State of the County '14

State of the County '14

Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 12, 2014

Join reporters from the Northeast Ohio Media Group and Cleveland Scene, as well as politicians and other political leaders to analyze and discuss Ed FitzGerald's State of the County speech on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.  More information coming soon!  

Conversation Starter

What do you expect will be the most important themes in FitzGerald's State of the County address?  Do you think there will be any surprises?  

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What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-07-25T18:38:42+00:00
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Elizabeth Stiles
on Feb 21, 2014
"This forum seems to be morphing between reactions to the speech and reactions to the candidate...."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Also, Henry Gomez's analysis is here.  "
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"So the theme of some of the criticism/support is that FitzGerald has not done much, and has left..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"It's an interesting line of criticism.  Is the work of government ever done?  Or is the..."
Cynthia Lieberman Demsey
on Feb 19, 2014
"I agree that Fitzgerald has accomplished a great deal during his tenure and has left the..."
Elizabeth Stiles
on Feb 19, 2014
"I might be more interested than some of the other voters in nerdy stuff like how the County is..."
Andrew Tobias
on Feb 19, 2014
"If I'm feeling industrious later, I can try to post some cleveland.com links in which we've..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Elizabeth, with the academic perspective! Are you saying that as an academic, you liked the..."
Elizabeth Stiles
on Feb 19, 2014
"I liked Fitzgerald's talk today which worries me a little!  I like it when politicians talk about..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"We perhaps could use fact-checkers, or status-checkers, for that laundry list that he gave of..."
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Despite that, though, there wasn't much context in the speech w/r/t projects or things he's..."
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014
""The problem in judging his legacy is that many of the things he has started have yet to be fully..."
Andrew Tobias
on Feb 19, 2014
"Hi Andrew. I think FitzGerald has a clear record to point to with substantial policy initatives,..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Also, videos in a State of the (government entity) speech.  Effective?  "
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Well if not here, in the State of the County speech, then where?  "
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"One of FitzGerald's first lines was, "It is results that inspire confidence."  Has the county -..."
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014
"It's definitely a) a priority and b) one that will make a difference. Another question is how..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Eric just opined that the big new takeaway was the housing initiative - getting $50m in bond..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"It was completely retrospective; a goodbye to the county?"
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Less timid w/r/t his role as a local leader and potential state leader. I've known FitzGerald to..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Fiery?"
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014
"For an outgoing leader with eyes on bigger offices, I thought today's speech would be a little..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014
"I'm sitting here with Eric Sandy, and we're digesting the SOTC address.  What were YOUR initial..."
Nick Martin
on Feb 19, 2014
"It's worth noting--as we wait for the SOTC to begin--that the venue (the new Convention Center)..."
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014
"Andrew's article this morning seems to sum up FitzGerald's approach quite well. The county exec..."
Andrew Tobias
on Feb 18, 2014
"Hey Andrew. And hi everyone. I actually have a pretty good idea what FitzGerald's going to talk..."

Andrew Samtoy

Andrew Samtoy - 2017-07-25T18:38:42+00:00 - "Join reporters from the Northeast Ohio Media Group and Cleveland Scene, as well as politicians..."

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Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 4:29 pm

So the theme of some of the criticism/support is that FitzGerald has not done much, and has left a lot of loose ends.  True?  

 

Responses(2)

Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014

Also, Henry Gomez's analysis is here.  

 
Elizabeth Stiles
on Feb 21, 2014

This forum seems to be morphing between reactions to the speech and reactions to the candidate.  In that vein, under-emphasized so far is the change in tone and approach at the County level of government.  We should remember the chaos and confusion that reigned after the scandals broke (visions of FBI raids should be easily recallable).  Fitzgerald's leadership has been critical during the transition.  Think of all the things that could have gone wrong in the wake of that crisis (that many folks were predicting).  Worst of all may have been just a return to business as it had been done.  Instead, the County is emerging as a relevant regional leader, seems to have reasonably functional relationship with the City of Cleveland and is playing a coordinating role when possible among the 59 local units of government in the County.

 
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Cynthia Lieberman Demsey
on Feb 19, 2014 - 3:55 pm

I agree that Fitzgerald has accomplished a great deal during his tenure and has left the foundation for the future with many of his initiatives.  The number of innovative plans and policies he has put into place is admirable.  Whether they will be fully executed as planned is impossible to determine at this point but certainly Greenspan's comment of "unfinished business" is harsh without any merit.  It is noteworthy to point out the wide range of initiatives in place which cover infrastructure to social service programs. Fitzgerald has done so much to move the county forward.

Walking out of the Convention Center and looking down Lakeside Ave, is evidence of real change.

 

 

Responses(1)

Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014

It's an interesting line of criticism.  Is the work of government ever done?  Or is the FitzGerald administration susceptible to this criticism for some reason?  

 
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Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 2:27 pm

Also, videos in a State of the (government entity) speech.  Effective?  

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 2:10 pm

One of FitzGerald's first lines was, "It is results that inspire confidence."  Has the county - either as described in his speech or in your experience - gotten results?  

 

Responses(5)

Andrew Tobias
on Feb 19, 2014

Hi Andrew. I think FitzGerald has a clear record to point to with substantial policy initatives, a few of which are quite innovative. The problem in judging his legacy is that many of the things he has started have yet to be fully implemented, and he's trying to tie everything up before he leaves. County Councilman Dave Greenspan, who's kind of the media's 'go-to' FitzGerald Republican critic, was talking to reporters about the speech after it was over. He applied the "unfinished business" meme to paint FitzGerald's approach to governing here as fickle and superficial.

 
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014

"The problem in judging his legacy is that many of the things he has started have yet to be fully implemented..."

Important to remember for the time being

 
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014

Despite that, though, there wasn't much context in the speech w/r/t projects or things he's started as county exec. Outside of a search through online news articles, it'd be tough to walk away from this one as an average, everyday voter and be remotely more informed than you were on the way in.

I'm thinking, for instance, of the emergency ops center in Broadview Heights. Rather than articulate the center's purpose, cost and status (in, like, one additional minute of speechtime), FitzGerald opted simply to skim across the headline.

The whole speech needed more mustard on it, as some of my golf-playing compatriots might say.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014

We perhaps could use fact-checkers, or status-checkers, for that laundry list that he gave of accomplishments.  I tried to get some down:

 

  • Consumer affairs department
  • Hotline number for seniors
  • Veterans ID card service
  • Regional crime lab
  • Standardized policies to train for victims of sexual assault
  • Health and wellness issues
  • Public/private partnerships for Lake Erie health
  • Renewable energy industry
  • Admin backlog
  • Unclaimed funds
  • Local infrastructure investments - $60m
  • Contaminated property 
  • Youth engagement
  • Missing persons initiative
  • Voter rights lawsuits
  • IT overhaul
  • E-filing court cases
  • Reentry programs
  • Get veterans into renovated houses
 
Andrew Tobias
on Feb 19, 2014

If I'm feeling industrious later, I can try to post some cleveland.com links in which we've written about many of these topics. FWIW, it broadly all rang true to me, but I have no idea over some of the specifics (most credentialed medical examiner office in the state).

 
Expand This Thread
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 1:54 pm

Eric just opined that the big new takeaway was the housing initiative - getting $50m in bond capacity to tear down, protect or restore houses.  Is this a priority that will make a difference in our communities?  

 

Responses(2)

Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014

It's definitely a) a priority and b) one that will make a difference. Another question is how might the county plan on defining "protect and restore"? Demolishing homes, sure, yes, that needs to happen in many certain cases. I'm wondering what the next step is. And FitzGerald didn't *really* get into that. Should he have in this forum? I don't know. But it's something that should be talked about and reported on openly and often.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014

Well if not here, in the State of the County speech, then where?  

 
Expand This Thread
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 1:41 pm

For an outgoing leader with eyes on bigger offices, I thought today's speech would be a little more fiery. Oh well. FitzGerald's brand, of course, is fairly sturdy in Cuyahoga County already, but this seems like the last big soap-box moment for him locally. It could have been used to take up the sword a big more strongly - against Kasich? maybe. for the county? sure. Neither really happened.

Positive takeaways inclue the development of a more robust emergency services sysem/network (readynotify.cuyahoga.us, I believe) and the $50-million in bonding he hopes to toss toward the Housing Problem. The latter should be picked up with gusto by whomever fills his seat this fall.

 

Responses(6)

Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014

Less timid w/r/t his role as a local leader and potential state leader. I've known FitzGerald to be a fairly good orator in his time here. He could been stronger, rather than taking mostly subtle digs at Kasich and/or dishing up a highlight reel for people who already know most of the headlines.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014

It was completely retrospective; a goodbye to the county?

 
Elizabeth Stiles
on Feb 19, 2014

I liked Fitzgerald's talk today which worries me a little!  I like it when politicians talk about how they've structured the government, how they've set priorities, how they hold their managers accountable for reaching their goals. So that makes me think that Eric might have it right.  Do the voters want more emotion, more fire?  I don't agree that he was timid but it is important sooner or later to distinguish yourself from the incumbent.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014

Elizabeth, with the academic perspective!

Are you saying that as an academic, you liked the structure, but voters might want shouts and gesticulation?  

 
Elizabeth Stiles
on Feb 19, 2014

I might be more interested than some of the other voters in nerdy stuff like how the County is collecting and using data and the implications of the County's coordinating role with the 59 local units of government.  But when I like a speech, it sometimes gets denounced later as wonkish or incrementalist.  I think the videos might have been a nice antidote to that in part however because they're telling stories about the human impacts of policies.

 
Expand This Thread
Andrew Samtoy
From the Moderator: Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 1:30 pm

I'm sitting here with Eric Sandy, and we're digesting the SOTC address.  What were YOUR initial responses?  

 
Nick Martin
on Feb 19, 2014 - 12:31 pm

It's worth noting--as we wait for the SOTC to begin--that the venue (the new Convention Center) was completed under budget and ahead of schedule under Executive FitzGerald's leadership.

 
Eric Sandy
on Feb 19, 2014 - 9:53 am

Andrew's article this morning seems to sum up FitzGerald's approach quite well. The county exec spoke Feb. 5 at the Shaker Heights Democratic Club meeting and basically used his time to pivot toward his statewide aspirations. In between lines about the past and his legacy today, I'm expecting a) subtle or not-so-subtle jabs at Gov. Kasich and b) political goals tailored for Cuyahoga voters, but applicable to his Ohio campaign.

 
Andrew Tobias
on Feb 18, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Hey Andrew. And hi everyone. I actually have a pretty good idea what FitzGerald's going to talk about (hint: I'll have an article on cleveland.com tomorrow morning about it). I wouldn't expect any new, earth-shattering developments. FitzGerald is only going to be in office for another 10 months or so, so there's not much left for him to do other than to see through intiiatives he's already started. Still, this could very well be his last speech as a politician (for awhile anyway), so it will be interesting to see how he chooses to frame his legacy in Cuyahoga County.