Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sat, 09/01/2007 - 11:26.

 The Cleveland Port Authority wore no clothes on Thursday.   The King was completely naked – yet about half (including a rep of “first suburbs”) of the 19 adults who spoke to the 100 plus in attendance raved about the “BOLD PLAN”  


But there is no plan.  What was presented to the public was just vapid corporate speak jargon.   It said nothing to half of the speakers – yet said everything to others – like the first suburbs rep.    And the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Port Authority knows the plan is a hollow farce too.  Here’s one reason I can look into their heads and assure you.


The 13 page “plan” which I read online before the meeting had dozens of typos, and incomplete and garbled sentences.   If anyone from the Port Authority  (besides the board members there are 22 Board employees)  had “read” the “plan” online they would not have left it up on the web site with its crippled spelling and grammar.  When I saw a hard copy of the plan on the entry table at the meeting I grabbed it – wondering if anyone had corrected the typos and broken sentences.


The hard copy had not been corrected.


Although I knew the answer, after the meeting I asked Michael Wager (an attorney with Squire Sanders who is scheduled to take over from Mr. Carney as the Authority’s president in March 2008 and who had MC’d the meeting and who is also a member of the Cuyahoga County Energy Task Force – wind on Lake Erie) if he had actually read the  “strategic plan”  which the Authority had on it’s web site and which was handed out in hard copy at the “public meeting”.   Mr. Wager acknowledged that he had not ever read the “plan”.


And I can assure you that no one else who sat in front of the room had read the “plan”.  The  only topic which had even a shred of specificity was the mention of developing a container port, but there was no substantiation of the reason for a container port or reference to its economical feasibility.   The St. Lawrence Seaway can only accommodate ships 650 feet long and 77 feet wide – so any “container” ships on the Great Lakes will not be real ocean goers; the transit inland across the GL’s takes a week by ship while rail and truck takes 24 hours.   I think there is no future in a container port in Cleveland. 


The speakers who spoke the most cogently and factually did not wear dark suits.  Ed Hauser, who has more history with the Port issues than anyone in the room – buttonholed Mr. Carney and asked again for the results of the million dollar Port Study which has been in process for 9 years.  Ed’s right, we need the results of this publicly funded but still secret million dollar study before we can rationally assess the vapid “strategic plan”. 


The Port Authority and its constituents need to stop using the public with phony offers of including them in the process, when in fact the public has no specifics on which to reflect and react.  This meeting was useful for seeing the Port faces, but the strategic “public process”  is  hypocritical, and the ”strategic plan” is vapid 100% PR doublespeak. 


The Port didn't even take its own "stategic plan" seriously enough to proof read it for typos.  We shouldn't take it seriously either.  The PORT IS NAKED

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Putrid Petulant Pernicious Port Authority

I'd like to think I'm known for a measure of meaningful, measured patience when it comes to local ineptitudes and inexactitudes, but at this point my frustrations have reached a tipping point.  How can we continue to have horrendous leadership like this continue?  If we cannot impeach those responsible for such poor professionalism and annoying arrogant asinine behavior what options remain? 

Kudos to Mr Hauser, Mr Buster et al for such solid persistance in purveying and positing such putrefaction.  Should this continue I'll have no choice but to get more intimately involved.  A sharply written, point-driving-home letter might be a good start...

Citizen journalism at its finest - and we have to wonder who is in cahoots with the Port if these transgressions are not being made transparent by local mass media.  Are you listening, PD?

is Dodge big enough?

Watch out Fred "the Fixer" Nance... In 1994, Wager earned the designation of “Dealmaker” by The American Lawyer magazine.

He is currently a member of the board and an officer of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. In addition, he serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and remains active in national leadership on the Renaissance and Renewal Pillar of the United Jewish Communities. He also serves as a member of the boards of the West Side Ecumenical Ministry, the American Marshall Memorial Fellowships and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.

Wager has previously served as a member of the board of the Gateway Economic Development Corporation of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland Foundation’s Task Force on Economic Development and the Mayor’s Convention Center Task Force.

Just for the reference of the Jewish education community, here is a short history of the Bauhaus. Here's a preview of the film made on the subject.

"Although neither the Nazi Party nor Hitler himself had a cohesive architectural 'policy' in the 1930s, Nazi writers like Wilhelm Frick and Alfred Rosenberg had labelled the Bauhaus "un-German" and criticized its modernist styles, deliberately generating public controversy over issues like flat roofs. Increasingly through the early 1930s, they characterized the Bauhaus as a front for Communists, Russian, and social liberals. Indeed, second director Hannes Meyer was an avowed Communist, and he and a number of loyal students moved to the Soviet Union in 1930.

Under political pressure the Bauhaus was closed on the orders of the Nazi regime on April 11 1933. The closure, and the response of Mies van der Rohe, is fully documented in Elaine Hochman's Architects of Fortune." from the wikipedia

So we got the brilliance of Gropius and Breuer in America. Now our local officials want to destroy a major part of that history. The architects and designers of the Bauhaus who came to America fleeing the Nazis were not exactly the great unwashed. Are we trying to erase our European ancestry here in NEO? I don't know why, but our Jewish leaders are not speaking out on this travesty. Do they wish to forget, too?

Comment period ends Sept 14

info [at] portofcleveland [dot] com.  until 5:00PM Friday, September 14, 2007.

View the Draft Strategic Plan

Round about

  Sorry--can't quite infer what I want to infer here, but appealing to Wager to save the Breuer is not going to work.  But, I would love to be proved wrong.  Interesting aside,  Wasserman means Waterman in Yiddish...


If you've felt that Port Authority messages were washing ashore from afar and don't reflect present reality ... then you're right. From the TipOff column in today's PD

His ship sailed: A press release from the Greater Cleveland Port Authority this week had us scratching our heads.

It appeared to contain no news, stating that the port "continues in its plan to transform the Northeast Ohio region as a maritime, logistics and manufacturing hub for international trade and create thousands of jobs for local residents."

We would have talked with the contact person for an explanation, but the name listed was "Khaled M. Salehi, Assistant V.P. -- Strategic Development."

He left the job more than a year ago.

And they're in charge of how much public money?