Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 12/24/2009 - 11:26.

Santa Claus came often and generously to MMPI this year. It’s not a one-night trip in this case. Eight times – from May to December - he (played by Tim Hagan) dropped $333,333.33 checks into the Chicago firm bank account.

No need to send receipts. It’s a standing fee negotiated by that sharp negotiator Fred Nance of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. He’s a sweetheart.


The $333,333.33 monthly checks add up to $2,666,666.64 for eight months in 2009.


What do we see that’s changed for our money? Any building by MMPI? No. Any digging by MMPI? No. Any acquiring of land for digging and building by MMPI? No.


But thanks for the $333,333.33 monthly allowances, says MMPI.

Actually, they don’t say thanks. They just send a brief money-due notice.


In addition to the monthly fee checks, another $1,240,799 was paid to MMPI for other tasks by the company or its contractors.


We can be happy though that, as the Plain Dealer reported this morning, negotiations for land at St. Clair and Ontario to acquire property where a medical mart can be built are not dead.


At the last public report, MMPI official Mark Falanga nixed attempts to purchase these properties as too expensive. Instead he wanted to build, apparently with no purchase cost, Mall C, city property. Then build his medical mart overlooking Lake Erie. On land reserved since the early 1900s for public purposes.


Using Mall C for a private business would have been crass, if not illegal.


We Cuyahoga County taxpayers have further enriched the Medical Mart/Convention Center fund, via the quarter percent increase in the sales tax, by another $3,084,125.90 in November. You will remember that the County Commissioners voted to increase the tax without any input or vote of citizens.


That puts the tab for taxpayers and the pool of money awaiting MMPI at $77,539,111.60. With a likely $3 million plus in December, the fund will be slightly more than $80 million for the first two years of the extra sales tax.

Just think, only 38 more years to go for this downtown trinket.


What $80 million in receipts in these two tough economic years tells me, however, is that the tax will bring in much more than $800 million over its lifetime. As the economy picks up and inflation adds to the price of what we buy, the sales tax will bring in more and more money to be used for the project.


(Meanwhile, the taxes for the Browns Stadium with November collections hit $59,583,958.34. Holiday greetings to Randy Lerner, too.)


Happy holidays to all you taxpayers – from me and MMPI and Randy.




( categories: )