Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Real Deal mini-pieces: Richmond Heights, Nina Turner, Nonprofit Thursdays

   1. Today’s Plain Dealer carries a piece by editorial writer Joe Frolik [“Surviving the suburban squeeze”, page A5] in support of old-line Richmond Heights city leaders proposing a tax increase. Frolik gives not even a nod to the strong opposition of half the members of the city council’s finance and audit committees to the tax increase at this time.

We don’t intend to debate the merits of the tax increase here [Issue 91 on the ballots of Richmond Heights voters], but to call attention once again to the paper’s establishment biases. No one appears to disagree on the city’s difficult financial circumstances but the people calling for the increased revenue have not shown themselves to be good stewards of the city’s finances. 

Councilwoman-at-large Miesha Wilson Headen has raised reasoned objections to the tax increase. She points out that the city has failed to reconcile its bank accounts for almost three years, producing an audit finding of $40,395 gone missing in 2007 and 2008. 

In arguing that Issue 91 is ill conceived, hasty, and premature, Headen also cites the city’s failure to file Annual Financial Statements since 2008, in defiance of state law.

Surely these concerns are worth at least a mention in a column that hawks the views of the city’s long-established leadership.

22. Frolik is also on the bandwagon for fostering regionalism in Cuyahoga County and therefore gives an even more direct endorsement of Richmond Heights Issue 90, which would amend the city’s charter to facilitate the sharing of critical services like police and fire with neighboring communities. This is indeed sensible, so I guess that makes it o.k. to omit any reference to the way the city’s school system is about to implode, thanks to a long succession of school board members run amok with political concerns to the detriment of the children whose education should be their principal focus.

33. For those who take note of such things, the website Politic365.com is reporting that State Senator Nina Turner has filed paperwork creating an exploratory committee to run for Congress. The Real Deal has been unable to confirm this report. Federal election law generally does not require the filing of such a report prior to a candidate’s declaration of candidacy.

44.We will launch Nonprofit Thursday here this week, inspired in part by the interest generated by our posts last week on the Huntington giveaway, but also by a recent conversation with our good friend Dick Peery. So for those of you executive director and trustee types who are not yet regular visitors, make a note to stop by here Thursday morning.

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