Sunday, September 30, 2007


With only 24 hours left of campaigning, lets see were this might go!

Next Mayor of Lakewood
Who would you vote for as Mayor of Lakewood
Ryan Demro
Edward Fitzgerald
Thomas George

Friday, September 28, 2007


In just a few days the citizens of Lakewood will vote for a Mayoral Candidate.

Based on my conversations with various people across the spectrum and across the city, the one thing I have heard on a consistent basis is change will be good for the city. The people are tired of a city that doesn't listen to the residents.

The voters of Lakewood have Three Choices:




I began to write several days ago and here is what began to say:

It has been an amazing race for the mere fact that the Candidates themselves have not made each other the story.
This Mayoral Race may be know for the lack of real news, but it will the Independent Observers that may be the real story.

What is interesting is that the Incumbent Tom George has taken the strategy of not being apart of the dialogue with the residents!
In some cases that is the strategy of someone who is comfortable with his positions on the issues. Time will only tell if this was correct strategy.

But now that has all changed, the gloves have come off and everyone is attacking each candidate.

The latest blast from Tom George provides a side by side comparison of the record of Fitzgerald.

Earlier in the week Fitzgerald put out a piece on crime and public safety.

Of course both George and Fitzgerald went after Demro's record and vice versa.

I should have known better that the good stuff would come out now, since there is technically no way to combat any damage that might have been done.
But here is the thing, the supporters are on the Lakewood Buzz and the Lakewood Observer bashing the candidates. To make it even more fun a blog has been started to monitor Ryan Demro and the LRO, its called LROWATCH. This site is hoot and half because the individual who writes for essentially parrots her entries from the Observer on the blog or vice versa. No real need to visit the site since it doesn't really add anything to the discussion. But I digress.

Let's face it, this race comes down to Tom George, can he survive the slings and arrows being lobbed in his direction.

My answer is NO

Tom George has failed to lead this city the last four years, he has managed it well, but has not lead.

He still firmly believes that there are no real increase in crime and that the Citizens of Lakewood are content with his Leadership and will provide him with another 4 year term.

I not sure Tom George is living in the same City as I do, people are scared of the direction that the city is going in. I have been talking to people independent of the campaigns and those in the campaign are hearing the same things I have heard.

Ladies and gentlemen, his inability to listen to the people is shown in his comments in this weeks Lakewood Sun Post, to the point that his comments come across either arrogant or cocky.

Mr. George come Wednesday morning, I believe the voters will revoke you building permit.

The City of Lakewood needs a Leader, not a Manager.

I say in November, you the voters will have a choice between

Ryan Demro

Edward Fitzgerald

I think the percentages will pretty close to the the snap poll that had been on this site since earlier this summer.

Fitzgerald 45+%
Demro 40+%
George <20%
Others 5%

Now get out and get to the polls on OCT. 2

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ryan Demro

As far as I am concern this race for Ryan started two years ago. Others may say it started many years ago, what ever time you want to use he is in it and has forced George to really defend his record and it forced Fitzgerald to really hone is message of change. This has been good for the voters!

Let's get to the issues!

Streets - "we need to get back to the old way of paying for our streets using assessments". Now some people will say that he is raising taxes and they would be correct, but the idea of assessments can make that tax a short term payment over ten or 20 years, whereas an across the board income tax or property tax levy may be 30 years or longer.

With respect to crime, Demro would fully implement CitiStat and Real Time data to aid the Police and other safety forces identify problem areas. Ryan believes that the City should adopt a zero tolerance policy on crime.

Housing, Demro is for enforcement of the CMHA and HUD Housing Rules, where a City can provide a list to the CHMA on chronic problems for the Section 8 housing and get the County and Feds to pull the vouchers for that landlord.
Of course he would build up the staffing levels within the building department to be better able to handle the upgrades if the Building codes. Also, another interesting idea is the development of incentives for current homeowners to maintain the historic features.

Taxes - Ryan would love to be able to roll back the property taxes for everyone, however, I don't think that would be feasible unless we develop some great corporate tax base in which to add to the income tax rolls. However, if he can develop new business and get those already here to expand, then the tax burden may be lifted.

The knock on Demro, is several
1) He is too young to lead this city;
2) He is brash or confrontational for anything to get done;
3) He is a Republican;

For Ryan to move on to the general election he needs to capitalize on two factors,
1) Tap into the voter discontent with Tom George, especially in Ward 1;
2) Get the Republican voters and the conservative minded Independents to the polls and to vote his way.

Coming up in the next post, how the Primary on Tuesday will end up.

Edward Fitzgerald

For both Ed Fitzgerald and Ryan Demro I am going to use my notes from the debate to have them explain their ideas for a Better Lakewood, since the Mayor wasn't there and has not graced my door to explain his platform I was forced to use his website.

I would also like to keep to the main themes of this campaign for very reason that we may consider it an apples to apples scenario.

Ed is running a somewhat similar campaign do what George did four years ago, that is I am not the Mayor, but I definitely wanted to be one for a while.

Let's see what Ed has to say or what I found to be interesting little nuggets of information:

Before I go on, I will state that not only was I at the debate, but I also attended one the many coffee get togethers that was very popular amongst the candidates. So the coffee talk and the debate answers for Ed were fairly close.

On the streets, Ed has stated the obvious "that politics have been played with fixing the streets" and that we are competing for own residents.

On crime, Ed clearly states that there is a "perception vs. reality" with the current Mayor, but what is his plan for the crime and safety: Its 15 Points, I am not going to go into all 15 because your time and mine is short.

The Big three are:

1) Shifting resources so that more safety forces can be added;

2) Create a Neighborhood Policing Strategy, (similar to enhanced Block
Watches - I will bet if he moves on to the General Election there may be the
theory of sub stations coming out.)

3) Cracking down on Section 8 Housing, being the tenants or the Landlords.

On Housing, Ed is all about the crack down on the Section 8 housing by having Building Inspectors dedicated to handle just the Section 8 housing problems. Don't forget he is also going to go after the abandoned buildings. Good solid plans there!

The next is Taxes and Fiscal Responsibility, Ed has a 10 point plan solving the city financial woes.

With taxes, Ed has stated fairly clearly that increasing taxes is "not your first line of defense", he believes that implementing CitiStat fully will help in identifying inefficiencies to save the City money, also the city must be able to stimulate economic growth through the use of Economic Development funds to fill the empty storefronts.

If you remember one of my issues two years ago was to turn multi-family properties into Single family usage, well low and behold its back under a different wrapper called "gaining title to foreclosed and dilapidated properties and convert them to single family home, recreation space or parking".

Here is the knock on Ed, he just doesn't instill a lot of confidence in some people as a singular leader, he has been a good councilman and somewhat responsive to a majority of the citizens, but at times he can drop the ball and then it becomes similar to Tom George's issue, lack of communication.

In order for him to win in November he must two things, communicate his message much better with a little more passion and steal all the George votes to him, which may be a tall order to fill.

If you want to see the multi-point plans for turning around Lakewood, just click on the header.

Tom George

Tom George has the slogan of "building a better Lakewood"

His website and his platform are saying the same thing:

• We’ve made safety first.

• There have been more new developments than anyone can remember, much of it focused on the East End.

• We’ve put more into our streets, sewers and water lines than we have in decades.

• We’ve brought the award-winning Main Street Program to downtown Lakewood.

For the first time in a long time, the major institutions in the City are all working together. Being Mayor is a tough job that requires making tough decisions. It’s hard to make everyone happy. I have no agendas, no ulterior motives, other than making the best decisions for Lakewood. I eagerly look forward to the coming campaign, meeting new people, rekindling old friendships, hearing your thoughts and joining together in “Building a Better Lakewood.”

One of the biggest knocks on the George and his administration is the lack of communication. He often found to be making comments or announcements via the Lakewood Observer or Lakewood Buzz, but many residents are dismayed at the lack of communication when they seek help or guidance on myriad of issues with the City.
The other knock on Tom George is the lack of a plan or a perception of a plan.

Granted perhaps the city has so many different issues in which to deal with an immediate basis it may be hard to implement a strategic plan due to lack of proper resources.

For George to win this race, these two issues must be addressed fairly quickly in the next term.
George can be heartened by the fact that Council may be a bit more pliable to his desires since the possible new Ward Council members beginning in January may be quiet supporters of the Mayor.

The major question remains for after the election, Will Thomas George raise taxes to pay for streets, new police and all the other laundry list of things this city needs?

Want to see more of his platform and see who has endorsed him (basically every typical democratic leaning endorsement out there) go here

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years Ago

It was a beautiful sunny day, until:

Remember to fly the Flag today!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mayoral Debates Initial Impressions

Went to the Mayoral Debate at Harrison Elementary.

First, I must say to the Lakewood Board of Education, well done on the new school, its beautiful and hopefully it will be around for a long time.

I will write more later about the questions and answers, but my initial impression is that both candidates did very well.

The glaring absence of the Mayor was noticeable and based on conversations I had with various different people this is the political strategy for Mayor- Stay away from public forums until necessary to defend your record.

Rose Garden politics have proven not be a winning strategy, ask Jimmy Carter!

Once the Mayor does come out to defend his record, it just maybe too late!

I must say the Mayor appears to be confident since I received in the mail today from his campaign, two absentee ballot applications, one for the primary and one for the general election. Unfortunately, he sent one to my wife, but she has already submitted her application and has voted!

The politics in this city and county just make me scratch my head sometimes.

Back to the debate, all the major issues were brought up and asked and answered some more forcefully than others.

The true loaded question during the debate, was "What in your opinion was the real reason the Mayor was not available for this debate?" Both candidates had very respectful answers and gave their opinions.

The crowd was much larger than I had anticipated, some 75 - 100 people, not a great showing, but a good one.