Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Is this $2 million the beginning of that?
It's easy to lob potshots at Dennis; he's vulnerable; he's odd.
It's hard to do the right thing, and to be truly useful. We've had enough posers; with Rosemary and Barbara, it's just a different pose.
I don't think they can prove me wrong. They both had an opportunity to make something happen this past month, something that would be a sea change, and they opted out.
This whole project seems to be a massive hoax perpetrated upon a needy public just ready to get whipped into hysteria. I cannot see how the PD writer (oddly enough, the article I linked to is not attributed to anybody) can state, with such assurance, "So the public financing is clear, but many other crucial questions about the project remain unresolved." Of course, perhaps it's merely that I am too dense to understand, like most of the other voters, and that's why the two commissioners had to decide this for us.
Read the resolution language again for yourselves:
Resolution No. 073101 and 073102
R E S O L U T I O N:
A RESOLUTION INCREASING THE RATE OF THE EXISTING COUNTY SALES TAX FOR THE COUNTY'S GENERAL FUND TO THE RATE OF ONE AND ONE-FOURTH PER CENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 5739.026 OF THE OHIO REVISEDCODE
R E S O L U T I O N
A RESOLUTION INCREASING THE RATE OF THE EXISTING COUNTY USE TAX FOR THE COUNTY'S GENERAL FUND TO THE RATE OF ONE AND ONE-FOURTH PER CENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 5741.023 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE
This z character was actually sort of mock-comical. I remember his showing up driving his police cruiser down our narrow driveway to check on the health and welfare of a well-known neighborhood sociopath, a lady who's been dodging laws and decorum since her husband died in 1990; he tried to deputize me as one of his little helpers in keeping an eye on "suspicious activity;" he assumed I was a simpleton who wanted to cozy up to police saviors. He was actually probably keeping an eye on competing, low-grade criminal enterprise.
He should have realized that the most suspicious activity I had seen lately was a police car driving down that driveway to visit Miss Judy. The rest of them parked on the street and usually advanced in pairs, tactically. He was like a visiting relative.
This is one of the most destructive, indecent, proposals ever floated. It feeds off all of us and the capital and equity we've built in our communities for years. It strips us of what makes us unique in the first place. It destroys properties that would otherwise be used were it not for the gangsterism of unregulated lending interests who set aside their fiduciary responsibility to the public, and were allowed to do so. It replaces the intrinsically valuable and economical with what's basically low-value yet incredibly overpriced. It's a short-term fix at best, designed to cover up the fact that our
Here again, our elected government employees are showing they can forestall a reckoning day by going along for a while with the monied interests, as they continue to compromise the best interests of the public. They're only putting off the reckoning, not avoiding it, and making the final reckoning so much worse, so much more painful for each and every one of us, the new indentured servants who used to be the middle class.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Whatever the numeric interpretation, make sure you take care of those you know who might qualify. Here's the paperwork. Here's where to find a permanent parcel number. Please, try to make sure everybody maximizes this opportunity right now, because all paperwork must be in not later than October 1st.
In a separate and totally unrelated incident, two of three Cuyahoga County Commissioners, Hagan and DiMora, crowed over the fact that they had vanquished the initiative to put the issue of the sales-tax increase on the ballot and would be raising that tax by 1/4%, by a vote among three instead of 460,000, this coming October 1st.
The increase intends to garner nearly $1,000,000 per week for the next 20 years, for a total of just under a billion dollars. The resolution says it will go to the general fund. Nothing more. You may not have heard much about this from the mainstream media these past few weeks, but that's the way the resolution read, and continues to read. (We came to you as friends, to warn you...)
In another story a few Saturdays ago, Mike O' Malley spoke of the $1 billion decrease in property tax valuation in this county, which, by rough math, came to $16,000,000 per year.
And yet again, Jill Miller Zimon pointed us to the Center for Community Solutions comment that sales tax revenues, as of last April, had decreased for 25 consecutive months. I really have no idea of how much that is, and I would like to know.
And finally, in another unrelated story, we the marketing group hung out the first two of a plethora of +banners. As the story goes on to say, "The banners include one of the campaign's slogans--'We've got it all. Together.'--along with the campaign Web site--www.clevelandplus.com."
We've got it all. Together....We've got it, altogether....We've got it all together....
Are we having fun, yet?
Councilman Zack Reed will be on WJMO 1490 on your radio dial tomorrow Monday August 27, 2007 to talk about the referendum from 8 to 9 a.m. This is a call-in show and Zack's says that he would welcome calls about your experience with the campaign.
Put It On The Ballot Team
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I'm hoping this turns out like a Jimmy Stewart movie, as American down-home values triumph and the crowd cheers and waves flags as they enter a new era of hope and prosperity.
We had a ball and met a lot of fine people in Tremont's Lincoln Park last night. We gave a good number of them the flyer in the post below.
We're hoping our blogging friends can help drive people to us--I guess the mainstream media are working on it, too, but I never pay much attention to them any more.
Here are the Upcoming.org locations where we'll be collecting not only signatures but also petitions for the turn-in at the end of the day--
Well, all I know now is that we're off to put a wrap on this by the end of the day. Gloria and I will be down in front of the County Administration building. We need signers, but we also think we'll need people to help us get the signatures as well. Drop by if you can.
God bless us, every one of us, as we go forth to give it one last push to bring back the functionality of the vote to Cuyahoga County. I'll be talking to you all tomorrow to let you know how it went.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Others have posited that we could have collected our 46,000 signatures electronically online in 12 hours or less. No wonder the politically entrenched want to tax and otherwise compromise and impair the internet.
I got an email last night from a friend and frequent reader who’s done his fair share of grassroots political work in his time asking my honest opinion on the status of the efforts of the PutItOnTheBallot folks. We’ve known each other long enough that when he asks me an honest question, I give him an honest answer.
Here’s the email:
do you know how may signatures have been collected? i know the filing deadline is tomorrow at 4:30. was wondering if 50 signatures would make a difference. please advise.
I told him that if you had asked me the question a week ago, I might have told you that there’s no way they can get it done, but now after circulating my own petition and talking to people on the street as well as some heart to hearts with the petitioners - they have a real chance of pulling this thing off.
Again, too, the information is sketchy about when and where the final signature push will occur. I guess they probably wanted us to buy an ad to get that information out to the public. I hope they do a better job tomorrow. Joan has been a definite hindrance to informing the public as they should, and I think she, of marginal talent, was assigned intentionally to cover the issue, in order to cripple the dialogue. Here's the latest production of a very, very sloppy, challenged journalist:
The group opposing a quarter-penny sales tax to build a Cleveland convention center has until Saturday to gather enough signatures to force the issue to a public vote.
The group had 30 days from the day Cuyahoga County commissioners approved the tax increase to collect signatures on petitions calling for the issue to be placed on the ballot.
Even though government offices usually are closed on weekends, county Auditor Frank Russo decided Thursday to open his office on Saturday until 4:30 p.m. to accept the petitions.
Under Ohio law, the auditor receives the signed petitions and keeps them for 10 days for public viewing. After that, they will be given to the local Board of Elections, which has 10 days to verify that the signatures are of registered Cuyahoga County voters.
Commissioners voted 2 to 1 to raise the sales tax for 20 years to build a new convention center in an effort to land a Medical Mart, a collection of permanent showrooms for high-end medical equipment. Supporters say the mart could be a catalyst for economic development.
Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed, a leader of the group opposing the sales tax without a vote of the people, said members would work hard the next two days to get the more than 45,000 signatures needed. Reed wouldn't say how many signatures had been gathered so far.
"We're not giving out any numbers," he said. "We're pretty confident we'll get the number."
At the same time, however, Reed said his group was debating whether to hand in the petitions if it did not have the minimum number.
Even if the group falls short of 45,000, the auditor's office must accept them. It would be up to the Board of Elections to declare that the referendum drive failed.
Reed said the group's members were going to be walking in Parma on Saturday, and be stationed at the Lakewood, Cleveland Heights and the Orange Avenue post offices so people could drive through and sign.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
Another thing happening is that now, as of July 2nd, all people over 65 are eligible for the Homestead Tax Exemption in Ohio. That includes Cuyahoga County. For each person now qualifying, each person who didn't qualify for the exemption before because of having a higher income, this means roughly $400 in savings, which is the amount of the tax on the first $25,000 of valuation. Somebody must have an estimate of what this will cost the county, but I haven't seen it anywhere yet. From these figures, though, we know that 1.6% of $25,000 gives us the $400 savings. Therefore, the $1,000,000,000 in O'Malley's article will cost the county $16 million in revenue they had been anticipating.
Yet another thing happening, pointed out to us by our friend Jill Miller Zimon, is that the county, for the period ending in April, has experienced 25 consecutive months of declining sales-tax revenues. I wish this were quantified in dollars, too.
In these three instances, then, there is compelling evidence that Cuyahoga County doesn't have the money to do what it set out to do, like tear down the Breuer Tower and build something new in its place. Perhaps it's time to come clean with the public; perhaps it's time for transparency; failing that, perhaps it's time for an audit.
Here's the front end of O'Malley's article:
Cuyahoga County has wiped nearly $1 billion in estimated property values off the books after thousands of homeowners complained about a 2006 reassessment that raised combined residential values by 16 percent.
More than 29,000 homeowners successfully argued that the collapse of the housing market meant that values assigned to their properties were too high. Another 6,000 complaints have yet to be resolved.
There are only a few days remaining for the opponents of the demolition to gather 46,000 signatures necessary to retain the Breuer Tower which exemplarily represents a blind spot in the preservation movement. It is neither new enough to be loved nor old enough to be protected. Each generation resents the young/more recent inheritances of their parent’s generation the most.Note -- The idea that we must have 46,000 signatures to retain the tower relates to the fact that despite suggestions that the tax increase is being implemented to build a convention center to leverage a medical mart, the approximately $880 million that would be raised is not slated for building a $350 million or even $500 million convention center -- but goes to the general fund which would allow the county the money it would need ASAP to begin demolition of the tower and building of the KPF/Madison county govermnent mall in the financial district. The question has been raised repeatedly, but not answered by the BOCC -- where would you get the cash to vacate all the offices you currently occupy, raze the tower and other buildings and build a new office building. I guess we know -- from the tax hike. (www.putitontheballot.com)
Another note: Some have suggested that when federal money was made available for the RTA's Euclid Corridor project, a certain number of jobs coming to the avenue was tied to that money. We have wondered aloud repeatedly what is the economic development in moving existing jobs from one block of the city to another. If the county moves their jobs to the corner of 9th and Euclid, this may be the easy (though expensive) way for them to achieve this caveat of the funding promise. Since the construction of the Euclid Corridor has not been a streamlined effort with crews working round the clock or even in many locations simultaneously, the avenue is bleeding businesses and jobs. Moving county government to the corner of 9th and Euclid (BOCC choosing this site despite many more reasonable options such as the already buildingless corner of Public Square) is a quick finger in the dike of losing that funding.
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to decieve! [sic]
Thursday, August 23, 2007
For Immediate Release
August 23, 2007
Contact: Councilman Zachary Reed
216-410-5734 or email@example.com
TAX REFERENDUM GROUP ANNOUNCES DRIVE-THRU PETITION SIGNING --
LAST CHANCE TO SIGN PETITIONS
Your last chance to put the sales tax issue on theballot by signing a petition will be Saturday, August 25, 2007 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Come join the putitontheballot.com volunteers at the following drive-thru locations:
• Main Cleveland Post Office, 2400 Orange Avenue, Cleveland 44101
• Lakewood Post Office, 1475 Warren Road, Lakewood 44107
• Cleveland Heights Post Office, 3 Severance Circle, Cleveland Heights 44118
• Cuyahoga County Administration Building, 1219 Ontario Street, Cleveland 44113
On July 26, a .25% sales tax increase was passed for Cuyahoga County. The tax goes into effect October 1st (for 20 years) unless 46,000 signatures of registered Cuyahoga County voters are submitted by 4:30 pm Saturday, August 25, 2007. If the citizens of Cuyahoga County want to vote on this issue, they must turn out and sign the petition.
For the record, http://putitontheballot.com/ is about putting the issue on the ballot in March of 2008, more than 5 months after the commissioners intend to begin collecting added revenue October 1st to balance out their sad and sorry books this year. Isn't it about time for Cuyahoga County to hear from the state auditor's office?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We need each and every one of you to be the patriots you are.
GATHER AS MANY SIGNATURES AS YOU CAN.
PLEASE TURN IN YOUR PETITIONS AT the places listed on the website or at EDGEWATER PARK THURSDAY August 23, to me. I'll be up top, same basic place as before, near the picnic pavilion with the clay tile roof. Pick up additional petitions for the final push through the weekend. I will be wearing a red straw hat. You can't miss me. Each and every other volunteer should be on the streets getting as many signatures as humanly possible.
On good authority, I have found out that the GCP (Greater Cleveland Partnership) and its partners, the opposition, believe we must hand in petitions by August 24th at 4:30 p.m.
Essentially, this does not allow us our entire thirty days given to us by law. Our thirtieth day is August 25th, a Saturday.
They believe we must hand in our petitions early. We, and our legal counsel, believe that we should have the right to exercise our right to work up until midnight of our last day. We also retain the right to continue to obtain signatures on Sunday, August 26th, because we cannot turn our petitions in until Monday, August 27th. They will be scrutinizing each and every signature. We must have EVERY available signature that we can.
This, then, is our strategy:
1) Hand in all signatures you have by Thursday so we will be ready for any contingency.
2) Continue to gather signatures through the weekend.
IT IS A SAD, SAD DAY IN AMERICA WHEN MONIED INTERESTS CONTINUE TO HINDER AMERICANS' RIGHT TO REFERENDUM.
CHECK THE WEBSITE FOR UPDATES http://putitontheballot.com
Gloria Ferris, Put It On The Ballot Team
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
On the streets in front of us were troops of boy scouts, a youth corps mobilized for the partnership, all freshly indoctrinated in the new ways, all looking strangely like Joe Cimperman, all with pointy little teeth and huge vacuous grins, explaining to the older folks not only why it was now good not to vote, but also why it was in their best interests to suppress their families' and their neighbors' votes, and let their elected leaders lead.
In the vision of my half-sleep, Jesuits wept softly in the shadows of Jacobs Field.
I am still disturbed.
As a side note, even though Norm is probably better known nationally than he is here, he is our neighbor in Ward 15, where he advocates the proposition of local production for local consumption. A hostile tax environment makes this more difficult.
Dear Fellow Greater Clevelanders,
As you probably know, Cuyahoga County Commissioners Jimmy Dimora and Tim Hagan have raised our sales tax by an additional ¼ percent without a vote of the people. "Put It On The Ballot," a non-partisan campaign organized by Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Libertarians, seeks to place a referendum on the ballot for citizens to decide whether this tax hike should stand.
While this is, indeed, a non-partisan issue that impacts all residents of our county, it is yet one more example of the unbridled arrogance demonstrated by the Democrat incumbents, who have occupied all three seats on our County Commission for well over a decade. As such, I am compelled to reach out to you, my loyal supporters from last year's Congressional campaign and fellow fiscal conservatives, to ask for your assistance.
We Clevelanders can no longer afford to stand by while an irresponsible, unaccountable county government continues to drive businesses and residents out of Cuyahoga County by repeatedly raising taxes and wasting revenue on an expanding bureaucracy and ill-conceived projects such as the proposed destruction and reconstruction of the county administration building.
These failed policies have led directly to the mass exodus of our fellow Clevelanders, which has in turn shrunk the county's tax base. At the same time, however, we must ask: why are ever more dollars required to provide services for ever fewer residents? Talk to your friends. I guarantee someone you know who used to live in one of our communities now lives in North Ridgeville, Brunswick, or one of a number of other cities just beyond the county line – and the reach of Jimmy Dimora's voracious appetite for your hard-earned tax dollars. Enough is enough.
To place this issue on the ballot, we must to collect the signatures of over 45,000 people who are registered to vote in Cuyahoga County by noon this Friday, August 24, 2007. The proponents of this initiative have made excellent progress during the last couple of weeks, and we need one final push to ensure enough signatures are submitted to the Board of Elections to reach the minimum – and additional signatures to cover those that are thrown out, something that always occurs in this process for a variety of reasons.
I encourage you to participate or pass this message to someone who is able to do so. Please contact Tim Ferris at 216-255-6640 or TAFerris@gmail.com this week and volunteer to help circulate petitions.
For more information, visit www.putitontheballot.com .
Thanks for your consideration. Together, we can take back our county.
(Standing the watch in Baghdad, Iraq)
MICHAEL D. DOVILLA
Executive Committee Member & City Leader, Middleburg Heights
Republican Party of Cuyahoga County
Monday, August 20, 2007
There's a big push going on in Northeast Ohio to preserve basic American freedoms, specifically, the right to vote on whether or not, and how much, we are taxed (http://www.putitontheballot.com/about). Two of our three county commissioners have decided to raise the sales tax effective October 1st by 1/4%, from 7.50% to 7.75%. They could have had us vote on it in November, but they opted to bypass getting public approval for what, over the next 20 years, will amount to over $800 million dollars collected and spent. Their resolution shows the money going to the general fund, unrestricted.
The public is now tasked with collecting 46,000 signatures on petitions for a referendum to put this sales-tax issue on the ballot. We feel we are about 2/3rds of the way done, but will not start calling in our circulators Tuesday with all of them in hand by late Thursday night. Our petitions are due at The County Auditor on Friday. We currently have enough petitions on the street to bring back as many as 130,000 signatures.
We have great potential and momentum and want to put this one over the top; we want to leave no margin for error as we restore our right to vote on our taxation, in March of next year.
This afternoon, Monday, August 20th, the TOC (Tactical Operations Center) for the Put It On The Ballot (PIOTB) referendum in Cuyahoga County will open at 2 PM--1400 if you want to get all military about it. It will stay open 24 hours a day until Friday, August 25th at 1400. It will be staffed at all times. We will be handing out petitions at the front door, printing walking lists and maps for anyone who wants them, and taking finished petitions back in and transporting them off-site for safe-keeping. There seems to be more at stake here than we originally realized.
Location: 4022 Denison Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, near where I-71, I-77, I-90, I-176, and I-490 all come together. It's just off I-71's Fulton Road exit
Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=4022+Denison+Ave,+Cleveland,+OH+44109,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title
Based on our experience on the street the past few weeks, we have a county in which at least 90% of the registered voters want to sign our petitions. They thank us for taking the time to help protect their interests. They come looking for us, saying a friend told them they just had to find a petition and sign it. We simply need more circulators to get the petitions out to the signers. We need more troops on the street, door to door, house to house, during the day and into the evening, in the libraries and in the senior centers, in the rec centers and at the Rapid stops.
For a referendum campaign like this one, circulators need only to be residents of Ohio.
Please advertise our request for assistance with circulating the http://PutItOnTheBallot.com petitions to all blogs, other electronic media such as email and other social networking mechanisms, and all mainstream media such as newspapers, television, and radio. Having alternative media in support of traditional media, or vice versa, is our signal advantage here, and this is the first instance that we know of nationally where a strong blog network can make a compelling difference. Working together, here in NorthEast Ohio, we can change the way we conduct our political business
Our support from all of you volunteers, friends, and media professionals has been excellent thus far, and we just need to put more troops on the street this last week to ensure a proper, decent, and equitable outcome in Cuyahoga County.
Tim & Gloria Ferris
Yesterday morning I attended...a meeting of CPAC - Community Partnership for the Arts and Culture. The ostensible point of this meeting was to discuss the role of the arts at Medical Mart...The meeting was a rally for Joe Cimperman, Tim Hagan, and Fred Nance - a way for them to force down the throats of local artists (and I am not convinced how many of them were actually there and how many members of the audience were shills) why Medical Mart and the new convention center are critically needed in Cleveland. In my opinion, this was one of the most corrupt and blatantly political misuses of public time and information I have ever witnessed. I felt like I was watching Chicago politics in action (a friend pointed out that I was but the difference is Chicago actually accomplishes things).
One of the biggest accomplishments of CPAC is the successful campaigning this group did to get an arts referendum on the ballot and then to get arts funding passed – it is a citizen/artist action group that really is concerned about NE Ohio, the arts, and survival of the region. But this meeting, called on very short notice, allowed all three boys to hammer home a nasty message to the CPAC membership. Cimperman, Hagan, and Nance repeatedly instructed this audience to tell their friends NOT to sign petitions for the referendum, and to make sure that they themselves did what they could to guarantee the failure of the referendum effort. They told CPAC NOT to exercise the rights of citizens to get an issue on the ballot - rather, the opposite: make sure it doesn't go to referendum. Unreal!
Tim Hagan spoke first, and set the tone and the message for the meeting. He did this in his urbane-yet-folksy way -- that is what is most dangerous about him: he has a weird charisma. It seemed to me that, of all three, the audience paid most attention to him. As he developed his rationale for why this tax is so vitally important to the survival of NE Ohio, I was stunned by the politically inept points he made. He said that he had been a County Commissioner for 19 years and in that time he had seen the population of Cleveland dwindle from about 700K to 400K and 280K+ of that current population lives at or below poverty level. He said Cuyahoga County, during his time in service, had gone from 1.7M to 1.4M and that more than half our high school students do not graduate. This is a good track record – this is a “leader” that I should follow? He said that we have to do Medical Mart for the Cleveland Clinic and because, as the Clinic is the biggest employer in the state of Ohio (30K+), it has the economic edge. Hagan went on and in more disgusting blah-blah details. Repeatedly he reinforced the No Referendum mantra. Sycophantic at best.
Fred Nance was scheduled to speak next but he was interrupted, quite rudely, by Mr. Cimperman – who, busy man, had to leave but couldn’t do so without ramming home his message. Cimperman, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a thug masquerading as a boy scout, told this house that it should step aside and let the "leadership" handle this - the leadership knew what it was doing, and was tired of citizens questioning its actions: for once, the citizens should just get out of the way and let the leaders do it: and if the citizens don't like it, elect someone else next time! This struck me as the same approach Cimperman has taken in his support for strip clubs in the Stonebridge neighborhood and the disastrous and ill-conceived “Remove the Ramps” campaign currently threatening the Edgewater/ Cudell neighborhoods, which I believe he supports. Uncaring – that was the impression he left me with – uncaring and out of touch.
Fred Nance was unreal - he did a PowerPoint that was any eerie shadow of a presentation recently done by Bioenterprise Inc in its "We need Pittsburgh as our partner" meeting. Mr. Nance claimed that it is a good thing that outside VCs (venture capitalists) are investing in Cleveland bio-enterprise. In fact, Bioenterprise Inc. had pointed out that out-of-state investment dollars in NE Ohio are not a good thing as they benefit outsiders and could lead to new NE Ohio bio-enterprise start-up companies being lured out of Ohio to other locations and taking their business, dollars, and knowledge with them – as has happened already. Ill-informed at least.
Big fear factor moments: Time might be on the Stone's side but not on Cleveland's: Hagan told the audience (and Nance supported him) that “we” have to act now – “we” can’t let this go to referendum! Hagan and Nance told the CPAC audience that they needed to support the "leadership" and kill the ballot effort because MMPI, the investor, was looking at New York City AND Cleveland as potential sites for the Medical Mart development – “and we don't need to lose to New York City”!
What really struck me the most was this: these three were addressing artists and yet they did NOTHING to couch their argument(s) in terms that the audience could perceive as beneficial to the arts and to their own enterprises. Instead, the three banged home the message that the leaders of the county want this done, they know better than anyone what should be done, if you don’ t like it elect someone else the next time but for now just get out of the way. NO attempt at all to address the needs of the audience and to show in real terms how Medical Mart and a new convention center would benefit the arts of NE Ohio. Insensitive.
According to Fred Nance, this new Medical Mart and Convention Center would be managed by MMPI (Merchandise Mart Properties Incorporated – out of Chicago) and would be no headache to the city, AND (he we go!) would “create jobs” (he told us not to think about that promise when it was made on the Gateway project – this was different). Nance went on to say that MMPI would bring in all sorts of trade shows around the clock and throughout the year; and, oh yeah, arts would be supported by MMPI in Cleveland as they are in Chicago. Mr. Nance had to admit that he could not provide statistics and examples of how MMPI supports the arts in Chicago, because he did not pay close attention to that part of the MMPI presentation when he attended their presentation in Chicago. Instead, he reminded CPAC that at the back of the room were magazines (reminded me of the ones on airplanes) that MMPI published showing their support for art. Inept.
...The wind-up for the CPAC presentation was a Question and Answer period. Usually the CPAC Q&A session are marked by the intelligent and informed questions that people ask – and they are not always friendly questions and remarks. But this Q&A session seemed to be LOADED with people who were merely bowing and scraping. About 4 questions (observations really) were allowed -- all of them lauding these three men and the Medical Mart effort. One foolish man actually said that he was an artist and a trade show presentor and that he could tell us, from his own experience, that trade shows want to come to Cleveland and not to New York and other big cities because they are just plain tired of traffic and congestion - and Cleveland has no congestion and no traffic snarls(?). Actually, this respondent didn’t say anything new; he merely restated what Tim Hagan had said earlier. Insane.
I tell you this was a disgusting attack on the ballot effort - crooked and hateful. I kept waiting for Boss Hogg, the Kingfish, or Richard Daley I to walk into the room. Unacceptable.
I’d like to throw out an idea or two here: The October 1st tax increase had nothing to do with any medical mart or convention center.
It merely had to do with getting increased cash flow into the county’s general fund by the end of the year.
The language of the REFERENDUM PETITION speaks to “the matter of increasing the sales and use taxes…by one fourth of one percent (1/4%) for a period of twenty years for the purpose of providing additional general revenues.” The resolutions themselves (#073101 and 073102) speak of “INCREASING THE RATE OF THE EXISTING COUNTY SALES [or USE] TAX FOR THE COUNTY’S GENERAL FUND TO THE RATE OF ONE AND ONE-FOURTH PER CENT.”
The county commissioners could have quite easily allowed a vote on the matter in the November 2007 election, which would have allowed the tax increase, if approved, to be effective the first quarter of 2008.
Can one quarter of cash flow make that much difference?
Now, if and when the referendum succeeds, the vote comes in March of 2008, and the cash begins to flow, if approved, in the second quarter of 2008, not the fourth quarter of 2007.
Was this increase without voter approval the desparate act of desparate men who need merely to balance a budget at the end of the year? If they are out of balance, what does that do to their future “bankability,” or their bond rating?
What are the rumors we heard at the Cuyahoga County fair this past weekend of the state auditor’s office having a sincere and genuine interest in scrutinizing Cuyahoga County’s books really soon?
What is the import of what Jill posted here yesterday, from the Center from Community Solutions newsletter, about dwindling sales tax revenues for the 25th consecutive month?
Is anybody else getting a different overall picture here, one that has nothing to do with a medical mart or a convention center?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Listen. There's value here.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The new county sales tax is only 0.0025 percent ($250 on every $100,000), so why am I and droves of petitioners out to stop it? Because I have no confidence that the money will be used for what Cuyahoga County Commissioners Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora say it will be used for.
The tax goes into the general fund. All we have is their word that the revenue will go toward building a convention center and securing the Medical Mart deal. Meanwhile, the county has other financial commitments to fund, including a $13 million small business loan fund, the new Juvenile Detention Center (a mere $140 million for 150 detainees) and the creation of an empty lot on East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue, where the Ameritrust Tower now stands, to make way for a new County Administration Building.
If the commissioners would be up front about their actual budgetary needs, I would gladly support a new tax. But under the circumstances, I want it on the ballot.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Tonight at 5 PM, there's going to be a PutIOnTheBallot.com rally at The FreeStamp just to the west of East Ninth Street and Lakeside, at Willard Park. You may have already heard this on the radio yesterday or seen this on Cool Cleveland a few days ago--
"Put It On The Ballot Rally-- With over 10K signatures already in place, the folks at Put It On the Ballot are making a big push. They're trying to get the necessary numbers for a proposed increased sales tax in Cuyahoga County (for the Medical Mart and new Convention Center) on the ballot. People on the other side of the issue are getting nervous; an airplane at Jacobs Field circled recently with a banner telling the crowds massed below not to sign the petition. Have you ever thought how counterproductive it is telling Clevelanders NOT to do something? Come to Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s Free Stamp located in Willard Park downtown on Lakeside on Sat 8/18 starting at 5 PM and see what the noise is about. Sign your name to protect your right to vote. Let your politicians know it's not okay with you to have your rights circumvented."
Come by, help us collect signatures and hand out more petitions to new circulators. We have no shortage of ready, willing, and eager signers in this county, but we need more circulators to hold the clipboards and "man" the signature ironing boards while they sign. Given the constraints of time, we need to add a greater number of circulators to make sure we slam dunk this on the 24th.
We already have potential to get 130,000+ signatures in Cuyahoga County+
I will also be posting this event at Upcoming.org to help with directions.
Willard Park is named after one of our patriotic painters, Archibald Willard, who was from Bedford, where I grew up. Willard's best-known piece embodies what made this country great, The Spirit of '76. Once again, we have to rally to protect our basic freedoms, 231 years later.
Let's crank up the The Spirit of 2007 tonight at Willard Park. By the FreeStamp.
Remember, freedom does not come "free."
Friday, August 17, 2007
Some of you have asked for some scripting to assist in "cutting to the chase" in the Put It On The Ballot (PIOTB) petition drive, so here goes--please feel free to email us back with any suggestions, additions, or emendations.
So often, we wonder what to say and how to say it when it comes to asking our neighbors for signatures in a petition drive. What are the perfect words to charm, cajole, and convince? Should I talk a little or talk a lot? Should I inform fully or work in sound bytes? What will it take to get the job done?
In this case, the job entails getting 46,000 valid signatures by August 24th, so we have to be brief and to the point. Here's what I've found works for me, or what I've observed works best for others.
(big smile, lots of teeth, friendly, engaging, lots of eye contact, nodding head yes, yes, yes)
--Sir/Ma'am, are you a registered voter in Cuyahoga County?
--Would you please sign this petition?
--It's a petition to put the sales tax issue on the ballot, so we can ALL vote on it.
FILLER FACTS, IF IT TAKES MORE:
--As of October 1st, our sales tax will increase 1/4%
--We will begin paying 7 and 3/4 percent
--Two of three county commissioners decided this
--We believe the voters of Cuyahoga County should decide this
--(Question: Isn't this for the convention center, or for the medmart?) Answer: That is what we were told. But, the resolution says it is for the general fund. (this is stated on your petition in the resolution area)
--This is almost a million dollars a week--42 million dollars a year--880 million dollars over twenty years--We feel the voters of Cuyahoga County should decide to spend that kind of money, and not just two county commissioners.
(Don't spend time with a person wanting to debate with you. There are 30 signers for every three who don't want to sign. The debaters almost never sign and waste your time. Thank them courteously, beaming that winning smile, and turn your attention to somebody else. Life is too short...)
Thank you very much!
See you at the polls in March!
Hope this helps shorten your learning curve and gets you rolling
faster quicker! Tell us about your successes! Have fun! This is by far the
easiest petition drive we've ever done!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Don't sign petition, banner says
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Sarah HollanderPlain Dealer Reporter
An advertising method typically used to hawk drink specials or pop the question has been called into duty for Cuyahoga County's sales tax debate.
Volunteers collecting signatures to force a public vote on an upcoming tax hike said they were surprised to look up and see a plane trailing a banner that read "Don't Sign the Petition. We Need the Med Mart."
The Greater Cleveland Partnership paid $2,000 for four hours of aerial advertising in downtown Cleveland to challenge the petition drive.
The plane flew around Jacobs Field an hour before Indians games Friday, Saturday and Sunday and around Cleveland Browns Stadium an hour before Saturday's preseason game. Volunteers from labor unions and the hospitality industry also handed out leaflets.
"We wanted to reach people who might innocently sign a petition without knowing what the consequences would be," said Nancy Lesic, a spokeswoman for the Partnership. "The petitions could kill the project."
Cuyahoga County commissioners voted 2-1 last month to raise the sales tax 25 cents for every $100 purchased to pay for a new Cleveland convention center. The city needs a new center to attract a Medical Mart, which would house permanent showrooms for health care equipment and products and use the convention center space for related trade shows. The county will begin collecting the 20-year tax in October unless the referendum group collects more than 45,000 valid signatures from registered Cuyahoga County voters by Aug. 24.
Lesic said the partnership learned of the referendum group's plans to blitz sporting events through a news conference held by Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed last week. Reed, a leader of the referendum movement, said telling people not to sign a petition might backfire and anger voters.
Petition efforts will continue at city and suburban festivals and door to door in areas such as Parma, Parma Heights and North Royalton over the next couple of weeks, he said.
At last count - Friday morning - the group said it had collected around 10,000 signatures.
To learn more about the referendum effort, go to putitontheballot.com. To learn more about the convention center and Medical Mart proposal, go to ashotinthearm.org.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
Last Friday, August 10th, Steven Litt, the PD art & architecture critic, helped Art House executive director Sheryl Hoffman announce her move to SPACES Gallery. We're grateful to Sheryl for all she's done locally to promote the arts and the neighborhood, and for being a good neighbor over on Mack since she arrived here in the late '90s.
Then, this coming Monday, there's the section 106 review about the proposed treatment of the historic Wirth House, from which Art House originally derived its name and its mission. This second meeting of the consulting parties for the section 106 review will be held at the Cleveland Public Library's Brooklyn Branch at 3706 Pearl Road at 6 PM. The date this coming Monday is August 20th.
Then, on August 21st, Art House hosts a gala d. a. levy reprise, featuring the recently reprinted "UKANHAVYRFUCKINCITIBAK", which I was talking about in my prior post--So much happening--So little time.
Bottom Dog Press and Mac's Backs will co-host a reading at Art House to
celebrate the release of two new books related to d.a. levy., the poet who grew
up down the street on Denison in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood. This
event features works from d.a. levy and the mimeograph revolution and the
tribute to levy ukanhavyrfuckincitibak as read by both books' editors
-- including former Clevelander Russell Salamon.
Check it out Tue 8/21 at 7PM.
3119 Denison Ave.,
d.a. levy grew up in your
man. i'd organize an annual levyfest or something...
Monday, August 13, 2007
The airplane buzzed regally above the town. It gazed upon the teeming masses below, at the ballpark and the fairgrounds, and knew they could not resist its sleek beauty, its shiny expensive wings, its irresistible message flouted by a trendy tail banner that told the people all it thought they ought to know, about the medicalmart. They didn't need to lift a finger; the airplane and the golden beings who hired it would take care of everything for them. Everything. From the cradle to the grave. And all they had to do was trust them, and forego the vote.
Down below, the little ironing board with the four petitions spread across it's single wing just pressed on; it let the people walk up to it, and touch it, and in a way it looked people in the eye and told them all they needed to know to make an intelligent decision for themselves. It spoke to the homely values of self-sufficiency and independence. It let people read the fine print, about the general fund, before they signed. It told them how difficult it was to get 46,000 good signatures in order to force a vote, and how easy it was not to vote, how easy it was to surrender and to sacrifice their birthright, for the promise of the shiny plane way up in the sky.
The moral of this story is most people look straight ahead when pressed, and have more sense than to be walking around gawking up at the clouds, especially when there might be pigeons present.
Make sure you click through. The 10 points should be required reading for all who value a straight-up dialogue. Roger's keeping us all on task and sorting through the dross and the disinformation. We're up against progagandists.
One thing I want to find out is who is orchestrating the lies and the cheap-shot anonymous flyers, and who is renting the planes with the banners, and who's paying for it all? Even though it's working to our benefit in galvanizing the public, I still want to find out.
Yesterday, people paid the admission to get into the county fair, found us at our stall in building 20, signed the ballot, and left for their regularly scheduled Sunday.
Our county commissioners' stall at the fair was empty, according to intelligence brought back our scouts.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
At the ballfield complex, the staff was fully briefed to escort us off the property where our circulators had performed quite well previously, on other days. We asked where the public property began, and it turns out that we have given over a lot of what used to be public streets and sidewalks to a private entity. I'll bet very few people know that. I certainly didn't.
When the dust settles on this petition drive, I want to find out who owns what down around the ballfield, who has rights where, how many city streets and sidewalks we have handed over to private interests, and how we can go about getting our property back and settling up the score. At first glance, it seems that public property has been converted to private use covertly, not even with a bang, or a whimper.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
One prescient young fellow, Brian Cummins of Ward 15, this morning pointed out that this ballot initiative changes the next 80 years. It will make the difference as to whether we control and guide our community's destiny or become the indentured workers of the government deal-makers.
Today, we're going to be at The Burning River Fest, and we had planned on being there anyway. Our friend Stefanie Spear has offered her Earthwatch Ohio booth as a place for us to cool our heels, and we'll be there from about 1 PM until the end.
Tomorrow, it's off to the Indians/Yankees pre-game from 11 to 1, and then over to our PutItOnTheBallot booth in building 20 at the 111th Cuyahoga County Fair from 2 to 8.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Being aware of time available is critical in the successful accomplishment of any task or, when you're at war, any mission. The fourteen-day countdown looks like this:
We're going to be at the Cuyahoga County Fair at the Berea fairgrounds this weekend. One of our supporters has paid for a booth. Check out PutItOnTheBallot.com for other places you can go to sign a petition, if you haven't already.
Talk to your neighbors; there are some really interesting dynamics at play here. This issue is uniting and galvanizing the community as nothing has before. This is some really, really good stuff, something we can all agree on. As one of our vets, a union guy, pointed out, we went to war 230 years ago over stuff like this. The people, our neighbors, are telling us what to do. They're giving us our lines. They're framing the issue for us. This is getting to be sort of fun.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Note, too, that he achieved the #1 spot with no offline advertising or PR.
This cage-fighting schtick has some appeal, along with being the dancing master as well. It must have something to do with the Ivy League -- I have a Dartmouth friend who, at the Fort Benning pre-RVN cattle calls, billed out as "a lover, a fighter, a wild bull rider," until his old lady (as we called them back then) put two and two together. They later married, and are still so.
We also need to ponder how much of being "wealthy" really has to do with money alone, anyway. Think, from your own experience here locally, how some of the people with the most money and property are also tacky and low-class, even as octogenarians, and no further infusions of more cash or real estate will make an iota of difference.
As I've said before, a lot of the money around here is in the wrong hands. Maybe some of these Silicon Valley types can give us some different ideas about sharing the land and spreading the wealth. If the rising tide lifted all boats there, then it certainly can do so here. We have a great starting point; NEO was already wealthy before we came along, and much of that wealth is intrinsic--it goes with the territory.
Public Art Update: Excavation Bucket Installation Date: Friday August 3rd, 2007 After a strenuous Friday installation the "Excavation Buckets" where hoisted, leveled into placed and bolted down. Possibly the most complicated of the three Urban Lanterns for the Superior Avenue streetscape, the Excavation Buckets lead the ways for the unfolding of the next two installations. The second Urban Lantern in the series, "The Woven Dome", is targeted for a Wednesday-Friday of this week. And finally, the "Watering Tower" aimed for the following Wed-Fri. Once successfully installed the three Urban Lanterns will be lit simultanteously at a ceremony to be announced. For now, please review the beautiful photography by Jamie Janos of the days work.
Urban Design + Public Art
Jamie Janos Photography
2400 Superior Ave. E. Suite 206
Cleveland, OH 44114-4258
BEST# 216.965-7678 216.357-2947 917.553-3189
Friday, August 03, 2007
The Caucus Blog
The Democrats Meet the Bloggers
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE 11:02 PM ET
At the second annual YearlyKos convention, liberal bloggers are being courted by almost all the Democratic presidential candidates.
Also in The Caucus:
Thursday, August 02, 2007
This is our second run through, and it keeps getting better. This has come to be our annual review: I see things changing in our local community, and I see people undergoing transformations. They are coming together and beginning to trust in and rely on each other. They aren't looking beyond themselves for solutions. They are finding out that they themselves are the answer and hold the secret to finding the new keys.
This has come to be about MeetTheBloggers, and lots more: the NEO and the Ohio blogospheres, CoolCleveland, the new media, BrewedFreshDaily, RealNEO, art, aggregators, politics, community, books, coaching, ideas. Communicating. Integrating. Changing. Becoming healthy and wealthy again.
This entire dynamic is leading to other things. There are new players. There's a new game in town.
I want to let everyone know that I want and appreciate the friendships we've established over these past few years circulating throughout the blogosphere and Ohio; without MeetTheBloggers, the Cleveland Weblogger Meetups, and George, things wouldn't have gone so quickly, or so well.
A confederacy of coaches: Stephen Post on the radar of The Christian Science Monitor, and then comes Jack, and Sarano's in town, too
At the table that day was our friend and fellow blogger Jack Ricchiuto whose sixth book, Conscious Becoming, subsequently came out in July. Gloria just picked up a copy yesterday, and it's autographed. (as is Stephen's, too, by the way.) I also just got word late last night that Jack will MeetTheBloggers on August 16th, two months and two days after Stephen. Details will follow on Upcoming.org, or whatever those yahoos call it these days.
Finally, after Gloria scored Jack's book yesterday in the early morning, in the mid-morning we hiked on over to The Embassy Suites off Rockside to see our friend and coach Sarano Kelley, from whom we picked up a new copy (3rd printing) of The Game: Win your life in 90 days. This copy will go to Jack, whom, along with Valdis, we must introduce to Sarano. This can be a truly powerful network.
It's all converging. Right here. Right now. In Cleveland and in Columbus and in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
All bets are off in Second Life this week. The casinos of the virtual world have closed shop after a decision by its founders to forbid gambling in their online society.
"Because there are a variety of conflicting gambling regulations around the world we have chosen to restrict gambling in Second Life," Robin Harper, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Linden Research, which runs Second Life, wrote in a posting to the company's blog July 25.