The political machine thwarts takeover
Due to the wild spending agenda of President Obama, approved by his majority Congress, there will be a mass exodus of Democrat office holders nationwide, including Ohio; however, not in Cuyahoga County. My fellow Democrat voters chose to ignore the massive corruption within our party and elevated several of our members to positions of enormous power. The new county executive will have an 8-3 Democrat council edge as the new reform government takes over. I’m sure that this is not what the civic activists, who successfully created the reform charter, had in mind. Those who opposed the change are firmly in control, elected by the huge registered Democrat voter edge in our county.
What can we expect from the new county executive? Ed Fitzgerald has a fine background as a FBI agent, prosecutor and mayor, marred only by an episode with Jimmy Dimora that seems defensible. His big problem will be dealing with the state and county Democrat machines that spent obscene amounts of money to put him in power. Will he tell them to back off if they try to tell him how to do his job? Let’s hope he has the guts to perform in accordance with his oath of office. Hopefully the people who brought the change and the FBI will be looking over his shoulder.
Columnist Philip Morris, editorial writer for The Plain Dealer, commented in the Nov.5, 2010 Metro section that he was outraged by the number who voted for Common Pleas Judge Bridget McCafferty, who has been suspended from her seat due to her indictment in the FBI corruption investigation. She lost her race to continue to serve, but drew over 125,000 votes. That’s more than Republican Matt Dolan got in his challenge to Ed Fitzgerald in the county executive race. Morris knows that “Cuyahoga County will never become a Republican bastion.” But the blind allegiance to one party rule sure has him upset.
Euclid council's wonder woman
Feisty Ward 4 Councilwoman Mary Jo Minarik is setting the standards on how to be an effective council member. She possesses a scholarly fondness for the wisdom of the founding fathers and the Constitution. The former editor and businesswoman is an expert researcher who takes nothing for granted. For example, she is currently examining homeowner water costs. She suggests that residents are being overcharged. She posts her detailed findings and opinion on her blog www.4euclid.blogspot.com . I suggest that you the reader get copies of her careful research on water issues.
She posts other useful information like available city services, community events, recycling tips, gas supplier aggregate updates, HUD Home demolition and rehab schedules and neighborhood association contacts. She also holds ward meetings and conducts polls on city issues.
Down the drain?
A big surprise was the defeat of the sewer levy renewal for the first time in my long memory. The vote was close and my guess is there will be a recount, including provisional ballots. A supporter pointed out that one of the valuable services this levy has provided is the clearing of homeowner’s clogged sewer free of charge. A call to a commercial service provider will mean big bucks.
For some reason four members of Euclid city council want to require innocent homeowner victims of graffiti to remove it from their property within 72 hours. If victims fail to do this, the city will see that it is done and send you the bill. This outrageous legislation was debated in the Council Housing Committee last spring, but failed on the vote to move it to full council consideration. Recently, they changed the removal time to 10 days and trotted it out again. Needing three votes and only two of the sponsors sit on the Housing Committee, it once again failed to reach the council floor for passage.
A problem lurking for the city in the near future is the 2010 census count. In 2000 the city had over 52,000 residents. If the city population drops below 50,000, there will be a dramatic drop in federal funding. Census estimates in 2009 were about 47,000. We are aware that many have moved from the city in recent years. Foreclosures have pushed many from their homes too, but we still have a heavy influx from Cleveland to make up for some of the losses. Apartment units make up somewhere in the mid-40 percent of the housing in our city. I have been told that this gives census takers a problem in contacting residents there. In order for a resident to be counted, a family questionnaire like that mailed to most residents must be filled out. The official census figures will be revealed in March 2011. At that time the cities can dispute the count. I spoke with Mayor Cervenik about this and he stands ready to meet the challenge. He has longtime housing expert Bob Gliha, who handled this issue in the year 2000 census, ready to locate the evasive apartment dwellers.
GOP takes charge
The Republicans takeover of the House of Representatives, plus the sizable increase won in Senate seats along with thirty governorships, puts the GOP in a commanding position for many years to come. They will be in charge of re-drawing the new congressional boundaries, based on the census count every ten years. That will make it easier to elect their candidates and weaken the opposition. In 2012, twenty three of the thirty three Senators that must stand for election are Democrats. The odds are the GOP will take over the Senate in that presidential election year .It is expected that the newly empowered House leadership will attempt to repeal or revise Obama’s health care and keep the Bush era tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year. Another issue under fire is earmark pork spending tied to passed legislation. Ohio’s John Boehner, the probable incoming Speaker of the House, is opposed to the earmark practice, having never asked for one for his district in all his years in Congress. That should cut some of federal spending, as promised.
The complete takeover of the Ohio government, led by Governor–elect John Kasich, will give the GOP another big advantage. In the 2012 presidential election, Ohio, as usual, will be one of the battleground states. With the government machinery in the hands of Republicans, things look grim for the Democrats.