Cleveland residents should brace themselves for an all-out assault on their intelligence as a scheme to rob the City of valuable assets unfolds in the coming months. Trump-loving suburban manipulators are once again going to attempt to convince city residents that they know what’s best for Cleveland, the city they don’t care to live in, but dearly want to control.
An effort will soon be underway to coerce Clevelanders into thinking that reducing the size of Cleveland City Council and lowering the pay for the job is in their best interest — but it’s clearly not. On the ballot in March will be a conservative-lead proposal to cut the number of City Council members from 17 down to nine, and to radically reduce their pay to the point that no talented or dedicated person would want the job. The hope is that the nine that would be left would be so weak and pliable they would do whatever their suburban puppet masters want.
In this way, these Republicans, largely financed by Tony George (a Trump-supporting businessman who has always wanted to control Cleveland politics but, again, doesn’t care to live in the city), hopes that this weakened political structure wouldn’t be able to stop long-planned thievery.
The airport, Water Department and Cleveland Public Power are the Crown Jewels of the City of Cleveland, and for decades these valuable assets have been coveted by the political leaders and certain residents of the county-at-large. So for years now they have been touting the benefits of regionalism as a way to steal these jewels, but have not been able to pull it off since Clevelanders always wisely respond: “If you want our assets, then you have to take the liabilities with them … in other words, take responsibility for the schools and policing also.” The proponents of a single political entity controlling the entire county (and Cleveland’s Crown Jewels in the process) have so far been unwilling to play fair and make it a win-win situation for everyone involved, therefore no deal has been struck.
And for good reason: in other parts of the country where regional government has been instituted — most notably in Louisville and Indianapolis — the big losers were minorities. The number of black elected officials in those areas dropped dramatically (as was predicted) when the new countywide government took over and nothing was done to restore the balance or political power. Black folks just lost out. That’s why a similar plan was scrapped in St. Louis.
Anyone who doubts the unfairness of county government, all they have to do is to look at the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. While one-third of the residents of the county are minorities less than 10 percent of the 45 jurists on the benches of the three divisions are of color. If the folks interested in regionalism wanted to equality they would move to petition the State Legislature to rectify this glaring unfairness (yes, there is an easy way)… but don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
This is about raw, naked, bare-knuckled, political power. Reducing the size of Cleveland City Council is a back-door way to weaken the City and therefore make it easier for suburban interests to take what they want from Cleveland residents and give nothing in return. In fact, it’s the only way they can pull the thievery off. For that reason the reduction of City Council issue should be dead on arrival with voters; nonetheless, wealthy Republicans (and their angry cohorts) are depending on Cleveland residents to not know what’s good … or more importantly, what’s bad … for them.
For Cleveland residents who champion fairness, it’s about staying woke.