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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cuyahoga county commissioners: You mean we don't have an endless supply of money to waste?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Tim Hagan offers up kids and old people to take the brunt of the county's belt-tightening.
King Jimmy Dimora and his Cuyahoga County commissioner pals have never been especially thrifty guys. They had no qualms about blowing more than $35 million on the Ameritrust complex, a collection of vacant, asbestos-filled buildings that they soon realized they couldn’t afford to rehab. And they’re eager to dole out $1.3 billion for a new Medical Mart and convention center — civic investment tools that have been failing in other cities for years. But now that they’re faced with spending up to $13 million on new voting machines for the November election, they’ve suddenly become penny-pinchers. Turns out, they were already budgeting to be $13 million in the red this year, and — wonder of wonders — they can’t afford to dig themselves deeper in the hole… In today’s Plain Dealer, Commissioner Tim Hagan is quoted as saying that if they have to buy more election equipment, cuts in social services, such as county-funded child-care, would be needed to make up the difference. That’s right, folks. It’s the kiddies and the old folks who will suffer from our opulence! Because there’s not a chance we’ll cut into our patronage system! Granted, this could just be Hagan’s way of lobbying state legislators to lift a ban on the voting machines we already have, so the county won’t have to spend millions on new ones. But it’s still amusing to see him suddenly concerned about budget cuts, when he’s been happily torching taxpayer funds for years. What about the convention center, Mr. Hagan? Could we put that on hold, just so the kids can stay in daycare? —Lisa Rab


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