Desperation drives merger in East Cleveland
On Wednesday, a different kind of “regionalization” plan was kicked off in Cleveland:
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton took the first step Wednesday toward a possible merger with the city of Cleveland – submitting petitions in support of the initiative with about 1,600 signatures to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
Source: East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton submits petitions seeking merger with Cleveland | cleveland.com
For those of you who don’t know Cleveland well, it’s a lot like Dayton- a sprawling center city- with a first ring of suburbs- and then exurbs that stretch a long way.
One of my earliest memories, living in East Cleveland, is looking out our 8th floor apartment windows- at a burning skyline. It was the riots, and it wasn’t pretty. We had armed National Guardsmrn outside our front doors in the aftermath. East Cleveland overlooked Hough, Glenville and Collinwood – all of which burned at one time or another between 1966 and 1970.
East Cleveland, by the time I was in high school at neighboring Cleveland Heights, was predominantly black. Cleveland Heights was probably 25% black when I graduated in 1980, and by 2000 was close to 90% black.
Yet, each suburb had to support its own infrastructure. Schools with School Boards, City Halls with Mayors, Managers and Police Chiefs. Finally, someone realized, we’ve got way too many chiefs for the Indians to keep supporting:
“We know that the costs of running the city infrastructure continue to go up, while revenues continue to diminish,” Norton said. “In these elected offices … we must understand that the analysis will sometimes show us that the best way to provide an acceptable quality of service is to have someone else do it.”
Damn. Gary Norton, you get it. Because electing people without any possible way to do the job isn’t really public service- it’s public debt load.
This kind of regionalization would make a lot more sense in Dayton, if we only had some competent leadership. Why Moraine hasn’t merged with Kettering? West Carrollton with Miamisburg? Or Trotwood with Dayton is beyond me. Just cutting the duplication of services and consolidating offices would probably add a decade or two before the inevitable bankruptcies occur.
To watch in today’s paper as Moraine, which can’t afford to give away any taxes:
“Moraine has offered the direct mail company that started in the mid-1980s a five-year forgivable loan to move to the Dryden site”…
In return, the company would be “incurring payroll subject to income taxation by the city in the aggregate amount of $2 million per annum, continuing during each of the next five years,” according to the contract.
“What they would be doing is bringing over their existing jobs,” Moraine Economic Development Director Michael Davis said.
And voila- shrinking taxes for Dayton, and Moraine gives away an undisclosed amount- because Dayton Mailing Services “might add jobs.”
This isn’t sustainable. It isn’t in the best interests of the region. And, it gives Dayton Mailing Services an unfair advantage over other mailing houses (the few that are left) who aren’t getting handouts.
We have too many jurisdictions, too many different rules, too complex a system that costs way more than it should. Unfortunately, with term limits on Statehouse offices, we’ll never be able to give someone enough time to re-work the patchwork mess we have now into a logical quilt of right sized jurisdictions.
It will be interesting to watch what happens in East Cleveland. It won’t be interesting to watch the doomed proposition for merging Dayton with the county.
A little history lesson is in order as to why Moraine would never become part of Kettering…
In the early 1950’s, as developers were building in the Southern Hills area of Van Buren Township, Dayton decided they wanted to get greedy and annex the area in order to expand their tax base because people were deciding they didn’t want to live in the city limits.
The surefire way to prevent annexation by Dayton was – you guessed it – incorporation as a discrete entity. But instead of just making Southern Hills a city in its own right, they decided to incorporate the entirety of Van Buren Township into what we now know as Kettering. The residents of the western portion wanted nothing to do with this new entity (presumably they voted against incorporation) and seceded from Kettering… creating Moraine.
This is the exact way Riverside was created from Mad River Township, and Trotwood merging with Madison Township… when faced with annexation by Dayton, they gave Dayton City Hall the proverbial bird for a reason.
Moraine, with the recent investment in Fuyao and soon to have a decent tax base again… why would they want to merge with Kettering again?
No way I would want to annex East Cleveland!!!!
The center city of Dayton has many, many serious and deeply embedded problems (read this blog for a few examples). Until these problems are rectified, none of the more prosperous suburbs will remotely consider merging with Dayton in any way, shape, form or fashion.
Sorry Dayton, but you’re on your own.
True Dayton is running things they way they want; right or wrong they do not care but how they run the horse and pony show.
Problem is no one wants Dayton for a good reason with all the problems. If anything if someone wants to fix things Dayton should be taken over by another entity but of course this will never happen unless funds run dry which could happen and the powers to be give it up willingly.
Moraine should also be taken over centralized by someone else. Even with cuts to budget there is still overpaid staff that do little for the citizens and believe they are the center of the universe; they stand in a grey area with no real school district as it should of stayed a township but they live in their fantasy world all their own along with things that need looking into on so many levels.
How about they ask many of us how to run things more efficient, fair and equitable in the first place; oh yes, of course, they know what is best for us and our tax dollars.
For a nearby version of this look down I-75 at Lincoln Heights…..got some national attention recently (this across I-75 from the GE plant)
Up in Detroit there is Highland Park, which is probably in worse shape than even Detroit.
And for Pittsburgh there is Braddock (sort of famous for its eccentric mayor)….
There are 300+ elected officials in Montgomery County (rough count from BOE list). There are 537 elected officials in Washington D.C.
Merging Dayton with any suburb or the county will not reduce crime. It won’t make anyone want to buy an over priced loft in downtown Dayton. It won’t make a Kroger’s Market Place magically appear on Monument Ave. Using viable suburbs to pay for Dayton’s life support is not the answer.