Facilitator: Jennifer Coleman

  • Why is this important? Columbia building example: people were passionate, committed, but not necessarily aware of the timeline, regulations, etc.
  • Casino group, like many private sectors, has exploited the timeline to their advantage. To deal with this kind of planning, negotiations have to be done at that level
  • along with building projects, there should also be a focus on transportation projects and public spaces projects
  • A good time to get public involvement? Even before the pencil hits the paper! An example of late involvement that can stall a project: Oakwood Commons in South Euclid. Now public is engaged and there is citizen outcry.
  • The downside of early involvement can be the hiked up development prices on getting wind of a proposed project; cna hurt the developer. How can this be achieved without any disadvantage to both the parties? The effects of transparency that will add a monetary premium to the project need to be  examined and discussed with public.
  • TIMING is crucial. and so is balance
  • Examples of projects with effective public involvement:
  • Cleveland Public Library is a great example of a very involved public process. However that was a project where public involvement was a priority for the leadership/top officials and hence carried out in a fair and inclusive way
  • Case Western & UCI
  • Understanding the required public interaction difference between public projects and private projects is important; private interaction is at the discretion of the owner, but often can still be beneficial to the project.
  • Establish the timeline for the life of a major project, and then identify the points of insertion of public participation (see attached)
  • Example: Relocation of the Cuyahoga County offices in the Breuer tower on East 9th street: demolition costs/historic identity and asbestos removal costs along with huge outcry from local preservation groups shelved the project. This is another project that could have benefitted from early citizen involvement
  • How can we develop a forum/platforms where developers/construction companies can know about proposed projects?
  • What are the existing vehicles for involvement? Non-profits, CDCs, awareness public forums, City/County Planning dept. What are the ways to get more organizations involved?
  • How important is it for the people to first be educated about the rules/timelines/procedures for these projects, so their involvement can in turn be more timely and effective?
  • What intermediaries can be developed?
  • Lifeline- see attached
  • Effective use of available resources: tags, triggers, groups, geographies
  • How to educate public on historic districts, boundaries, etc. There seems to be a general lack of information or misinformation about historic landmark districts. What happens in the transition areas between these districts?
  • Can public engagement be made mandatory for big projects, both public and private, if they are intended for public use? In a city where the type of awnings and size of signage needs to undergo strict design review, how do historic buildings get razed to the ground and shopping malls get constructed on open public spaces?
  • Some projects have a number of ‘possible’ tracks for the timeline, where the main principles can be more binding than the actual ‘masterplan’. Most projects aim at working towards a general goal.
  • Public participation can help improve design, connectivity when provided with opportunity for input
  • We have to define the role of County in Economic Development.
  • Building ‘stuff’ is NOT economic development. Economic development needs to undergo a paradigm shift in Cleveland. Not invest in building stuff, but invest in people. and for that to happen, people need to be involved and their opinion for shaping this city has to matter.
  • Possible pilot projects for establishing the lifeline study/infographics: Justice Center, Data Library for the County
  • In the case of public projects, there should be openness and transparency in understanding how and where OPM “Other People’s Money” is spent
  • Take full advantage of the social engagement network in CLE
  • State of Oregon passed a law about citizen involvement for any project in the county. When will we? They have 19 different goals mandated by the state, and every county is allowed to use them with some variation, if needed
  • How can people join this TAP group moving forward?
  • How much control does the County have to make public
  • Maybe an ‘Office of Public Engagement’
  • Some entity like this could have made projects like the American Greetings situation
  • Cleveland Coalition did a great job with the casino project even if it didn’t give the best outcome.
  • Would this be a new entity collaborate existing organizations to work together
  • It is important that this organization is not a govt. organization. it could also work like the Market Survey dept. in corporate offices: product development as a reaction to the need.
  • The public engagement of a project may be divorced from the project structure itself – a public discourse on a project – public or private – may be beneficial to the public by bringing a spotlight onto issues that affect the county.
  • This Office of PE could host on its website Infographics about County projects: map entities, leverage points, sufficient accountability. One vehicle, one stop shopping for all information.

Next Steps

  1.  To get together a group of interested individuals to put together a timeline either based on a standard major project or use a sample pilot project to construct the timeline.  And then to identify possible opportunities for effective public involvement?
  2. Share and study the law in Oregon for citizen involvement on the TAP website
  3. To determine what steps need to be taken to make public engagement a requirement for major projects?
  4. Establish guidelines for an Office of Public Engagement

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