News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


FitzGerald optimistic in State of the County Address
County executive reveals plans for new businesses in the Cleveland area
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI
and GRANT ENGLE


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald says he's happy with the county's progress under his administration.
Courtesy of Grant Engle
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald used his State of the County address to announce the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center project has a new name.

The nearly half-billion-dollar complex will now be known as the Global Center for Health Innovation. FitzGerald pointed out that more than half of the four-story, 235,000-square-foot building has been leased to various medical companies.

At Tuesday’s noon address, FitzGerald also revealed a plan to build a new emergency response center in Broadview Heights in hopes of creating faster response times to 911 calls.

FitzGerald gave his speech the same day as Gov. John Kasich delivered his State of the State address in Lima. And politicos expect the Democratic FitzGerald to jump into the gubernatorial race next year to challenge Kasich.  But as WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports, Fitzgerald steered clear of that today,

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:38)


(Click image for larger view.)

County Executive Ed Fitzgerald was upbeat about the condition of the county – not hard to do as the economy improves and much of the corrupt former leadership is in prison. Part of that corruption revolved around a deal to buy the former Ameritrust complex on East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland.

Now the white elephant has been sold off for private development. And Fitzgerald said it will save taxpayers millions of dollars in upkeep. “We took a situation which had become a fiasco; we resolved it. We created a huge economic development project out of it.”

Reserves and fewer employees
Fitzgerald said the county is already in good financial shape after developing more efficient ways to operate. For instance, he says experts recommend local governments have at least 15 percent of their general fund held in reserve. “At the close of 2012, the county had approximately 37 percent of its general fund in unencumbered reserve.”

The county has also shrunk from 6,400 workers down to 4,500.  One system used by the corrupt former Auditor Frank Russo was to hire ghost employees and take bribes for property appraisal work. Fitzgerald said cleaning up that with streamlined systems has saved the county $5 million.

“And were now able to return that money under state law to local communities, both their school districts and their cities.”

Cleveland schools will get $700,000. 

Med Mart goes 'Global'
Fitzgerald also made a couple announcements to the 800 people gathered at the Renaissance hotel in downtown Cleveland.  One is that the Medical Mart has been renamed as the Global Center for Health Innovation. It’s also picked up a new tenant with an even more difficult name: The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society – or HIMSS for short.  The society will lease an entire floor of the new downtown facility.  And that will bring occupancy to over 50 percent.

Fitzgerald also announced a new 911 system for the county -- one that goes along with a new Emergency Operations Center expected to be built in Broadview Heights. The executive says 911 calls now go to one of 48 different call centers.

“Our plan provides for the planning and financial resources to eventually bring the total number of call centers down to four (over) the next ten years.”

Mum regarding the governor's race
The Democrat may be running for governor next year, but he avoided making any particular comments about state government. A supporter in the audience asked him this question:

“Would you speak to us about whether that would be leaving us in the lurch?”  

Fitzgerald answered “no” -- he won't address it. He went on to explain that his aim this day was to focus solely on county issues.

Ed Fitzgerald may not be talking about 2014, but he is talking about 2016. He wants Cleveland to make a bid for a presidential convention and he also wants to bring back the Great Lakes Exposition in 2016,much like that erected on Cleveland’s lakefront in 1936. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University