August Letters

History Repeats Itself
Reading Michael Roberts’ article “Rage Machine” (July 2008) leads me to conclude that only the names have changed in Cuyahoga County politics since the ’60s, because the practices certainly have not.

My mother was a long-time county employee, working for two sheriffs and two recorders. She was dismissed from the sheriff’s office for signing a petition opposing the 1969 county piggyback sales tax. All the time she worked for the recorder, she paid 2 percent of her salary to a “flower fund” in the recorder’s office. In all the years she worked there, she never remembers anyone getting flowers.

It is obvious that the Jimmy Dimoras and Tim Hagans of the world will always do whatever is necessary to preserve their power base and take care of their families and friends. But what is easily forgotten is that people of this ilk only can do what they do because we continue to reelect them.

We, as a people, have decided that we would prefer to be bribed with our own money and taken care of from cradle to grave. We cast our votes for whoever can “promise” us the most, promises that are forgotten the day after the election. Should we complain about what our government has become or should we look in a mirror and see the real cause of why government is what it is? The answer, to me, is clear: It is the latter.
Bill Henry
New Berlin, Ill.

A Port Authority
Some articles are painful to read because of the truths they expose, and “Bring the Pain” by Michael D. Roberts (May 2008) fits the bill. How typical that the recommendations of a 32-month planning process,Connecting Cleveland: The Waterfront District Plan — the culmination of more than 200 public stakeholder meetings —are now being dismantled by a Port Authority scheme that’s based on virtually no public input and no objective third-party economic feasibility analyses.

The port’s plan all but guarantees further environmental and aesthetic degradation of our lakefront. Once again a small group of unelected officials skirt the public process with backroom deals, all the while prospering on tax dollars coughed up by that same public.

So, thank you, Citizen Hauser, for fighting the good fight, and thank you, Mr. Roberts, for telling it like it is. And thank you,Cleveland Magazine, for providing the forum for some real civic dialog.
Ken Vinciquerra
Cleveland Heights
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