November 29, 2021

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Public Commenters (23 min)
Tim Sommerfelt  Mark Schumann  Dante Bocuzzi  Mike Finley  Marcelle Nance  Brendan Walton  Brian Hall  Nozomi Ikuta 

Councilmember comments during Miscellaneous (21 min)
Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)  Jenny Spencer (Ward 15)  Brian Mooney (Ward 11)  Blaine A. Griffin (Ward 6)  Michael Polensek (Ward 8)  Kerry McCormack (Ward 3)  Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)  Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1) 

Tim Sommerfelt

Hello, my name is Tim Sommerfelt. I'm here on behalf of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees, Local 1975--the union for Cleveland EMS and paramedics. I'd like to take a little bit of time today and talk about the ambulance fleet for the City of Cleveland, and I'd like to tell you guys the story about spare ambulance X-7.

The distance from the Earth to the Moon is 239,000 miles. Currently today, the odometer on X-7 is 389,000 miles. This means that this 2006 spare ambulance has traveled the equivalent of one and a half times the distance between the Earth and the Moon without ever leaving Cuyahoga County. And understandably, it's in poor condition.

On a personal note, my family, my grandparents, my parents, they live in this city and they have medical issues, and on occasion I've had to call 9-1-1 for them, and I have prayed that whoever shows up is not driving X-7 because it's a piece of junk. And unfortunately, it's not alone.

46% of our EMS fleet at this moment is in poor condition. Some days our paramedics spend more time taking care of broken trucks than they do taking care of people. But there is a solution. By using the ARPA funds to purchase new ambulances and equipment for the Division of EMS, we can rebuild EMS to have a reliable fleet that can adequately serve the citizens of Cleveland. But we must act fast because for every week we delay this legislation the cost goes up because of global supply shortages and an international deficit of raw materials.

Today in committee, Council supported this issue. Tonight, I ask for your continued support to help us rebuild a reliable fleet for the citizens of Cleveland. Thank you.

2:00 Permalink

Mark Schumann

Mr. President, members of Council, and all my friends around Cleveland, I'm Mark W. Schumann. I'm just some guy who lives on Dearborn Avenue, kind of the little pointy corner of ward 3. I've got a lot going on, but I'm here tonight to share my calculation of the optimal city contribution on Ordinance 844-2021, with the Gateway Economic Development Corporation and the Guardians.

So over the weekend, I ordered out for a pizza with with my friend. His name is, we'll just call him Armond. And Armond and I split a pizza, and we split it fairly. I paid for my half and then I paid for half of Armond's half. That's totally fair right? Right?

Well that's what's going on here between the city and the county. The deal as you wrote it calls for the people of Cuyahoga County to pay about eight bucks per person per year for the ballpark. And that's them but it's actually us paying for half of the pizza. Then the people of Cleveland are each paying about 22 bucks per person per year, which is not only more, but it's also paying for the pizza again.

You're nodding. I haven't seen anybody vote no yet. So let's do the math. The city contribution is about eight and a half million a year. City's got 372,000 people, and that comes out to $22.63 per person per year. The county contribution is about 10 million per year. 1.2 million people. It's under 10 bucks a year, right?

So let's simplify this. The main point is that every city resident is already a county resident-- we're already paying for this thing. Bottom line, you know this is a bad deal. You already know this. Do you not know this? I thought you knew this.

You, Mr. President, you and the members of Council have a responsibility to protect the people's interests here, and you're not even exhibiting the basic due diligence of buying a pizza. The only reasonable amount for the city to contribute to the Progressive Field project is zero. Right here, right now, we've got no business ordering any kind of pizza and at the very least we shouldn't be paying for it twice. Vote no on 844.

2:41 Permalink

Dante Bocuzzi

Hi, good evening. My name is Dante Bocuzzi. I own a bunch of restaurants here in town, and I'm glad to be back. It's been about 10 years since I came back, and it's exciting to be a part of this growing city.

I'm here tonight in support of the Cleveland Guardians and Progressive Field in renewing this contract. It's been a huge, huge benefit to the city of Cleveland. It's all the small businesses.

For me personally, I have a location a restaurant in the stadium in Progressive Field. Just to be part of the excitement and going down there for the World Series and making 800 pizzas, and just to be a part of this great thing that this city has.

I do a lot of the catering for the Indians themselves, for the visiting teams. Just in this past year it's been probably over a hundred thousand dollars in sales just coming through and supporting all these people. We employ I would say at least over 300 people within all the restaurants. I just opened a new location down on East 4th, which is right there in the heart of Downtown. And I think it's great because you can see how everything is slowly coming back. The tourism is coming back, people are coming back, and once again just to be a part of this this great process.

Because of the Guardians, that's how my whole brand got started. The whole pizza brand I have down in the Flats as well. It's called Dante's Inferno, and that's what's at the field there. It was just something this idea we came together, it was something that was needed, and now because of it it's just grown and it's well taken.

I think you know, in closing, I think we just need to keep in mind and kind of look at the past, to look at history. Just look at for example the whole Lebron James effect. How one person had a huge impact on this town and by him leaving town, it just affected every aspect of it. The supply chain from top to bottom, from gas stations to uber drivers to restaurants to employees. Everyone was affected just by one person leaving us down

I think you know we're looking at the same situation again. So just to keep that in mind and to try to avoid more mistakes on the lake, as people like to say, but thank you for your time.

2:46 Permalink

Mike Finley

I'm Mike Finley. I'm representing Local 310, the building laborers' union. We have a lot of members in the greater Cleveland area. We also have a lot of members that live in the city of Cleveland. I'm also here speaking on behalf of the Cleveland Buildings Trades Council which has 14,000 members in the region.

Many of the projects that we work on in the city of Cleveland currently include such high profile works as a transformation of MetroHealth's main campus, and the INTRO project across the street from West Side Market. Our members helped build what was originally Jacobs Field.

After 27 years, we know that the ballpark needs renovations and updating, and our members look forward to helping with that. The project means work for our members who will pay taxes to the good city regardless of where they live and spending money at businesses near the ballpark.

The Guardians have committed to establishing a project-level committee benefits agreement that values and requires workforce inclusion for minority, female, and small business-owned and staffed companies, as well as participating from Cleveland residents. Just as we saw with the Q transformation project, I am confident that inclusion percentages that are set can be met, and in many or all cases exceeded. I encourage you guys to support legislation to make sure renovations are done in Progressive Field.

1:25 Permalink

Marcelle Nance

Good evening, Mr. President, and members of council my name is Marcelle Nance and I'm the general manager of concessions and premium dining at Progressive Field. Delaware North Sports Service is a leading provider of services in retail management and food service in the sports, serving fans at more than 50 sports stadiums, ball parks and arenas. Our company owns and operates the TD Garden and the Boston Bruins.

As the operator of both concessions and premium dining services at Progressive Field, we employed over 300 people this year and up to 800 people during a typical season. We offer fundraising opportunities for more than 40 Greater Cleveland non-profits, organizations throughout the baseball season. We also work with 11 local restaurants which are located in Progressive Field. All told these businesses impact a large number of people from diverse backgrounds and people who rely on these jobs to pay for their everyday living expenses.

I tell you this background so that you can understand why I support upgrading Progressive Field, a public asset which is a major economic driver in Greater Cleveland's economy. This plan will extend the Guardian's commitment to Cleveland until 2036 with a potential for up to 10 more years. That means jobs. Jobs for people who pay taxes and who reside in Cuyahoga County. No other Cleveland sports or entertainment entity has a larger direct economic impact during the summer months and the Progressive Field upgrade plan doesn't require any new taxes or increase taxes.

Progressive Field is now 27 years old. Our company works with more than 30 other professional sports franchises and I have seen how important it is to keep facilities relevant. I also have seen Cleveland's ballpark is in need of some renovations. I am confident that the team's plan will extend the ballpark and create a better fan experience. It will include opening up the concessions to enhance the views of the games, enhancing the food and beverage options, and reimagining the current Terrace Club space and converting some of the suites into a more flexible spaces.

Please keep this field relevant for years to come and support the plan of renovating Progressive Field and protecting the public's investment thank you very much.

Council President Kelley: Thank you.

2:32 Permalink

Brendan Walton

Walton: Mr. President members of council, my name is Brendan Walton. I own two businesses in the city of Cleveland, The Cleveland Coffee Company and AJ Rocco's which is downtown. Cleveland Coffee Company employs 15 people. AJ Rocco's was established in 2001 in the Caxton building at 812 Huron Road. Opened up two days before 9/11 so we've seen the worst of the worst and the best of the best and a little bump in the road here.

We did close at the end of 2019. But with that in mind we had plans to with a landlord restore a 135 year old building at 828 Huron Road. So we're just about 250 steps away from Progressive Field. And we have felt the impact greatly by the Cleveland Guardians and what Progressive Field has meant. Whether it be with the hiring of local labor unions, to concession stands, to what it has meant for the people outside working in the restaurant world, this obviously has a very important impact to me. The building itself and the landlords and myself putting close to two million dollars into the project and we plan to open up and reopen up in 2022.

Very important to see that foot traffic even more so to invest in Progressive Field because the local landscape with businesses that open in the morning or afternoon lunch has been hit by employees not being able to you know, now choosing to maybe to work from home and so we miss that foot traffic a little bit and it's going to revive again. But foot traffic on given nights with the Cleveland Guardians and what else they're that they're able to do at Progressive Field has a huge impact. And so I'm here in support and seek the city to support the contributions to Progressive Field. I'm also planning to hire about 25 people there who all be will be paying our taxes getting it done.

I am a proud resident 30 years living the American dream in the city of Cleveland with a beautiful wife three kids who attend school in the city of Cleveland. And I've seen the impact of being a resident of what the tax dollars and the influx of money has done, not only to the city of Cleveland but in in proper, but what it's done to Detroit Shoreway, what Tremont kicked off there's been great benefits. And to have this the Cleveland Guardians you know we might win that big one with a new name but one day it's going to come and it's just a great thing to have for an asset to our city. So I appreciate and I'm here to support.

2:50 Permalink

Brian Hall

Hall: Evening Council President.

Council President Kelley: Good evening.

Hall: First of all I'd like to say thanks for having me here and have the opportunity to the Council President and minority majority leader Griffin and all of the members of the council. I'm glad to be here to speak on behalf of the Progressive Field improvements.

In addition to my role at the Greater Cleveland Partnership where I serve as a Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, I'm also a long-time entrepreneur in the city of Cleveland. I have over 30 years of experience leading companies in logistics, distribution, real estate, and food service and I'm here to express my support for ordinance number 844-2021, which will authorize upgrades and renovations to Progressive Field and ensure the extension of the lease of the Cleveland Guardians.

The Greater Cleveland partnership is the region's leading economic development organization with over 12,000 members. We are the largest metropolitan chamber in the United States and our commitment to equity inclusion is rooted in the work that we do to increase the number, scope, and scale of minority-owned businesses in our city. Our committees, communities, professional sports teams, along with our arts and culture institutions and other amenities are important drivers of economic activity, with organizations and visiting visitors spending and driving wealth creation for the residents and businesses of Cleveland as you've heard from many others before me. This includes the enormous economic footprint of our baseball team which has an average annual output impact of $526 million dollars and generates over $12.4 million dollars in local taxes each year.

But beyond those impacts the legislation in question is critical to paving the way for major ballpark improvement projects. These projects come with significant procurement opportunities as well as opportunities for labor and jobs for our citizens. At GCP we are committed to partnering with the team on the enormous procurement and supplier diversity opportunities this agreement would produce. I'm proud to say that we worked with Gateway several years ago to sign on to the community benefits agreement, and one of the first calls I got about this project from the Guardians was about their commitment to that agreement and how they had the goal of securing, not just securing the goals but to exceed the goals related to that agreement and we're working with them to help them do that. Our aim is to leverage the work to close the opportunity gaps and to grow the scale of capacity of black and Latinx owned businesses in Cleveland, which in many cases make up the lifeblood of our communities and neighborhoods.

I appreciate again the chance to weigh in on this piece of legislation which will help pave the way for major improvements to Progressive Field and ultimately open up a wide array of supplier and procurement opportunities for the minority-owned businesses GCP is working to scale. Thank you for your time and consideration.

3:04 Permalink

Nozomi Ikuta

Ikuta: Good evening and thank you so much for this opportunity. I know that many Clevelanders appreciate the opportunity to address the council. I'm here as a native Clevelander, as a city resident, a homeowner, a business owner, a pastor and um you know I've been well represented by city council and you know city government basically. But as a Clevelander I don't, I still don't have much of a say in how in the big picture funds get spent so I'm here to talk about participatory budgeting.

As you know probably the request is for 30 $30.8 million dollars out of the 512 to be allocated for participatory budgeting. You know that number comes as a representative of, to represent the percentage of Clevelanders who are living in poverty. And um actually that number is the 30 million is really only six percent of the the total amount. You guys can do the math.

So I'm really here to talk about regular Clevelanders, the kinds of folks who don't normally come to city council meetings. The kinds of folks who are not too well organized to actually have a voice in in any of these matters, whether it's EMS trucks or renovations of public stadiums or stadiums and things like that. But people who want things like mental health services or homeless shelters or places for their kids to play you know, the basic nuts and bolts of what they can see in their affecting their lives. Personally I would love some help in getting our gym renovated but actually what matters to me more than what anything I want in particular is that the people have an opportunity to have that voice and to discern together how at least a portion of this money might be spent. So I'm just here for participatory budgeting and thank you so much.

1:59 Permalink

Councilmember Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)

Councilmember Conwell: Thank you very much. There's a gentleman which you guys, I know Pat might know him, Dr. Clarence Mixon that passed away during the holiday weekend. Dr. Clarence Mixon, African-American male that helped pioneer the Cleveland Scholarship Program and the Cleveland Scholarship Program helped a great number of African Americans to go to college for the first time. And um he helped me, matter of fact he helped former Mayor Michael White and a couple other African-American dignitarians.

You know what? You know this program today Councilmember Basheer, that's College Now. And you look and you see John England but you you think but there's an African-American male. And see Dr. Clarence Mixon he didn't get into any fanfare. He didn't want people to know him. But he would go to watch us graduate from college and Dr. Clarence Mixon a black man all he did is look and smile. Did you know him judge? Did you know him? Yeah he was great guy wasn't he? Just a great guy he would look and smile and see people African-Americans graduate and now today you look and you don't know that story it was a black man, Dr. Clarence Mixon. It's the pioneer of College Now. They're sending thousands and thousands of Clevelanders and Cuyahoga County residents to college. So I just want to pay homage to him and we'll do a resolution[...] as well as Council President for Dr. Clarence Mixon. Thank you very very much.

1:45 Permalink

Councilmember Jenny Spencer (Ward 15)

Councilmember Spencer: Thanks Mr. Council President. I wanted to say a few words about 844-2021, the Progressive Field legislation.

I know there are a number of people here who are advocates and I wanted to acknowledge the strong advocacy on both sides of this issue. I wanted to clarify that although I voted no on the ordinance, that make no mistake this entire body wants the Guardians to stay in Cleveland. We all do and we all understand the many the team's many community contributions and the economic impact of the team. Thank you.

0:33 Permalink

Councilmember Brian Mooney (Ward 11)

Councilmember Mooney: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'm just fine he glad with all this discussions we've had ARPA that uh the council were able to hash out and pass the uh the portion that relates to our safety services of 26.4 million today. And you know that's going to mean for the residents 15 new ambulances and five new SUVs for EMS, as well as COTS and other cardiac machines. It's going to need some necessary exhaust equipment and stuff for the fire department. It's going to provide for three new animal control vehicles to be utilized in neighborhood in the police department. They're going to get 105 new vehicles for frontline SUVs, sedans, detective cars and it does include some motorcycles and other equipments and tablets that they they sorely need.

In addition to over $4 million dollars that we appropriated today for cameras in our neighborhood. So all together I'm glad that we all came together and got that pass today so we can move forward. It's so important that we we did that and I'm so glad for all of us that we allocated the 26.4 million and now it doesn't need to come back and we can just move forward thank you.

1:09 Permalink

Councilmember Blaine A. Griffin (Ward 6)

Councilmember Griffin: Thank you so much Council President. I want to echo what my colleague Councilman Brian Mooney just talked about with the ARPA dollars in the safety component.

We know that we're dealing with a worldwide shortage of chips and other things that have caused a delay in safety vehicles and other things that we need. We also know that we were given a thorough explanation by our safety forces on why this equipment is aging and why it was important for us to replace this equipment. Although there are philosophical differences that many of us have about what is needed around safety and how to conduct safety very very efficiently. But I want to make sure that people do recognize that this actually helps us in several ways. Not only does it help us make sure that our men and women on the front lines are have the proper equipment. Not just riot gear like some people are trying to make it, but cars and other things that lessens our capacity or our you know burden on the capital budget, which actually will help us free up more dollars that we can utilize for our capital expenditures in the upcoming year. So I want to make sure that everybody realized that these ARPA dollars are also relievers for other things besides just some of the emergency uses that we've had in place. They actually help relieve us to be able to do some other things in the future.

I do also want to take a moment to acknowledge the 844 the Progressive Field deal. Many years ago this city made a determination that we were going to be in the sports team business. And because of that we built stadiums that are public stadiums and we know how these deals are complicated and very complicated to get done a long time ago. However I just want everybody to keep in mind when we make these kind of investments, we're making investments albeit with taxpayer dollars, is that we get a return on our investment because if you would not have seen Progressive Field in the Guardians arena, I can rest assured that that area of town would not be revived the way that it is now.

So it's very critical when we make those kind of investments, I'd like to thank all of the partners who worked with us it was very critical to us. I'm glad that I see my good friend Brian Hall here. I made several calls to make sure that it was a fair community benefits agreement in place. I've talked to several other elected officials that are coming and leaving and many people know that this is something that we really had to muster up the courage to do.

So I'd like to thank my colleagues because I know this was a tough vote. I know that we get a lot of people that are telling us why are you doing that. But I want to keep in mind if that nine million that we're going to be, I'm sorry I apologize. The eight million that the city is going to dedicate towards the ball park is a user fee. And if we did not utilize that eight million that we're getting from admission taxes and other things, that's eight million that just wouldn't be here if the team wasn't here. So sometimes when we make these complex deals, I just urge all of us to recognize that we do get a return on our investment and it's something that all of us could be proud of. So thank you Mr. Chair and thank you to the rest.

Council President Kelley: Thank you.

3:13 Permalink

Councilmember Michael Polensek (Ward 8)

Councilmember Polensek: Thank you Mr. Chairman and honorable colleagues and to the administration members that are here. First I want to talk about 843 the ARPA funds. I'm hoping as we go forward that we're going to have a more, what I want to say in depth or more fair process where we can really dig down on what the true needs are in this city.

I didn't like the process I'll be the first to tell you. I'm not happy with the way this process went. The only reason I voted for it today is because finally at the end of the day we've got to get moving on it. We've got to get moving especially on the public safety asset, but I did not appreciate the way this whole process ARPA funding the discussions have been handled. It could have been handled much differently. We've had five months to deal with this and we should have done it in a different way. I'm going to leave it at that.

Mr. Chairman on 844 Progressive Field, let me say this to all my honorable colleagues and people who are here for or against it. The issue is not about the Progressive Field and the glitz and glamour that's going to come with it. We all know that the Indians slash Guardians are going to make a first class facility there because it's to their advantage that they do such. They make the money from it. The question is who pays and who plays that's the question.

So I was here for the discussions in the 90s and I will tell you it was a bad deal then and it's a bad deal now. Bad deal then bad deal now. We the citizens we the taxpayers pay so let me just say this. I want to say to the people who here in the audience and the people who are here at last month's meeting from the corporate community to support this. I hope you remember about the 28,000 jobs that we were promised in the 90s. I want you to remember about all the promises that were made with regard to small business hiring and minority business hiring that never took place. I want you to remind you of the fact that today in the city of Cleveland we are number one in poverty, number one in childhood poverty, four thousand abandoned houses, we're down 168 police officers, we're sixth in violent crime in the country and we just exceeded the number of homicides for last year.

We have spent on Gateway over a billion dollars with the cost of the facilities and debt service, a billion dollars, and in that time we've lost the equivalency of two whole council awards have vanished, have vanished from the city. So all the pronouncements and promises that have been made that if we build it all these benefits we will, we will derive all these benefits have not taken place. Do I think downtown is better because of Gateway, the buildings, of course I do. But who paid for it? The citizens paid for it. So at the end of the day I want to say to my colleagues and to the administration and to the future administration and to the members of the corporate community. Let's see what promises are going to be kept this time. Are we going to see the hiring of small businesses, minority contractors, minority builders? Are we going to see direct benefits to our neighborhoods? We have not seen any direct benefits to our neighborhoods outside of the neighborhoods that are directly connected to the Gateway area.

So my brothers and sisters this was not a hard vote for me. In fact I enjoyed it. I want to thank everybody who was involved in the discussions. It was very helpful and healthy. But at the end of the day the corporate community has to understand they have to be partners with us in this city. We cannot continue to have poverty despair and violence and everything else that we're dealing with abandonment in our neighborhood and then they want to create sandboxes downtown for people to play in so then they can go home to their nice suburbs and good school systems and everything else. It don't work that way.

Council President Kelley: Thank you Councilman.

Councilmember Polesnek: Don't work that way. Thank you Mr. Chairman.

4:08 Permalink

Councilmember Kerry McCormack (Ward 3)

Councilmember McCormack: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to rise tonight to talk about a lot of the good legislation that we do isn't sexy and it doesn't you know make Twitter comments and all that but we have put forth a lot of really exciting legislation in this period.

One thing I want to highlight as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, Mr. Chair, are the two mobile health units that we authorized that will be purchased by the city of Cleveland. We know that there are health disparities throughout the city. And while we've got a fantastic group of nurses and health care workers within the city of Cleveland's health department and our health centers, east and west that have served all sorts of purposes, from prenatal care to COVID vaccines, these mobile health units that will be deployed throughout our city, into our neighborhoods, at events will bring health care to our residents, from mental emotional health care to physical and beyond. So this is a really positive piece of legislation. These two mobile units again will bring health directly to our community and to our residents to ensure that folks have access to high quality healthcare no matter where they are so that's just a piece that I want to bring up.

The other piece Mr. Chairman that again won't make Twitter tonight is the $600,000 investment that you Mr. Chair were a critical part in establishing with representing folks that wouldn't be able to afford attorneys through eviction and other issues that they're facing. This is something that city council has continued to back and invest in which may has made a tremendous benefit in the lives of our residents ensuring that they have proper representation when they're facing really tough times in their lives. Thank you.

1:42 Permalink

Councilmember Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)

Councilmember Conwell: I want to thank Councilmember President-elect Blaine Griffin. You sound like an MBA man you're sitting narrating about debits and credits really as we call it the T account.

I reached out to Norman Edwards, Black on Black Trade Council, and he said that you talked with him and before I made my vote because I believe in the power of work and I believe in putting people to work. Now you said you're going to put African Americans to work and I asked the question at the table. Now here's this thing that I know. I have a history of being out there with black on black crime, not black on black crime, the black...I do with them as well. But I told Norman I said Norman if they don't do what they say they're going to do I'll be out there with you. I'm not going to just sit here talking and saying shame on Progressive Field. If you don't hire African Americans for this deal here and I know you will I'll be out there.

When Cleveland Clinic was going to raise our Huron hospital, because you know know Mike Polensek, we were out there fighting against them and you have your trauma center. When Patrick Henry school was in my ward and Dr. Sanders was there and he said we're going to have African Americans working we didn't have any. But I got out there with black on black trades and guess what we did we made sure, we closed that site down for a month and we made sure the black folks was out there working.

So I say that I voted for this because I love seeing people work. I love seeing the hotels down there. I love seeing the restaurants. I love seeing other businesses that surround Progressive Field and the Rocket Mortgage that catering to that. I love seeing people work because I believe in the power of work. But you told me at the table that you talked with the trades council and if they're not working there you'll see me right out front. Right out front with them and you know I would do that. You know your word is your bond. Thank you very very much.

2:16 Permalink

Councilmember Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)

Councilmember Joe Jones: Mr. Chairman I rise you know we have one more meeting after this, and you know one of the things that was really important for me to talk about is some of the things that have been touched upon, that my colleague Mike Polensek talked about.

Crime. Crime continues to plague our city. And as we move into the next year I hope that as a council we begin to deal with some of the tough issues impacting our neighborhoods. We won't be able to deal with the issue of crime until we have more police on the street. We could talk about all the other issues all we want to but if we don't establish funds and finances towards the direction of making our city safe, if we don't make that a major priority and push with the resources that we have, people are going to leave the city of Cleveland.

We find the resources in this city to do just about whatever we want to do. We've had every Monday night people coming down talking about their support and the reasons why it's important for this council to support the Guardians. But at the end of the day we need to make the same priorities for those issues that impact the quality of life.

Mrs. Smith called me and told me over the weekend about the shootings that happened at night and her house getting shot up. We have never seen this kind of activities in our community. It's like an eye opener when homes and properties are vandalized and shot up. When people feel unsafe for being able to walk down the street. When young people are parked in their cars and they become victims of a random gunfire. These are issues that this council needs to take up and take it up in a serious way. Having the kind of funds we have and not use them for the purpose of handling quality life issues in our city is shameful on us.

The second most important thing that i'd like to see this council take up now that we have a new administration coming in is improving the quality of education. If we fail to educate our young people as a city then we fail the future of our city. And right now in the city of Cleveland schools we continue to continue to underperform year in and year out. So we have to do something to improve the conditions of education.

And then lastly when we talk about the deal of the Guardians one of the things that bothered me through the process of negotiations was not having the law department sit at the table and talk about this deal and then to ask the question if the legal department had vetted it out or not. Another point of contention for me in this deal was looking at the fact that we don't have a community benefits agreement. We rushed this process through. We should have took our time and vetted it out because this entire process that was dealt with us today was not the same kind of process that was dealt with this yesterday. We didn't have any of the major stakeholders at the table to talk about the deal. We had none of them that was a part of the community piece that came to the table to talk to us about it and we don't have a benefits agreement. That's important when you have the agreement a part of the deal.

And then lastly I did not like the short-term deal of 15 years. That is a for me was a non-starter. If we're going to have an agreement with the Guardians we should especially at this price tag we should have had a 30-year agreement. Now we're going to have to within a sneeze and a cough come back and renegotiate a new deal for hopefully another 15 years if the next council is wise enough we'll be able to have a 30-year deal.

So with that being said I just felt that pushing this at the last minute and thank you Mr. Chairman for a little bit extra time I don't often ask for it.

Council President Kelley: But you didn't.

Councilmember Joe Jones: So I'm asking for it now.

Council President Kelley: If you could wrap up I'd appreciate it.

Councilmember Joe Jones: Yeah to to have a little bit more time on this Mr. President if that's not okay I'll wrap one minute.

Council Presdient Kelley: If you could finish in one minute I'd appreciate it.

Councilmember Joe Jones: Thank you Mr. President. You know when we look at the priorities of the city of Cleveland we have to be serious about our approaches. We did pass a lot of good things out of the legislation. I would have liked to to have had the administration come in with the council to really start talking about the proposition of the ARPA funds and being able to really sit down and understand why the administration had allocated those resources. And I'm very concerned Mr. Chairman and to my colleagues that middle neighborhoods are not left out in these funds. And I know that there's going to be a lot of people sitting up and coming to the table and asking for these funds, but I say to my colleagues let's take care of our city first and how we operate and how we as a city function, to serving our neighbors as well as to deal with life quality issues first before we dab out all those funds to this project that project, and at the end of the day we're still no better for it as a city. Thank you Mr. President.

Council President Kelley: Thank you Councilman.

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