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Northeast Ohio: Regionalism News & Discussion

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http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1117013569110440.xml&coll=2

 

Mayors seek to cut costs via regional cooperation

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Thomas Ott

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Cuyahoga County mayors will study far-reaching ways that their cities can work together and make the most of their shrinking supply of cash.

 

The Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association has formed a regionalism committee that hopes to make recommendations in as little as six months.

 

Leaders do not yet see city mergers or formation of an all-powerful county government, but they say consolidation of fire departments is possible, if not likely.

 

Trash pickup and road work are also fertile territory, said Parma Heights Mayor Martin Zanotti and Pepper Pike Mayor Bruce Akers, who head the 12-member committee.

 

.......

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as i stated before the NE Ohio region had hit rock bottom.  When your back is up against the wall.....you can be very creative in finding ways to improve.

 

Baby steps...but looks like this pea could "morf" into a snowball!

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isnt there some way to undermine the mayors in getting something on the ballot to do a massive consolidation that the voters decide on?  its kinda silly that we're letting these politicians figure out how to make less politicians and government.  it could easily turn into a lot of hot air. 

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It could. But let's wait and see and give these folks a chance.

 

Isn't it ironic? The state, with all its policies, programs and subsidies that promote urban sprawl at the expense of existing neighborhoods and publicly funded infrastructure, is now causing local leaders to take steps toward creating what has reined in urban sprawl in other metro areas?

 

While the cooperation is intended to cope with reduced funding from the state, if the shared city services end up saving these municipalities some money, I'd like to see the savings used as the first steps in creating a revenue sharing program. My preference for such a policy would be to help pay for land assembly and remediation for redevelopment that individual cities might otherwise not be able to afford.

 

KJP

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There seems to be a renaissance of thinking regionally lately.  From the 7/17/05 PD:

 

 

Lake County mayors to look at joint ventures

Officials will meet in September

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Thomas Ott

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Regionalism is going regional.

 

The Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association recently formed a committee to study fire department mergers and other consolidations to help cities get more bang for a shrinking tax buck. Clusters of cities in the county are having the same discussion.

 

Now the Lake County Mayors and City Managers Association has decided to study joint ventures.

 

More at http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/lake/1121592644184552.xml&coll=2

 

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This was an excellent related story I saw in the 8/28/05 PD:

 

 

Another city's problem is your own

Regionalism an issue for mayoral elections

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Leila Atassi, Tasha Flournoy and V. David Sartin

Plain Dealer Reporters

 

Garfield Heights Mayor Thomas Longo clutched a map of southeastern Cuyahoga County, freckled with dots marking fire stations in the region.

 

Attached were details of a meeting during which the region's fire chiefs discussed formation of a central dispatch center, perhaps even for police.

 

More at

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1125221623299281.xml&coll=2

 

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Found this little tidbit in the PD today... this is great news.  The man hasn't even started yet, and he's showing that he wants true cooperation between Cleveland and the suburbs.

 

Jackson will create post to oversee regionalism

 

 

 

By Olivera Perkins

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Cleveland Mayor-elect Frank Jackson said Wednesday that he will appoint the city’s first point person for regional issues, a promise that has made many suburban mayors ecstatic and dashed any lingering suspicions that he viewed regionalism with skepticism.

 

“It will be a key member of his administration,” said Mary Anne Sharkey, a transition-team spokeswoman.

 

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com

 

 

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My brain tells me this is a *great* thing, and it certainly shows that Jackson is more progressive than many of us gave him credit for. Yet I wonder, what could the suburbs possibly want from the city? Haven't they already sapped us almost completely dry -- of tax revenue, people and jobs?

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^I would think that there are some mayors out there who see beyond their own noses.  Whether it be combining fire departments or working together so that they  don't poach businesses from each, I think a lo of mayors out there see something that could benefit their own cities. 

 

I also hope that some of them realize that a strong core city will help sustain the suburbs.

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Well, some of Jackson's former views on regionalism were posted in City News Ohio, which is a newspaper geared towards African Americans in Cleveland.  They have since took down the link to the interview that he did with them, which was a three part series.  To sum up the interview, he said that he viewed regionalism at the time as a way for the majority white suburbs to take control of Cleveland's assets with a county merger (like the water department, the airport, etc.), in that African Americans would no loger be the majority in the city, and that their political clout would be lessened.  He stated that he was against regionalism in this sense and questioned why certain people pushing for a city-county merger wanted to leave the school systems out of the discussion.  There was more to it, but that was a large part of it.  He appears to have changed his views towards regionalism, but let's not hope for a county merger just yet.  I think he's more for regional economic development, tax and service sharing and not so much for erasing the borders with the suburbs.  I also think he's for changing the school system, possibly regionalizing the city school system with the suburbs.  We're still taking baby steps in this new ideal, but somewhere down the road I think a county merger with the city is possible when everyone finally sees how much we could save and how much we could get from Uncle Sam.

 

I'm glad he's showing that he's progressive.  He might be the right choice for the person who will lead the city.

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^^I added a little bit more to the reply before this... I hadn't finished the thought lol

 

I think that he's thinking of the whole region, and not just his neighborhood.  This is what we were all asking ourselves, and this is what the PD tried so hard to put into our brains; that he couldn't think outside of Central and was against development outside of his neighborhood.  Well, he has shown otherwise since being elected.  I just hope that it continues.

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Honestly, I wouldn't have dared hope that appointing a regionalism czar would be a priority for Frank, so I'm happy.

As far as a county merger: That would certainly help Cleveland in the short-term as far as tax revenue, but keep in mind that now Cuyahoga County as a whole is losing population -- not just Cleveland. A merger might help us keep the people we have in Cuyahoga, or it might just scare more people out into Medina and Geauga counties. So I think any talk of regionalism in The NEO has to involve the exurbs, too.

We should also definitely be talking to Akron and environs.

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Well, just to be cynical, all the enviromental engineers I know are hired by companies to get around enviromental laws.  Maybe Frank wants someone full time on regionalism to make sure his earlier fears don't come true.  And the good press does not hurt.

 

One of these days I will get around to giving this guy a chance, he just seems very different than the council president of the past four years.

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Well, if he hires someone to make sure his fears regarding regionalism don't happen, that can still lead to a consensus based approach to achieving regionalism on terms that might be best for the residents of the inner city.  So maybe it is both.  Confront your fears to understand and overcome them?  Then they won't be fears anymore?  I don't know.

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Here is an editorial from today's PD:

 

A wise start

Jackson's transition team has talent and wide experience; it also has some thorny and persistent problems to tackle

Friday, December 02, 2005

M ayor-elect Frank Jackson has begun to surround himself with some top- flight talent as he prepares to take charge of City Hall a month from today. The transition team leaders he announced Wednesday have a record of accomplishment in business, education, philanthropy and religion, as well as government.

 

It is possible - even likely - that none of these individuals will actually serve in a Jackson administration. Their task now is to set goals for key city departments and to identify potential Cabinet members to carry them out. But by reaching out to the likes of attorney Fred Nance, NorTech President Dorothy Baunach and Brush Wellman CEO Gordon Harnett, the mayor-elect has shown his desire to involve people from many sectors in the city's revitalization.

 

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com

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Regional thinking taking baby steps

Plans are mostly talk but it's getting louder

Monday, January 02, 2006

Thomas Ott

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Regionalism in Northeast Ohio continued to be mostly talk in 2005, but the conversation grew louder and far more serious.

 

Discussion, spurred by economic strife, swept the grass roots, as the still-unfolding Voices and Choices campaign brought everyday people together to plan development strategy for 15 counties. The buzz reached the top of Cleveland city government, with Mayor-elect Frank Jackson announcing he will name a point person for regional issues.

 

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com

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Cuyahoga leaders back mutual development fund

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson joined suburban leaders Thursday in pursuit of a regional answer to urban woes -- a multimillion-dollar development fund that will be replenished with tax sharing.

 

In keeping with a pledge to work beyond Cleveland's borders, Jackson was among 28 mayors and two city managers who voiced a hearty "Aye!" vote endorsing the idea of a $25 million to $50 million development fund.

 

For more info, click the link

www.plaindealer.com

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This is a very positive development for helping to rein in urban sprawl. Combined with other recent actions, these should prove to be even more powerful influences, in total:

 

> the merging of the land conservancy districts and their plans for expanding land acquisitions around the edges of the metro area;

> Cleveland's Joint Economic Development District's in partnership with outer areas for requiring the sharing of tax dollars in exchange for extending city water lines to new development sites;

> the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's insistence on focusing most of the road funding it controls into Cuyahoga County (yes, even NOACA!);

> local, state and federal incentives to draw private developers into the city, which locks up private lending dollars that otherwise might have been spent in outer areas.

 

As long as the state doesn't stick its nose in and screw things up to support its rural bias, these things should help restrain the temptation for developers to go for the "easy money" at the urban fringe and do what's best for the metro area. That is, make developments at the fringe reflect their true costs to the metro area. And, further, revitalize what we've already built and invested in, rather than spread the region's stagnant population and purchasing power ever thinner over duplicative, tax-supported infrastructure.

 

A lot more needs to be done, but these are very positive steps!

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Hugely encouraging. Jackson might be letting us down on the Innerbelt, but I'm very impressed by how he's making regional cooperation a top priority. He's barely in office, and already this. :clap:

 

By the way, has anyone been named to the regionalism czar post yet?

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Go North Royalton! Thank goodness *someone* is still representing that isolationist view that got us into this wasteful mess in the first place! :roll:

 

Otherwise, glad to see this picking up steam.

 

Suburbs study value of merged fire departments

Friday, March 10, 2006

V. David Sartin

Plain Dealer Reporter

Olmsted Falls will become the sixth southwest Cuyahoga County suburb to join a $250,000 study on merging fire departments and emergency medical services.

 

Berea, Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, Parma and Parma Heights began discussions last year about a merger.

 

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com

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  I wish Cleveland could jump in on this as well....but the city won't even merge EMS and Fire Departments within its own city, so how could anyone think Cleveland could regionalize with the suburbs?

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Mayor Jackson has withdrawn the offer of employment to Michael Montgomery as the city's first director of regional development. Jackson cited in a press release today Montgomery's failure to disclose his arrest for soliciting a prostitute in Oakland several years ago.

 

Not exactly the best way to get regionalism off the ground in Greater Cleveland!

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This sounds a bit like the ED/GE program they have in Montgomery County....I wouldnt call it 'regional' as its just one county, it is fairly broad-based as a way of getting the city and the inner and outer suburbs to work together.

 

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I think all of Ohio should do it. Make 5 regions sharing tax revenues. NW,NE,Central,SW,SE Ohio. So many things could be done and improved having such a thing.

 

I thought we already did.  It's called state government.

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^ But that doesn't exist anymore in Ohio, unless you want to carry a concealed weapon, start a charter school or ban things like abortion, gay rights or intellectualism.

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^ But that doesn't exist anymore in Ohio, unless you want to carry a concealed weapon, start a charter school or ban things like abortion, gay rights or intellectualism.

 

Anarchy in the 3-Cs ?

I think we're all too passive around here.

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You lead the revolution and I'll write your press releases. Deal?

 

I'm not the one championing "peak oil" and return to the city movements.  I thought YOU were.

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To the best of my abilities, which means writing about it -- here and in the newspapers. While I do champion return-to-the-city movements, I don't "champion" peak oil any more than I champion the sun passing the middle of the sky. But I do encourage people to understand why it is happening and how we can best cope with it.

 

The question is, why aren't you championing the return-to-city movement? I still haven't figured out why you're here....

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The question is, why aren't you championing the return-to-city movement? I still haven't figured out why you're here....

 

ColDay, MayDay and Monte like my photographs.

 

Almost forgot, the day you do figure me out Ken, will be the day I leave UrbanOhio.  :-P

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