Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Councilman T.J. Dow, in Spiteful Farewell, Tries to Impoverish His Own Ward

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 1:19 PM

  • Cleveland City Council
  • T.J. Dow
In what Ward 7 city council challenger Mansfield Frazier has called a "dirty trick," former Ward 7 Councilman T.J. Dow attempted to transfer more than $700,000 of his ward's funds to Ken Johnson's Ward 4.

In a letter requesting the transfer, dated December 28, 2017, Dow suggested that these funds should now go toward capital projects at the Ken Johnson Recreation Center. Dow had stockpiled a substantial reserve, reportedly accumulating the money in the hopes of funding a community resource center.

But shortly before he left office, he tried to empty the coffers. 

"Dow obviously is still pissed off at Basheer Jones for running against and besting him fair and square at the ballot box," wrote Frazier, in a Facebook tirade, "but this desperate attempt was the height of pettiness and folly. How can anyone with even a modicum of integrity try to financially hurt the residents of the ward he has professed to love for so long?"

A recount confirmed that Dow was indeed narrowly defeated by Basheer Jones in the November general election. The 13-vote margin was the second smallest among the 17 council races. (In Ward 1, Joe Jones defeated incumbent Terrell Pruitt by only eight votes.)

When reached for comment, new Councilman Jones said that his opinion on Dow's maneuver was unnecessary to state.

"I think what he did is clear," Jones said.

When asked if he interpreted the attempted transfer as an affront to him personally, maybe even as a kind of revenge, Jones said it was much more than that.

"You're not talking about me. You're talking about the ward, about disrespecting the babies and the teenagers and the elders and the organizations. You're talking about all of those. This is not about me. This is about the residents of Ward 7." reported that Council President Kevin Kelley will ultimately decide if the transfer request will be honored and that he has not yet made up his mind. For the time being, he has passed the transfer request on to the city's law department.

But Jones said that Kelley has signaled to him that he will not approve the transfer.

"I really appreciate the Council President," Jones said, "and all those who saw this for what it was."

Jones said he's not yet sure how he'll spend his ward's discretionary dollars (from casino funds and block grants) but that he feels fortunate to walk in on day one with a surplus. His Ward 7 includes most of St. Clair-Superior and Hough, and there are a number of organizations and parks that could benefit from additional resources, he said. He did mention a collaborative program to provide zero-interest loans to residents to "tackle the payday lending crisis," and a new distribution center for the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, soon to open in Ward 7.   

"There's definitely going to be transformational work going on," Jones said, "and residents will notice the difference immediately."

T.J. Dow's transfer request:
click to enlarge T.J. Dow's final act. - FACEBOOK.COM / MANSFIELD FRAZIER
  • / Mansfield Frazier
  • T.J. Dow's final act.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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 [email protected].

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

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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


© 2022 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