The following is a transcript of the speech given by Councilman Brian Moore at the rally.
Welcome to election season! There is a lot of information coming out seemingly on a daily basis. Some of this is correct and some of it is incorrect. For example, the $1M per year the pro RITA people are claiming RITA can collect from delinquencies has now ballooned to $3M. This is totally incorrect. Our own mayor has publicly backtracked on ANY increase in delinquency collections from RITA and is on record saying so.
The Save Our Tax Dept. Facebook page is accessible to all and all postings are under true identities. It’s important for people to wade through the misinformation coming from scare tactics, bullet points and hidden identities. The issue with RITA is simply this: if you want to save our local, in house tax department and have your tax service local, then VOTE NO!
If you have had stellar service, peace of mind and help when you needed it – VOTE NO!
VOTE NO! If you do not want your tax services outsourced to an entity that services 310 plus communities that you can only visit in Brecksville, Cleveland Hts., or Mentor. Sacrificing time and money and at the end of the day will cost us more than our tax department does now.
VOTE NO! If you do not want to lose your local service to an entity that may cause you grief and is not worth your precious time. Check out Yelp and Google to find those reviews.
There is absolutely no way that the alleged $1M pot of gold will be realized (that, now has ballooned to $3M). While it is true that business is coming into the city. It has been said that with the newly opening of Amazon, the city will be rolling in cash – This is simply not so. As a matter of fact, there are businesses that are leaving the city, with no retention strategy in place.
Something we all can agree on is that the City does need more money. The risk with RITA is not worth the alleged reward. This change would be a much higher cost with no guarantee of increased delinquent collections. More money comes from positive economic development.
The Federal Tax Information that the Pro RITA people claim is the key means nothing. Euclid’s own tax department obtains that information already from the State Tape that accesses the FTI. The City currently has a subpoena program that realizes collection with an actual attorney in court. The costs are passed onto the delinquent taxpayer not to our City (RITA has an ala carte cost program that the City would pay for). The City obtains the names and addresses to send letters with a bill for $1,000. This usually brings in the scofflaws. So we don’t miss a beat. We just have an extra step.
E filing can be realized with a low cost upgrade to the software, yet the administration has no interest in spending the money for the program. Employees that have left our current City tax department have not been replaced (even though they were budgeted for).
Why R.I.T.A. is the Right Choice for Euclid
The essential role of any tax collection agency is to collect all taxes due so the City can provide services for its residents. Our current department does what they can, but they are understaffed, paper based, dependent upon manual processing, and lack up -to- date security, data and technologies. Further, residents have very limited options when it comes to accessing their own tax information and filing. The Regional Income Tax Agency (R.I.T.A.) employs the most complete federal tax data available to identify non-filers and those that underreport their income. This helps ensure that all are paying their fair share. While the City will maintain a local presence to help residents, R.I.T.A also gives us the ability to view our information, file, and pay online.
R.I.T.A Provides More Options for Residents
Partnering with R.I.T.A. provides a greater range of services for our residents. Right now, if you have a question or would like some information, it is very likely that you will be asked to make a trip to City Hall. After joining R.I.T.A., you can still visit City Hall if you’d like, but a full array of service options would be available; not just at City Hall. To start, R.I.T.A. provides a 24/7 voice response system for straight forward refund, estimate and payment information. You can speak with an agent during regular business hours which are extended beginning in March through the filing deadline. All agents take notes and all calls are recorded for quality, security, and continuity of service. Also, R.I.T.A has confirmed they will come to City Hall for “taxpayer assistance days” several times throughout the year. Lastly, R.I.T.A. makes it possible to view, file and pay your taxes online. This means you can complete your local income taxes from the comfort of your home any time of the day.
Better Information & Technology Leads to Better Results
Having the very best information is critical, because better information, aligned with advanced technologies leads to better results. Unfortunately, the Euclid Tax Department will never be able to access the most comprehensive data or afford the necessary technology upgrades. Euclid only has access to the State of Ohio “state tape”. The “state tape” only provides the name, address and social security number of a person that has a filed a tax return with Ohio- that is it. By contrast, R.I.T.A. uses the “federal tape”. This data also has name, address and social security, but most importantly also includes W2s, 1099s, line by line data from Federal 1040s, and ALL accompanying forms and schedules. R.I.T.A uses the “federal tape” to identify non-filers and those who have filed a tax return but have under-reported their income to a municipality. Identifying those not in compliance leads to more collections and improved City budgets. There is no data available to Euclid Tax Department that is not available to R.I.T.A, but there is a wealth of data that only R.I.T.A can access. R.I.T.A has a proven track record of using that information to find those that haven’t paid their taxes.
Euclid City Council voted on June 4th to have the following question put to voters on November’s ballot: “Shall Article II, Section 12, of the Charter of the City of Euclid be amended to allow for City Council to adjust the income tax credit from 100% to no lower than 50% by a majority vote of Council?”
My husband and I attended the May 14 meeting where Council discussed the shortfall of funds the city is experiencing and the need to possibly submit an initiative for the November ballot to ask taxpayers to pay for resurfacing the roads in Euclid.
The capital levy contemplated increasing taxes/propoerrty owner to resurface roads in Euclid. The Council also proposed changing the city charter so that Council would have the power to decide if residents working outside Euclid city limits might continue to enjoy 100% credit towards Euclid taxes for taxes paid to the municipality where they work.
The charter change is seen as a way to make up the budget shortfall Euclid is experiencing due to the state of Ohio dropping its contribuiotn to the Local Government Fund, a fund that has existed since 1934 and was designed to subsidize local governments from state sales tax revenues for local government expenses. The charter change would permanently allow the City Council to decide if residents working outside the city would get 100% credit for paying our taxes where we work. This proposal pits working people living in Euclid who work outside of Euclid against retired people, and people living and working in Euclid and is unfair and undemocratic. If the charter change is adopted, five people on City Council will permanently be able to decide our tax credit, and we will have nothing to say about it.
In Spring 2015, in anticipation of what would become issue 111, then Superintendent Keith Bell submitted a testimony request slip to the Ohio School Facilities Commission to ask them to shrink the percentage we, the Euclid taxpayers, would have to pay to rebuild the high school and whatever else phase II called for. When the elementary schools were built, our fair share was 59% of the project. Bell wanted this lowered to 24%.
I can't help but feel the need to say "Shame on you Euclid School Board." I find almost all of the literature that is coming out on the "Finish the Job" campaign is a bit deceiving. All that is ever mention is the 40 million dollars that the state is contributing. I have only seen one mailing that actually lets the reader know that the entire "Job" would cost about 139 million dollars. This mean that this is a very sizable levy for the additionally needed 99 million dollars that the voters will be voting on in November.
We all want Euclid’s students to have the very best. Just as we strive to give our own families the best we can afford, we strive to provide the best teachers, the best curriculum and the best learning environment for our public school students. However, Issue 111 isn’t about curriculum and it isn’t about teachers- it’s solely about buildings. So, why am I voting “no”? Simply put, what we strive to afford and what we can afford are often two very different things. At this time, the majority of Euclid taxpayers cannot afford this tax increase.
Euclid's schools want more from you with issue 111, to a tune of anywhere around 200 dollars a year (or more) to support the construction of new buildings. Not books, not wages, not programs, not student support. Just for construction. They've been less than forthcoming with the real economic impact; it recently surfaced that former superintendent Keith Bell said in a testimony to the State of Ohio 18 months ago that Euclid couldn't afford another tax increase. Euclid School representatives have repeatedly tried to belittle the impact of this ad "it’s the cost of a pizza" or "a Starbucks coffee".
I have lived in my home since November 2003 and I have always supported the schools. When they asked for new elementary schools, I voted yes. When they asked for a new operating levy, I voted yes. I did this because I felt it would be good for the city despite the fact that I send my child to a private school. I believed that a better learning environment would help improve student performance. I believed that new schools would help improve the property values. I believed that my investment in the schools would be a positive investment in the city overall.
It is really hard to find fault with the Euclid School’s 2009 campaign in favor of Issue 105 which led to the construction of four new elementary schools. What Euclid residents got was four new elementary schools, a $60 million dollar value at a cost of $35.2 million dollars. Euclid desperately needed to replace its elementary school buildings two of which were built in 1919 and 1925 respectfully. The costs to maintain such old buildings were unsustainable.
In addition to the cost savings of having brand new buildings, the Euclid Schools achieved consolidation and operation efficiencies. By moving our elementary school education from 7 buildings to 4 buildings, the Euclid Schools save $900,000 each year. The reason why the Euclid School system is not on the ballot this year seeking more operating dollars is the revenue saved by Issue 105.
Being upset with anything involving the 2009 bond issue is like attending Game Seven of the World Series, watching the Cleveland Indians win it all … and being upset that you did not catch a foul ball.
This November residents will be asked to vote on Issue 111- a 7.9 mil bond levy to rebuild Euclid High school and an early learning center. I am against this levy for the following reasons
Issue 111- From One School Board Member’s Perspective
Once again, Euclid City Schools are coming to the declining tax base for more money. Since 2009 they have come to the tax payers 3 times; that's every 2.33 years. In 2009 a 28 yr. bond levy for building 4 new elementary schools, in 2011 an operating levy for approx. 8 years and now a whopping 7.9 mil strapping the "tapped out" tax base for another 37 years! Enough already! The Euclid schools receive approximately 70% of our tax money which equates to approx. 42 million per year and the city receives approx. 26 million per year. If the city gets 40% support and the schools 60% than how is a school system going to succeed in a weak city? I have never heard of such a thing. Our property values have declined 34% since 2009, our rental population is a mind-blowing 60% which makes transiency high, and the state report cards show Euclid from 2009 with 5 indicators of 30 met to 2016 with .9 of 30 indicators met and approximately 67% graduation rate. The bottom line is new buildings do not increase student performance as we see with the declining state grades. A recent plea from the Senior Program asked for money to help feed the senior population through the end of the year, but building schools with no measurable outcomes or guarantee of return on a 37 year investment is more important than feeding our seniors??? Not to me. Our city must stabilize neighborhoods, the BOE must work collaboratively with the city, and the BOE must do more to develop strong community relations and respect before I will vote for another school levy. The idea is great, but not now. The "tapped out" taxpayers in this city, simply cannot afford another dime! Just Say No to issue 111 in November!
It is election season once again, and that means that our residents will be heading to the polls to exercise their rights given to them by our forefathers in the name of democracy. This election has been heralded by many as being one of the most important in recent history on a national level, and because of that, it is predicted that Americans will be voting in record numbers.
Dear Newly Elected Mayor,
I am writing to express my concerns as a Euclid resident, and as the mother of three daughters, ages 12, 11 and 7.
We’ve lived in Euclid for nearly 14 years. We were first drawn by the character of our home, Euclid’s accessibility to the lake and other communities, and the affordability of the area.
We were fully aware of the economic and demographic shifts within the city and when the housing crisis hit in 2007-2008, we swallowed hard and did our best to bloom where we were planted. For the most part, we have enjoyed living here.
1. What do you see as the two greatest strengths of Euclid?
Our Lakefront and Residents who care and are involved in our community.
2. What do you see as the two greatest weaknesses of Euclid?
Aging Infrastructure and the Community Image/ perception of Euclid.
3. What can you do as Mayor to help the Board of Education strengthen our schools?
The success of the City and Euclid Schools are intricately linked. We need to work as partners to strengthen our community and our school system. As Mayor, I will meet regularly with the Superintendent and the School Board. I will advocate for changes in school funding at the state level to decrease dependence on local tax dollars. I will work to build strong neighborhoods and a new vision for Euclid, so that we can attract and retain families with children to stay in Euclid. Doing our part to improve the city overall should lead to less transiency in the schools. I will also work collaboratively with the Schools and local businesses to make sure we are developing partnership to create jobs and provide education our young residents need to succeed as our future workforce.
1. What do you see as the two greatest strengths of Euclid?
Euclid's two greatest strengths are its people and its location. The people of Euclid have been resilient over the decades, surviving the bad old days when the city of Euclid promoted gambling and vice in the first part of the 20th century to emerge as the economic engine that produced the instruments of war to defeat the axis powers and further into the place that is the home of such economic behemoths as Lincoln Electric's New International Headquarters.
Euclid's location is also a strength because of the untapped potential of Euclid's lakefront: it's time for that marina to exist as a reality instead of a pipe dream imagined by and talked about by ineffective leaders.
Euclid's strength as a location also emanates from our proximity to the downtown business district and the other important locations to the east and south of our municipality. We could not be better situated for a new generation of economic development in our city.
1. What do you see as the two greatest strengths of Euclid?
Euclid is a great community. The community that raised me. So, to me, there are many strengths. If I had to say two in particular, i'd say that our geographical location is definitely an unutilized strength. Both our freeway access and our lakefront are crucial drivers of economic success for communities, yet we take minimal advantage of either of them at all.
Secondly, our diversity is a great asset, and strength. It always has been!
2. What do you see as the two greatest weaknesses of Euclid?
In my opinion our voting power in this community is a weakness for sure. But across this nation we have lost it. Politicians meet us, greet us and tag us by making us another line on a data entry report. Then they use the report to keep us roped in to their causes. Not our causes, but the causes that ultimately benefit their agenda, and even greater goal, re-election. We then vote the names we "know", and they continue to take care of the names they know, and regular folks are tired of getting left out the process. The "by the people" portion of the constitution has been hijacked, and in this race we have a shot at winning that back, by sending a strong message with a Vote for Epps, signalling that we all are tired of being left out the process.
As an American we have many rights. We also have many laws we need to abide by and police officers are given certain powers and rules to enforce those laws. In this day and age, police officers have gotten caught going above and beyond the power they are designated. Officers often abuse and even go on to kill some of today’s youth just because said officers know they have a portion of authority in our government. These situations often start off with an officer violating our human rights, particularly the rights granted by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. I believe officers that do this sort of abusing have totally missed the fact that teenagers have the same rights as adults, when it comes to dealing with the law and its enforcers, despite the age of that person.
The Fourth Amendment states that the government (police) cannot search you or your property/belongings without your consent or without a warrant/reasonable cause for the search. The ultimate goal of this provision is to protect people’s rights to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions.
Many people living in the United States, are unaware of their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable search and seizures. This protection is extended to things such as your person, house, car, papers etc. Under this amendment, there must be a warrant issued, you must verbally consent, or there must be probable cause for a search to be carried out. Some situations included in probable cause are, if illegal contraband is in plain sight, or if a situation puts the police officer in immediate danger. Police are also legally able to carry out a search if the person is being arrested. Under the Fifth Amendment your right to not incriminate yourself, and your right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law are protected.To make sure that you do not accidentally waive these rights you should take certain precautions. You SHOULD NOT answer any questions asked without having an attorney present, and you SHOULD exercise your right to remain silent. These rights can be very finicky and hard to deal with, so you must always stay calm, and be careful.
Most teens do not seem too enthused about law, government, the constitution and the like unless they want to pursue a career in the field of law. If you were to hold a survey where you asked people about their rights and freedoms, many people would not know them word for word and under which amendment they’d fall and teens would probably do the same. They could tell you what rights and freedoms they possess, but not under which amendment. Some adolescents may question whether they really need to know their rights and freedoms specifically or just the general concept. If you asked the youth, they may not be able to tell you what rights the 4th and 5th Amendments grant you which worries me because of how important these amendments are, especially pertaining to teens.
This year, for only second time in the 200 years of Cuyahoga County, voters will elect a County Executive and half of the members of the County Council.
Some people know that acting upon the decision of voters, we have changed our form of government to a Charter with a County Council and County Executive, while others might think we still have three County Commissioners. Even those who are aware of the Charter may ask, “What are the roles of the County Executive and the County Council? What do they do? Why should I care?”
As someone who has been part of the new Charter government these past four years and someone who is currently running for the position of County Executive, I will try to answer these questions.
Our new County Charter is clear that the County Executive, like the CEO of a corporation, is to be the chief executive officer of the county. It is the responsibility of the Council to pass legislation, be the taxing authority and to provide advice and consent to the Executive on the names he or she brings forth for cabinet appointments.
For your information.......Since we have no daily newspaper and some of you may not have a computer I thought I would update you on the latest goings-on in Congress.
First there was the "Gun Control Bill." Thank God it was voted down. (FOR NOW.) It was basically to enforce more aggressive registration. That may sound good but how many of you believe that a criminal will go to a store, buy a gun and have to undergo a huge registration and background check? Profiling would be good except do you think a criminal would answer....Yes, I am buying a gun so I can go rob a store? That will never happen. Rather than add another law to the books, how about just ENFORCING the ones already there?
The trouble with any gun control law is that once it is implemented the government can add anything they want to it. Does anyone hear the word....confiscation? I don't know about the rest of you but I hold the CONSTITUTION and my BILL OF RIGHTS dearly.
This is about our 2nd Amendment, to have and bear arms and they will NOT be infringed. Our founders put this in place to protect us against a corrupt government. Without it we are just SERFS (look it up).
Do you know the difference between a free man and a slave?...A GUN.
The second was.....Governor Kasich deciding to expand Medicaid. What a stunner that was. When he ran for office he was a real conservative and in the first two years he did everything he said he was going to do.
He shrunk the government more than 7%, Reduced regulation, closed an $8B budget gap and restored a $247M Rainy Day Fund and (remember this) SLOWED MEDICAID GROWTH. And he said he was not going to put in a "Healthcare Exchange." Yeah!
Our government has been wanting to pass a treaty with the United Nations for a long time. It is called UN Agenda 21. Everyone needs to be aware of what is going on in our own city as we speak.
UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all information, all energy, and all human beings in the world. INVENTORY AND CONTROL.
Have you wondered where these terms “sustainability” and “smart growth” and “high density urban mixed-use development” came from? Doesn’t it seem like about 10 yrs. ago you’d never heard of them and now everything seems to include these concepts? Is that just a coincidence? That every town and county and state and nation in the world would be changing their land use/planning codes and government policies to align themselves with…what?
Far from being a “conspiracy theory” or a “tin-foil hate” fantasy, this is an actual United Nations plan, signed onto in 1992 by President George HW Bush along with 178 other world leaders. (This is democrats and republicans wanting to take over our lives). The UN called it Agenda 21 because it is the Agenda for the 21st century. According to UN Secretary General Maurice Strong, the “affluent middle-class American lifestyle is unsustainable." That includes single family homes, private vehicles, appliances, air-conditioning and meat-eating. They are a threat to the planet.
My question here is….What about the rich and the ones “Implementing" this? Are they going to be living high and we will pay?
This might sound like a silly plan that doesn’t affect you. But look around. This economic collapse is UN Agenda 21. You’ll hear that this plan is non-binding, that it’s a dusty old plan with no teeth. That is a LIE. In fact over the last 20 years this plan has been implemented all over the United States. It’s called SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. The 3 E’s: ecology, economy, equity.
When I was growing up there was May Company Downtown. Only Downtown. We would go down for Christmas shopping and sightseeing on the square. My dad banked at Cleveland Trust, we took the Cleveland Press newspaper and he had Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance. These were all “for sure’s” in my life. But I blinked and they were all gone. Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield is still hanging around.
Obamacare is going to bring us a ton of taxes, cost a ton of money and we probably won’t get very much healthcare. I received an email with a video clip of Mark Levin’s radio show. He was talking about Obamacare and received a call. The caller was a neurosurgeon and he had just come from a meeting with other doctors and the Govt. health people and was told…..If someone over 70 yrs. old comes in with a bleed just make them comfortable. That sounds comforting unless you’re over 70. I am. This doctor went on to explain all the years he spent in school to learn how to cure people with this kind of problem. He said he will not call the government and wait for a gaggle of Washington bureaucrats to decide if this person lives or dies. He will do what he is trained to do. Mark Levin asked him if this was the “death panels” that Sarah Palin talked about. And he said yes. This wonderful doctor will probably be arrested and put in prison if he does not “comply.”
The conventions are over, we are almost done with attack ads on TV, so forget healthcare, jobs, the economy. What on earth will it matter if you lose your freedom? I have spent my whole life "free." Free to marry who I wanted, live where I wanted, to splurge on a vacation if I wanted, to buy what I wanted and eat what I wanted. I could go on and on. Anyone who has lived free all of their lives cannot even imagine what it would be like to not have these choices. I never wanted my children or grandchildren to be rich or famous, only free to make their own choices like I did. What about you folks that fled tyranny in another country, do you want to go back into it? Most people that come here, come because of our freedom.
Have you noticed the last 4 years we have been slowly losing our choices? No toys in McDonalds kids meals. Then forced to add fruit even if they didn't want it. Forbid chefs from using bad fat and salt in food and recently super-sized drinks. It all sounds ridiculous, I don't do that at home but now it is mandated (forced) on you. These may sound trivial but it is the "mandating" part that is important. It leads to tyranny and dictatorship.
Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this, it’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it. Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts!!!
Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes. Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the message was removed
Our Social Security
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social
Security (FICA) Program. He promised:
1.) That participation in the Program would be
No longer Voluntary
2.) That the participants would only have to pay
1% of the first $1,400 of their annual
Incomes into the Program,
on the first $90,000
Obamacare has passed but has not yet taken effect. A lot of voters regard the predicted harms from the new law as matters of conjecture and wonder if they are real or not. By 2014, they will know darn well that they are real but it will be too late.
The health bills coming out of Congress would put the decisions about your care in the hands of presidential appointees. They’d decide what plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have and what seniors get under Medicare.
The health care law will force rationing of medical services, worsen the shortage of doctors, tax young people out of one month's income, and raise all of our health care premiums
The New York Times has just recently discovered that you cannot treat thirty million new people, have a diminishing supply of doctors and expect medical care to remain the same.
One of Obama’s top health advisors is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, (Rahm’s brother) REMEMBER THIS NAME. He says doctors will be required to change their thinking about their patients... They take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously by trying to help their patient regardless of cost (Journal of the American Medical Assoc., June 18, 2008.) SOUNDS GOOD. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else. He believes “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.
Please provide a brief explanation of who you are, your career accomplishments, how long you have been a resident of Euclid, and any past experience in elective office. My name is Bill Cervenik and I am a lifelong resident of the City of Euclid. I have been married to my wife Mary Kay for over 37 years and we raised our two grown children on East 213th Street, where we still reside. I am also the proud grandparent of a nine year old granddaughter. I attended night school at Cleveland State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a major in accounting. I became a certified public accountant in 1983, and am still a partner in the accounting firm of Gallagher Cervenik & Associates. I served as a member of Euclid City Council for 12 years, the last five as council president, and became the 13th mayor of the city Dec. 1, 2003.
Why are you seeking the position of mayor of Euclid? I have guided this city through some of the most difficult economic times in our country’s history, and have done so without the drastic cuts that so many other communities experienced in their police, fire and emergency medical services, as well as recreation. I presented annual budgets that assured our residents are safe, their children have supervised activities in which to participate, and continue to vigorously fight the effects of the housing crisis in our neighborhoods with innovative programs and strict code enforcement. The 2011 budget I presented to city council was actually $800,000 less than spent in 2008. Having a strong financial background as a CPA has certainly helped in managing our finances.
In a time when many cities have experienced disinvestment and loss of businesses, through our economic development efforts, our city has experienced unprecedented growth. During my two terms as mayor, our Euclid’s industrial corridor has expanded with the job-ready Bluestone site, the East 222nd roadway project and the construction of Lincoln Electric’s 434-foot, 2.5 megawatt wind turbine. We have also assisted many of our smaller businesses, as can be witnessed by the over $15 million dollars of public and private investment, with the promise of more in the near future.
Please provide a brief explanation of who you are, your career accomplishments, how long you have been a resident of Euclid, and any past experience in elective office.
I was raised in Euclid, graduated from the Euclid City School System, and was afforded all the great things that Euclid has to offer its' families and children. I have been blessed with two wonderful children and two grandchildren. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and subsequent master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University. I ws much honored to be recognized by CSU as distinguished alumni. I am a registered nurse and a healthcare administrator with over 25 years of experience. As an RN, I worked through the ranks of the medical field, starting as an emergency room nurse, until I eventually obtained a leadership role as the director of the Division of Trauma, Burns, and the Metro Life Flight Program, which transports critically injured people to the hospital.
I had the privilege of serving the residents of Euclid for two terms as a city wide councilperson at- large. While on council, I was most proud of the following accomplishments:
- Directed the pursuit and implementation of a more cost effective healthcare administration contract through a transparent, inclusive process that continues to save the city thousands of dollars today.
- Provided new laptop technology for the housing inspectors to increase their efficiency in the workplace.
- Set priorities for the housing department on code enforcement.
Why are you seeking the position of mayor of Euclid?
I believe in the potential of Euclid and we need to achieve that potential for the residents of the city. Today, the city is drifting and there are too many of our residents who are frustrated by how the city operates. Many of the residents I have spoken to are discouraged at the lack of progress they see, their inability to really impact the decision-making process, and the overall lack of accountability. I know that my business and organizational skills give me the insights and experience to finally put Euclid on track to realize its’ full potential. Our residents deserve the very best from their city leaders and should expect a proactive, responsive, innovative government that listens to them and values their input.
1. Please provide a brief explanation of who you are, your career accomplishments, how long you have been a resident of Euclid, and any past experience in elective office.
MY FULL LEGAL NAME IS CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL LITWINOWICZ BORN MAY 27 1979. I HAVE LIVE IN EUCLID 32 YEARS. BECAME AN "EAGLE SCOUT" TROOP 161 IN 1997
2. Why are you seeking the position of Mayor of Euclid?
TO BE THE PEOPLE VOICE ......... " TIME FOR A CHANCE " TO MAKE EUCLID BETTER.... " TIME FOR CHANGE " 2007- 2008-2012 - 2016
As I write this column, we learn that American Greetings decided to build its new corporate headquarters in Westlake, taking nearly 2,000 jobs from its current location. Although American Greetings wanted an updated facility, the decision to move at this time came on the heels of an income tax increase in the city of Brooklyn from two percent to 2.5 percent. In this case the tax increase is partly responsible for Brooklyn’s loss.
I believe the same holds true for most other businesses, as well as many private individuals. Businesses looking to locate or relocate into a community assess many things, including the tax rate. It makes economic sense. Likewise, families interested in buying a house or re-locating to a community look at many things including the taxes they will pay. The high tax rate in the city of Euclid prevents companies such as American Greetings from moving here (Bluestone Park and easy freeway access would have been ideal for them). We have also lost many good taxpaying families to other communities for the same reason. Unfortunately higher income families with disposable income do not view Euclid as an option.
Urban sprawl remains at the top of critical issues facing Euclid. Even during the economic downturn, urban neighborhoods throughout Ohio are desperately competing with ever growing exurbs. This unequal competition in many ways resembles a boxing match with the state servicing as the referee. In our area, the greenfield towns of Medina, Chesterland and Aurora are the fresh-faced challengers.
Such cites grow because of state policies. These polices distort real-estate markets with the unintended consequences of punishing older communities. Rural areas are a developer’s paradise with their abundance of cheap land unfettered by established housing or city blocks. Businesses also love the greefields: no contaminated land to or obsolete builds to raze. Ohio state policy still looks to link Ohio with highway “macro-corridors.” These corridors always need better interchanges and access road. When near built up areas, these corridors naturally allow development to push into undeveloped areas.
But isn’t this growth good and natural? Given that N.E. Ohio’s population growth is about zero, in the past 40 years, you can say that there is really no growth at all. It’s simply a transfer of wealth from one place to another.
Is this really a reform County Council?
The political machine thwarts takeover
Count me as one of the Democrat voters disgusted by the scandals uncovered by the FBI in Cuyahoga County government; I voted for the charter change about to take effect following the Nov. 2 general election. We will elect eleven district councilpersons and an executive to replace the three commissioners who administer the business of the county, with a taxpayer mandate to sweep clean the widespread corruption.
Last month I wrote about the “Good Old Days” growing up in Euclid and all my fond memories. Now it is time to get back to the real world; things are definitely different.
Six weeks ago I did something I have never done before. I went on a bus trip to Washington, DC for the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor Rally. There were over 100 of us, leaving out of Mentor on two buses; it was very exciting. We arrived at our nation’s capitol at 5:30 a.m. for breakfast and then were dropped off at the Metro. WOW! The crowd was so immense that we waited in line over two hours to get our tickets. I noticed upon getting closer there was the same long line on the other side of the tracks. So the trains were filling fast and we had standing room only for the 30 to 40 minute train ride. What a ride. Upon emerging from the underground, the first thing we saw was the George Washington monument looming in front of us. It was beautiful.
Although not as well-heeled as some of his opponents in the race to become the first Cuyahoga county executive—the leader of the new county government—Tim McCormack and his campaign team have been gearing up for a strong finish.