BAD JOB FIGURES FOR CUYAHOGA, OHIO, USA FROM ZELLER

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 10/09/2008 - 19:16.

With the stock market down 675 today you probably don't need any more bad economic news. But research analyst George Zeller is dishing out more. He reports that the unemployment levels are "very discouraging" nationally, "unambiguously unfavorable" for Ohio and "alarmingly high" for Cuyahoga County. "The level of new claims in Cuyahoga County was alarmingly high in the new week," Zeller reports on unemployment figures. "The last week of July 2008 and all weeks of August and September 2008 saw weekly new claims exceeding 400,000 that is widely agreed to be a 'rule of thumb' indicating a national recession," Zeller reports. His full report is available at this site: http://www.nacs.net/~georgez/newclaims100408.pdf Zeller reports that Ohio's 14,819 new claims in the first week of October remain at a level now 96 percetn higher than a 'job' growth level of 7,573 that is (or would be) normal at this time of the year during economic growth periods. All seven counties of Cleveland-Akron-Lorain-Elyria remain at levels of layoffs that are well above where they should be at this time of year. Zeller points to a rising level of unemployment claims accelerating. In the first quater the rise was 5.7 percent; 16.8 percent in the second quarter; and 47 percent in the third quarter. In just a week report in October - not statistically meaningful, he says - the rate is up an alarming 94 percent. Not good news for Ohio or Cuyahoga County. Let's build a convention center!

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global economy tanks, but "we have the money" for medcon

I attended this week, two forums on the medcon (medical mart convention center). One was a presentation of research on the project by students of Norm Krumholz at CSU Levin College. Dennis Madden was on hand to answer questions with a sidekick from MMPI (since he said he might need help - no kidding). The other was another "hearing" or (is that tolerating on the part of Joe Roman) hosted by Peter Lawson Jones - again his colleagues were not in attendance - Hagan has washed his hands apparently and Dimora? what? packing his suitcase?

In the county-hosted hearing, someone mentioned a project that may be considered similar to our medcon which is being planned in NYC - they (the NYC folks)are running into road blocks because they are depending on leases - agreements with tenants which are apparently not flowing in at the clip they might have liked or hoped for - hence they may not have the money. Jones responded that, though he did not like the way we got it, we have the money (yes the BOCC voted 2-1 to take our money by slapping on an unvoted 1/4 cent sales tax increase). I have to admit that it really annoyed me to hear that “unlike NYC, we have the money” even though he said he wasn’t so keen on how we got it. Me either. It smells like a fishy arrangement, putting money for a convention center in the general fund so that it does not have to go before the electorate. Why, if this deal was not rushed, did we not hear about it in the early planning stages (in 2005)? It seems like it was a very expensive (for the taxpayers) new gateway project. No, jobs/panaceas are not being promised, but seriously – what is a Medical Mart? Is it a furniture store as the guy from MMPI seemed to be admitting? How does it work and why does it make sense for us to build it and not MMPI. When convention centers are failing nationwide, why should we invest in one? Why here? Why don't they go to a city where the convention center of their dreams already exists? I asked this, but did not get a satisfactory answer. I sort of thought I must be wearing a big scarlet "A" just for mentioning such a possibility.

If MMPI decides that, with this credit crunch and economic scaling back worldwide, they aren’t ready to move ahead, I hope we can stop the tax (providing a bit of relief to strapped taxpayers) and put the funds collected into needed public infrastructure projects.

Nevada’s economy tanked because they had a bigger pricier housing bubble and gambling (1/3 of their economy) is discretionary. Next year the state will cut 14% from their budget after meeting an 8% cut this past ½ year. Here in Ohio, it’s been dire longer, but I imagine it is just as bad if not worse. I also heard that after seeing the bleeding stop a bit in Florida from the loss of construction jobs, they are now seeing retailers as the next economic sector laying off workers. Makes sense – belt tightening is what is needed.

I heard Zeller on WCPN, too. $9.9 billion in Ohio and $3.95 billion in wages lost in Cuyahoga County - all losses in Cleveland not in suburbs – moderator asked how is the economy now compared to the Great Depression; Zeller replied "not as deep nor as deep as 1979-83 recession, but this one has lasted 8 years."

I suggest we institute the land bank and all become gentlemen farmers. Do we really think that doctors and purchasing officers will be traveling to select equipment with the cost of everything going through the roof?

I urge everyone to look at the presentation of the students from CSU Levin College (I'll post it when it goes online) – they have articulated the questions many taxpayers (me included) have had all along. I was really annoyed at how Joe Roman seemed to disparage their efforts – the guy wasn’t even there to know to what depths their research had gone.

The Birmingham story, in particular, sounded like something we should know about. The bonds that were secured for that fiasco are now referred to as junk.

I also want to say that given the history of Cleveland as an industrial town, I am ever amazed that economic development/elected and appointed officials (BOCC, CPC, Port Authority, ODOT) don’t expect there to be a handful of engineers on hand who want to “see” the materials. So many engineers have had to be here to support industry and its boom; now they are watching these projects. They do, as evidenced, feel condescended to when the “professionals” come in and their work (that of the hired firms) is seemingly hidden from “people who wouldn’t understand”. Ya’ll should just give it up to them and not argue. It just does not lend to a spirit of transparency in government.

On Wednesday at CSU, Madden stated that “there are always the same faces – people with an axe to grind”; I was disappointed again. He needs to learn a lesson from Jones who would say, “I am pleased to see some familiar concerned citizens in the audience today” would have been a more appropriate response. Madden lost all credibility when asked about Carbone and the county admin building, and he said, we’re keeping an eye on that”. Yes, well, we see what happened there.

Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson from a consultant with whom I worked for several years. He said that more often than not the part of decision making communications that is missing and leads to adversarial sentiments is the “and here’s why” portion. So when pro medcon folk say that it will tie in with the health care economy that we have here, we ask then why don’t they build it? When they say, “we need a convention center”, we say convention centers are failing nationwide. When we ask, “what is it?” – they seem to say, we don’t really know, but don’t worry we trust MMPI, after all they’re contributing $19 million.

When we say we need better stormwater management, clean water, a clean Lake Erie and Cuyahoga River, better air quality, help with lead poisoning and public transit, better school funding mechanisms, a means to bridge the digital divide, they say "nonprofits are springing up all over the place to assist with these efforts". The nonprofit sector is about to take a beating in this economic meltdown. We are going to have to rely on governments to do what nonprofits can’t.

We need transparency and leadership, not to be treated like children and told that “father knows best”. Hagan is the champion of this method of cutting people off.

When corruption reigns supreme and carries the day at all levels of government, voters and taxpayers would benefit from a little extra consideration – knowing “and here’s why”.

I appreciate Jones' willingness to hold these forums and his intervening at the Thursday's forum to ask County Administrator, McCafferty to get the engineering drawings to the interested engineers. He is a gentleman and a scholar. His colleagues (I include Roman in this), when they respond like deer in the headlights – choke and stumble, simply give the impression that there is something to be hidden, kept from view – enter suspicion.

I watched again online this morning the forum at Landerhaven on the GCP site, and at the end, when Falanga replied to the barrier question (what would cause this to not happen?) his answer had to do with their not being able to find sufficient leases or tenants for the facility. He called that event unlikely. I would imagine that they might want to revisit the unlikeness of that in light of a rebalancing global economy whether “we have the money” or not.

CSU medmart forum goes online - listen

I spoke with someone the other day and said I thought that the medmart was not a great idea. They asked why, I mentioned the failed attempt made to do this in Birmingham and he said, well I never heard of that - he had not read it in the PD. I said well the PD is medmart's and GCP's cheerleader. So to that gentleman and everyone who needs to better understand what all the fuss is about - listen to these students of Norm Krumholz at CSU Levin College who have some very important questions to ask. We should be asking these questions and pondering them hard.

Medmart forum online at CSU.

Thanks for that report

Thanks for that report Susan. The bungling that has gone on in the business leadership trying to wedge this square peg into a round hole has gone on for more than five-six years.

That in itself will make this another Gateway type project - all out of propotion to its value to the community.

I went back to some stuff I had written five years ago in touching upon the issue in a piece that will appear on Cool Cleveland, Lakewood Buzz, the Cleveland Leader and What's Up in Northeast Ohio next Wednesday.

I hope people will take a look at this piece on Leadership here.

Thanks again for your efforts.

global economy tanks, but "we have the money" for medcon

I attended this week, two forums on the medcon (medical mart convention center). One was a presentation of research on the project by students of Norm Krumholz at CSU Levin College. Dennis Madden was on hand to answer question with a sidekick from MMPI (since he said he might need help - no kidding). The other was another "hearing" or (is that tolerating on the part of Joe Roman) hosted by Peter Lawson Jones - again his colleagues were not in attendance - Hagan has washed his hands apparently and Dimora? what? packing his suitcase?

In the county hosted hearing someone mentioned a project that may be considered similar which is being planned in NYC - they are running into road blocks because they are depending on leases - agreements with tenants which are apparently not flowing in at the clip they might have liked or hoped for - hence they may not have the money. Jones responded that though he did not like the way we got it - we have the money (yes the BOCC voted 2-1 to take our money by slapping on an unvoted 1/4 cent sales tax increase. I have to admit that it really annoyed me to hear that “unlike NYC, we have the money” even though he said he wasn’t so keen on how we got it. Me either. It smells like a fishy arrangement, putting money for a convention center in the general fund so that it does not have to go before the electorate. Why, if this deal was not rushed, did we not hear about it in the early planning stages (in 2005)? It seems like it was a very expensive (for the taxpayers) new gateway project. No, jobs, panaceas are not being promised, but seriously – what is a Medical Mart? Is it a furniture store as the guy from MMPI seemed to be admitting? How does it work and why does it make sense for us to build it and not them. When convention centers are failing, why should we invest in one?

If MMPI decides that with this credit crunch and economic scaling back worldwide, they aren’t ready to move ahead, I hope we can stop the tax (providing a bit of relief to strapped taxpayers) and put the funds collected into needed public infrastructure projects.

Nevada’s economy tanked because they had a bigger pricier housing bubble and gambling is discretionary. Next year the state will cut 14% after meeting an 8% cut this past ½ year. Here in Ohio, it’s been dire longer, but I imagine it is just as bad if not worse. I also heard that after seeing the bleeding stop a bit in Florida from the loss of construction jobs, they are now seeing retailers as the next economic sector laying off workers. Makes sense though – belt tightening is what is needed.

I heard Zeller on WCPN, too. $9.9 billion in Ohio and $3.95 billion in wages lost in Cuyahoga County - all losses in Cleveland not in suburbs – moderator asked how is now compared to the Great Depression; he replied "not as deep nor as deep as 1979-83 recession, but this one has lasted 8 years."

I suggest we institute the land bank and all become gentlemen farmers. Do we really think that doctors and purchasing officers will be traveling to select equipment with the cost of everything going through the roof?

I urge everyone to look at the presentation of the students from CSU Levin College (I post it when it goes online) – they have articulated the questions many taxpayers (me included) have had all along. I was really annoyed at how Joe Roman seemed to disparage their efforts – the guy wasn’t even there to know to what depths their research had gone.

The Birmingham story particularly sounded like something we should know about. The bonds that were secured for that fiasco are now referred to as junk.

I also want to say that given the history of Cleveland as an industrial town, I am ever amazed that economic development/elected and appointed officials (BOCC, CPC, Port Authority, ODOT) don’t expect there to be a handful of engineers on hand who want to “see” the materials. So many engineers have had to be here to support industry and its boom; now they are watching these projects. They do, as evidenced, feel condescended to when the “professionals” come in and their work (that of the hired firms) is seemingly hidden from “people who wouldn’t understand”. Ya’ll should just give it up to them and not argue. It just does not lend to a spirit of transparency in government.

On Wednesday at CSU, Madden stated that “there are always the same faces – people with an axe to grind”; I was disappointed again. He needs to learn a lesson from Jones– “I am pleased to see some familiar concerned citizens in the audience today” would have been a more appropriate response. He lost all credibility when asked about Carbone and the county admin building, and he said, we’re keeping an eye on that”. Yes, well, we see what happened there.

Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson from a consultant with whom I worked for several years. He said that more often than not the part of decision making communications that is missing and leads to adversarial sentiments is the “and here’s why” portion. So when pro medcon folk say that it will tie in with the healthcare economy that we have here, we ask then why don’t they build it? When you say, “we need a convention center”, we say convention centers are failing nationwide. When we ask, “what is it?” – You seem to say, we don’t really know, but don’t worry we trust MMPI, after all they’re contributing $19 million.

When we say we need better stormwater management, clean water, a clean Lake Erie and Cuyahoga River, better air quality, help with lead poisoning and public transit, better school funding mechanisms, a means to bridge the digital divide, you say nonprofits are springing up all over the place to assist with these efforts. The nonprofit sector is about to take a beating in this economic meltdown. We are going to have to rely on governments to do what nonprofits can’t.

We need transparency and leadership, not to be treated like children and told that “father knows best”. Hagan is the champion of this method of cutting people off.

When corruption reigns supreme and carries the day at all levels of government, voters and taxpayers would benefit from a little extra consideration – knowing “and here’s why”.

I appreciate Jones' willingness to hold these forums and his intervening at the Thursday forum to ask McCafferty to get the engineering drawings to the interested engineers. He is a gentleman and a scholar. His colleagues (I include Roman in this), when they respond like deer in the headlights – choke and stumble, simply give the impression that there is something to be hidden, kept from view – enter suspicion.

I watched again online this morning the forum at Landerhaven on the GCP site, and at the end, when Falanga replied to the barrier question it had to do with their not being able to find sufficient leases or tenants for the facility. He called that event unlikely. I would imagine that they might want to revisit the unlikeness of that in light of a rebalancing global economy whether “we have the money” or not.