Kathryn Gambatese Candidate for Cuyahoga County Council-District 11, Republican
1) Describe the duties of the members of the County Council.
Fiduciary and legislative as stated in the Charter: write or amend ordinances or resolutions including: appointments, establishment of departments, policy, procedures, contracts. Oversee and approve annual tax budget, operating budget, capital improvements program and appropriations. Be a check and balance to the Executive. I have done this for 21 years on Richmond Heights Council.
2) Why do you want to serve on the County Council?
To provide accessibility and accountability to resident and business taxpayers. To protect and sustain 50% of core county services that are health and human services. To promote economic development by reducing impediments so businesses and residents want to work and live here. To review the Justice System budget for resources to fund reentry and new programs. To turn the tide of foreclosures.
I was elected Chair of the Cuyahoga County Mental Health Board and led the consolidation of two boards, Mental Health and AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug). We became the new ADAMHS Board July of ’09.
My experience leading the transparent and inclusive process that created more efficient effective services and savings could be applied across county departments to improve outcomes. We can reduce redundancy and waste by integrating departmental silos as we redistribute the insufficient tax dollars and other revenue.
ADAMHS Board 1st year savings:
• Administrative Cost saved $1.9 million
• Personnel Cost: with 30 fewer positions saved $2.5 million.
• Facility Cost: Board is saving $440,000 each year of a ten year lease for offices.
3) What qualifications do you bring that make you the most qualified?
An early proponent of Reform, as board member and officer for 16 years on the Northeast Ohio City Council Association, Inc. (noccassoc.org) our programs looked at regionalization: Air service and Port Authority needs, collaborative opportunities of joint Fire Districts, purchasing consortiums, the foreclosure crises, benefits of revenue tax sharing and initiatives like The Fund For Our Economic Future. Fragmentation of 57 municipalities with hundreds of taxing agencies thwarts development. Other boards includes: Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce; President for 6 of the 12 years on a Girl Scout Board for 3 counties. My consensus building and vision planning skills helped improve each.
4) What will you do in your first weeks?
The Charter outlines initial establishment of how council will run itself, set up committees, assign or hire new staff, and make appointments. Institute ethics training for everyone including employees. Keep my campaign web site for routine communication to my District; engage in team building of the Council, Executive, and staff; review and analyze the organization structure; develop a vision and strategic plan for the next 3 years.
5) How will we know you are doing a good job?
By sustaining critical services as we reorganize. Witnessing improved services, improved employee morale, and improved work ethics. By reviewing and meeting the benchmarks set for ourselves through measurable outcomes. When business and new residents line up to move here.