The Plain Dealer reports on wasteful spending and pay to play at the Port Authority --
Birthday cakes, fine dining and holiday bashes - all on the public's dime - were routine at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
But even the port's top accountant questioned this expense last September: a $425 membership for a port official to join Continental Airlines' Presidents Club, a "relaxing oasis" for the busy traveler.
Chief Financial Officer Lynda Sudderberg, who recently left the authority, told her boss she did not think it was an appropriate expense for a port vice president.
Her boss, then-President Gary Failor, overruled her. It was no surprise - the port had bought him a membership two years before.
The authority is overseen by nine board members, six appointed by the city of Cleveland and three by the county commissioners. It has a budget of nearly $10 million, about a third of which comes from a tax on Cuyahoga County property owners. Most of the rest is from port financing fees and leases.
And how do they explain the out of control spending?The Rev. Sterling Glover, longtime chairman whose service on the board ended in January, did not return phone calls. Failor, who is being paid his $180,000 salary by the port until Friday, declined to comment.
Developer John Carney, board chairman since last March, praised Failor's legacy and noted that the port's business expenses typically come in under budget.
But should we worry? Yes!Mayor Frank "I forgot about Steel Yard Abatements & Triangle Development" Jackson will rescue us. The city will monitor the port's progress, Andrea Taylor, Mayor Frank Jackson's spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Whole Story......