; I wouldn't let him guide me across the street. Don't think he has any real insight on competence in government.

If there were a winner in last night's Progressive Caucus mayoral candidates forum it was me. Cleveland Scene's Sam Allard described me as the "surprise smash hit." https://www.clevescene.com/…/unexpected-winners-and-losers-…

FOX8's Kevin Freeman made sure the stations audience got a glimpse of all the candidates. http://fox8.com/…/several-cleveland-mayoral-candidates-par…/

My comments received the loudest applause. More members of the audience approached me than the rest of the candidates after the forum ended. I was still there when the others left. One animated woman who'd been a Johnson supporter at the beginning of the forum signed my petition and told me I was her candidate afterwards. This is the second time Johnson and I have been in a public setting where he was the group's favorite at the beginning and they switched support my way after listening. Even his wife was impressed.

If Johnson won anything it was “best dressed.” He wore the nicest suit and the whitest shirt. Other than his “look” Johnson's suit was empty. If the audience was looking for insight the best he offered as an explanation was his description of the city's 311 system. Apparently it's supposed to be a complaint hotline. Like everything else under the current mayor and council, it doesn't work.

Personally, I wasn't disappointed by the performance of the other candidates. The first time candidates sounded like first time candidates. All were long on hyperbole but short on substance. It was apparent they hadn't read any of the city's governing documents, which is why I'm taking the time to share these insights. It takes a lot to run for elected office. I give them credit as young men and Americans for stepping up. Robert Kilo, Brandon Chrostowski and Tony Maddalone all appear to be well-accomplished as entrepreneurs. Like Jeffrey Johnson and Zack Reed, I have no doubt they care about Cleveland. They've invested in the city.

All of the questions seemed tailor-made for my experiences even though all the candidates were asked the same questions.

When asked what we would do about the city's lead paint problem I shared information about the lawsuit attorney Mike O'Shea filed on behalf of East Cleveland against Sherwin Williams when I was the city's mayor. As I've already twice-managed a community development department, I could talk about sending housing inspectors to inspect older homes because the newer homes are lead paint free. I could also share information about block grant funded free paint programs that once existed in Cleveland that no longer exists as a way to immediately mitigate the problem.

When asked about the consent decree I shared that Cleveland cops have informed me how Jackson has never required them to read either it or the U.S. DOJ investigation. I shared that I would order my safety director and chief of police to copy the documents for all police personnel to read and then sign that they read it. The signed acknowledgment would be placed in their personnel files and used as a disciplinary or prosecutorial tool.

When asked about my thoughts on The Quicken Loans Arena legislation I told the audience I would have vetoed it as mayor because of all the illegal acts Council President Kevin Kelley engaged in to pass it. I also explained that unlike those who'd “voted against” or claimed to have “fought” the two ordinances that enacted the deal, I filed a criminal complaint against Kelley.

Yvonka M Hall asked a question about vacant properties and tenant / landlord issues. I shared information about the two ordinances I personally wrote as East Cleveland's mayor. One was a vacant property registration ordinance and the other better defined landlord – tenant rights.

My observation of Johnson's performance as an elected official is the same as it's always been. Same with Reed. There's close to 46 years of public service between them. With all the “fighting” and “voting against” they've engaged in through the years, what has each, individually, accomplished? Zack imitated Eddie Murphy when he spoke after arriving more than an hour late. He said, "I'm the new sheriff in town." I also was mistaken. He doesn't want to hire 200 more cops at $20 million. He wants to hire 400 more cops at $40 million. Both figures are before the costs of benefits and bullshit. Fuck no. I want physicians on EMS squads and mobile clinics.

On a personal note I enjoyed the exchange and the forum's format. I think Yvonka and Diane Morgan did a great job moderating the questions. I have no idea why anyone would criticize the forum.

I've been to dozens upon dozens of these types of forums through the years. There were a lot of candidates and only two hours scheduled for the event. Not all questions could be asked. I think the one's they selected were consistent with what I've been hearing from Clevelanders on the streets. Any candidate who wasn't happy with their performance or response has only themselves to blame for their lack of knowledge, experience and preparation.

Let me offer this insight as well. I've lived east and west of Cleveland. I remember a different level of racial interactions between DOS's and Europeans in the 1960's and 70's. In 1983, as an example, I was one of two DOS's living in an apartment building on West Boulevard near Detroit. Third from the corner. There weren't many in the area. I remember driving by the White Power Party headquarters around 44th and Clark in 1981 and someone throwing an egg at my car. I attended the Slavic Village Festival in 1983 when I campaigned for a Cleveland school board seat. There may have been less than a dozen DOS's at the 99 percent white event. I approached a group of bikers with literature. A woman took it, balled it up and threw it on the ground. “We don't support no fucking niggers,” she said to me.

That's not the Cleveland I saw at 3296 West 61st Street yesterday and it hasn't been for awhile. I have no doubt that for the majority of people in the majority white audience, race was not an issue. Issues were the issue and I won their approval on the issues. It's the same as in 1983 when Mike White wanted to know how I ended up with more west side than east side votes for Cleveland school board. I rode buses, walked west side neighborhood streets like I did on the east side and talked to “people.” All I really see in Cleveland are “people.”

To the young men interested in Cleveland's public transportation issues, you freaked me out. LOL. I know a lot of people read my Facebook posts. When the one man cited an ordinance I'd written relative to Jackson closing Public Square to RTA riders, I was blown away. I knew then that all I've shared with you over the years has not been in vain. It's the same with the young women Tamir's Mother Sam Rice introduced me to at the Shaker Heights Library. They nearly had me in tears the way they shared how much they'd learned.

Mayoral candidates. If we all make the ballot we're going to be in a citywide and televised debate. I've made hundreds of television appearances. I'm made for this shit. When I say I've covered every mayor since Dennis Kucinich and shot pool with Carl Stokes that is not a joke. I can tell from your comments that you don't know the mayor's job, and that you haven't read any of its governing documents. Just like last night, the larger audience is going to compare us and conclude that I know my shit and you don't.

I enjoy competition and have no problem telling a competitor what they need in order to step up their game. You step up yours I step up mine. You're running for mayor of the nation's 51st largest city. You'd better read the charter, ordinances, the Ohio Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and the relevant federal laws that govern block grants for start. You need to read the city's audits, but you also need to obtain “management letters” from Ohio's auditor of state for the last 12 years.

Read at least the CPPA and FOP collective bargaining agreements. There are 33 labor agreements in all covering the city's 7700 employee workforce. Read some of the city's litigation. Read some of the rulings of the 8th District Court of Appeals about the legal issues the city has battled over with litigants.

To me it's better for the city if its candidates are better prepared even if they're competitors. A race like this generates name recognition and valuable experience for future campaigns. You might not make it in this race. Hell. I might not either. But you'll at least be a better candidate for the next one. Who knows? Do your homework and you might actually help our city and state.

I got a kick out of Brandon Christowski's comment about George Forbes and feeling like throwing a chair. He's seated next to me. I spoke up and said "At Jeff?" The older folk in the room understood and got the joke. Jeff remembered. I got the impression Brandon hadn't understood the other part of the joke.

Brandon. George threw a chair at Jeff during a council committee meeting and called him a "mulatto punk." You were probably still in a car seat.