September 13th, 2017

I have said before that I’ll never underestimate Zach Reed. Mayor Frank Jackson should be very careful as the two will vie in the general election.

What a disappointing election with fewer than 13 percent of Clevelanders bothering to cast a vote for mayor. Mike West of the Cuyahoga Board of Elections reported that 32,826 citizens voted of the 261,308 eligible to choose a mayoral candidate. That’s 12.62 percent.

Not the lowest ever but a puny number in what should be an important election.

The coverage of the election was really poor in the Plain Dealer.

There seemed a purposeful attempt to lower the temperature of political debate.

It’s not surprising as the PD has become more a promotional edition of sometimes news pretending to be a newspaper.

Yes, I know that they are concentrating on and clicks.

That is a poor excuse for not following major candidates around and reporting daily on what they are saying and doing.

The PD obviously failed to make the issue of the 20,000 plus signature and the terrible bungling of city hall’s handling of the issue. Nor did we get any delving into how the Greater Cleveland Congregations pulled the signatures after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in its favor.

This was especially true when a number of ministers from GCC were willing to go to jail in protest when presenting the boxes of signatures to Council.

The failure of the PD in this instance was purposeful. It always favors more money for the sports teams.

Now it is not examining the nuCLEus building’s desire for a 30-year tax incremental financing that totals some $121 million from the schools alone. It never says how much the county and city treasuries will lose, or Cleveland’s library system.

The newspaper leadership—Chris Quinn, George Rodrigue and Betsy Sullivan—refuse to delve into and make clear to the public what the cost are for abatements, TIFs and other subsidies downtown.

I have asked former County treasury office personnel and a local businessman with expertise to look at the documents sent to me by the county for the financing of the nuCLEus building and they find the documents too confusing to make an assessment.

The financial person I sent the documents and county response to for review answered this way:

The fact that the County personnel can’t help is a story in itself.

Over 30 years the Stark people admit they will collect $121 million in property taxes to pay debt. That’s 4.033 million per year. CMSD (Cleveland schools) would need to earn 22 percent interest per year over the entire 30 years to break even on that deal.

In a way you can’t blame citizens for not bothering to vote.

Who are they going to vote for when there is so little real information to determine a choice?

The PD from the beginning wanted Jackson to remain for a record fourth term.

There has been plenty of reason to not want him ruling city hall for another four years.

He’s tired. So are the people he has running his administration.

There’s still time for a change.

The bigger question is whether a change will change anything in a city so dominated by forces that care only about themselves.

By Roldo Bartimole…


  1. What does this say about the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.

    Democrats state-wide and nationally would be dependent on this sick party to get out the vote.

    Someone should do something rather quickly.

    Or they will have Mayor Jackson hanging around their necks.

    Wake up Dems!

  2. Ja'Ovvoni Garrison says:

    Great perspective as always.

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