January 29th, 2016

roldo 160129

You should have expected it. It’s back to the same old political mentality: Taxpayers swallow.

Cuyahoga County Council members want to raise their pay by a whopping 15.5 percent. This is the reform Council, remember.

Let’s not be cheap about it. But that’s what you might expect for corporate executives pay raises. Not public servants.

Not only that – they want to insure themselves raises in the future.

This is for a part-time job, no less.

Council President Dan Brady would have been to raised his to $62,000. However, he backed off and proposed it remain at $55,000 in a hearing that moved the legislation along this afternoon. He also could already be receiving a pension from the City of Cleveland where he was councilman for 10 years (1986-96). His wife, Dona Brady is now a city councilwoman. She makes $76,159.

It looks as if the Bradys could be taking well more than $125,000 a year at the two public jobs. Or maybe a lot more with a city pension.

That doesn’t put them with the average Clevelander or Cuyahoga County resident they supposedly serve.

But then that may be why our national election has a whole lot of Americans upset enough to be backing Presidential candidates out of the mainstream, as we’ve known it.

They are fed up. And you cannot blame them. They have lost control.

Even the Plain Dealer editorial calls this one “preposterous.” Wow!

Brady called it “fair.”He also declared he was not “greedy.” Some may dispute that even with his move to keep his pay at $55,000.

The committee passed it on to the full council in a unanimous vote. So they are sticking to the guns. They want the money.

These people don’t understand who they are supposed to be serving as the new REFORM county government. They protested that they aren’t “rubber stamps.” But I think that would be hard to prove. I see no difference in what they accomplish and the past. They serve the same masters.

It can also be said that Executive Armond Budish has set a bad pattern with extravagant pay schedules for his administration. The average Cleveland household median income 2013, according to is $26,096. The median income for Cuyahoga County, 2010 U.S. Census: $43,603. Do they need a pay raise? Oh, they can’t vote it for themselves.

You may compare that to the new salaries for part-time members by 2019 jumping to $52,000 from $45,000.

So the part-time job pays more than the median for more than half of households, presumably working full-time.

The law doesn’t allow the pay raise to go into effect until 2019 or the raises might take effect immediately.

Further, Brady apparently learned something from his former nemesis George Forbes. As Council President Forbes had City Council vote themselves a 6 percent raise every time city employees got a raise of, I believe at the time, at least 2 per cent. It adds up, believe me.

Brady’s Council will automatically be given an equal raise as county employees (or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index), whichever is lower. That will begin in 2020. Presumably in perpetuity.

Brady told the PD some time ago: “One of our main goals for 2013 is not to emulate Cleveland City Council.” I guess he forgot.

So if they pass the legislation Council members will get automatic increases in pay. Nice if you can get it. But it’s limited to the 11 members. You aren’t included.

I don’t think any of our pols have officially proposed a hike in the minimum wage.

Council members won’t have to vote themselves a pay hike, always a bit testy for voters to hear about. In the future they will get it automatically.

And it does tend to rack up when you allow for a quick 15.5 percent pay raise, as they want.
The Council members, who ran for these part-time jobs, apparently believe they work too hard.

I’d say it’s pretty much a rubber stamp body.

As of now Council members are served by a staff that earns three-quarters of a million dollars. $766,334 to be more exact. Salaries for the nine staff members go from a high of $145,000 to $48,000. Somebody needs a raise.

They don’t yet have an expense account. You’ll have to wait for that shoe to drop. One thing at a time.

You might not mind if you had any confidence that this were truly a body representing the people who elected them.

But look at the record. Rubber stamps.

  • Add a 20 year sin tax. Sure.
  • Build a $300 million-plus road so some can avoid the east side ghetto. Okay.
  • Tax only smokers, usually poor, for the arts. Why not?
  • Build the largest hotel with $250 million (not counting borrowing) with county taxpayer money. Absolutely.
  • Spend millions of dollars to expand Public Square while transit dependent people get shafted with higher rates. Oh, yes!
  • Spend tens of millions of dollars and maybe more to expand the revenue take of billionaire sports owners. Of course.
  • Do we have to pay people to make decisions that reflect only the wishes of the Cleveland elite? I guess so.
  • And pay them more. Sure.

    By Roldo Bartimole…


    1. Garry Kanter says:

      Hustlers, Liars and Thieves.
      Business As Usual in Cuyahoga County.

    2. I would respectfully nominate the city officials in Sugar Land Texas as members of the group as well. More corporate largesse as local homeowners are skewered on a stick in one of the most operationally corrupt property tax systems in the country…

    3. […] Source: THOSE WHO GIVE GOVERNMENT A BAD NAME | Have Coffee Will Write […]

    4. Roldo Bartimole says:

      Thanks people for commenting. I really appreciate it.


    5. Fran Mentch says:

      I wouldn’t mind if they made more money IF we got something in exchange for it.

      Have they addressed regionalism?
      NO. Council members Sunny Simon and Julian Rogers were asked to help to turn the former Oakwood Country Club into a Metropark. They did nothing and the retail that was built on Oakwood was poached from adjoining neighborhoods. Leaving vacant spaces.

      Sunny Simon started a “Sustainability Committee”; Has it passed any legislation helping improve Lake Erie, taken a position on the Cuyahoga County River dredging, anything?

      Sunny Simon facilitated the sale of Telling Mansion by the Cuyahoga County Public Library. It would have cost $5 million to renovate Telling. Instead Sunny supported building a new $13.2 million building. Kids could walk from high school to Telling. The kids can’t walk to the library anymore. Word on the street is that this library moved to get away from the black teenagers who used to walk to the Library. Sunny facilitated this erosion of public wealth. Telling is an Ohio Landmark and Sunny helped it leave public hands.

      In the last month I contacted Armond Budish, Karlton Laster (asst to Armond), Anthony Hairston (who represents Little Italy on county council) about the poor condition of the railroad bridge (NOT the RTA section) at the bottom of Little Italy. I sent them photos and asked if it is structurally sound. I can’t tell, but it really looks bad.

      Never got the courtesy of a reply.

      They could be doing a lot of good. Someone tell me if they are…As Austin Powers would say, “Remind me again why I hired you people.”

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