Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 12:25.

Of all the possible investments that are needed here in Northeast Ohio’s Cuyahoga County and in Cleveland,  the County Commissioners have chosen – in secret meetings and without the vote of the public – to spend over $900,000,000.00 (even more for a possible 60 year contract) in a scheme whose only acknowledged public benefit is amorphous “trickle down”.   


 Mr. Chris Kennedy - head of Chicago's Merchandise Mart - (photo taken July 19, 2007 at Cleveland Public Library) , I’m sure was beat up pretty bad by Fred the Fixer Nance and Jimmy Dimora and the rest of the high powered County negotiating staff over the last few weeks of intense secret negotiations which sometimes went on all night.  And I’ll bet that because of the grueling negotiations  Mr. Kennedy looks a lot older today than he did last summer.   


The upside of this secretly negotiated deal (if it goes through) is that the County’s total economic demise will be expedited.  That’s a positive development.


 Only with the complete bankruptcy of this county – or the intervention of the federal government -  might it become possible for us to see that going the way of the Browns’ Stadium, The Gateway Deal, and now the MED CON is a dead end. 


You can try to change your government but that’s not easy here in NEO.   The machine is entrenched.   Or you can move out of Cuyahoga County.  Moving is another way to cast your vote. 


That’s what sensible people have been doing over the last decades and at an accelerated rate over the last few years.   Moving away.  The first people who moved were able to sell their houses at a decent market rate.   Now those of us who are left are actually trapped, aren’t we? 


But Mr. Hagan, Mr. Dimora, Mr. Jones, Mr. Roman, and the Dirty Dealer don’t seem to recognize that they are killing themselves as they kill the region.  Maybe the individuals will retire and leave, but what about the Dirty Dealer?  That rag is actually taking a position in issue after issue which diminishes reasonable public services and thus drives more people out of Cuyahoga.   Less circulation, lower ad revenues, and round and round.  The DD doesn't get it. 


One possible way we'll be saved from the MEDCON?  The County probably won’t be able to get the bonding for their nightmare.

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excellent write up and insipid video report 10 months later

Frank Lewis in the Scene/Freetimes recaps the medcon 10 months later and notes Buster's comment made the day this quote and Jeff's report above chronicles: "One insightful citizen commented, "I think what we have is desperation, and with desperation, we become delusional," then became the only speaker that Hagan saw the need to cut off."

I was there with Jeff and many others that day. I can attest to the fact that Hagan bristled and told Jeff "That's enough!!! Sit down, you're done!!!" The police officers bristled, too and began to step in our direction. What had Jeff said that made Tim bristle? He had asked Kennedy to bond the project. He had said that if it was going to work Kennedy and the commissioners should be willing to sign a bond guaranteeing their work, and that if they would not, it would be proof that it was a ruse (I'm paraphrasing).

After Jeff had returned to his chair, Chris Kennedy, who was seated on the opposite side of the auditorium walked all the way around the room and approached us. He leaned over and gave Jeff his business card and said, "I will be glad to discuss this with you in private." In private?!?! This is public money and a public hearing, why not out in the open?

Yesterday Coolcleveland offered a video of Mayor Jackson returning from his private talks in Chicago with MMPI. We got the spit and polish again, this time served up on a friendly video via Frank and Tom Mulready. It was de riguer, nothing-to-worry-about-CC-with-local politician video chit chat.

What would I have preferred? Frank saying, this is a boondoggle and has been from the beginning. I'm tired of this diversion of our energies at a critical stage in Cleveland's history and I went all the way to Chicago to let MMPI know that the gig is up - I won't stand for this anymore and I don't want another minute spent on it. We all know this is not what Cleveland needs and I am tired of the county wasting precious resources on it. How can we unhook this for MMPI (and its struggling parent REIT Vornado) before the FBI rips it open and makes more bad news for our city?

Had that been his report, he might be headed for re-election and he might go down in history more like a Tom Johnson (he was more like Johnson when he doggedly defended his ward on city council) or more like Commodore Perry after the Battle of Lake Erie, ("We have met the enemy and they are ours: two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.") He might be noted as saying "We have met the enemy and they are ours: one medmart, one port move, more wasteful highway-making and two hospital systems who refuse to make PILOTS." That would have been news. As it was, yesterday was a no news day, again in Clevehoga.

What is it with these people

What is it with these people and the cops - every time somebody starts to say or speak out about something they don't want to hear - a head is nodded and the cops start to "bristle"  - they use this "throw the bum out" senerio like  we're second class citizens or something.