August 18th, 2016

Blaine Griffin’s charge that the basis of complaints about a $2-million dirt bike proposal by his boss are racist is pathetic.

Griffin, at $105,000 a year, heads the city’s community relations department.

That’s wonderful thinking for good community relations. Calling people racists.

And it’s 20 to 30 years out of date.

There’s plenty of real racism to call out without creating straw man issues.

Mayor Frank Jackson wanted the $2 million deal passed quickly. Naturally. Don’t look closely at where the money is going or, as a number of council members noted, why pools that needed repairs to be open weren’t attended. It seems repairing pools in this hot summer would have been a no brainer.

To back up his claim Blaine, also vice chairman of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, in a Face book post question the lack of outrage for millions of dollars for skateboard parks, boat docks, rowing sports and bike trails, though he named none nor their cost.

He conveniently overlooked the hundreds of millions spent by the city and county on pro sports facilities, their parking structures, and improvement costs that add up to a billion dollars at least.

He conveniently didn’t mention these other recent and far more expensive subsidies—and not for public purposes but for PRIVATE, MONEY-GRUBBING businesses called sports—Larry Dolan’s Indians (given $37 million as of May), Dan Gilbert’s Cavs (given $60 million as of May) and Jimmy “Cheat ’em” Haslam’s Browns. The $2 million track story appeared in the PD the same day as a story in the paper noted Cleveland paid $20 million for another Browns stadium fix-up.

Want to cry about something?

If he really wanted to call out racism he have chased them and the fact that they pay no property taxes, which since their facilities are all in Cleveland, come at the expense of the Cleveland schools primarily, about half of the dollars at least. And that’s millions a year that would service mostly black children.

I call that very selective complaining.

But he wouldn’t put Mayor Frank Jackson on the spot by calling out that the mayor has his lips sealed for these white billionaires.

The Plain Dealer has been soft as can be on Jackson. Where are the columnists on this? Is the charge of racism not a serious charge?

People tell me that Chris “Full-of-himself” Quinn is a big fan of Jackson.

Maybe that’s why.

How could that be? Even a low blow as a piece on Mayor Michael White’s surgery for “hammertoes” wasn’t too low for Quinn when he covered City Hall.

Quinn elicited this poke by the Scene:

“Reporter Christopher Quinn couldn’t help but remind readers—twice in one story—that the malady (hammertoes) usually affects middle-aged women after a life of wearing high heels.”

What did that mean? Certainly gratuitous.

The PD needs a couple women columnists, the ones out there doing some real journalism, though I’m told they get stepped upon when they get too tough on city hall.

Maybe that would spice the dull daily read.

This charge by the city’s community relations head and a boss of the county party should be challenged.

Plenty goes unchallenged here.

There’s plenty to bitch about.

The Gateway sin tax cost city and county taxpayers another $8.16 million last month. The County quarter percent tax increase produced for the hotel and convention center another $4.49 million, June 16 to July 16. For a grand total of $31.8 million from city and county residents. The arts & culture cigarette tax produced $2.4 million in July for a total now of $25.6 million.
There’s plenty of dough around for the right people.

No mention by any politician that race has anything to do with these vast expenditures by city and county taxpayers.

The $$$ certainly are not going where most needed. That’s for sure.

By Roldo Bartimole…


  1. Garry Kanter says:

    Oh, he’s right about the racism. he just doesn’t document it properly.

    And you’re right about all the other wastes.

    In Cuyahoga County, it’s all about how much and how fast you can get yours. Screw the other guy.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Gary.

    Of course race was involved but I tried to give the context where charging people that way lacked credibility. He ignored critical issues of subsidizing so much that the city is out of money. Griffin meant to intimidate and punish. They tried to push something through but failed so let’s charge racism.

    It’s too important an issue to play political games about.


  3. Garry Kanter says:

    “It’s too important an issue to play political games about.”

  4. JOSEPH BIALEK says:

    Whatever happened to using public dollars to promote quality of life that
    everyone benefits from? Why is it that the residents and business owners
    of Hyacinth always get the shaft. Hasn’t there been enough damage done
    there already under the guise of community development? Maybe the kids
    can store their dirt bikes inside all the vacant houses in the neighborhood.
    Is this proposed dirt bike track part of Mayor Jackson’s plan to target $65
    million at neighborhoods? And that’s the best he can do for Hyacinth?
    Scrap this idea immediately and put the people’s dollars to better
    use. After all there’s only an infinite number of possibilities…or is

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