CLEVELAND, OH – By the end of 2020 Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will have recklessly created a deficit in the city’s general fund and committed the criminal offense of dereliction of duty if he hasn’t already laid off city workers or been negotiating new labor agreements as a result of tax collection shortages. The language of the “dereliction of duty” local ordinance is found in Section 615.12(d) and (e) as the subsections. Subsection (f) of Cleveland’s codified ordinances makes the offense a second degree misdemeanor. The crime should be upgraded to a first degree misdemeanor.
Ohio’s end of 2020 “deficit” of nearly $3 billion will mean that Governor Richard Michael DeWine engaged in the same act of dereliction of duty as Jackson when his unconstitutional state closing dried up the tax revenue from its 88 counties and 1995 municipal cities, villages and townships. Title 37 of Ohio’s revised code required Dewine only to ensure that the “infected” were quarantined. None of the state’s 26 pandemic mitigating laws include unconstitutional words like shutdowns, masks and social distancing.
There is no legal authority for the city of Cleveland’s council to enact a “mandatory” mask ordinance; or to penalize businesses that don’t operate in confirmity to “rules” instead of the laws that allowed them to open. The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution offers insight on the “Commerce Clause” found under Article 1, Section 8 and Clause 3. “The Congress shall have Power to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”
Ohio is plagued with elected and appointed officials who don’t know the duties of the public offices they hold that are “written” into laws in plain English because they don’t read. Ignorance of laws is always one of their “fall back” excuses when I’ve interviewed elected and appointed officials during my time as a publisher and journalist. “I didn’t know.” Why? “Because I did not read.”
The salvation to saving jobs is right now in the power of the “less senior” employees in public unions who may make up the majority; as the more senior public workers rush to retire. They can use a term called “exigent circumstances” brought on by the pandemic and ask for across the board wage decreases for the amount of each government’s projected losses. If the employees aren’t pressing to cut their own wages to save jobs, then Ohio’s mayors should have been using it to keep from ending the year in a deficit.
The Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a March 27, 2020 opinion that has been guiding every “unionized” workforce in the nation. Employers do not have to negotiate layoffs with unions that have expired contracts. They can simply lay off who they need to keep their business afloat. That is one of the two opinions the NLRB delivered to governors, mayors, county commissioners and legislative bodies across the nation that were paying attention.
The second opinion is that employers with existing contracts must go through “good faith to negotiate” steps and deliver a last best offer to the union and its members. Once the last best offer is on the table, and rejected by the union, the employer can implement it as long as the “effect” of the layoffs are included in the last best offer.
The coronavirus closing is an “exigent circumstance” beyond every government’s control. The employers and elected officials in the “advanced” class of bureaucratic leadership have already been using the opinion since April to cut their budgets through workforce reductions. That idiot miseducating Cleveland school children, Eric Gordon, thinks he’s going to get a tax increase in November 2020. Any elected official “waiting to see” should have “already done.”
There is an “exception” to the duty to negotiate. It’s when the employer can demonstrate that “economic exigencies compelled prompt action.” The NLRB’s general counsel cited its ruling in Bottom Line Enterprises, 302 NLRB 373, 374 (1991). The coronavirus is that exception and every public employee with or without a current contract is about to run into a “lay off brick wall” if they’re not at the table now and talking as councils are deliberating and about to approve 2021 budgets.
Cleveland’s deficit should be close to 30 to 40 percent as the businesses closed in the city are not returning. The downtown Cleveland “destination location” slogan is dead. The hotels, parking lots, buses and event venues are empty or closed. The city will operate on significantly less revenue going forward.
Billions of dollars in federal funding that should have gone to stabilize and improve Cleveland east, west and south side neighborhoods was wasted. Blaine Griffin got his moratorium on “dollar stores.” Cleveland now has nearly “no stores” generating annual occupancy permit fees, sales taxes and employee income taxes at two percent. The best plan was the one anarchists destroyed. A built up downtown. There are no recovery plans the politicians whose genius killed the economy can envision to bring it back.
To save jobs the amount of money cut from each “elected official” and public employee worker’s wages should be the amount of the expected deficit. 30 to 40 percent. Greed won’t let it happen. The more senior public workers want their best pension years at the highest wages for a pension fund check that’s not coming when Ohio declares bankruptcy.
Jackson can’t make it on $96,000 instead of about $160,000. Council can’t make it on only $53,000 a year for the part-time job. The self-serving council Kevin Kelley leads won’t enact an emergency ordinance establishing a 3o to 40 percent lower wage for themselves. The $40,000 a year I earned as East Cleveland’s mayor for the full-time job, doing a better job then than they do now, isn’t enough money for them. East Cleveland councilmembers earn $4500 a year. $88,000 in Cleveland.
It’s why thieves like Basheer Jones and Jeff Johnson lie about living in Cleveland while living elsewhere. The money is better in Cleveland politics.
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has already said the 23 states that created their own public employee union pension debt nightmare will have to dig themselves out of their own “how do we pay for it?” holes. Federal money isn’t going to public employee pensions. He’s recommended that states use bankruptcy to dissolve the debt. They should have followed the “right to work” of the 27 states that don’t have a public employee “union” problem.
As East Cleveland’s mayor I faced a roughly $600,000 to $800,000 deficit my last year in office in 2009. Police and fire were the 24 hour workers and the biggest overtime abusers. They made the most money and the city was picking up a larger percentage of its contribution to their pension than the other workers. They’d also wrecked cars, damaged cars and cost the taxpayers more money in litigation than any other group of workers. 24 were placed on a lay-off list. The majority in the ranks of supervisors.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) represented the patrol officers, sergeants and dispatchers as “separate” unions. The supervisors thought they had “bumping rights” until I told them and the FOP representative, Otto Holm, that the contract I negotiated with the help of Kenneth Adams and the late Almeta Johnson had not authorized bumping rights “between” unions. Only “within” the same union. So a sergeant in an FOP lodge that represented supervisors could not bump a patrol officer represented by another union. Patrol officers could not “bump” the dispatchers.
I was dealing with the “exigent circumstances” of an anticipated shrinkage in income tax collections, a cut in the local government fund under Governor Ted Strickland’s fucked up way of handling the state’s finances, and I’d boosted the police department’s staff from 34 in 2006 to about 73 by 2009.
For three year’s I’d kept the city out of fiscal emergency and balanced budgets. Crime had been cut by 40 to 75 percent in every category. Homicides dropped from 12 the year before I took office to 5 in 2008. Cops hadn’t killed anybody. I fired Todd Carroscia for a high speed chase.
What I wanted “to keep the 24 cops working” was a reduction in the city’s percentage of pension contribution, a 10 percent cut in wages, a higher medical contribution as my “best” recollection of events from 12 years ago. I had a freeze on hiring and money was already starting to come in from the “vacant property registration ordinance” I’d written. $600,000 was expected from it in 1010. $1.2 million by 2011. I wasn’t worried about the deficit with the cuts. It was projected to be eliminated by mid-2010.
All three of the police unions had to agree. I had 12 unions total to negotiate contracts with and manage. The dispatchers and supervisors agreed. The patrol officers said no. Lay off their bosses. Strategically they didn’t realize they were fucking themselves with the supervisors who’d remain after I got what I wanted … anyway. Exigent circumstances.
Holm realized what was going on and asked if he could meet with the presidents of the three locals. During the meeting it was obvious from his “posturing” that Holm hadn’t read the contracts. I gave them 45 minutes to return with an agreement or I’d move forward with the lay-offs as planned. They returned with the agreement from all three unions.
Gary Norton was the “mayor-elect” and I was in my last remaining 45 days or so in office. He ran his fucking mouth and said the “reductions” I’d negotiated were not needed. Seriously. I forget who on council agreed with him as they were calling themselves being “for the union.”
Since I was prevented as mayor from leaving the city in a state where I knew its finances were in deficit conditions before my term of office expired, I pressed council to approve the cuts with a caveat. They could let them expire at midnight my last day in office with “last minute advice” memo I left for Norton to make sure on January 1, 2010 that he renew them if he didn’t want to end his first year in office with a deficit.
Norton spent his first day in office with Ralph Spotts trying to get then Judge Sandra Walker to issue him a search warrant to enter my apartment to steal the the 40 caliber Smith & Wesson I’d worn; and a 40 gigabyte hard drive laptop I’d paid for before I left. His mind wasn’t on managing the city’s finances. Sandra said “no.” He filed a “replevin” without council authorization. Council enacted a resolution to end his litigation and awarded me the property I’d already purchased.
Norton told council in January 2010 he wasn’t enforcing the vacant property registration ordinance. He also didn’t keep the police cuts I’d negotiated going. It’s now history that 33 months after I left office this thieving fool returned the city to fiscal emergency. That makes me the only mayor since the city started electing them in 1985 to keep East Cleveland out of fiscal emergency for all four years of my term in office.
Norton overspent in 2010 and 2011; and by 2012 the city was over $9 million in debt. Today, with the cost of police civil rights abuses, the debt in East Cleveland exceeds $100 million and the claims against the city are growing. Voters recalled him in 2016. Such a stupid child.
One of the worst decisions Norton made was in not fighting to keep Huron Hospital open after Cleveland Clinic spent over $8 million to renovate it. That recklessness cost the city its largest employer or roughly $1.1 million annually in income taxes; and council never saw a dime of the $8 million Cleveland Clinic chief executive officer Delos Cosgrove caused its finance officials to transfer “somewhere.”
There is no record of East Cleveland city council ever approving a resolution giving Norton the authority to negotiate, sign the agreement or receive the money. It’s as if the money just disappeared as no records show “the municipal government” as “officially” as ever having received it. The only resolution council enacted during Dr. Joy Jordan’s presidency was one in 2011 that instructed this criminal he had no authority to negotiate. Closing the hospital created yet another “loss in revenue” exigent circumstance he completely ignored.
Municipal management is not rocket science. Elected and appointed officials have to read and pay attention to the money and their city’s economic conditions; and adjust “quickly” to meet them. With two months left until the 2020 books are closed, if a mayor and council have not yet already cut their budgets it’s too late. They’ve “recklessly created a deficit.”
Pursuant to Sections 2935.09 and 2935.10 of Ohio’s Revised Code, any citizen “with knowledge” of the deficit can file a criminal complaint against them with the city’s municipal court judge. It’s the “glad to have a good job with a pension” judge they elect and who they can unelect if he or she doesn’t obey the statute and process it.
All of the NLRB’s general counsel’s memos on navigating the coronavirus crisis are here. The link I’ve shared includes the NLRB memo referenced in this article. It’s a criminal act to “recklessly create a deficit” or “incur a debt” when it’s known very publicly that tax collections are down.