Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Times Coverage Today Ups the Ante
On Pressure to Save Breuer Building

New York Times Cleveland-area stringer Chris Maag has a great overview in today's Times about the escalating struggle to save the Breuer Building in Cleveland (I mentioned the controversy earlier here & here, and Gloria Ferris has done a brilliant job of bird-dogging the issue in recent weeks. Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones even left a comment on her blog yesterday). Chris sounded quite thoughtful and well-informed when he appeared last week on WCPN's reporter's roundtable. Too bad his previous employer, the lowbrow tabloid Scene, doesn't seem to be able to ever keep its best and brightest. For me, there's one interesting sub-text to this ongoing controversy. Call it the face-off of John Carroll grads. Downtown councilman Joe Cimperman is pushing for destruction of the building, while Cleveland Planning Commission Chair Tony Coyne is resisting (though I suspect he'd just as soon okay it, if it wasn't attracting as much critical attention as it has). The funniest moment thus far: Commissioner Tim Hagan complaining last week in the PD about all the "unelected" busybodies getting their hands into his business. Damn that democracy! Anyway, stay tuned.


At 7:36 AM, Blogger Christine said...

tim hagan - what an ass. to think i voted for him for governor! one starts to wonder if we wouldn't have been better off with jerry springer after all....

At 8:34 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That made me laugh. But he was the best candidate--or at least the least problematic--that year.

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Some Guy on Mapledale said...

Quoting John: Commissioner Tim Hagan complaining last week in the PD about all the "unelected" busybodies getting their hands into his business. Damn that democracy!

One day I was listening to Hagan on WCPN's "After Nine" morning show. It might have been around 1991 or 1992, so obviously this really stuck in my head.

A caller criticized some particular policy of Hagan's--maybe something to do with the Gateway project. Hagan told the caller he should "get involved" and he is tired of people who criticize without being "involved."

Okay, fair enough. But our caller was involved, right? He was talking directly to the decision-maker, right?

Wrong. Hagan went on to explain that "getting involved" meant running for office. In other words, pretty much the same attitude you're reporting here, John.

What kind of world does Hagan live in where the only responsible choices are to run for office or shut up? I guess it's the kind of world where pursuing a profession or maintaining an ordinary job is for losers.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You're right on, Mapledale (and thanks for being a first-time commenter). Hagan, I'm afraid to say, has become a major embarrassment. And I say that as a close friend of one of his brothers, and an admirer of his late father, a man of deep conscience, political and otherwise. Tim's been in office for so long, and has been super-glue tight with the town's power structure (especially his good pal PD editorial page editor Brent Larkin) for so many decades that he's come to think of himself as a kind of regional king, one whose working-class roots insulate him from populist fury, or so he seems to believe. He's disdainful of grassroots democracy in ways that are uncomfortably similar to George W. Bush.


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