Friday, June 27, 2008

healing the wards of Cleveland

These latest Charter Review hearings for the public have been interesting, our neighbors tell us. The upshot of the whole matter is that Clevelanders are not too happy about this latest attempt to strip out their ability to control their collective destiny.

The commission will collect public input until July 15th. Here's some more for them:

  1. increase the number of council representatives from 21 to 25, to handle all the new growth we've been spending money on all these years, and have them be councilpeople at large for the time being, doing all the things current councilpeople may not typically get around to, and being experts at their specialty--one will focus on ethics (The Ethicist), another will focus on actually reading (The Reader) all the paperwork that gets run by the council, the third will do the math (The Mathematician) on everything, and the fourth will be The Futurist, who will plan for new trends and sustainability.
  2. cut the mayor back to himself, only--we elected him based on his perceived ability, not him and a team of directors and consultants--let him have a secretary--in effect, he will be the fifth councilperson at large, and the ambassador of good will on junkets to France and such.
  3. get a city manager to coordinate the ward governments; decentralize services, outsource to each ward, retain civil-service protections
  4. make the city a "right to work" area; make the unions more like guilds, where they organize based on excellence and not on their abilities to bargain collectively and become impediments to progress.
  5. make each ward nearly autonomous; give it equal standing with each of the suburban cities surrounding it; give it boundaries that are static and do not shift with gerrymandering; let it have its own services, and participate directly in the income it generates from taxing the income-producing entities it attracts.
  6. wards that are not as prosperous will become targets of federal money and redevelopment; prosperous wards will operate just fine without it, merely maintaining what they have and leveraging off that, since we are intrinsically already very rich; economics and old-fashioned incentives will take hold; people who want to work and conserve will be rewarded for their efforts--minimize revenue-sharing between wards--let each earn its keep
  7. make the entire model one that is networked, side-to-side, and collaborative, with each unit pulling its own weight and justifying its existence on an on-going basis; do away with vestiges of the hierarchical, top-to-bottom, third-world politicized dictatorship in which nepotism and thuggery flourish.

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