Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sam Miller Throws Down the Gauntlet - Reform Cleveland Government

Sam Miller, Cleveland business man and philanthropist, has been featured recently in local news criticizing failed pursuit of regional action in Cleveland.

Watch Tom Beres at WKYC interview Sam Miller here.

Does it take the challenge of an exasperated 85-year-old Cleveland business man and philanthropist before anyone takes the time to seriously consider metro-Cleveland government reform seriously? Sam has been interviewed many times over the last several weeks, but will his criticism of an inefficient and ineffective government resonate?

Though Sam states that he has "no ax to grind," and that may be partially true, the opinions of the City's business leaders are the most important to pay attention to. It IS economic prosperity and a climate for entreprenuership that will resurrect this town. I am not confident that a vision for change will come from government leaders who's positions are defunct and should be disintigrated.

Several passionate statements from Miller's interview:

"'Regionalism', to me, doesn't mean a thing. What I'm talking about is 'Countyism.'"

"Why should Cuyahoga County have 1500-some school buses for 31 separate school districts? Why should Cuyahoga County have 489 council members? Why should there be 50-60 different fire departments, fire chiefs, police departments, police chiefs? Do you have any idea what kind of money I'm talking about??"

"How do you attract business to a community? One of the most important items, aside from skilled labor is taxes."

"We have in affect today, a government in Cuyahoga County that was structured for a million people in the City of Cleveland, and we have the same government trying to do the same work for 475,000 people. It can't work!"

"You don't have to invent a new system! Copy a successful [government]. Columbus is one, Minneapolis is another..."

"We're tired, we've given up, we've lost faith in ourselves."

"Oh, legacies, I don't give a damn about legacies! I've got enough buildings named after me. I care about this town!"

"I throw the gauntlet out to this whole town. Do you want to watch it die?"


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