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After a few days and as many articles on Cleveland City Council people I thought I would start a general discussion thread on our great City Council


 

Cleveland Councilman Joe Santiago under scrutiny for help to bars

Posted by kturner May 01, 2008 21:00PM

John Kuntz/Plain Dealer fileJoe Santiago

 

Related content:

Public records detail questionable Joe Santiago donations

 

Joe Santiago e-mail records deleted, official says

 

Joe Santiago's first big deed as city councilman helped get a liquor permit for a bar managed by a convicted heroin dealer, records show.

 

People who lived near Clark Avenue and West 25th Street feared La Copa would bring loud music and rowdy crowds. But Santiago, in his first month on the job in January 2006, wrote to state officials to assure them the sports bar would help revitalize a struggling strip on Cleveland's near West Side.

 

Two years later, police frequently cite La Copa for loud music, underage drinking and permit violations. Five police reports identify the manager as Raed Sadik, who was convicted in 2004 of selling drugs near a school.

La Copa might need Santiago's help at City Hall again.

 

In January, after being cited six times by police for not having them, La Copa applied for music and pool room permits.

 

A police investigation recommended the permits be denied because Rodriguez wanted them listed in the name of Crucita Santini, a 60-year-old woman whose Social Security number could not be verified. Police, including Chief Michael McGrath, opposed the request. Despite police objections, Assistant Safety Director Mary Bounds approved the permits March 7. She signed Safety Director Martin Flask's name on paperwork, records show.

 

 

 

More at http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/05/cleveland_councilman_joe_santi.html

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Cleveland City Council not rallying around controversial colleague

Posted by jdubail May 05, 2008 21:00PM

 

This time, no colleagues are rushing to the defense of Cleveland Councilman Joe Santiago.

 

Santiago, 42, survived a recall vote last fall with significant contributions -- in time and money -- from his brethren. Council President Martin J. Sweeney labeled the recall effort an attack on the entire 21-member body and chipped in $8,000 from the council's campaign fund.

 

But one-time allies kept their distance Sunday and Monday, following Plain Dealer stories that detailed how Santiago misled people about bars he supports and retaliated against opponents. The newspaper also reported about questionable donations the Ward 14 councilman received.

 

More at http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/05/cleveland_city_council_not_ral.html

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Sweeney deletes his credibility

Friday, May 09, 2008

 

Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney says the body can't turn over communication to and from a council member The Plain Dealer has reported is under investigation by the FBI because the council conducts some of its public business through private e-mails that, apparently, aren't retained as state law requires.

 

Sweeney blames an outdated computer system. That's as ridiculous as it is unbelievable. No one except Sweeney buys that - not for one minute.

 

And it's infuriating he'd even offer up such a pitiful excuse.

 

More at http://www.cleveland.com/editorials/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/opinion/12103218714230.xml&coll=2

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Council spent $640,000 on IT upgrades

Technology still not working right

 

Friday, May 09, 2008

Henry J. Gomez and Mark Puente

Plain Dealer Reporters

The Cleveland City Council has spent more than $640,000 since 2006 to upgrade aging technology that still does not work properly.

 

The money was spent despite a standing offer to merge the council's e-mail network with the network used by all other city employees. That move would have saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, city officials said.

 

Two years into the project, Council President Martin J. Sweeney said the council's e-mail system remains so outdated that he has been unable to provide thousands of public messages to and from Councilman Joe Santiago. The Plain Dealer requested the e-mails in late February.

 

Sweeney believes the problem is that the council's e-mail network does not save e-mails that are forwarded from council accounts to personal accounts or that are accessed remotely.

 

But technology professionals, as well as several council members, don't buy the explanation.

 

"When we get an e-mail, the only way it disappears is if we delete them," Councilman Joe Cimperman said. "Even if we delete it, it still stays in the actual nuts and bolts of the system."

 

More at http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/12103219934230.xml&coll=2

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He should be fired!  Period.  He cannot serve the community from behind bars.  He's an embarrassment.  He should have gotten the maximun.

 

He should concentrate on getting himself together since its an obvious distraction to his role/responsibility as a councilperson. Since he can't drive, hopefully he'll take public transportation and lobby for more funding.  Residents wake up and get rid of this bum!


Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed off to jail -- again

Posted by jdubail July 17, 2008 11:30AM

 

For 10 days next month, Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed will represent the people of Ward 3 from a jail cell.

 

Visiting Municipal Judge Mary Grace Trimboli today sentenced Reed to 60 days in jail, but suspended 50 of them, for his second drunken-driving conviction in three years.

 

Reed remained silent during the 20-minute hearing. Trimboli also ordered the 47-year-old councilman to serve one year of probation. He must report to jail on Aug. 10.

 

"I would not say the sentence was light," he said afterward. "I would say it is fair."

 

Reed faced as much as six months in jail, a term that would have likely cost him his seat on council. According to the city's charter, a council member with 10 consecutive unexcused absences from full council and committee meetings shall be removed.

 

More at cleveland.com

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Sheesh, man. That's terrible.

 

People really need to start voting these people out of office.

I don't think people vote or they are blindly voting.  Its disgusting!  The entire council should be embarrassed, concerned and start discussin reform immediately.

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People are more willing to vote for the letter after the name than the person and what they stand for. I can say that on a weekly basis I ask people why do you support "x"?

 

People always answer "because x is a democrat/republican."

 

I then ask "so what policies of theirs do you like?"

 

99% of the time the response is "Oh, I don't know."

 

That's why the same clowns keep getting elected, people think that voting for a party will solve all their problems.

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As far as Zach Reed goes, he is a troubled individual working for one of Clevelands most troubled neighborhoods.  It would be much nicer to have a good role model in the Kinsman neighborhood than a jailbird.  I think he has been given too many chances at this point. 

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^Amen to that. And there is absolutely NO justification for Cleveland to have so many on the payroll - don't give me any BS about "ohhh, but we're able to better serve constituents". Sorry, the constituents would be best helped by not having to pay for a bloated city council.

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What do you mean by "reform"?

 

their way of thinking and Operations.  Agreeing for to do/approve things instead of thinking on a individual council ward needs and how that ward relates to the overall improvement of the city.  I can't find an example of what I'm speaking of but when I do, I'll post.

 

^Amen to that. And there is absolutely NO justification for Cleveland to have so many on the payroll - don't give me any BS about "ohhh, but we're able to better serve constituents". Sorry, the constituents would be best helped by not having to pay for a bloated city council.

As far as Zach Reed goes, he is a troubled individual working for one of Clevelands most troubled neighborhoods.  It would be much nicer to have a good role model in the Kinsman neighborhood than a jailbird.  I think he has been given too many chances at this point. 

I agree with you both.  Kick him out now!  Yet communicate with the residents so they know what exactly is going on and give them an opportunity to participate.

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What do you mean by "reform"?

their way of thinking and Operations.  Agreeing for to do/approve things instead of thinking on a individual council ward needs and how that ward relates to the overall improvement of the city.  I can't find an example of what I'm speaking of but when I do, I'll post.

 

Maybe you're thinking something along the lines of having councilpersons doing more legislating and less day-to-day work of taking constituents' calls to fix potholes/board houses/repair infrastructure? I myself would like to see fewer wards and less "constituent service" that seems to perpetuate the dependence that citizens have on their representatives, and instead, have these calls go directly to the city departments in charge of these functions.

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Maybe you're thinking something along the lines of having councilpersons doing more legislating and less day-to-day work of taking constituents' calls to fix potholes/board houses/repair infrastructure? I myself would like to see fewer wards and less "constituent service" that seems to perpetuate the dependence that citizens have on their representatives, and instead, have these calls go directly to the city departments in charge of these functions.

 

Bingo. The need to go through councilpersons in order to get a basic city service job completed shows that the city's internal processes are broken.  Because the processes are broken, constituents use councilpersons to try to "expedite" their request.  Expediting requests just causes the broken processes to operate even more poorly.  Fix the process so that a basic constituent need can be met efficiently each and every time, and then eliminate the option for expedited requests.

 

I'm speaking generally; I don't know which or how many of the city's processes are broken.  But I agree with the point that councilpersons shouldn't be able to use the "consituent services" argument as a crutch.  Constituent services is why we pay $$$ to the employees and managers of the city's departments.

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You threw out the middleman term, not me! :-)

 

The real interesting question to me is:  If the city's processes were efficient and effective enough and consituents ceased using councilpersons to expedite their requests, is there enough additional work to keep the current level of councilpersons busy & occupied doing productive work for the city with their newly found time?

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You're suggesting that a major portion of a councilpersons' duty (as it stands now) is basically being a middleman!?! ;-)

 

Here is my limited experience with the City of Cleveland, in terms of government and broken processes:

 

- Get a ticket for driving the wrong way down a one way street

- Fight the ticket in court, and win, due to lack of proper signage

- Judge tells arresting officer to follow up with the city to get proper signage (or signs at all) hung

- I also follow up by emailing and calling traffic engineer department

 

I received my ticket in February, my court date and subsequent interaction with the city was in March.  By the start of this month, there are still no signs and I see cars routinely pulled over doing the exact same thing I was ticketed for (like, at least once a day - several times on weekends).  I email my city-councilman and 4 days later, there are signs everywhere.  Strangly, cars stop going the wrong way down the one way street.

 

So yeah, middleman is about right.

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Fannie Lewis dies at 82

 

Posted by pzicari August 11, 2008 08:49AM

 

 

CLEVELAND -- Fannie Lewis, who went from welfare recipient to one of the city's most outspoken and recognizable politicians, died this morning. She was 82.

 

The Bible-quoting Lewis was never one to suffer fools. At one time or another, she clashed with virtually every powerful politician in the city -- often in memorable fashion.

 

More at cleveland.com

http://blog.cleveland.com/plaindealer/2008/08/fannie_lewis_dies.html

 

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I don't think I like this. 

 

Cleveland charter change could lead to closed-door meetings

Posted by Henry J. Gomez August 21, 2008 17:45PM

Categories: News Impact

What's an executive session?

 

The Ohio Sunshine Laws allow public bodies to meet privately to discuss limited public business, a process known as executive session. But the option is not yet available to Cleveland, where the charter forces all City Council meetings to be open to the public. State law allows executive sessions to discuss:

 

• Personnel issues such as compensation, discipline, hiring, firing, promotions and demotions.

• Buying and selling property.

• Pending lawsuits or other imminent court action.

• Confidential matters, as required by federal law or state statutes.

• Collective bargaining, including preparing or reviewing bargaining strategy.

• Security details or emergency response protocols when "disclosure could jeopardize the security of the public body or office."

 

A potential change to Cleveland's charter would allow the City Council to sometimes meet behind closed doors and end a decades-long commitment to open discussion of all public business.

 

More at http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/08/cleveland_charter_change_could.html

 

 

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The items listed in the artice above are perfectly reasonable to be discussed in executive session just as it is in every other city and school board I've covered for Sun (and I've covered eight cities, not including Cleveland). This isn't cloak-and-dagger stuff. In fact it's very routine.

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Naaah, there's no entitlement mentality going on here... :roll:

 

From cleveland.com:

 

Wife of Cleveland councilman wanted taxpayers to pay for examination of her dog

Posted by Gabriel Baird August 25, 2008 14:47PM

 

medium_scoats.jpg

Joshua Gunter/Plain Dealer file photo

 

The wife of Cleveland City Councilman Roosevelt Coats wanted taxpayers to pay for a canine expert to travel to Alabama to determine whether her exiled dog is a pit bull.

 

More at cleveland.com

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/08/the_wife_of_cleveland_city.html

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Cleveland council reduction measure to appear on November ballot

 

 

Posted by kspector September 02, 2008 13:51PM

 

CLEVELAND -- As expected, Cleveland City Council members voted this morning to put on the November ballot a measure that would eliminate four of their 21 seats next year.

 

The charter amendment would allow for one ward-based representative for every 25,000 city residents. Based on recent population estimates, that would leave 17 seats. Council President Martin J. Sweeney proposed the move, which he calls "rightsizing."

 

More at cleveland.com

http://www.cleveland.com/realtimenews/index.ssf/2008/09/cleveland_council_approves_cha.html

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HUH?

 

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

 

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

 

      ward15@clevelandcitycouncil.org

 

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

 

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

 

      ward13@clevelandcitycouncil.org

 

Want more?

 

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Well my council persons email is working just fine.  I'm not being an apologist, but maybe there could be a reason your emails are not being received.  Just because those two emails are experienciing difficulty, you can't say all email address are inept. 

 

I suspect that ciperman gets a lot of emails and he isn't reading or deleting them and maybe his email box is over it capacity limits.  That in itself is a problem.

 

Call or fax their offices and let them know your emails are bouncing back.

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http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/12/cleveland_councilman_robert_wh.html

Posted by John Caniglia/Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Cleveland Councilman Robert White accused of taking $500 bribe

 

CLEVELAND -- City Councilman Robert J. White was charged Monday morning by federal prosecutors with taking a $500 bribe from an unidentified businessman "in exchange for the performance of official acts."

...http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/12/cleveland_councilman_robert_wh.html

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Why does it seem like there are only crooked politicians in Cuyahoga County? I mean, I know politicians are almost all somewhat crooked, but this is ridiculous!

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As if NYC council, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, Dc, New Orleans, or Miami don't have "issues". 

 

It might seem that cuyahoga county is more corrupt because you're interested and follow  what takes place here vs. other cities.

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It really is bad here and needs to be addressed.  For the most part, those other cities aren't fighting quite the same uphill battle we are.  OK maybe New Orleans.  We can't afford to have people wanting to get "greased" before businesses can locate here. 

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