Fitzgerald follows through on pledge to make calendar public
Under Cuyahoga County's former government, county commissioners gathered weekly to approve contracts and set priorities. But aside from those Thursday morning meetings, much of their weekly whereabouts were a mystery.
So, in the campaign for Cuyahoga's first-ever executive, a post that replaced traditional three commissioners, The Plain Dealer asked candidates if they would make their calendars public. All said yes.
Executive Ed FitzGerald is following through on that pledge. When a reporter asked for a calendar the week of Feb. 14, his spokesman sent over an hour-by-hour account of FitzGerald's past week. When she asked for a calendar Feb. 22, she received a look at the week ahead.
On Valentine's Day, the executive met with James Roddey, the first executive of Pittsburgh's Allegheny County and a Republican who backed FitzGerald's opponent, Matt Dolan, for executive. Feb. 15, he spoke at a Northeast Ohio Apartment Association dinner. And on Feb. 17 he interviewed candidates to serve as the county's first fiscal officer.
The following week, FitzGerald was scheduled to interview candidates for the county engineer and board of revision, discuss the Flats East Bank project and attend the Cleveland Auto Show.
The calendar helps increases government openness, while hinting at FitzGerald's priorities during his first months in office. It also sets a good precedent.
FitzGerald still has a long way to go in his term, but based on his willingness to share during his short tenure, we move the Fitz-O-Meter for this promise to Promise Kept.
The Plain Dealer, "Candidates for new Cuyahoga County government promise specific changes for openness, transparency,” Sept. 25, 2010