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East Cleveland sounds like a place that if you show up in a nice suit, an impressive-sounding bio, and a slick presentation, and you threw some campaign contributions at the chairpersons of relevant council committees, that you could walk out with a fat consulting contract that requires you to deliver a BS report you copied off the web and only changed the names in it. Sadly, far too many cities, towns, counties, development authorities, etc. are like that.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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East Cleveland sounds like a place that if you show up in a nice suit, an impressive-sounding bio, and a slick presentation, and you threw some campaign contributions at the chairpersons of relevant council committees, that you could walk out with a fat consulting contract that requires you to deliver a BS report you copied off the web and only changed the names in it. Sadly, far too many cities, towns, counties, development authorities, etc. are like that.

 

Yep. I distinctly remember Akron throwing some money down the toilet for such things.

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Yep. I distinctly remember Akron throwing some money down the toilet for such things.

 

Or Cleveland -- about every 10 years we're reminded that Cleveland has a waterfront. Dutch architects were paid in 2005 to notice the same thing as these guys...

http://rethinkcleveland.org/Media-Center/News/Branding-Cleveland-through-its-Waterfront.aspx

 

I think I'll submit the same proposal in another 10 years!

 

OK, sorry. Back to regionalism............


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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East Cleveland sounds like a place that if you show up in a nice suit, an impressive-sounding bio, and a slick presentation, and you threw some campaign contributions at the chairpersons of relevant council committees, that you could walk out with a fat consulting contract that requires you to deliver a BS report you copied off the web and only changed the names in it. Sadly, far too many cities, towns, counties, development authorities, etc. are like that.

 

Helps if you know people too.

 

Look at the stuff that happened in Cuyahoga Heights schools.  What you rarely see mentioned is that Palazzo is the son of a former Maple Heights school board member, who served and was allied with Sandy Klimkowski, a Frank Russo co-conspirator.

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$10 million is a joke for the amount of devastation which has occurred in E.C. over the last 40 years. 

 

Which isn't really the state of Ohio's doing.

 

Disagree. Much of the subsidizing of suburban growth in recent decades has directly and indirectly devastated communities like East Cleveland.

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No-growth sprawl drags open the donut hole wider and devastates the neighborhoods left behind.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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$10 million is a joke for the amount of devastation which has occurred in E.C. over the last 40 years. 

 

Which isn't really the state of Ohio's doing.

 

Disagree. Much of the subsidizing of suburban growth in recent decades has directly and indirectly devastated communities like East Cleveland.

 

You aren't blaming the loss of industrial jobs in East Cleveland? GE shuttered two major plants in the city - one recently demolished, the other long mothballed. Instead of opening factories in the states, they ship it to Mexico and China.

 

Or the corruption in the city government?

 

Or the corruption in the police force? I mean, the city pulls $500,000 in illegal tickets through its traffic signal and speed cameras - and if the city loses its appeals (which is very likely), then it will have to pay back all of the ticket revenue and interest. That will bankrupt the city.

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$10 million is a joke for the amount of devastation which has occurred in E.C. over the last 40 years. 

 

Which isn't really the state of Ohio's doing.

 

Disagree. Much of the subsidizing of suburban growth in recent decades has directly and indirectly devastated communities like East Cleveland.

 

You aren't blaming the loss of industrial jobs in East Cleveland? GE shuttered two major plants in the city - one recently demolished, the other long mothballed. Instead of opening factories in the states, they ship it to Mexico and China.

 

Or the corruption in the city government?

 

Or the corruption in the police force? I mean, the city pulls $500,000 in illegal tickets through its traffic signal and speed cameras - and if the city loses its appeals (which is very likely), then it will have to pay back all of the ticket revenue and interest. That will bankrupt the city.

 

Sure, that's part of it, but these are all relatively recent developments. East Cleveland has been struggling for decades, and there are several other similar communities in Northeast Ohio that are not far off from facing the same significant problems as East Cleveland.

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I'm thinking more along the lines of Maple Heights, Garfield Heights and those cities that are inner-ring suburbs? I know many of those are struggling - but those municipalities have been around for some time.

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I'm thinking more along the lines of Maple Heights, Garfield Heights and those cities that are inner-ring suburbs? I know many of those are struggling - but those municipalities have been around for some time.

 

That's correct. Maple Heights would be the next highest on the list, IMO.

 

I would list Bedford, Bedford Heights, Euclid, Garfield Heights, North Randall, Highland Hills, and Warrensville Heights as suburbs that are all facing significant challenges and could potentially head in the direction of East Cleveland, but each of them also have some assets and potential that, with the right leadership, could help them avoid going down that path and turn things around. But each needs to find a way to stabilize finances, including becoming involved in more regional partnerships. In fact, North Randall, Highland Hills, and Warrensville Heights should have merged years ago.

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I'm thinking more along the lines of Maple Heights, Garfield Heights and those cities that are inner-ring suburbs? I know many of those are struggling - but those municipalities have been around for some time.

 

That's correct. Maple Heights would be the next highest on the list, IMO.

 

I would list Bedford, Bedford Heights, Euclid, Garfield Heights, North Randall, Highland Hills, and Warrensville Heights as suburbs that are all facing significant challenges and could potentially head in the direction of East Cleveland, but each of them also have some assets and potential that, with the right leadership, could help them avoid going down that path and turn things around. But each needs to find a way to stabilize finances, including becoming involved in more regional partnerships. In fact, North Randall, Highland Hills, and Warrensville Heights should have merged years ago.

 

Maple Heights has also had governmental "issues" for decades.  Specifically, an anti-business (except for retail) attitude.

 

They've also been very closely tied to the Russo-Dimora machine.

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"Even if the payoff (to vendors) was a nickel on the dollar, I don't know where they'd get the nickel," Yost said.

 

Wow, that's an incredible statement.

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Drive north on Coventry or any of the parallel streets north of Mayfield from Cleveland Heights and you'll know exactly when you enter East Cleveland. These are streets where my mother lived in the 1950s and still had most of their houses until the 1990s. The abandonment since then is sickening. This has got to stop soon or cancer of blight will soon start eating away at neighboring cities.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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You can see it spreading all along the border just by looking at the conditions of the residences and by looking into the property values. Even if you are in a different city, bordering or being within a block or two within East Cleveland is just terrible. Speaking of, I think I counted 15 trash cans or barrels in potholes along Euclid and various side roads over the past week. I know that Euclid is a state road - can the state at the least take over pavement management since the city is unwilling to do anything about it? (They said they issue $500,000/month in tickets, supposedly...)

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The other end of the equation is Cleveland's house is pretty much in fiscal order. Why would the city want this albatross around the neck?

 

The only argument I can think of is the federal and state funding involved with population increase. What's EC population now? 20K?

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The 2014 population estimate for EC is 17.4K. Amazingly it's only lost 400 people between 2010-2014 if the estimates are correct. I guess the people left are ones with limited means to get out.

 

So EC would push Cleveland back to around 405K. Would that population funding boost be enough to offset the costs of the city taking over EC? I would think major incentives are needed.

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I actually think EC is a bigger albatross around Cleveland's (and Cleveland Hts's) neck as a separate entity.  It holds back UC's potential and definitely has a negative impact on several CH neighborhoods.  I am sure EC has a ton of debt, but I'm not sure whether or not those debts would pass to Cleveland with a merger.  Anyone know?

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I'm not sure this survived the most recent state budget process, but there's also the possibility of a sweetener from the state.

 

Ohio proposes paying $10 million to help East Cleveland-Cleveland merger

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As East Cleveland and Cleveland officials mull merging the two cities, state lawmakers could sweeten the deal with $10 million to fix up the inner-ring suburb.

 

The one-time appropriation would be available only if the two cities agree to merge and could only be used for infrastructure improvements such as roads, bridges and emergency equipment.

 

The idea is being pitched by Ohio Auditor Dave Yost for inclusion in the state capital budget bill or another off-year budget appropriation bill. Yost has warned East Cleveland's fiscal woes cannot be fixed without merging the city with another or filing for bankruptcy.

 

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said the city needs about $17 million to provide "halfway decent" services and it plans to spend only about $11 million this year. The city is expected to bring in $600,000 less this year, $700,000 less in 2017, and $1.5 million less in 2018.

 

"We're faced with major cuts to police and fire and also not repairing any streets or fixing lights," Norton said. "We basically fall off a financial cliff in 2018."

 

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/03/state_would_pay_10_million_to.html#incart_m-rpt-1

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You can see it spreading all along the border just by looking at the conditions of the residences and by looking into the property values. Even if you are in a different city, bordering or being within a block or two within East Cleveland is just terrible. Speaking of, I think I counted 15 trash cans or barrels in potholes along Euclid and various side roads over the past week. I know that Euclid is a state road - can the state at the least take over pavement management since the city is unwilling to do anything about it? (They said they issue $500,000/month in tickets, supposedly...)

 

Euclid Ave is a federal route -- US 20.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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While it may have a U.S. designation, U.S. 20, it is a state maintained highway in the ODOT register. Ohio is one of those states that does not assume primary responsibility for state routes in local government jurisdictions, so US 20 through East Cleveland is essentially city maintained. There are exemptions, such as for large-scale reconstruction projects or when the city is requesting specific assistance.

 

Per Financial and Policy Implications on Assuming Primary Responsibility for All State Routes Throughout Ohio Regardless of Local Government Jurisdiction --

 

"The FY 2010/2011 Transportation Budget (HB 2, 128th General Assembly) required the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to compile and produce a report on the financial and policy implications of the Department assuming primary responsibility for all state routes throughout Ohio regardless of local government jurisdiction."

 

"The State of Ohio Highway System is comprised of Interstate Routes, U.S. Routes, and State Routes. There are a combined 49,078 lane-miles on these routes within the State of Ohio. The maintenance responsibility for these routes varies by the type of maintenance activity performed. The different activities performed currently generate a range of responsibility from approximately 39,700 to 42,100 lane-miles on these routes. This report looks at the implications of ODOT assuming responsibility of the U.S. and State Routes that are currently under the jurisdiction of local cities and villages."

 

The "home rule" dates to 1912 when voters passed the home rule amendment - thanks to a movement that began in Cleveland who balked at having to follow the same regulations and laws as Painesville (specifically noted in the document). In conjunction, the State Highway Department's initial legislative mandate from 1904 stated that the department would facilitate a system of state, county, and township cooperation in the improvement of public highways, and that it could only give aid for highway construction to counties and townships - municipalities excluded. The "home rule" amendment also changed the department - into one that was active in construction projects.

 

The General Assembly later began to designate certain municipal roads as part of the state highway system. Statues began to appear (5501.49, 5517.04) that prohibited the state from construction, reconstructing, maintaining, and repairing such state highways within municipalities unless authorized by the director. Interestingly enough, 2744.02 states that the municipal roads be kept "open, in repair, and free from nuisance."

 

So East Cleveland could be in violation of state law by not maintaining Euclid Avenue, for instance.

 

And 5501.31 states that the department has an exception of adding/maintaining traffic signs and pavement markings as required of 5521.01; and that the director may improve/repair state roads within municipalities with/without the cooperation of the municipality/county. The department can also do light maintenance of roadways within a municipality through a legal agreement.

 

--

 

I've wondered about this for years because some of the roadway conditions in other cities can be downright appalling. This is a new find.

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Northfield Center voted against re-establishing their own fire department after Sagamore Hills decided to pull out of their joint venture in favor of working with Macedonia.

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With that big of a vote against keeping their own fire dept, they likely will be going with Macedonia as well. They should consider doing a merger study with Macedonia. They are outsourcing their policing to the county sheriff so obviously some savings there. I can't imagine Macedonia residents voting against a merger. It would be up to Northfield Center residents to decide if they want to start paying a 2% tax which most are probably paying already to some city.

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With that big of a vote against keeping their own fire dept, they likely will be going with Macedonia as well. They should consider doing a merger study with Macedonia. They are outsourcing their policing to the county sheriff so obviously some savings there. I can't imagine Macedonia residents voting against a merger. It would be up to Northfield Center residents to decide if they want to start paying a 2% tax which most are probably paying already to some city.

 

No way in hell any of those towns fully merge with one another.  I doubt Macedonia would even vote for it.

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For as much revenue as they claim to collect, how is it that they can't be bothered to fill in the trash can/barrel/random large object-sized potholes on Euclid and Terrace (among many other streets)? It's gotten to the point that they are literally stuffing cans and barrels into the holes to plug them up, and I'm surprised that RTA hasn't sued the city for damage to their vehicles. They run in the right lane of Euclid, for the most part, where the buses run - and I've seen them swerve plenty of times to miss the holes.

 

Remember that feel good article that came out from the mayor in CityLab that people praised? Screw that guy. He's only seeking redemption for himself and those that pad the books. This city, as I've said it before, declined partly because of a declining industrial base, but mainly because of decades of inept government. They didn't plan for any decline, and they still don't plan for any decline and plan to continue on status-quo.

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^That was my guess. He has always been fighting a council that does not seem to get it.

 

Hopefully this is one of those "ask for the moon" strategies and they'll settle for something less. An advisory committee during the transition (maybe 5 years) is not necessarily a bad idea, but at somepoint they need to be on the same level as any other neighborhood in the city if they will be using resources the same way.

 

I have always thought that Forest Hills would be a good candidate for Cleveland Metroparks.

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Looking at those demands they might as well remain their own municipality. This is ridiculous. 

 

Edit: If I'm reading correctly Cleveland will appoint their people to sit down and negotiate with EC? Which means that not all of these demands necessarily need to be met? Am I wrong or at least close?

 

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk

 

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