Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hopkins Airport work authorized without councils approval

Recent events in spending and protocol at Hopkins Airport continue to show a pattern that Cleveland/Cuyahoga Co. officials and department heads have no problem dismissing any laws, regulations or chain of command.

Appoionted by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Airport Director Ricky Smith, ignoring city laws approved over $456,000 in cost overruns and designs fees, without getting prior approval from city council

In a page out of Mayor Jacksons' "How To" book, Smith first led council to believe the cost over runs were approved prior to him being appointed. Unfortunately for Smith, dates on emails, memos and letters from him, show he is not telling the truth - Go figure!

When questioned about this circumventing of city law and policy, Smith blamed deadlines and staff turnover as the reason. He admitted knowing he was wrong to do it, but figured he would get a slap on the wrist.

The PD reported -

"The airport felt pressured to move a project along . . . and [thought] we'll get smacked on the wrist later," Smith told members of council's Aviation and Transportation Committee this week.

Smith also said airport officials authorized Standard Parking, which operates the airport's parking lots and garages, to convert an employee lot into a $7-a-day visitor lot without council's approval; he blamed a miscommunication between a staff member and airport attorney and an ambitious project schedule.

Standard will receive $61,000 in rent credits for its work. More.....

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