Remember when Cleveland defaulted on its debt?  

I don’t.  That was in 1978, before I was born, and even if I’d been alive, I’m not sure I would have been able to say why it happened, or how the city got so bad that it couldn’t pay its loans.  Even now, I’m not sure how the city, or the county, pays for things.  Who is responsible for fixing potholes, upgrading Browns stadium, building the new hotel, and buying police spike strips?  Is it the state, county or city that is putting money into the Opportunity Corridor, and is that money coming from other projects?  What does the city or county have to do with the new chandelier?  Who pays for school busses and textbooks?  

As someone who pays taxes both in the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, my ignorance of these basic issues really bothers me. How the government spends money matters and it affects everything I and we do in this city.  That’s why (this forum) is so important.  

On Wednesday, January 22, at 6:30 p.m., the Civic Commons ideastream is organizing a forum in Speakeasy, below Bier Markt.  Joining us will be Cleveland City Council President and Finance Committee chairman Kevin Kelley, Cuyahoga County Councilman and chair of the County Finance and Budgeting committee Dale Miller, and local non-profit leader Angela Shuckahosee.  This is your chance to learn and ask questions about the process of allocating money from the people in charge of those committees, as well as learn how money is applied for and used by people in the community.  

Information is on our Facebook page; if you have any questions, feel free to email me.  Otherwise, we’ll see you at Speakeasy next Wednesday!  

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