Archive for the ‘Cuyahoga County Government’ Category

UPDATE: Lab Rats Still Learn Faster Than Donkeys!

Today the Plain Dealer has a page one follow up on the private meeting of six Democrat county council member-elect…oops, I meant just plain ole citizens…that elected council woman-elect…oops, I meant citizen C. Ellen Connally their president.  

But these six council member…sorry, citizens…(plus one interloper without an invite) are not sworn in and cannot make binding decisions.  Philosophy or alter-state of consciousness question:  if six not yet sworn in council members meet and vote did anything real happen?   Like a violation of open meetings?

Council women council president-elect…damn, did it again…citizen Connally claims no:

They agreed to go ahead with it because nobody has been sworn in yet and they were not discussing county business.

“We did not violate the sunshine law,” Connally insisted on Saturday.

“We were not discussing the public’s business. Leadership is not the public’s business,” she said.

This keyboardist thinks Connally is wrong.  Section 3.08 of the new charter says this about council member’s compensation:

 3.08 Compensation

 The initial salary of each Council member shall be forty-five thousand dollars per year. The initial salary of the President of Council shall be fifty-five thousand dollars per year. Those salaries may be changed by ordinance at any time before a primary election for members of the Council, but no change shall be effective until the commencement of the ensuing term. Council members shall be entitled to reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by them in the exercise of their duties.
No former member of Council shall hold any compensated appointive office or employment with the County until one year after the expiration of the term for which the member was elected.

These six people met privately to vote to spend an additional $10,000 of county tax money.   They voted to pick one of their group to get an increase in salary.  They did this in private.  

Citizen Connally, you and your cohort met privately and voted to expend funds, tax funds.  

This is our business.

Apparently, labs rats are still ahead of donkeys on the learning curve.

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New Cuyahoga County Council: Even Lab Rats Learn But Not Donkeys

Six Democratic Cuyahoga County Council members meet privately Friday, agree to make C. Ellen Connally president

Six Democrats on the new 11-member Cuyahoga County Council chose C. Ellen Connally as council president in a private meeting Friday at member Julian Rogers’ home in Cleveland Heights.The private meeting came as a surprise because the Democrats had agreed Nov. 19 to choose a leader at an open meeting and called off an earlier private meeting to discuss the president and vice president issues after complaints arose about their secrecy.

Five council members including all three Republicans were not part of this private meeting.

This is no way to start a new county government, especially one whose birth was the result criminal corruption.
Reform minded voters in this county expected better from this inaugural council.  Democrats were–trusted is not the correct word–voted to positions in spite of criminal actions of the county’s Democrat leaders and Democrat office holders.

Republicans are a minority in this county and the three suburban county council members do not form a potent voting bloc against the Dems.  But being excluded as they were sets the tone that this new council wants it known that their input is not even considered.

But more importantly than vacuous token bipartisanship, this meeting is a violation of the charter in spirit.
Sections 12.05 and 12.06 state that meeting are to be public and records available:

SECTION 12.05 MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENTAL BODIES TO BE PUBLIC. All meetings of the Council and any committee, board, commission, agency or authority of the County, as well as any similar body created by this Charter or by the Council, shall be open to the public as provided by general law.

SECTION 12.06 RECORDS OF GOVERNMENTAL BODIES TO BE PUBLIC. Records of the County shall be open to the public as provided by general law.

And skirts the spirit of Ohio’s Sunshine Laws:
From Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s website about Sunshine Laws:

The Open Meetings Act requires public bodies in Ohio to conduct all public business in open meetings that the public may attend and observe. This means that if a public body is meeting to discuss and vote on or otherwise decide public business, the meeting must be open to the public.

Council woman and dubiously elected council president C. Ellen Connally should provide us, the public and the media with minutes of this private and very possibly public trust violating meeting.
These six people are not just citizens getting together to discuss who should be their leader; they are council members-elect.
So, even if these council members-elect are not duly sworn in, they are violating the spirit of the charter and the reform process we citizens voted for last year.

Maybe the first act of this new council after being publicly sworn in is to reinforce by binding resolution that they will always follow all sections of the charter.

Let’s put a stop to private government.   Didn’t the very public perp-walks of Dimora and company teach them anything?

Lab rats learn how to navigate changing mazes.
What about donkeys?

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