Monday, January 28, 2008

Wheels Coming Off?

Once again the Cleveland Plain Dealer endorsed the challenger in the 10th District Congressional race.

I have long thought that if Kucinich had not been in office the last 4 years, cities like Lakewood and others would not be in the financial strain that we are in.

This quote from the Plain Dealer kind of says it all:

But understanding problems and solving them are not the same thing. Fervor does not equal effectiveness. Voters on the West Side of Cleveland and in its western suburbs sent Kucinich to Washington in 1996. But since January 2003, much of his attention has been focused on an absolutely hopeless quest for the White House. In Kucinich's mind, these efforts have shaped the Democratic debate. He insists that if he had not been in this year's race, no one would have been talking about the war in Iraq, health care or trade policy. What hubris.

Remember that he launched his latest presidential campaign almost immediately after being re-elected to the House in 2006. He didn't wait to see who else might run -- let alone what they might talk about -- or to see what role he might play with Democrats controlling the House of Representatives. Instead, he lit out for Iowa and New Hampshire, where voters listened politely for months, then roundly ignored him on Election Day.

The story is much the same in Washington, where Kucinich carries little influence in Congress or among the Democrats who run it.

If Kucinich had not been in office and we had someone who was listening to the Mayors with in the District. Perhaps, the City of Lakewood wouldn't have to be scraping what ever dollars are left in the budget to fix the streets and sewers with more or less a band aid approach. I am sure the residents on Woodford Ave would prefer not to have to wait any longer to have their street finally repaired.

So is the luster finally off Kucinich, is there enough resentment even from hardcore supporters to want to send him packing? For at least the Primary, I think Dennis will move on to the General to face off against Jim Trakas. It would be nice to have congressional race about ideas on how you are going help the 10th District, instead of defending a paper record.

Speaking of luster and wheels coming off, is the Clinton shine finally dulling? Bad weekend for Hillary Clinton, getting waxed in South Carolina, having the Kennedys support your opponent and she is looking weak by trying to get the Michigan and Florida delegates legitimized so she can claim the delegate numbers.

Judging by both parties, Ohio will be in play for the Primary. I had thought the Ohio Democratic Primary was going to be more or less a Crowning for Clinton, but it doesn't look that way.

One more point on Kucinich and the Plain Dealer endorsement, I certainly hope that if Kucinich does make it through, that the Plain Dealer would have the conviction to continue its non-endorsement in the fall, unlike what they did two years ago.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Open Letter to the Koenigsmarks

Mr. & Mrs. Koenigmarks,

Since it was my words on this site that has created animosity, I feel that should it should be on this site, that I offer my apologies.

Once again, let me offer my apologies to you and Mr. Koenigsmark, for the comments made by me on this blog on January 19, 2008.

The comments regarding whether you were capable of working with Council was not meant to be malicious or defamatory. But, Mr. Koenigsmark and others have shown that in the context in which I wrote that statment was precieved as derogatory towards your work within the City of Lakewood.

In retrospect, the comment was supposed to be a general comment upon all of the candidates and should have been used in some other area, if at all.

I have been involved in politics pretty much my entire life and I know what its like to be the brunt of criticism. When I write in this blog, I try to write to educate or perhaps show a perspective that perhaps no one has seen. I try to be particularly careful of offending anyone.

It appears that in the post in question, I failed and I am truly sorry for that.


Tim Carroll

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wrong Direction

There are a lot of blogs out in cyberspace and every so often there is a comment by the blogger about how a posting went a totally different direction than anticipated.

Well I am in the middle of one of those moments now.

I look back at a post (November 17, 2007) about my disappointment in the Lakewood Observer during the 2007 elections and I expected a firestorm of comments from those within the Observer. However, when it was all said and done three comments. Two of them on this site and then an email from someone I have come to respect over the last couple of years.

This past Friday, I drafted a preview of how I saw the selection of Brian Powers as the new Councilman at-Large. It was a post similar to all the other pre-election handicapping I have tried to do. I waited to post it on Saturday the day of the selection, because the selection was going to be behind close doors and I felt that was a good time to release it.

I had anticipated the cronyism charges being leveled against the Council and the Mayor, but what I didn't expect was the response to my comments regarding Ruth Koenigsmark. Which was:
Round 2:Ruth Koenigsmark out, pretty active in the community, but Council is looking for someone they can work with;

Well, a firestorm that I hadn't anticipated began. I was going to let it be and not respond to the comments, because I knew what my intentions were and it was not meant to be negative. I was just going to ride out the storm and let the observation deck 3-day rule play out.
Then Jim O'Bryan responded and I finally decided to respond and defend my comments.
They don't like my explanation, but it is what it is.

I certainly wished they had made their comments on this site, since this is where it all began. Instead they went on the Observation Deck, suffice it to say I feel that I have answered the call there and won't be making anymore comments there, but I will bring them back to this site.

Like I said in the opening, this post went the direction I was not expecting.

The one thing I hope is that those who disagree with me, go look through all of the 165 posts and then judge on the whole body of work, not just one line.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Well over at the Lakewood Observer the cry of cronyism is taking shape, as well as apparently I have ruffled a few feathers with my post regarding the voting on the various candidates.

As well as Councilman - Designate Powers is concerned this issue is a minor ripple in the pond, he can silence it by running in 2009 and winning. He needs to focus on the budget and other pressing problems than to take a swing at this pitch in the dirt.

As the ruffled feathers are concerned, water under the bridge. As I understand how the vote went my post was apparently pretty close to reality.

The way it went down, was that each member of council voted on each candidate and it was only Brian Powers name appearing on all six panelists scorecard.

I would like to invite those who felt offended by my comments on this blog, please feel free to leave your comments here. The Lakewood Observer has enough people arguing between each other.


As to the ruffled feathers on the Observation deck, Jim O'Bryan chimed in with his tsk tsk

Here is how I responded:

I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion when you don't even know my wife. Next time you start making assumptions, make sure you know what your talking about."
Jerry Koenigsmark

Jim O'Bryan wrote:
Round 2:Ruth Koenigsmark out, pretty active in the community, but Council is looking for someone they can work with;


I just don't get that.

Never mind that Ruthie has been a very close friend since I had the pleasure of meeting her, and her family. Never mind that I have worked with Ruthie on many, many, many, many projects. I am always amazed at how hard working she is. With a thirst for learning only offset by her depth of knowledge. Open mind, open heart.

I'll lay it out here, and I like council.

Give me 7 Ruthies on Council and I am fine.

Give me a City Hall of Ruthies.

Tim, on a personal level, more than a little disappointed.

Mr. Koenigsmark and Mr. O'Bryan;

Unfortunately you both have assumed incorrectly as to the intent of my comments, you both appear to assume that I am making a disparaging remark regarding towards Mrs. Koenigsmark. I wasn't.

The working with council comment was a general comment about what one of the deciding factors was going to be. I could have placed that comment anywhere in the post, it just so happened to end after Mrs. Koenigsmarks name.

As to personal disappointment, don't worry Jim, you knew and posted the decision before I got the call from Mike Dever. So, that was my disappointment in you.

Tim Carroll

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Here is how I see the At - Large Vacancy

This is how I see the voting going for each prospect if it were a round by round situation.

Paul Beegan
Tim Carroll
Stephen Davis
Diane Helbig
Steven Hoffert
Ruth Koenigsmark
Edward McCartney
Brian Powers
Dan Shields

Round 1:Edward McCartney out, probably a unanimous verdict on that!

Round 2:Ruth Koenigsmark out, pretty active in the community, but Council is looking for someone they can work with;

Round 3:I think Paul Beegan and Steve Hoffert are out in this round. Mr. Hoffert wanted to stop cronyism in city hall, well he can sit and watch it happen, because this how this selection is going to turn out.

Round 4:I am out here, I just don't think that Council will want to put a Republican on the panel, this is going to be an all Democrat lead city. I am lucky I made it this far. Granted, I could go out at anytime prior to this, I just don't see how I can compete with Davis, Shields and Powers. One interesting note, I did beat Shields in the 2005 Primary.

Diane Helbig is out here as well, if not sooner.

Round 5:Here is where it gets interesting, who is left, Steve Davis, Dan Shields and Brian Powers. Everyone loves Steve Davis in the community, but he knows he is not who they are looking at.

Round 6:I don't envision Tom Bullock allowing Dan Shields to be on the panel after he beat him in November. Its also the same reason Mike Summers could say about Diane Helbig and Niki Antonio could say about me.

So Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Brian Powers as the new at-large Councilman.

It also puts a IVY league educated Councilman back on the City stage.

If this is how it plays out, I will not be surprised, nor will I have hard feelings about it. Politics is politics!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

At - Large Interview Part 2

Well, it took about 15 - 20 minutes. It was an open meeting, there were some members of the public there. They are interviewing all 9 people. They did 5 Monday and 4 Tuesday.

Each council member asked a question, they basically asked the same question of everybody.

Mike Dever - What particular issues do I intend to work on.
I told them the first thing we need to do is get the financial house in order before we can begin to tackle the rest of the issues. But, did go on to state that I would be interested in Public safety and then Housing.

Mike Summers - Asked me about living in Akron and if that is were I was from.

Niki Antonio - What attributes to I bring to the council that may be different than everyone else. I kind of botched this question, but I felt strong enough about the way I answered it.

Tom Bullock - Asked about my time commitment and working for the firm.

Kevin Butler - Asked if I had to campaign today, would the issues be similar to what it was back in 2005. I said pretty much the same just the order was different than two years ago.

We will know on Saturday, they are going to knock it down to two people. I think they want Fitzgerald to interview the finalists too.

Here is how the Lakewood Sun Post viewed it:
Empty city council seat should be filled soon

By Julie Kreuz
Lakewood Sun Post

City Council hopes to select a person to fill the empty at large seat by Saturday.

Council members started interviews Monday for the seat left open when Edward FitzGerald was elected mayor in November 2007.

"I want to nail down a process for the selection," said Council President Michael Dever.

In past votes, council members gave Council Clerk Mary Hagan three names, which were then voted on. This year council discussed whether discussions should kept in executive session to protect the candidates and the council.

"Sometimes it can be construed as a deliberate process to choose and not choose," said Ward 1 Councilman Kevin Butler.

Council will be able to discuss the candidates in executive session, but they must keep deliberations to public meetings, said Law Director Nora Hurley.

Holding a ballot must be done in an open meeting, she said.

In the interviews Monday and Tuesday candidates were given five minutes to talk about themselves, and then were asked a series of questions about what their goals would be as a member of council.

Paul Beegan, an architect for various projects around Lakewood including a converted duplex on Bunts Road and member of a vast amount of community organizations, said he wanted to assist in establishing a budget for the city.

Stephen Davis, who has served on several city commissions and on committees for Lakewood schools, said there were several issues that needed to be addressed but one of the most important would be the city charter, which he said could be changed to make things more efficient.

Diane Helbig, who helped set up a block watch stretching from Warren Road east to Wyandotte Avenue and from Lakewood Heights Boulevard north to Madison Avenue after an armed robbery occurred on Athens Avenue in 2007, said her main priorities would be safety and children.

Stephen Hoffert, who was the unit manager for the Wastewater Treatment Facility for the city, said he wanted to use a hardlined approach that didn't put up with "crony-ism" and would use public resources as efficiently as possible.

Tim Carroll, who ran for a seat on council in 2006 and is well known by current council members for his involvement, said he wanted to use a customer service approach for residents.

Ruth Koenigsmark, with a background of 22 years in human resources management and who has worked closely with many community groups including Lakewood Commission on Aging, said economic growth, safety issues and making residents feel they have a connection to the new council are important to her.

Edward McCartney, who has studied religion, law and politics independently, is interested in making Lakewood focused on faith.

Brian Powers, a graduate of Harvard Law School and member of community groups such as Campaign for Lakewood's Future, said fiscal balance and protecting the safety of residents would be his goals.

Daniel Shields, who has been a member of various community groups including Lakewood Charter Review Commission and who ran for the Ward 3 council seat in 2007, said he would focus on safety and economic growth to prevent foreclosures and empty storefronts.

I emailed the Sun Post about correcting the year I ran.

Monday, January 14, 2008

At - Large Interview

I had my time before the Council members, I felt I answered some questions well and others not so much.

I won't go into much detail right now, because there are still a few more candidates to interview.

All 9 Candidates are to be interviewed. Which was different than what I was told on Saturday, but that is okay, it levels the playing field.

Suffice it to say, I should know the outcome by next week.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Council at Large Vacancy - Part II

In the Lakewood Sun Post, they identify all the individuals who have submitted their names for consideration for the post.

There are nine in all, that is down from what I was told in an earlier post.

Some familiar names from the recent elections, others are familiar due to their civic activism. There are couple of names that don't jump out to me.

Paul Beegan
Tim Carroll
Stephen Davis
Diane Helbig
Steven Hoffert
Ruth Koenigsmark
Edward McCartney
Brian Powers
Dan Shields

Interesting list, there are a few names that I had anticipated being here, but surprisingly they didn't submit.

We shall see how this plays out!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Presidential quiz

I took a quiz to see who aligns with my thinking on various issues, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I have taken other so called quizzes, the results all came up with different names.

If you want to see where you fall, click the link at the end of the list.

70% Fred Thompson
69% Tom Tancredo
69% Mitt Romney
64% John McCain
64% Mike Huckabee
51% Rudy Giuliani
49% Ron Paul
48% Bill Richardson
39% Barack Obama
39% John Edwards
39% Hillary Clinton
36% Chris Dodd
35% Joe Biden
29% Mike Gravel
27% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Sunday, January 06, 2008


So was one of the quotes from the Inaugural speech of Mayor Edward FitzGerald.

I attended the swearing in ceremony to hear the thoughts of the new Mayor as to his vision of Lakewood under his watch.

I was not sure as to what to expect as I walked into the Masonic Temple on Detroit Avenue. I arrive early to ensure a seat and to watch the who would be in attendance.

I walked in behind Senator Sherrod Brown, who was conducting the oath of office. And so the Democratic Party Parade began. State Senator Dale Miller and State Representative Mike Skindell were in attendance along with many other candidates or former office holders.

Ward Councilmen Butler and Bullock and Councilwomen Madigan were also being sworn in, but newly elected Councilman Mike Summers apparently had previous commitment and was unable to be at the ceremony.

The program moved along to the main event, the swearing in of Ed Fitzgerald and then he gave his inaugural address.

FitzGerald’s opening comments were, “Lakewood is not the only city facing difficult times”, he went on and said that some of those cities will fail, some will flounder and the rest will prevail. “It is everyone’s responsibility in Lakewood to see to it that it prevailed.

The new Mayor struck some very positive cords with a comment that we are not going to wait to implement things like past administrations. He also indicated that the old line of “that's the way its been done” will not be tolerated at City Hall.

He indicated that he will not have a 100 day process, trying to implement changes than sitting on the laurels to see how things work, he intends to evaluate things on a constant basis.

In very general terms he laid out what he hopes for the City by the time it celebrates is 100th Birthday. Essentially, he indicated that he want the city safe, the finances secure and sound, stable housing market etc. It really was a 30 second repeat of the campaign themes.

He indicated that the campaign became bigger than himself and would hope that his administration will do the same.

Closing out his speech, with some inspired lines such as “Every Resident is an Ambassador” and that “we are a real city, not a developer’s idea of what a community should be”

Finally, “the next chapter of Lakewood’s History is yet to be written. Let’s make it a chapter worth reading!

All in all I thought the speech was well done, he kept it brief and in fact the whole ceremony was quickly done.

Let's hope some of Fitzgerald's ideas and plans aren't done as quickly as the ceremony.

Council At Large vacancy

As I have previously stated there is a vacancy on the Lakewood City Council and I have also stated that Dan Shields has submitted his name for the position. I spoke with Mary Hagen, the Clerk of Council yesterday and she indicated that 15 names have been submitted.

Truth be told, I submitted my name as well.

To what do I owe my chances - fairly slim, but we shall see.