Don't do this at home: A cram down

Thursday, June 21, 2007

In the new world of economic development, transparency matters.

In Cleveland, the County Commissioners are quietly engineering a "cram down", a quiet political move to bail out the private sector.

The failed Tower City investment has dominated the downtown business development agenda since the opening of Cleveland's baseball and football stadiums.

To rescue Tower City, the business community has been pushing a convention center for over a decade, but the citizens have said "No". (The latest effort came last November, when Ohio voters turned their back on a gambling proposition that would have given Cleveland developers a monopoly position.)

Now the situation is deteriorating even further. Two members of the three member County Commission want to build a new convention center without submitting the project to a public vote.

You know the situation is bad when the local newspaper blogs about the impending fiasco. Read more.

In an important lesson on the growing power of the Internet, the blog, Brewed Fresh Daily, broke the story.

Cleveland's revival -- once the proud story of a national turnaround -- is now threatened by incompetent business and political leadership.

posted by Ed Morrison |

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