Matt Brakey Candidate for Cuyahoga Council-District 10, Republican

Describe the duties of the members of the County Council.

First, it is important to draw the distinction between “duties” and “powers;” duties being what the new Council has to do, powers being what the new Council can do. The duties of the new Council include setting up a structure for managing county properties and bureaucracies, approving the budget, creating a development plan, developing a code of ethics, etc. However, it is the powers of the new Council that county residents should be concerned about. The powers of the new Council and Executive are extremely broad. However, the real concern comes from the language that introduces the express powers for the new Council: “All powers of the Council shall… include, but not be limited to the following” (12 powers listed). Similar language introduces the powers of the Executive.

Because this language says the powers are not limited to the express powers, we must look to the rest of the charter for any limitation. Other than some vague language about respecting municipal rule, there are no limitations given to this new government’s power. So, other than state and federal law and their respective constitutions, this new county government has near unlimited power.

I believe that it is power that causes corruption: Absolute power corrupts absolutely and this new government has near absolute power.

Why do you want to serve on the County Council?

I want to serve because I want to restrain the power of this new government; I want to allow Cuyahoga County to regain its rightful place as one of the leading economies in the country; I want to stop so called government “economic development” projects like the medical mart, which are nothing more than a wealth transfer from county taxpayers to politically connected special interests; I want to slash the sales tax, which at 7.75% Cuyahoga County’s sales tax is the highest in the state of Ohio by ¾ of one percent. 

What qualifications do you bring that make you the most qualified?

I am President of Brakey Energy, a company that provides comprehensive energy management services to many of the largest companies here in northern Ohio. But unlike most businessmen, I don’t want to run government like it’s a business: I want to run government like it’s a government. I recognize that government is wholly different than business.

I am very studied in Austrian free market economics; it is a great passion of mine. I am also well studied in political philosophy. I list among my influences David Hume, Friedrich Hayek and Malcolm X. I will bring these influences to my governance.

What will you do in your first weeks?

This is a very good question. My answer is that I have no clue whatsoever. Any candidate who tells you that they do is being disingenuous.  The new government is going to have to work closely with the transition committee. We are going to have to feel our way around for quite some time because it is going to be very new without any precedent to rely on. It’s going to be chaotic, messy, and the blind will be leading the blind.  I would encourage readers to have tempered expectations.

How will we know that you are doing a good job?

The quality of my performance will be directly correlated to how much I’m getting attacked in the press by the existing political establishment and politically connected special interests. If people are not complaining about me, that means I’ve sold out and I am no longer doing the people’s work.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 2:00 PM, 09.28.2010