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Upper Arlington

Events, history and issues specific to the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

Ciotola packs Library Board with his own recruits

New mayor starts term with closed-door decision

"...nearly all of the residents who were interested submitted their [Library Board of Trustees] applications by the deadline published by the city -- except for the three who were actually appointed, all of whom prepared their applications nearly two months late and within a few days of each other." Click on the newspaper image to see the full story with the chart.

During his effort to censor gay periodicals in the Upper Arlington Public Library in 2005, then UA Council member Tim Rankin said,

"If we have to put people on this [Library] board who reflect the values of the community, we'll do that."

According to a story in the February 4th, 2010 edition of ThisWeek [PDF] [JPG], it would seem that UA's new mayor, Frank Ciotola, has made good on Rankin's threat.

Within a few days of being elected Council President, Ciotola made it one of his first acts to appoint three hand-picked recruits to the Library Board. All 3 appointees:

  • delivered their applications directly to the current Council President, Frank Ciotola, not to the City Clerks Office (source: UA Clerk's Office)
  • submitted applications a month and a half after the posted November 16, 2009 deadline
  • completed their applications within 4 days of each other on Jan 6, 8 and 9th, 2010

Ciotola's appointees to the Library Board of Trustees had a fast track outside the normal process, which typically includes a review of applicants with other Council members.

Ciotola: "I wish the deadline had not been published"

And now Ciotola wants to remove what little transparency remains in the current Library Board appointment process. In the ThisWeek story, Ciotola said he wishes the Library Board application deadline had not been published at all!

Ciotola packs Library Board with Conservatives

During his effort to censor gay periodicals in the Upper Arlington Public Library in 2005, then UA Council member Tim Rankin said,

"If we have to put people on this [Library] board who reflect the values of the community, we'll do that."

Who deserves credit for Kingsdale?

City Council incumbent candidates Frank Ciotola's and Wade Steen's campaign flyers are proclaiming how they got Kingsdale done.

"With Linda Mauger and Don Leach both leaving Council, we need moderates to replace them --- members who will put the people's business first. We think Mike Schadek and Debbie Johnson are those two candidates."

--- UAPA Executive Cmte

But who really negotiated on behalf of Upper Arlington constituents for the best deal with developers? Who had the backbone to stand up and get the best deal for Upper Arlington?

As it turns out, Ciotola and Steen are two of the least deserving of all the praise they are heaping on themselves.

The market idealogues vs. the pragmatists

We heard it 100 times during the Kingsdale debate from Council's right-wing block --- "let the market dictate what goes in at Kingsdale". In this Columbus Dispatch story entitled 'Big-box approach OK'd for Kingsdale', Ciotola thought that UA was negotiating too aggressively on Regency's big box Target store proposal:

"I think municipalities are getting overzealous in dictating what the mix of development is instead of letting the market dictate," he said.

If UA had solely relied on market forces, as Ciotola suggests, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency would have "dictated" our future and we'd likely have a big box Target store or something like it at Kingsdale today.

A view of the Continental's proposed Kingsdale site from Tremont Road. Many of us breathed a sign of relief when Regency failed in their bid to build a big box Target store at Kingsdale. If Ciotola had been in charge of the negotiation, the market would have "dictated" the outcome and UA would likely have a Target store at Kingsdale!

And thanks to Council's moderate, pragmatic majority we will have something much better than Steen or Ciotola were willing to settle for.

The audacity of negotiation

Instead of the passive role of government that Ciotola recommended, the city staff and other Council members embraced their responsibility to the community to get the best deal for UA.

By effectively tempering market forces with the needs of the community as described in the Master Plan they brokered a Kingsdale compromise has been well received throughout our community.

The role of government

 

At the heart of the Kingsdale debate was how active and engaged City government should be in making economic development decisions.

Steen, Ciotola oppose UA Sidewalk Policy

In reality, very few children should need to be driven to school since the majority live within a 10-minute walk or a short bike ride (if facilities existed) of their neighborhood school."--- UA Transportation Plan

2009 Upper Arlington City Council Race Analysis

With only two moderates running for City Council, the balance between moderate and conservative voices on Council hangs on the results of this election. UAPA believes UA City government needs:

  1. a moderate City Council
  2. a capable, experienced, moderate mayor --- Mary Ann Krauss

The only way this can happen is if both Mike Schadek and Debbie Johnson are elected to City Council. Here's the situation:

    Moderate Right-wing  
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mayor
Current Council   Seidel Krauss Leach Mauger Steen Ciotola Yassenoff Leach
                   
2010-11   Seidel Krauss ? ? ? ? Yassenoff ?
                   

Best Outcome

  Seidel Krauss Schadek Johnson Milillo Ciotola Yassenoff Krauss (75%)
                   
Worst Outcome   Seidel Krauss Morrison DeCapua Steen Ciotola Yassenoff Steen or Ciotola

 

City Council Race Overview

  • This year 4 seats are open and 7 candidates are running for these seats.
  • Each voter will get to vote for 4 candidates.
  • City Council terms are for 4 years.
  • Only if Schadek and Johnson replace moderates Leach and Mauger can Council's moderate majority be maintained.

The progressive vote is key

The progressive vote had a race-determining impact in the 2007 City Council election --- only one vote per precinct separated the candidates in 2nd and 3rd place and the candidates in 3rd and 4th place.

The elephant in Democratic clothing

DINO (Democrat In Name Only): Life-long GOP supporter and UA City Council candidate Vern Morrison told a local 9/12 group that he switched parties in 2008 to vote for Hillary Clinton, while at the same time telling progressive and moderate voters he's a "Democrat".

Support Ted Celeste at the Next District Dialogue This Thursday!

tPlease support our State Representative Ted Celeste at his next District Dialogue for his "State of the State" presentation. The event will be held on Thursday, February 26, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Grandview Middle School, 1240 Oakland Heights Avenue.

3rd Annual Salsa Party for Mary Jo Kilroy

 

Please join us for a night of Salsa music and dancing in support of

Mary Jo Kilroy

Representative from Ohio’s 15th Congressional District

 

3rd Annual Salsa Party – Thursday, February 19th at BoMA
583 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Sponsor Reception: 5:30 pm General Reception: 6:00 pm Music: 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Contribution Levels:

Congresswoman Kilroy Makes Good on Campaign Promises, Republicans Attack

With only a short time in Congress, Mary Jo Kilroy is already making good on her promise to help middle class Americans. Her voting record on middle class issues is stellar. Here it is compared to some Ohio Republican representatives:

UA supporters weigh in on presidential primary race

Many of us have been glued to the television watching primary results. Depending on how things play out over the next several weeks, Ohio could play a role in who becomes the Democratic nominee. We thought it would be interesting to find out how UAPA supporters are feeling about the candidates, so we implemented our first ever presidential primary survey.

156 UAPA supporters responded -- 140 of them in the first 24 hours! Here are the results:

QUESTION: If the US Presidential primary were held today, who would you vote for?

As we expected, an overwhelming majority (96%) of respondents would vote for a Democrat, but 4% would choose a Republican in the primary. Perhaps that demonstrates the diversity among supporters of progressive action.

UAPA respondents were split almost evenly between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, with Obama squeaking by. But the next question is, where are the 26% who were considering John Edwards going to turn since their choice has dropped out of the race?

As of Feb. 2, Rasmussen national polling showed Hillary Clinton 45% and Obama 37%. (see recent daily numbers).

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