Give the outsiders a chance
One of our neighbors thought it was strange to see the bipartisan collection of signs in our front yard. I think it shows that democracy is alive, and we need to put aside party affiliations to support the best candidates.
I am favoring the outsiders on Nov. 2. I am supporting candidates who will bring new ideas and energy to Cleveland Heights. I’ll leave it to others to praise current incumbents, but I think we need some significant changes or we will certainly get more of the same, and probably much less.
Starting with mayoral candidate Barbara Danforth, her sign was the first in our yard. Her campaign people noticed that I had agreed with her online (Nextdoor), and offered us a sign. For the next sign, I actually worked with Tony Cuda on the popular transition to an elected mayor, so I was happy to support him. I didn’t initially know his political party, I just knew he wanted to fix the non-responsive parts of Cleveland Heights government. Garry Kanter has been an active outsider for years, and he was the primary reason that we are electing someone for an open seat, instead of appointing an insider.
After watching the debate of the CH-UH school board candidates, I found it interesting that the three incumbents running for re-election were the only ones that were resisting a citizen’s petition requesting an independent performance audit. This makes me wonder what the incumbents may be hiding. How can these current school board members think that all the possibilities have been researched? Incumbents said we should expect levies every five years if we’re lucky, when the taxpayers have already been very generous with our schools. The current board has consistently left money on the table with excess buildings, exorbitant administrative salaries, and super-generous health care plans. We the voters must try something different, or we should expect nothing to change.
So, finally, the other sign in my yard is to endorse three dedicated challengers to the incumbent school board members. Drake, Lynn, and Rennert should all be commended for their willingness to offer fresh direction to a school board that really needs a change.
I hope you will join me in giving all of the challengers a chance.
Joe Barmann has been a Cleveland Heights resident since 1979.