Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Criminal records be damned, Ward 6 council candidates take shots at Cleveland Clinic

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Tuesday night’s candidates’ forum in Ward 6 didn’t dissolve into a debate over Council President Martin Sweeney’s political future, as some had hoped. But the gathering at Antioch Baptist Church on Cedar Road did illuminate some serious discontent in the neighborhood, which includes Fairfax, University Circle, and Little Italy. After 12 years of Pat Britt, the councilwoman who appears to have been known mostly for not returning phone calls, people are fed up. ... Britt stepped down in January to become City Clerk. Six people are vying to replace her in a special election next month, and four of them — James Thomas, Jr., Yvonne Grimes, Ernest Turner, and Billy Walker — made an appearance at Antioch last night. Once you got past the sight of four extremely unpolished people trying their damnedest to sound like politicians—they make Frank Jackson look like Lionel Richie—it wasn’t so bad. Some of them are also battling criminal records, ranging from drugs (Turner) to forgery and theft from the feds (Grimes) to, in the case of John Boyd, murder. But a little homicide couldn’t put a damper on the proceedings. Favorite villains of the night included the new juvenile detention center, which is to be built on a contaminated sight at East 93rd and Quincy Avenue, and the Cleveland Clinic’s ever-expanding reach into the Fairfax neighborhood. No one can argue with the wealth and jobs the Clinic provides, but the hospital’s not exactly popular with the poor, elderly ladies who are displaced by its development. Turner pointed out that the hospital is fighting to retain its tax-exempt status as a non-profit, “charitable” organization, while the evidence of its benevolence is scant. “I think charity begins in your own back yard,” he said. “A lot of us have been displaced.” “As you take our land, we want to see a part of that quality that you’re receiving,” Thomas added. Tough words from political novices. The question is, can they deliver if they ever reach City Hall? — Lisa Rab

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation