Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bad Medicine

(Another Cleveland-related post. The out-of-town readers ain't gonna like this...)

Forest City Enterprises is just a little unhappy at our County Commissioners. And when Forest City is upset, the Plain Dealer editorial board is downright apoplectic.

Relations between FCE and CC weren't always thus. Used to be if Ratner, Miller and co. bought a piece of land PCB cheap, the county would ensure they got a decent return on their investment (google "Forest City" and "Quincy Avenue". The article I unsuccessfully tried to link is on the PD's own cleveland.com.)

Now, those same three folks (actually, two of them have been replaced since the above deal went down, but they're still commissioners) have just granted the Kennedys--I mean, Merchandise Mart--a month extension on a final decision as to where to build the medical mart/convention center. It was supposed to be adjacent to the FCE-owned Tower City, which has been losing tenants lately. Now there's word that they may want to build a smaller convention center on the site of the present convention center, which, you may recall, is already small, which is why, the wise men tell us, we need a new convention center in the first place!

Anyway, the editorial in the Sunday Plain Dealer took the commissioners to task for not cracking the whip on the Kennedys (who may, you know, have other, you know, political fish to fry.) I don't particularly want to defend the commissioners, especially since one of them could be arrested any day (oddly enough, the sole survivor of the Quincy Avenue deal), but Peter Lawson Jones (named in the editorial, along with Tim Hagen) was skeptical about this whole thing from the very beginning.

Not the PD . They endorsed both the mart, and the undemocratic way the mart was brought about (closed meetings; a tax citizens weren't allowed to vote on.)

And they're STILL endorsing both the Mart, and, apparently, an undemocratic way of bringing it about. Read the last line of that editorial (italics mine):

"Cleveland needs the medical mart--much more than it needs an elected board of commissioners."

Maybe even more than it needs a daily newspaper.

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