CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald delivered his final 'State of the County' address today before about 800 people at the Cleveland City Club held at the Cleveland Convention Center. FitzGerald, a Democrat, is running for governor against incumbent Republican John Kasich.
In response to FitzGerald, Republican Party of Cuyahoga County's Chairman Rob Frost released the following statement:
"In his final State of the County address today, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald forgot to mention how he has failed in his management of our county for the past three years because he's been more focused on running for governor.
"FitzGerald's rhetoric never matches reality," stated RPCC Chairman Rob Frost. Here's the real story behind his failed term as county executive:
Last October, Ed FitzGerald's Administration oversaw the downgrade of Cuyahoga County's credit and then FitzGerald hid the news from the County Council and voters for a month. Where's the leadership, Ed?
Ed FitzGerald promised to run a transparent administration but then he embarrassed our county in a state audit because his administration consistently failed to respond to public records requests. Where's the leadership, Ed?
At the end of last year, Ed's Administration failed to mail Cuyahoga County residents' property tax bills on time, hurting more than 100,000 taxpayers.
To make matters worse, this is the second time in three years that tax bills have gone out late, yet FitzGerald blames everyone but himself for the blunders. I guess Ed FitzGerald doesn't have the "buck stops here" mentality that we should expect of executives. Where's the leadership, Ed?
Ed's most recent failure involved spending taxpayer dollars to create a call center to better serve Cuyahoga County taxpayers, but instead of actually helping taxpayers it just left them in long lines and on hold. Where's the leadership, Ed?
Wasting taxpayer dollars is commonplace in FitzGerald's Administration.
Take the unexplained rising costs for a new Cuyahoga County Jail kitchen, which has ballooned to more than $1.4 million over the low bid that Ed rejected, leading one of the original bidders to say "When we see how Cuyahoga County operates, we're not interested in bidding any of their work any more."
The waste is also evident in more than $500,000 going toward overhead for Ed's $2 million college savings fund program - one quarter of the total cost of the program to administration!
"Rather than ensuring that hard-earned taxpayer dollars go to those in need or to help create jobs, FitzGerald wastes taxpayer dollars with reckless abandon," Frost continued. "The facts don't lie. Ed FitzGerald has mismanaged Cuyahoga County and ignored his constituents because he has been too busy running for higher office. Does Ed FitzGerald really think he deserves to run Ohio when he can't even run our county?"
Where's the leadership, Ed?"