Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 12:38.

Don’t you just love the dance the establishment, its puppet politicians and its subservient media are doing with the medical mart.

“This community needs to move ahead on the medical mart, and that means pushing for a decision on where to build it,” headlined a Plain Dealer editorial, “Decision time.”

Well, editorial writers, no one is building a medical mart.

The medical mart is supposed to go on the first two floors of the Higbee Building. Fred Nance has said this at a press conference. By the way, the Higbee building was finished in 1910 so it is definitely already THERE.

When, as a newspaper, you so are so eager to cheerlead, you sort of step in it and drag it all over the place.

The chorus of stories that attempt - and maybe succeed – about the medical mart from whether Mayor Frank Jackson has any clout on the issue to his visit to Chicago to quiz developer MMPI (Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.) to studies and reports by MMPI are just a bunch of crap that helps fill the pages of the Pee Dee.

A medical mart could open next week. All they have to do is clear the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) out of its first floor office in the Higbee building. By the way, GCP has been directing this shameful scheme.
You don’t need $1 billion in tax money to start a medical mart.

That’s the crux of the matter. There never was this great need or financial gain to the city from a medical mart.

The medical mart was just the sales hook that GCP and its corporate bosses and their underlings (called County Commissioners and Mayors) needed to drag center-stage on the city’s agenda the idea and money for a new convention center. They had to make it seem as though we needed a medical mart and, oh, let’s build a $1 billion convention center on Forest City land, too.

It’s been years that this bunch of leader/bunglers has been trying to put together the deal for a new convention center, and put it where it doesn’t belong, behind Tower City.

Legislation for the convention center behind Tower City was passed in Cleveland City Council more than four years ago when Council President Jackson jammed it through Council. At the time Forest City was promising to develop the Scranton Peninsula with housing and retail. Now, of course, there’s no mention of this quid pro quo for getting the convention center on Forest City land. Forest City, however, wants some $40 million for it river-front land. It makes no development promises. Where also is Mayor Jackson’s concern about what will happen to the city’s convention center? Abandon it?

Then we went through some half a million dollars in County money for the Convention Facilities Authority, which bombed and was put to a quiet death by the Commissioners. What’s a half a million dollars here or there. Then we had the “Greater Cleveland Partnership Medical Mart/Convention Center Site Selection Committee” report last August telling us to put the convention center behind Tower City. Big surprise.

Sam Miller and Al Ratner have Mayor Jackson and County Commissioners Tim “tax ‘em to death” Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones on a string and the pols dance real pretty.

All this is shamefully reminiscent of the Gateway deal, which the County is paying – or should I say you – dearly for and will be for years and years.

Happy to see Frank Lewis, editor of the Cleveland Scene, take a shot at this farcical debacle here:

However, there isn’t a public official anywhere – city or county – who will call this sham the fraud that it is.

So that’s why Cleveland will continue its steady decline. We simply have no plain-spoken politicians who will call the deceivers what they are – “first class frauds.”

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for the link, roldo!

landed grant whore gentry

  Tim  R, great follow-up to the Scene article.  The whole issue is a winner and the journalists there--real journalists--should be proud of themselves.

Scene is also publishing installments of this great memoir:

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

Great title and a local author worth watching--Charlise Lyles.

NEO needs own Charter 08

  Citizens in China are fed up...we need to show the same resolve.

 Here is the translation of the Charter.