Mark Kindt Takes Posts Of The Year With His Honesty In Goverment Series
Each year we have some fun with Post of the Year, but this year one member, an Ex-Assistant Attorney General of the State of Ohio, and an ex-Department of Justice attorney, who brought an entire series, was selected and singled out. To be honest it is something every Lakewoodite needs to read. It has little to do with the hospital, outside of City Hall’s actions. Mark Kindt underlines what norms people should expect from their Government, based on decades of experience.
FROM THE NEWEST TO THE OLDEST
Civic Accountability -- Honesty in Local Government IV
by Mark Kindt » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:42 pm
Harassment and Intimidation of Citizens and Impairment of Free Speech
I want take a moment and summarize what I know about the harassment and intimidation of local citizens who are critical of the public policies of the city administration.
1. Public officials organized themselves and others in a smear campaign to file a series of false complaints to the Lakewood Police Department against a pro-hospital citizen.
2. Pro-hospital citizens were sent harassing postal mail by a city employee.
3. Citizens critical of city policies had to defend themselves and expend funds to fight subpoenas related to a SLAPP lawsuit.
4. The Lakewood Observer had to defend itself and expend funds to fight a SLAPP lawsuit.
5. The Lakewood Observer was / is banned from Lakewood City Hall.
6. Thoughtful comment critical of city administration policies, such as the pit bull ordinance, is deleted from the Lakewood Community group page on facebook.
7. Some citizens have been blocked from this group page.
8. One or more partisans of the city administration created a false government document to harass a local citizen as recently as this past Friday.
These are only the incidents that I am aware of. Others are much closer to this experience than I am. If you have been the victim of such harassment, I encourage you to stand-up and speak-out.
If you are aware of other wrong-doing in the city administration, I encourage you to stand-up and speak-out.
This pattern runs across three years. We need to be vocal about this with our elected representatives and at the ballot box.
These are among the reasons that I am calling for widespread municipal reform in Lakewood.
Civic Accountability -- Honesty in Local Government III
by Mark Kindt » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:45 pm
Major Financial Misstatements in Official City of Lakewood Documents and Records
On October 13, 2016, the City Finance Director signed an affidavit under oath that was submitted to the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. (“Exhibit A” attached)
Just a month later, on November 15, 2016, the City Finance Director issued the official 2017 Budget for the City of Lakewood.
Each document contains wildly different estimates of amounts to be paid to the City of Lakewood under the Master Agreement.
My conclusion is that a false affidavit was knowingly and intentionally filed with the Court.
The sworn affidavit of the City Finance Director has major problems:
1. The city administration has propounded a false statement to an Ohio appellate court.
2. The city administration has made multiple material misrepresentations in that affidavit with respect to the financial condition of the City entirely inconsistent with the securities laws and the City’s own public documents.
The falsity of the sworn affidavit is not only verified by the text of the Master Agreement, but is confirmed by a second official City of Lakewood public record, the 2017 City Budget.
See, if you can find the missing $32 Million in the 2017 City Budget. We will take a look at that in the next post. Folks, it just ain’t there. (Clue: start at page 2 in the Budget.)
What the hell is going on in our city administration?
Civic Accountability -- Honesty in Local Government II
by Mark Kindt » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:03 am
In this second series on Civic Accountability, I do first want to laud those who have chosen to enter public service as government employees or elected officials. I also want to acknowledge the hard-work and long-hours that go with the choice of serving the public. Further, as citizens we can all celebrate our local civic accomplishments.
As citizens, residents, voters and taxpayers in a democracy, we have the full set of skills to participate in this democracy that we, as a nation, have created. Wonder to the world that it is.
In my last series on Civic Accountability, we reviewed how the disregard of honesty, openness and transparency has actually and potentially increased the legal liability to the City and to its public officials. We went through specific examples that were documented. In fact, the documents were presented for your actual review. Our review also identified some problems in civic governance.
Considering that a former mayor was indicted and that approximately 70 public officials and other individuals in Cuyahoga County were sent down the river in recent memory, it seems quite surprising that the City of Lakewood doesn’t appear to have a vibrant and modern ethics-in-government policy.
In this series, we will explore what this means and whether we can improve the performance of our City. This is something that as citizens we can do together.
I’m sure that many of you work under codes-of-conduct in your workplaces, this will be familiar ground for all of us. I intend to just remind you what you already now or can easily learn about.
Civic Accountability -- Honesty in Local Government I
by Mark Kindt » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:26 pm
In January of 2015, we learned that the City had a plan that had $120 million dollars in value for our community. That number was repeated by elected and appointed city officials. It was published in our water bill inserts. It was a material representation about the financial condition of our city. Was it true or false? Or, mere hyperbole, perhaps?
Since our city participates in the municipal bond market, our city officials have to comply with the federal securities laws. These are the national laws that relate to the regulation of stocks and bonds. Our officials have a duty not to make public statements that are materially misleading or omit material information. Did they violate that duty with statements related to the future of Lakewood Hospital?
In this thread, I will explore whether our elected and appointed city officials have violated these laws. I actively encourage you to join in this review with me. We have a very easy starting point. For short, I call it the "SEC Harrisburg Release". It is a short document at the SEC website that carefully and in very direct terms explains why local public officials have a duty of honesty with respect to statements about financial conditions of their localities.
Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.