East Cleveland Tattler #24 – Plain Dealer buries East Cleveland’s fiscal emergency story
This is to Plain Dealer Editor Deborah Simmons and Elizabeth Sullivan. Come on girls. Y’all had Gary all up on the front page of the Metro section when he lied that he found $3.2 million in an overlooked Keybank account and blamed it on Eric Brewer. Elizabeth, y’all did an editorial talking ’bout what a good job he done. How smart he is. He a good boy. But check this out.
L’il Shorty just busted a more than $8.2 million deficit in 33 months of a 48 month term in office. It’s the biggest deficit percentage in the shortest time of any mayor in the history of Ohio. East Cleveland’s budget is $17.5 million. L’il Shorty’s deficit is almost 45 percent of the city’s entire budget!
The amount is staggering … stupefying! Dude created a $5.7 million deficit in a record-breaking 23 months when he and council learned about it last November from David Yost the state auditor. It was $1.8 million after his first 12 months. Come on now. This is some big stuff. Page 3? Geez.
No other mayor in Ohio history has plunged a city into fiscal emergency with such a large deficit so fast. Gary Norton – your endorsed candidate’s achievement – is record breaking, and all y’all can come up with is a story on page 3? We bet this achievement guarantees Gary a place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the most incompetent mayor in at least Ohio history. Page 3? Y’all know y’all can do better than that. C’mon.
Looka-here. We know y’all are embarassed … being Gary’s your dude ‘n all. Humiliated might be a better word. Your candidate won by showing pictures of that sexy-assed Eric Brewer all over town. Gary had pictures of his package in his cell phone. What kind of man keeps pictures of another man’s package in his cell phone? And y’all endorsed him. Don’t worry. I have faith that you can do better.
It’s simple. Assign your reporters to ask for public records and learn to read what they say.
Here are some questions for all you university trained journalists. How many public records requests did you submit – as an American citizen paying for a journalism education and writing for a campus newspaper – to determine how the university president, board of trustess, faculty and staff were spending the money you’re now paying back in student loans?
Were you ever at any time guided by your journalism professor to explore and publish stories in the student newspaper about the politics, public bidding compliance, audits and public scandals and controversies of the public employees you were paying to provide you with a high quality journalism education?
Did your journalism professor encourage you, as an example, to submit a public records request to the campus president for his emails, appointment schedule, credit card purchases, travel records, ethics reports, cell phone records and texting messages?
We know they didn’t let y’all do that at the university. All your journalism professors were in the union. They ain’t giving up them salaries, benefits and pensions so y’all can cover them. Hell naw. They ain’t stupid. Y’all paid for it. If you had learned to cover campus presidents, trustees, faculty and staff in student newspapers; or maybe if you were ever allowed to write about campus police and campus crime investigations, all while you were paying to to go to school, it wouldn’t be so hard to know that the best information is in public records.
You missed a lot at journalism school or your communcations classes so your readers miss a lot now. It’s kind of like Gary getting paid $130,000 and asking for a pay raise after he broke a record to create an $8.2 million spending deficit . Conversely, you guys are getting paid big bucks to lose readers. That’s funny.
Maybe if in your heart you got into journalism to empower and enlighten people starving for truth in this world of dark intentions, and maybe if inside forces who sign your paycheck caused you to do what you’re told and just get paid, we understand. There’s lots of information your education has kept you from knowing. A paycheck to pay bills is a powerful motivator. All we say is just don’t act like you do know and insert your uninformed opinions into grown folks affairs when you don’t.
If you’re going to write about East Cleveland or its personalities, past and present, leave your uninformed opinions and wounded egos at home. You screwed up a lot of East Cleveland lives with the lies you helped Norton tell over the last several years, and with your uninformed opinion of the city’s politics and its leaders. You folk at the Plain Dealer share in the responsibility for East Cleveland’s $8 million deficit and the suffering it will cause its residents because of your editorial interference and endorsement of Norton’s deceptions.
Have the guts to show some humility and admit you were wrong.
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