Submitted by Martha Eakin on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 18:54.

Here we go… If you were wondering about how federal stimulus dollars might be spent in Ohio, this should give you some idea. Gov. Strickland has appointed Ronn Richard of the Cleveland Foundation as infrastructure czar in which part-time position he will work “to ensure that the infrastructure component of the stimulus package is structured in a way that offers the greatest investment opportunities for Ohio, and collaborate with state leaders and local communities to prioritize projects based on their potential for sustainable economic growth”. Strickland further said that the process led by RR will be “accountable and transparent”. The need for speed was mentioned more than once by the Governor. I am not reassured. The announcement lists the following organizations as examples of Richard as an “active community member” because he serves on their boards: the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, the Ohio Business Development Coalition and the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Do these organizations represent you or me? What does Mr. Richard know about civil infrastructure given his former corporate employment?


Qualifications of this actor aside, I'm disappointed that the state of Ohio has very apparently appointed a post with Czar in its title.

Never mind that the word comes from Ceasar and refers to monarch, emperor, supreme ruler...

I'm appalled our elected servants didn't choose the more properly Latinized, Tsar.

part-time infrasturcture czar

“As infrastructure czar, I will ensure that we move forward with the stimulus plan in a collaborative, transparent manner.” - Ronn Richard

Will he the be overseeing road repair, water and sewer infrastructure repair and replacements, how about air quality compliance, TMDLs in the Cuyahoga, Ohio, Scioto, Olentangy, Maumee and other Ohio waterways? Will he be prepared to host public meetings and follow the "Project Development Process" outlined by ODOT? All that in a "part-time position"?  Wow... I am dumbfounded... I guess his work at the Cleveland Foundation must not be very taxing.

How, I wonder, will he deal with the proposed federal funds the Cleveland Foundation (along with 4 other community foundations) has requested should they be allotted?

Maybe it's just that no one else in Ohio is capable or needs a job, so if we are to get any stimulus it'll be so little that it only requires part-tme oversight.