One candidate seemed to think everything was hunky dory, the future was bright, the citizenry was content and might even wish to consider erecting a new municipal building on public land across from City Hall. He said repeatedly the city was solvent, “not broke”.
That candidate was Dan Ursu, the city's six-term incumbent who seems blissfully unaware of the economic and demographic challenges his city has encountered since he became mayor in 1989. He cited his biggest accomplishment as leading the successful fight to keep the city’s hospital open when the Cleveland Clinic acquired it several years ago and planned to close it. His plans for the city’s future include encouraging development along Curtiss Wright Blvd. Understandably, he was the only candidate who said he was opposed to term limits.
A second vision, that the city is heading straight to hell in a hand basket, was energetically trumpeted by longtime resident Dave Ali, who is in his first try for public office. The former owner of several businesses in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood, Ali sounded like an apprentice carpenter with one tool. He argued that the answer to every problem the city had was financial and could be solved only by was a full-time mayor with a forthright business approach. On several occasions, he added, “If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense.”