Cedar Fairmount Festival

  I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out to the Cedar Fairmount business district this afternoon. It was amazing to see how vibrant our community continues to be!

  Additional thanks to everyone who supported myself and all the other candidates in signing petitions to put us on the ballot! The only way to truly drive change is by staying with the democratic process. Also I couldn't be more grateful to all of those individuals who signed my petition, you were the real inspiration for me today. I hope that at the end of this all, I will have the honor to represent all those in this fine city who would have me.

Finally a shout out to my team (including my lovely wife Andrea) who was circulating with me and supporting me throughout this exciting time!

 

 

Sandy, Oregon - Example of Municipal Broadband

This is a perfect example of what is possible when a city's leadership and its residents look towards the future. By installing a municipal broadband system Sandy, Oregon has seen increases in economic development, increased efficiency in local government functions, and improvements in the quality of life of residents. All of that at a fraction of the cost of "traditional" broadband service!

It is my belief that this is truly the only way forward in the modern economy and that Cleveland Heights must follow suit if it hopes to remain competitive in the 21st century.

Watch it here.

Read the article here

Whistle Stop - Economic and Business Development

Thanks to all who came out to engage in the lively discussion Tuesday, 7/21 at the Wine Spot! Among discussion it was clear that there were clear themes which currently affect the city's ability to grow and thrive. The main things we as a city need to continue to focus on is:

  • Stabilizing and expanding our existing infrastructure including
    • Addressing the still prevalent water issues
    • Laying the groundwork for a municipal broadband
    • Ensuring all infrastructure needs are done in a holistic way aligned with other efforts within the city
  • Ensuring that the city isn't creating more barriers than necessary by looking at existing building codes/ordinances to ensure there is a clear path for new businesses to be able to establish and develop themselves
  • Make ourselves competitive from a taxation perspective.
    • Establish a way for us to stop penalizing people for living in the city and working elsewhere or living elsewhere and working in the city
    • Stop raising taxes and pricing ourselves out of the market driving high income residents and business out of our city.

I look forward to continue these discussions and welcome and additional feedback from residents and others to help identify solutions to all of these issues. As I stated on Tuesday, we need to continue to have a healthy perspective on all of these issues. Nothing we are facing is unique to our city and can be addressed. We are poised to embrace these opportunities to establish a strong, stable foundation and lead our way into an even better future!

Emergency Measures

Here I am, an adult, working 8 – 5, recently married, and evaluating how many constructs exist around me which govern our day to day lives. Since I got married I started to look into the future and how to properly situate myself to be successful and provide for my wife and our future children. This meant trying to understand how taxes work, school systems, public services, cities and the laws that govern them, etc. I approached this all with a healthy level of skepticism and an open mind.
 
One of the first things I did was start to read the charter for my city, which I understand to be the base rule set off of which all the other laws/ordinances/legislation is based. Then I started to follow local politics, how does city council make their decisions, what do they prioritize, how are the people truly being represented in these affairs. Much to my chagrin it seemed like these people, who are trusted with making decisions for me and ~46k of my fellow residents of Cleveland Heights, weren’t following their own laws. I felt it was my duty as a concerned citizen to reach out to the Law Director to confirm. That was over 2 weeks ago and I haven’t heard a response.
 
It is our duty to ensure that the people we trust to make the most important decisions in our lives are held accountable to the city charter. Alternatively it is our duty to start to trust someone else…
 
Below is a copy of that letter.
 
Jim Juliano
Law Director
Cleveland Heights
 
 
Dear Mr. Juliano,
 
 
My name is T. Nadas.  I have been a resident of Cleveland Heights for over 8 years and I am writing in regards to a legal concern I have resulting from the conduct of the most recent City Council meeting on June 1st, 2015.
 
 
At the aforementioned meeting there were 11 resolutions passed allocating funds for various purposes in the total amount of $2,535,355.58.  Two of these resolutions were capital expenses whereas the rest were general operating expenses.  All were passed as emergency measures.  In fact, looking over the history of legislation passed by this and past councils it would seem that most if not all resolutions have been passed as emergency measures.  My question essentially is why is it allowed for all resolutions to be passed as emergency measures?
 
 
Article III Section 9 of the Cleveland Heights charter definitively states that no “grant, renewal or extension of franchise […] shall ever be passed as an emergency measure” and yet all of the above mentioned resolutions appear to do precisely that.  Section 111.20 of the Administrative Code appears to directly contradict the charter with its mention of the “emergency measure” although that same section also provides rules such that no expenditure measure shall be passed without being read at 2 regular meetings.  The latter portion is presumably there so that the residents of Cleveland Heights might have an opportunity to examine such expenditures prior to enactment by the City Council however by using the language of the “emergency”, Council is able to completely ignore this important process.
 
 
Of particular note is that there is no definition that I can find at all for what constitutes an emergency.  There is, however, mention in section 111.03 of the Administrative Code of emergency meetings.  Why does it not stand to reason that given the lack of a proper definition of an emergency that emergency measures should only result from emergency meetings?
 
 
Please note that I am not questioning the validity nor necessity of these resolutions but simply the process by which they have been acted upon.  By declaring all resolutions emergency measures Council bypasses a critical part of the democratic process.  This seems to be a procedural artifact that is grossly overused by Council, one which inhibits active participation by residents and therefore proper oversight of the government.

Whistle Stop June 24 - Water & Accountability

On June 24th I attended my first foray into the public as a registered candidate for city council.

Here is a link to the article from Sun News

The only things I would like to add to this is the importance of finding opportunities for greater efficiency in the way in which the city is currently managed. I know that we are facing a crisis with our infrastructure issues. However I also perceive unnecessary spending which could be shifted towards addressing these needs. As I stated in the forum, water is part of our core foundation for survival, at the base of the pyramid. Without it we cannot survive, let alone thrive.