Final preparations are underway for Ed Fitzgerald’s State of the County address tomorrow. While Ed is sure to tell the audience how Cuyahoga County has never been better off, here are ten things you probably won’t hear him talk about.
“Asked by The Dispatch if she felt FitzGerald was doing a good job as county executive, Democratic Cuyahoga County Council President C. Ellen Connally said “uh … yeah.””
9. How Ed is overspending tax dollars to gain union support
In late 2012, Fitzgerald turned down a bid for a new kitchen in the county jail, saying it was too expensive. Then he announced he had found a bidder and the project was going forward. For a million dollars more than the first bid.
8. Cuyahoga County’s first audit under Ed Fitzgerald: late filings, accounts overspent by millions
Questionable contracts, late filings and mismanaged funds. This is not the work of a reformer. This is not the work of a leader. This is Ed Fitzgerald.
7. How Ed lied about knowing about food stamp changes
Ed Fitzgerald complained that “we were given almost no notice that the state was going to change its [food stamp] policy.” He went on to lament that Cuyahoga County now has to “scramble” to make sure 29,000 people remain eligible and might incur overtime expenses to make that happen.
Ed was lying. The County was notified months earlier.
6. Ed’s favorite way to pass the time during council meetings
He probably won’t mention that he hangs out on Facebook while council is meeting.
5. A new policy of being completely open and transparent with County Council
Seriously, when council hires its own lawyer to monitor Ed’s project because they are being kept in the dark, there’s something wrong. The trust issues didn’t stop there. Council has repeatedly told the press that Fitzgerald isn’t keep them up to date.4. What his policy actually is on economic development incentives
In 2011, he trashed the state’s economic development agency when American Greetings was looking to build a new headquarters, and JobsOhio offered incentives to keep them in Ohio. He didn’t like that the company was moving from one city in the county to another.
But then last year, he offered $3 million for a company to do just that, to move from Berea into Westlake.
3. A relaxed policy on the spelling of his name before he does his job
It was about a year ago that Fitzgerald warned county employees that they had better spell his name exactly how he likes it, Edward FitzGerald with a capital G, or he won’t sign the documents, even if it’s an emergency.
2. How he screwed people by sending their tax bills late, and then left them hanging on hold until they just gave up.
First, Cuyahoga County failed to get over 108,000 of it’s tax bills out on time. Instead of taking accountability, the Fitz Administration blamed the vendor.
And now it’s being reported that the County’s call center was “overwhelmed”.
As the deadline approached, taxpayers who showed up to pay their bills were met with lines that sometimes were so long they wrapped outside the building during frigid temperatures.1. Under Ed’s leadership, Cuyahoga County’s credit was downgraded
“Interim County Fiscal Officer Mark Parks informed council of the rating downgrade during a public meeting Thursday morning. He said he wasn’t sure when the last time a downgrade in the county’s credit rating had occurred, but he believed “it’s been a very long time.””
The kicker? He hid the information from County Council for weeks.
So, there you have it. I’m willing to bet that none of these subjects about Ed’s leadership of Ohio’s largest county will make it into his speech tomorrow.