"Waiting for the other shoe to drop" on Debbie Sutherland, her Akering Establishment, and Their Sprawing Delusions

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 23:22.

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones Debates Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland

"I've been thinking about that saying, 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'", was how Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones began his closing two minutes of his second debate against Debbie Sutherland, who is challenging him for his job in the November election. Lawson Jones then basically said he has been blessed to be who he is, with an amazing family, and great life, all his life... but he has been wondering lately if he should expect some personal misfortune... the "other shoe" to drop, so to speak.

The highly accomplished, respected and previously untainted Lawson Jones has been personally dragged through the mud, and soiled, in anticipation of and during this campaign, attacked in divisive ways by his clearly unqualified opponent, her political machine, and a daily newspaper intent to deconstruct this
region in the editors' distant vision. All that, and recent deaths of close friends Fannie Lewis and Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and the prospect of replacing Stephanie Tubbs Jones in Washington, D.C., clearly have had Lawson Jones soul searching.

At the end of this debate, Lawson Jones announced he has concluded that he is an excellent person, and excellent Cuyahoga County Commissioner, doing an excellent job, and he is planning to continue to be a great leader of Cuyahoga County for another four years as our County Commissioner. He rejects his opponent and the Plain Dealer's endorsement of her, and disrespect of him, outright, and concludes, "the other shoe does not need to drop"!

Lawson Jones' excellent, authentic performance during this final debate of the campaign well supported his self-confidence, and reflected his self-awareness, excellent breeding and raw intelligence. We saw at work a top Harvard lawyer, who may easily make $500,000+ a year working in the private sector, using his excellence in the courtroom of public relations. At this debate, Lawson Jones demonstrated qualities to admire, and I appreciated his bold, outright confidence in himself and his god-given abilities to address the obvious challenges for the region for the future, as he claims he has done well for the past four years.

By saying "the other shoe does not need to drop", Lawson Jones declares his independence from all the hater political machines and defines himself as an independent, superior leader - a strong individual - clearly placing himself alone above his detractors. He also seemed to be saying, only three of the county's 1,000s of good workers are under question about misdeeds, and none of them walk in Lawson Jones' shoes, or the other county employees' shoes. And, I heard him say, he has both of his feet firmly planted on the ground, each and every waking hour of every day, walking the walk for all the people of Cuyahoga County... and he promises us he has plenty of shoe leather left for the road ahead.

I embrace the thought that one of my leaders is highly intelligent, well educated, articulate, authentic, creative, and self-confident that life may be good for oneself and all, and we may live embracing promises for good rather than fear of bad. In these down times, here and worldwide, the people of this region and the employees of this County need to hear, see and live for such promise, as well demonstrated by and through Lawson Jones.

The realistic, confident, humane, positive energy of Lawson Jones, expressed during both debates, has stood in bright contrast to the shadowy, dark, defensive, hater character of his opponent, Sutherland.

Sutherland is all 9/11. All Republican. All "Made"-up. All talk, with little more to offer than a promise of consultants from "A Foundation" she doesn't name, which appears so heartless as to offer the county help only if Sutherland is elected.

From Sutherland's website, she declares the "Issues" of importance for
the Cuyahoga County Commissioners are: Bold Leadership, Economic Development, Regional Cooperation, Bipartisanship, and a Leaner County Government. That may reflect the issues of some Blackwater, Xurban Republicans, but does not reflect any reality of our needs of County leadership, nor an understanding of what our County government does, and funds.

From the 2008 Budget Summary for Cuyahoga County, about $650 million (44%) of all County funds go for social services... and providing exceptional social services to our aging, lead poisoned, polluted, increasingly impoverished citizens is the number one job of the Commissioner. The number two job of the Commissioner is reducing the lead poisoning and pollution harm to our 1,000,000+ residents, each year, including by curbing carbon emissions from sprawl. Under Lawson Jones, the County is making good progress with both jobs, but Lawson Jones' work is far from done. Now is not a time to bring in an armchair rookie, and lose important experience with real government issues, especially with so much other change expected and needed at all levels of regional leadership in the years to come.

For example, Sutherland probably should be replaced as Mayor of Bay Village, after losing her bid for Lawson Jones' job.


Some highlights from the "Issues" page from Sutherland's website, and my observations:

Bold Leadership

Mayor Sutherland led the charge to ensure
that several Cuyahoga County cities would benefit from a proposed
interchange along Interstate 90 in Lorain County. Mayor Sutherland also
lead the effort to establish guidelines for Cuyahoga County
municipalities in order to ensure that cities do not "poach" businesses
from other cities in the region.

It is questionable whether Sutherland's "Bold Leadership" of Bay Village has been bold, innovative, creative or effective for the people of Bay Village.. to be determined if she runs for re-election, after this fiasco. From a global and regional environmental and social-sense perspective, I would contend Sutherland has been very harmful to the region. Sprawl
promotion is the only leadership accomplishment Sutherland highlights.

Economic Development

our current Commissioners, Mayor Sutherland intends to foster a true
public/private partnership, enabling our regional employers to provide
input on workforce development concepts, economic incentive programs
and educational standards within the county. Until government and
business are on the same page for these critical issues, our county
will continue to decline.

Since Sutherland is campaigning for the region's large employers, it is safe to say "Economic Develoment For The Rich" is the number one priority of the Sutherland machine.... which means industry must be allowed to pollute more, pay people less, pay less taxes, and transfer the cost of their job training programs to Cuyahoga County. Sounds like the broken Republican economic development strategy rocking Washington, and tanking Wall Street and mainstreet.

Regional Cooperation

As Mayor, Mayor Sutherland created a partnership among
several cities in western Cuyahoga County to streamline 911 dispatch
operations. Through Mayor Sutherland's efforts, this partnership
resulted in significant saving for each city, without compromising the
safety needs of each city's residents. Mayor Sutherland will take this
same approach to county government, identifying every possible cost
savings which can, and should, be realized on behalf of Cuyahoga County

Sutherland hangs her hat almost entirely on participation in the movement of "regionalism", which is little more than a buzz word in this region, despite $ millions spent on "regionalism" branding and brainwashing by Sutherland's "people" and "Foundation". Hardly the top priority of the County Commissioner.


Sutherland believes that Cuyahoga County cannot afford to wear
political blinders and pledges to work with Republicans and Democrats
alike in an effort to advance to needs of Cuyahoga County residents!

This ranks as a top issue for Sutherland?!?! I guess she doesn't realize how many people were lead poisoned in Cuyahoga County last year!

A Leaner County Government

Cuyahoga County government has become a bloated hiring hall focused
more on patronage than solving the problems that we face. Mayor
Sutherland pledges to work with our region's elected officials,
employee representatives, civic and philanthropic leaders toward
reducing the overall cost and size of county government. Mayor
Sutherland believes that through such efforts, our county will realize
tax savings in the range of $100 million dollars annually! Mayor
Sutherland pledges to return a portion of those savings to Cuyahoga
County taxpayers, enabling all of us to choose how to spend our hard
earned dollars instead of County officials choosing for us! Mayor
Sutherland also realizes the need to enhance the job base of our
region. With savings realized through cost containment measures,
Sutherland will be able to re-direct County spending solely for the
purpose of job creation and business development; an effort missing
from our County for far too long.

This "issue" is inflammatory. Sutherland thinks so little of the people she wants to lead that she believes "County government has become a bloated hiring hall focused more on patronage than solving the problems that we face". I do not agree, as I work with good people at the county all the time and they only care about solving the problems we face.

During this debate, Lawson Jones defended the integrity of county workers. I expect they are very offended by Sutherland's personal attack upon them, en mass.

She writes "our county will realize
tax savings in the range of $100 million dollars annually" and "Mayor Sutherland pledges to return a portion of those savings to Cuyahoga County taxpayers". This is "New Math", and silly... the only tax refund any Commissioner may offer is for the $10,000,000s Sutherland helped cost county taxpayers by raising our sales tax for the MedCon, without asking taxpayers, which Lawson Jones always opposed.

Most odd, she writes: "With savings realized through cost containment measures,
Sutherland will be able to re-direct County spending solely for the
purpose of job creation and business development; an effort missing
from our County for far too long.


From listening to Sutherland, it is reasonable to expect she will
get the vote of the driver of the brand new Maserati convertible
parked in front of the SPRAWLING Rocky River Four Seasons complex,
where the debate was held. She promises Xurban Xanadu... "Pay no attention to that Gloabl Warming". Sutherland will
eliminate county social spending for the poor, cut taxes on the rich
and business owners, expand and reinforce sprawl, and eliminate
Cleveland as the cultural and economic heart of the region, already
nearly heartless.

She is the rapture, and the good Republicans of the
Xurbs see heaven in her midst

For the downtrodden people of
Cuyahoga County, Sutherland promises hatred, and demands change... all
to be determined by consultants hired by "A Foundation".

Sutherland started her closing two minutes of the debate blurting-out something like "I have a family, too", which didn't seem cute enough to win her many votes. A few moments later, she was being "BOOOOOed" by the 95% of the people in the room who were not her family. The moderator literally stopped the debate and told the audience she would "have none of that".

What I believe set the audience off was her statement as simple as that she, rather than Lawson Jones, would be best able to represent the diverse people of Cuyahoga County. That didn't wash with the listeners.

You see, Sutherland was previously asked about her ability to represent the poor people of Cuyahoga County, when her experience has been serving the affluent population of Bay Village, and she said she had little experience with poverty... but realized it was "a problem for some people"... which went over about as well as saying "Let Them Eat Cake".

Which brings me to my final observation from these debates and this campaign, so far, which is that this election is really between Peter Lawson Jones and Betty Crocker.

In 1921, the idea of Betty Crocker hatched as a Washburn-Crosby Company advertising tool. Washburn-Crosby logo

  • Betty as a common woman's name
  • Crocker for the late secretary and director of the Washburn Crosby Company, William G. Crocker
  • Betty Crocker's signature The company first used her name to
    sign replies to various personal requests for household advice which
    they received from customers by mail

    Debbie "Betty Crocker Park" Sutherland.

    About as authentic as Crocker Park, too.

    I don't shop there, and I won't vote for their leader.

    But, that is not why I intend to vote for Lawson Jones, as I'm sure I've made clear. There are many other good reasons for that, and I expect about 70% of the voters of Cuyahoga County will agree.

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    she's no Betty Crocker

    I've known Betty Crocker for the better part of six decades, and the sight of her homey box has filled my heart with joy.

    Betty symbolizes goodness, truth, beauty--Wordsworthian ideals brought forward into the twentieth century, and now the twenty-first.

    Anent Debbie Sutherland, and to paraphrase the late senator Lloyd Bentsen: "I've known Betty Crocker, and Madame, you're no Betty Crocker."

    (( There's more on this classic riposte at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/24/AR2006052402815.html ))

    Rocky River Four Seasons Pan

    Rocky River Community Center Compound

    The Header of the Day is a pan of the Rocky River community center... a sprawling multi-block compound of municipal buildings and parking lots covering many acres. No distinguished architecture, arts or culture present, as is the case throughout most this barren Xurban sprawland which includes Mayor Sutherland's Bay Village, Westlake, Sheffield Lake and beyond...

    What the community center and associated complex does offer is a Disney Land of highly expensive "recreation" facilities like a water park and indoor soccer arena... 

    How does the Disneyfication of every Podunk Xurb fit with regionalism, and who will pay for all this government owned crap as it decays in the coming years, along with the surrounding community poached dead by sprawl.

    Such Xurban waste and poor citizenship, resulting from Urban Flight and causing ecological disaster, is core to the failure of America and the world today, and is not sustainable.

    Disrupt IT

    The Real NEO Community Center...

    Cuyahoga County is fortunate to have one world-class "Community Center": Cleveland. We need a County Commissioner focused on making that the center of the universe, as I believe Lawson Jones does. 

    Disrupt IT