Ready for another screwing

Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 14:22.

READY FOR ANOTHER SCREWING

We are, unfortunately, at a dangerous time in the discussions of the Medical Mart with the Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) of Chicago and the County, being represented by Fred Nance, managing partner of Squire Sanders law firm.

A Medical Mart is being used as an excuse to build a new convention center that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and operate annually at significant losses. It also will endanger the City of Cleveland fiscally by rendering its convention center near useless.

We can’t forget the two County Commissioners – Tim Hagan and Jim Dimora – as partners in this deal, which from my view will become a sellout of the interests of County residents. The pair voted an increased sales tax now being collected on most purchases in the County.

The Plain Dealer reports that MMPI and Nance have had “constructive” talks. That’s worrisome because there’s no constructive avenue for this project.

Here we are again attempting to deal at the last minute with a “partner” that wants a sweetheart deal.

It is very reminiscent of the final dealings for Gateway when the Gunds – George and Gordon – had the county where it wanted it in dealing for its lease on the arena. Of course, the County – Hagan in the lead then, too – gave away the store. We can expect the same here.

The County has paid from its general fund more than $100 million on extra Gateway bonds, beyond the $250-million or so from “sin” taxes for Gateway. The bondholders have skimmed millions of dollars more from the city of Cleveland. The debt won’t be settled until 2023 with the payment of some $10 million a year from government revenue.

Hagan at that time led the Commission voting for a $75-million bond issue and a $45-million bond issue that essentially will cost taxpayers over the bond duration with the interest to bondholders some $300 million.

The same kind of proposition will be facing County taxpayers with a medical mart and convention center. Only $300 million will be insignificant to the cost of building and financing the two facilities for conventions.

Tomorrow can we expect the County to place itself (really us taxpayers) in financial jeopardy if Nance and the boys give MMPI a deal that puts the County on the spot for the financing of this facility.

Another massive building project will be a drain on the public treasury and won’t solve any of Cleveland’s real problems.

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COMMISSIONERS MEET 10:00 AM MARCH 13, 2008

 Although there is nothing on the Commission agenda (click on "agenda" on the left hand side of the site for the PDF) relative to the KennedyConCenter, the Dirty Dealer announced today that Fred Nance will address the Cuyahoga County Commissioners tomorrow.

Also on the agend seem to be the (item 18) withdrawal of the asbestos abatement contract for the  Prospect and Huron bldgs next to the Ameritrust  property,  (item 17) justice  center re-bid, and  (administration item F) $80,000 for LNE Group to lobby for the Commissoners.

Check out the very republican leanings of the head of the LNE Group, Lee Weingart,  at his bio here

Graft

From Wikipedia: In politics of some countries, graft is a form of political corruption whereby someone profits personally from the public budget. 

Where does it end?  It's all a bait-and-switch as Tim has alluded to time-and-time again.

 With a depressed housing market, and as solid, well-constructed houses are being senselessly destroyed in the city,  developers in Cuyahoga County are raping the few undeveloped stream corridors and wetlands left in the region, while the Metroparks Board president cashes in.
Or destroying our cultural heritage, in the case of the commissioners and the Breuer building, Music Hall, the Convention Center and the Clinic and UCI's promotion of the "Opportunity Corridor," at the expense of the historic Art Deco Medical Building.

At the neighborhood level, residents have to fight EVERY DAY to prevent the banks from destroying more houses through neglect and the hiring of fly-by-night contractors, who first board the house, then strip the house, then demolish it. 

I confronted one of these "contractors" on Monday--in an unmarked truck with no license plate.  He told me to mind my own business and "to move out." 

I called the police from a cell phone and they did not take my call seriously because the perps bombard the police with "prank" cell phone calls to steer them away from "real jobs."

No one will touch these people (benefitting from the scrap and "construction work") and nothing is being done, because contractors and politicians are benefitting from this parasitism.  This is a local, county and statewide disease. 

Are we really the most corrupt state in the union?
 

I needed an outlet..

  So I had some fun doodling on the fence!  Thanks guys.  What fun!  I love to read the fence--it gives me such comfort to know you care!

About the Fence

In 2006, the Board of County Commissioners bought the property at East Ninth and Euclid Avenue and announced that it would be the site of new county administration complex.

The reasons were many, but the Commissioners’ vision was to consolidate a substantial number of county offices and employees at one place, both to save taxpayer dollars, and to solve some of the headaches residents have in connecting to County services at their present locations at more than a dozen sites throughout the County. At the same time, the Board of Commissioners wanted to send a message to all residents, that County government exists to help them, to stimulate growth, to protect health and safety, and to provide stability that enhances the quality of life in the community.

The East Ninth Street site presented an ideal location to express this vision, since thousands of County residents, live, work, pass by, or patronize the entertainment in the area. The site is at the center of the efforts to renew and improve the commercial heart of the City and County – Euclid Avenue.

But with all the construction of the Euclid Corridor project, and other renewal efforts – and faced with the reality that building the new County offices would take a number of years – there was the chance that the message would get lost in the flurry of orange barrels and bulldozers.

We did our homework. We asked people in the community; professionals, and passersby; suburbanites, and city dwellers; people that live, work and do business in the area; their perception of what County government does. Frankly, the answers surprised us. We found out a lot of people were confused, or just plain didn’t know what we do, or how it benefits them.

So we came up with the idea of using the construction barrier that would surround the site of the new complex as a kind of “living billboard,” or theater “marquee” to help us tell our story, and help the community understand all the ways County government touches their lives. We hope the fence catches your attention. We hope you take the time to check this website, and follow the links it provides to the wealth of information and services the County provides.

Don’t forget to check the fence!!!