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Cleveland City Council, Ward 17

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $80,133Two candidates are challenging incumbent Martin J. Keane, who was first elected to Council in 2007. The challengers are: John F. Kelly and Clinton E. Preslan. Two of the three on the primary ballot will face off in November.Ward 17 includes Kamm’s Corners, West Park and Puritas, neighborhoods on the far West Side.
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  • Martin J. Keane

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    John F. Kelly Sales Representative/Entrepreneur

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What can the city do to create a more positive relationship between the Cleveland police and residents of the city's struggling neighborhoods? Should city officials do more to support the work of the Cleveland Community Police Commission?

Is there anything the city can do to improve the health of our children--specifically, to decrease infant mortality rates and to stop the scourge of lead poisoning?

What new city policies or actions would help Cleveland increase its population and employment opportunities?

Are there actions city officials could take to combat the opioid epidemic?

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Age 54
Education B.A. John Carroll University - 1986; Padua Franciscan High School
Campaign Phone (216) 337-8652
There is a certain segment of the population that will never accept a positive relationship with the police, and there's not much that can be done about those consumed with hatred. The majority of the population and police do and should have a mutual level of respect. That relationship can sour when someone needs police assistance and that assistance is slow in arriving. The public might assume that the police don't care, when in fact there is not sufficient manpower and equipment to cover the needs of residents. Therefore, the first thing the City can do to support the police/public relationship is to provide proper funding for a fully-staffed squad with excellent equipment.

The city can also help by demanding transparency. Officers body-cam information should be available to the public, within reason, so that people can see what the police encounter every day and what led up to an incident. Transparency should also be demanded of the public. They have a responsibility to aid the police in solving crimes, and the city should make that clear to residents.

The city can also assist by helping to recruit the best possible candidates to become officers by outreach programs.

Lastly, since both the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Police both have "Community Relations" departments, perhaps it would make sense for these entities to work more closely together to improve relationships and boost the image of the city. Obviously their respective mission statements overlap.
To decrease infant mortality rates one needs to promote increased parental knowledge and parental responsibility. To increase parental knowledge of lead-based paint is straight-forward as one is just educating someone on what the potential dangers are to their child. It’s not the most difficult concept to grasp – that old flaking paint and curious toddlers don’t go together. The parental responsibility component is something that’s not accomplished easily or in a classroom.

We as a society can no longer afford to have children not graduate from high school. And if we can do these things – graduate all our children from high school without them fathering or giving birth to a child of their own, then infant mortality will decrease since young and uneducated parents tend to have higher rates. If we help create this new possible future of healthier babies and stronger parents, they will keep their children safe from not only lead-based paints, but other dangers as well. We should have high aspirations as a society to raise only solid, educated citizens. Having solid, educated parents goes a long way to making that goal a reality.

Currently, there are programs in place to educate people about the dangers of lead paint. From the research I’ve done, some of these laws are federal, some are local. I do not think additional legislation will solve the problem. A solid educational outreach should continue until this type of paint is eventually phased out of existence.
In order to increase population and employment opportunities, taxes cannot be raised any higher. The recent increase in income tax hurt existing residents and may be a negative factor with people re-locating for business purposes. Property tax rates are already too high for residential properties.

A commitment to regionalism would also likely lead to an increase in population as industry would see that the region’s infrastructure and leadership are capable of working together. An increase in new business leads to an increase in population.

In order to attract more new residents to the City of Cleveland I would make instituting the “Say Yes to Education” program a top priority. This program, provides college tuition for students, is growing, and currently active in about ten cities. The cities with this program have seen population increase.

There also is obviously the potential to revolutionize the city’s population options by eliminating Burke Lakefront airport and opening that property up for development. It would likely lead to some fine, high-end residential properties. I would support closing the airport.

Finally, on a smaller scale in regards to the City of Cleveland Ward 17, if elected I would focus and commit to improving the public parks and public spaces, which have lacked in investment for years. I would also advocate for public art in Ward 17. Better parks and a livelier commercial district would seem to logically lead to an increase in population
Our state government is leading the charge against the pharmaceutical industry for their part in the over-prescription side of the problem. I’d advocate letting the court case filed by Attorney General Mike Dewine make its way through the courts. If this leads to more money being available to combat the opioid epidemic, I’d propose using that money for treatment facilities for those who have become addicted and better treatment facilities in prisons for those who repeatedly break the law to feed their addiction and need to be taken off the city streets.

The city can help combat the opioid epidemic by having adequate space in jails and treatment facilities,having the judicial system running efficiently, non-violent criminals not taking up space needed for violent criminals. For those on opioids, there should be either treatment or jail for repeat offenders. Putting them back on the street does not work.

I think it’s important with this issue, and all others, that one tap into the resources available, and to always be open to change – in this case change would involve new treatment techniques, such as those that block the opioid receptors in the brain with a non-addictive substance, as opposed to relying on a drug such as methadone. If elected, I would solicit the advice and counsel of professionals in the medical industry and social services who have experience with this issue and learn from them a path away from this epidemic in our state and the City of Cleveland.

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