Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 11:24.

How pathetic can you get? Brent Larkin today uses quotes from four City Council members to tell us that Cleveland is in serious, serious trouble.


And as a center piece of the argument he uses the city’s $350-million mistake on the lake – Browns Stadium – to highlight somehow Cleveland’s problems.


As Mike Polensek points out it has no roof. Does he think with a roof it would be filled with activity? The city now has the right to use the stadium it pays for NINE times a year. Do you see it being used? No way.


Cleveland - with Brent Larkin, who actually wanted to be the PD sports editor - and the Plain Dealer, paid close attention to sports in the last two decades. To the neglect of so much. Even now the sports pages are the largest section of the paper. And typically with fewer ads than other sections.


Dumbing down the dumb is tradition at the newspaper. It excels at it.


Anything the sports moguls wanted they got and get. Didn’t mean anything that some of what they got came from the Cleveland schools. Didn’t mean anything that other needs were pushed aside.


What was important to our leaders for decades was that the entertainment via sports, rock and roll and other venues got what they wanted. They got the money. We paid the price.


We still pay.


 Brent has been the go to guy in politics and civic life at the PD. He favored every one of these moves. Without reservation. With no discrimination as to value. Expressing no reservations with how it was done. No restraint on cost. Just do it!


Now he shouldn’t complain about results, or get others to do it for him.


Cleveland is what it is not because of the form of government – a city mayor and city legislative body.


These people don’t make the big decisions. They simply ratify what the business, corporate and foundation communities want.


Rarely does the public get involved. Usually the people are simply frozen out. But sometimes a tax is just too much for them. As with County Commissioner Vince Campanella’s desire to build a domed stadium with a property tax. That was the 1980s agenda. It got clobbered near two to one by voters. That ruined Campanella, a Republican, and his desire to be governor. But the game wasn’t over for the corporate leadership. Oh, no.


The usual suckers – voters – weren’t buying a property tax. That didn’t stop the Cleveland business establishment. Find another tax they’ll swallow. It took years – with Cleveland Tomorrow shifting its sights from the Cleveland economy to building sports facilities – to bring forth Gateway.  Whoop-de-do.


A sales tax on booze and cigarettes. Hell, the little people pay that. Better than a property tax in the end.


We saved our sports teams. We lost our city.


Was that a great deal or what? Suburbanites get to drive into Cleveland, park at a tax subsidized garage, walk into a tax subsidized sports stadium or arena. But don’t get to drink the water.


Changing the form of government is meaningless unless you change the character of our civic and corporate culture.


And no one is even talking about doing that.








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Go Cavs! Go Browns! Go Bribes! Save our region!

What will Clevelanders do to Gilbert if the Cav's don't win the championship this year?

What about when he trades LeBron to another city?

Failure of our sports franchises - the loss of the last great dream of our people - may be the thing that drives unreal NEO people into the streets against the leadership, here - white people - more so than racial injustice drove people into the streets the mid-1900s... and white people are much more heavily armed now than ever.

I met a Teabagger upclose and personal - we don't want these people going wild in the streets! They are really pissed off already!

Go Cavs! Go Browns! Go Bribes! Save our region!

Really thoughtful, Roldo.

Disrupt IT

civic and corporate culture

Not only do Clevelanders not talk about it, but do they even consider it? After years of being beaten down, has the ability to dream been beaten out of the residents of Cleveland? Voters not only gave Mayor White control of the schools but went back to the polls and voted to make it permanent, and our city council just rolls over on tax abatement rather than passing meaningful legislation that would bring it under control. 

I was not kidding a month ago when I said that I wanted to petition to change the form of government in Cleveland. What would be better? I don't know the answer to this question, and admit to a sense of defeat because I know that the real problem is in the nature of the corporate control of the City.




Thank you for this post, but please talk about the crime going on in this region with respect to redistribution of wealth via tax abatement, tax foreclosure lien sales, demos for developers and, especially now, with the planned abandonment/devaluation/theft of property built-into  the PD, GCP, foundation financed "Transformation Plan," which will completely decimate east side neighborhoods and allow outside developers to ram a stake into the heart of NEO with a highway called--the Opportunity Corridor.

Schools and Corporate Culture

Changing the form of government is meaningless unless you change the character of our civic and corporate culture.

Exactly, Roldo--look at Toyota.  For years, it had a branding synonymous with RELIABLE and an employee/management model based on RESPECT.  Following the American corporate model of cut your losses and blame underlings--it has trashed its product reputation.

Look at NEO--I submitted an editorial on the Cleveland Schools to Crain's Cleveland, because the Plain Dealer is beyond salvation at this point. 

My only hope would be that saner business minds prevail in NEO to stop this ENRON-like/Boston Consulting Group plan pitched by a flimsy, cardboard spokesman.

The dome on the stadium

The PeeDee raises the issue again on behalf of whom??

The story points out that the City of Cleveland, us, who subsidized and tax abated this stadium, spend millions upon millions for maintaince every year. Now that the sin tax will expire in a couple of years, the new owners are looking to slow the maintaince fees and make it year round with a dome.

Old story, old battle. Who cares? I just want to know in the end who will pay for it, and how much will it impact the Cleveland Schools?