Who will take Responsibility for CMSD "public relations" culture?

Submitted by jpelikan on Sat, 11/27/2010 - 19:43.

comment is now publishing and will appear shortly.

November 27, 2010

At face value, the PD 11.27.'10 editorial "..Sanders needs to level with residents.." is the kind of community service expected of local media, a call for a public official and the public to be responsible.

Responsibility is exactly what we need in Cleveland. Learning responsibility demands from top to bottom in our city to learn something new, something not present from the day a search began for this CEO to today.

Who will accept the responsibility for creating a CEO search process that assumed that public relations was what Cleveland most lacked in Sanders predecessor?

Who will accept the responsibility for the community forums that accompanied that search where Board and consultants translated residents statements for a leader who understood community involvement into "you mean public relations"?

Who will accept the responsibility for the first Five Year Strategic Plan of this CEO, based on the same public relations techniques and short comings observed at the Langston Hughes Center?

It's a long list and won't fit here. The point being that no one in Cleveland is surprised to read that public relations is the core demonstrated skill of the CEO and his Administration.

Even the Greater Cleveland Partnership after all its praise and support for the District wants another look at the District administration and finances before investing further. Working with the same consulting group(BCG) hired by the Cleveland Foundation for the District, it seems they even may want to touch on academics, at least in the case of special education.

Cleveland parents, voters and residents have a more direct experience with the District and even more reason for concern. The cost for a parent with a gifted, average or special education child is very high.

Calling for responsibility is the right call if we recognize a much broader and deeper responsibility than getting the CEO to use the word "levy" in public settings. The past points to, as I am fearful does the moment, that the only form of responsibility that will be tolerated is something familiar and less than what the children and residents of Cleveland require and should expect.

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PD editorial re: CMSD

 Here is the link to the editorial that jpelikan references above in his post.

The PeeDee is telling the CEO to dance a certain way, as he is temporarily out of sync.


Thanks for posting on the CMSD Editorial

Thanks for posting on the CMSD Editorial.

Right after I started realNEO, the CMSD School Board hired realinks - the social media firm I co-counded with Peter Holmes... and he and Jones Day stole from me - to develop social media sites for the school CEO search, in English and Spanish. I built them myself - I didn't write the content, but it was all search related.... and I was the admin and I did analyze and pass on survey results etc. -  And I attended the public meetings held in support of the search process and had them video recorded by Karen Kilroy, and available online. The sites had surveys where people could rate what was important in a new CEO and where people could suggest candidates - I remember Sanders being a name submitted several times... anyone could have done that, as it was an open Drupal site and registration was not required.

Here is a posting on realNEO by Kevin Cronin about his impressions of the process at the time, and my comments.

In any case, the technology was legit, and the school board made the right decision using the Internet and Drupal to survey the public and get feedback... they did not maintain the sites or use the technology to followup with stakeholders, expand dialog to oversee the transition and performance of the new CEO, or for any further good... it was a one shot deal. The CMSD never had further interest to use information technology well (and they do not). Blame OneCommunity for that - they run CMSD IT... and I've certainly told and shown them better ways!

Whether Sanders was planted into the process and the insight gained from the public was used to develop PR strategy I can't say, as my role was limited to the CEO search site development.

I will say ultimately the Cleveland Foundation appears to be the architect of all of this, including the selection of Sanders, the denigration of union teachers, the placement of charters on top of public education and the selection of public schools to demolish and save, and in what form, to support their Strategic Investment Initiatives.

And the Cleveland Foundation LOVES MAKING MOVIES ABOUT THEIR SHIT NOT STINKING - it is how they believe you develop a local film industry.

Disrupt IT

"Public relations" appeared before the forums...


Norm you ask: "Whether Sanders was planted into the process and the insight gained from the public was used to develop PR strategy" I attended the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church forum and the observations of Kevin were largely confirmed there, except for one point. When parent and community involvement was mentioned by the audience those running the meeting would smile and reframe it to "you mean better public relations." This continued in other settings later. It told me that those in who would make the decision about the next CEO had already answered the question about what they were looking for with their assessment that Byrd-Bennett failed because she lack good public relations skills. In other words the search process had the same lack of content and value as the meeting at Langston Hughes Center and the rest of what the District mistakenly views as communication with the public. There are exceptions, but very few and very fragile.


It isn't obvious to many that the 'public relations" techniques of corporation and business are very different than the methods or outreach and partnership associated with the necessary involvement of community in an institutions such as a public school. This is one of the assumptions made in all this so called school reform and it results in undermining both community and education.


So in my post I am asking what sort of Responsibility will come from a editorial? If it is the same old, well that's what we get. If we really are concerned about the future of the city and the children then we need to learn a more significant brand of Responsibility, one that expects those responsible for getting this failure rolling in the first place to also be expected to do something other than what they always do. 

As I see it, CMSD is the "intelligent design" of our Foundations

As I see it, CMSD is the "intelligent design" of foundations.

The leaders of the richest foundations in town really do call all the shots in town - especially now that they have forced out the goomba mafioso-union democorrupts and put in place their full Manchurian slate, with Pollution Czar Matt Carroll handling the transition.

They funded the CEO search and had people like Louise Dempsey and Chuck Ratner on the Search Committee. They chose Sanders. They hired Ronn Richards, who is a separated at birth twin of Sanders, who Ronn certainly had a role hiring, to execute Ronn's bosses' plans... break the unions... demolish and seize neighborhoods... redevelop high-profit zones and deploy quasi-private education there... arrest the minorities.

His plan comes from consultants in Philadelphia and other "best practice" places Ronn likes. None of it works, because it is not authentic nor based on local realities - it is devised by consultants, forced on citizens with propaganda, for all the coporate bosses who control the foundations and want to seize more land, government control and funding.

They are taking all the land they can in Cleveland and routing money where they can profit most, and are now trying to put in place their model schools and developments in their pockets - none of it will work and the results are already disastrous.

In the process, they have corrupted all forms of regional and local government so none are effective, as they do not want government to be effective. They just want land, and the right to do with it what they please, including polluting the little children they put in their model schools and neighborhoods.

Those victims, like my family, will destroy THEM, as they destroyed our home. No winners in this meltdown, and it is all the fault of the most powerful here, who were too greedy, and took (take) TOO MUCH.

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Is this the type of PR video you are talking about?

Saunders...excuses, excuses....

Thank you Jim (aka Westbird) for caring about the kids in NEO.  PD now censors my ability to comment as Citizen X.

The Plain Dealer is starting to let the CEO's shiny coat of armor tarnish a little, so they can install someone who is more of the snake-oil salesman they need for CMSD.  I predict he will cash in his golden parachute soon.

Despicable--and today they make excuses today for their collective collosal failure to expose corruption in County Government...somnolent watchdogs...oh, that stings!!

It just ocurred to me that they need more of a superstar.  Do you think Geoffrey Canada is available???

(I agree Norm that the video I posted is subtle charter school propaganda--and I am not buying the message--only enjoying the chance to see kids enjoy themselves).



Cleveland Plain Dealer... excuses... excuses

Cleveland Plain Dealer... excuses... excuses - what a bunch of pathetic simps.

The whole forgive the PD for we are human bullshit is the worst corruption yet...

....as golden parachutes twinkle in the morning sunlight...

And incompetent NEWSMEN give Rokakis, McCormack and other favored political friends free passes


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The Sanders article said to me "we're keeping Sanders"

The Sanders article said to me "we're keeping Sanders"... and "We're going to make citizens pay higher taxes".

CMSD Tax Levies coming... for everyone but Jackson's tax abated yuppies

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The PD's "don't hate us 'cause we're stupid"

The PD's "don't hate us 'cause we're stupid" article says "we're protecting Rokakis because he built us the land bank and we are stealing those 1,000s of acres of prime real estate and giving them to the rich whether the FBI likes it or not"

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Kill the Land Bank--NOW!

I agree Norm--FitzGerald may be kicking the current BOR folks to the curb (too merciful--they should be clubbed)--but he will just go ahead with the agenda--

Fourth Frontier atop FitzGerald's goals

County executive-elect outlines economic development strategy


excerpted here:

Hammer time
Mr. FitzGerald sees in the county land bank an opportunity to assemble vacant parcels into developable industrial sites, urban farms and parks.
   “I want to see if that can be used as an incentive, or a tool, to promote business expansion,” he said.
The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp. is a government-created nonprofit that can acquire vacant land and rehabilitate or demolish foreclosed and abandoned homes more quickly than traditional tax foreclosure. Done strategically, the land bank can target its acquisitions so it can assemble parcels into developable sites, Mr. FitzGerald maintains.
   Mr. FitzGerald's idea of a single business development point of contact would help business owners, real estate brokers and site selectors gain easy access to the incentives and infrastructure improvements available in the county. It also ideally would eliminate the bidding wars that often develop among Cuyahoga County municipalities when businesses go shopping for incentives on their own.

This is insanity--this is the same old shit--this is madness.  This is UNREALNEO.

Kill the Land Bank--NOW--I don't even need to get into the Medical Mart mess and Dennis Madden (sex fiend) and Hagan (plain old fiend) as he is given the ceremonial bullshit send-off by the PD.



Here's another irony--I was quoted in the Ted Diadiun mea culpa piece today (CitizenX)--but my account has been disabled at the PD...no worries--Catch5 and others are picking up on the HUD connection, Rokakis' and other elected low lifes' real goldmine for cronyism and kickbacks...CDBG funds and CDCs...

catchfive November 28, 2010 at 10:22AM


To Sportnut1970:
Good for you. We too are told by Ohio City friends who follow the PD corruption stories that the person you note regarding questionable property appraisals, Ann Bloomberg, is a long-standing board member of the Ohio City CDC, named Ohio City Near West Development Corporation. We are told that campaign contributions, and the public record shows that she certainly did, evolve into more attention and city council funds for the CDC. We are told that this is one of Cimperman's CDCs. Has this individual contributed to both campaigns, Cimperman and Russo? Can we rightfully distinguish Cimperman from either Dimora or Russo? Not when you follow the federal money combined with campaign contributions and this financial relationship to the city's CDCs...HUD goes to Dept of Community Development. This is broken into parts for Council Council. City Council moves the money to CDCs. The board members of CDCs then make campaign contributions to City Council and City Council make dispersements (cut checks in other words) back to CDC board members. Get the picture? Hope the PD has the stomach to take it all apart and put it back together again. Would make for a nice bump in sales.

catchfive November 28, 2010 at 10:29AM


This just in...Ann Bloomberg and Helen Smith...are they old friends sharing some oversight of the expenditure of public funds vis-a-vis the Ohio City CDC?

Didn't the PD report on how Rokakis just "hired" Smith to the county's appraisal review board?

This just in...both of them are board members of the same Ohio City CDC. How can Smith serve on the appraisal review board and retain a membership on a publicly funded nonprofit development corporation? Smith is the secretary of the board. Bloomberg is or has been as of late a board member. What's going on???

Matt Carroll's the Smoking Gun

Matt Carroll's the Smoking Gun - pollute for profit - #1 PRIORITY OF THE INDUSTRIAL RULING CLASS HERE.




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