AN OPEN LETTER

Many of my friends and colleagues have encouraged me to respond to a recent story in The Plain Dealer.  This piece profiled a specific portion of work that my firm, The Project Group, has completed while under contract with Cleveland City Council. 

It was an unflattering profile.

In preparation for the piece, I spoke with the writer on 4 occasions, for about 3½ hours.  So I had plenty of time to tell my side of the story.  Obviously, my powers of persuasion are wanting. 

Equally obviously, I strongly disagree with the direction and tone of the article. 

The delicate nature of our work in the public arena creates circumstances that are often not rendered in blacks and whites — but are shaded in tones of gray.  We pride ourselves on the service we provide all of our clients — and especially Cleveland City Council, given my relationship with that body dating to 1981. 

That contract can only be approved on year-to-year basis — after a rigorous vetting by BOTH the administration and the council.  Over the years, it has been approved by 5 different Council Presidents and 3 different Mayors.  Of course, we hope that this relationship will continue for years to come. 

This has been a difficult period.  To my friends and colleagues, thanx for your terrific support; it’s almost been overwhelming!

HE’S BAAAAAAACK: TOM COYNE RETURNS

Tomorrow at 1PM, Tom Coyne will be (once again) inaugurated as Mayor of the City of Brook Park.

For me, it’s gonna be a blast!
For my great friend, it will culminate one of the most improbable political comebacks in the history of Western civilization.
As Brent Larkin, longtime chief political editor at The Plain Dealer, wrote before November’s elections:
“As all the campaigns, in all the towns, in all of America wind to a close, it’s tough to top the storyline that may be unfolding right here in little Brook Park, Ohio.
 
“Ten years ago, booze and drugs turned Tom Coyne’s storybook life into a catastrophe.
 
“Back then, the chances of Coyne ever again holding a significant elected office seemed about as possible as Jimmy Dimora some day winning the Cuyahoga County executive job.”
Well, on November 5th, the people of Brook Park (re)elected Tom as their new Mayor in a landslide.  As Larkin concluded:
“He doesn’t have a lot of education, but he’s smart, tough and street-wise.
 
“And despite his travails, Coyne’s ego remains a sight to behold.  There’s not a humble bone in that 64-year-old body.”
That’s my buddy!
Happy New Year’s all!!

McGinty

Balloons
About 18 months ago, I asked you to consider supporting my friend, Tim McGinty, for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

I explained that I had known him for decades, and that “I have complete faith that he is the best choice for Prosecutor.”

The events of the last 3 months demonstrated why I know that faith is justified.
Ariel Castro was arrested on 06 May.  By mid-day last Wednesday, 07 August, he had pled guilty to 937 charges, and sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.  The 3 young women did not have to testify, and are beginning to reconstruct their lives.
 
And the house on Seymour Avenue had been demolished.
Demolition
Sometimes, the right guy is in the right place at the right time.

LOFT HOMES: VACANT HOUSES SEE NEW LIFE

interior 2The Plain Dealer recently ran an article about the Loft Homes project in Cleveland’s St. Clair- Superior neighborhood.

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank have teamed up to convert some of the neighborhood’s vacant homes into “Loft Homes” — with open floor plans to replace outdated ones and appeal to people interested in modern living.

The open floor plan requires less electrical, heating and duct work as well as far fewer materials for flooring and other interior needs than a conventional renovation.  As a result, a Loft Home can be done for about the same cost as a demolition — about $10,000 to $15,000.

I’m impressed with this innovative way to breathe new life into the neighborhood and put vacant homes back into productive use.  Check out The Plain Dealer article to learn more.