By Jeff Gallatin
For two members of the new Cuyahoga County Council, teamwork will be one of the keys to success for making the fledgling government successful.
Both District 1 representative Dave Greenspan, who represents the Westshore cities, and District 6 Jack Schron Jr., who represents many eastern Cuyahoga County suburbs, extolled the virtues of group efforts during Greenspan’s monthly district meeting. Greenspan rotates the meetings among the five cities and one township he represents, with this month’s coming to the Bay Village Police Station meeting room with about a dozen people present.
Greenspan said the teamwork on the county council extends beyond party lines.
“We’re aware of our parties, but we work together to get things done,” he said. “Some of us can go to lunch together or to an Indians game and we’re not concerned about party lines at that point.”
He said the same attitude extends to working on legislation both as a council and working with County Executive Ed FitzGerald.
“We’ve worked together on major issues such as putting together the ethics codes which are helping shape how things are done,” he said.
He said the willingness to work together will also help them move economic plans forward.
“It’s absolutely crucial to the county that we find the best ways to make the county efficient and ways to create jobs and business within the county,” he said.
During the meeting, Schron referred to Cuyahoga County having about 500 organizations which have economic development functions within their guidelines.
“That’s a huge number,” he said later. “We have to find the best ways to focus that and get everybody working together.”
He said there are ample opportunities for growth and development and noted that many major projects are underway. He cited examples such as the Convention Center and Medical Mart work, casino and other downtown work getting underway.
When one audience member questioned the need for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to have the ability to issue bonds for other projects which don’t directly involve the authority, both council members said the agency serves a major role in the county economic structure.
“That ability to issue bonds helps other projects in the area,” Greenspan said.
Schron said if there were no port authority, employees who work at the Lake Erie facilities and businesses which count on the goods and materials which come through the port would be adversely affected.
“We need the authority to be in place to help keep all that and much more work going,” he said.
Greenspan noted later that business and economic development takes place in all the council districts as well.
“It’s part of our job to help foster that and help it grow,” he said.
Referring to other issues in the county, Greenspan said his district, which currently has about 130,000 people, has to lose a few people to bring it more in the sought after balance of each district having about 116,000. He said one proposal would have District 1 lose Olmsted Township, giving it roughly 119,000, which is closer to the population goal. He said the redistricting work tries to not to split cities in the county districts, but noted Cleveland has to be split because of its size.
He said his district meetings will continue to have specific issues slated for each session, but reiterated people can bring up any issue. The August meeting is slated for Fairview Park.