Ed Fitz

Fitzgerald set to take on Kasich, but who is going to take him on?

ONUMBA.COM – For quite some time now, speculations have been rife about who is going to take on Republican Governor John Kasich in the next gubernatorial showdown. Some Democratic names have been dangled around as likely candidates, but no one has categorically declared an interest in running for governor of Ohio until now. He is Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, the former Mayor of Lakewood, who last week kicked off his campaign with planned clambakes in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Fitzgerald is the first Democrat to jump into the race for governor. But it came as little surprise given that the 44-year old former FBI agent had been talking up his interest for months. Continue Reading

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Africans hope Obama’s second term will usher in deeper engagement with homeland

ONUMBA.COM –President Obama’s only visit to Africa during his first term was his brief trip to Ghana shortly after he took office in January 2009. Some folks are startled by the fact that it was his only visit to the ancestral homeland in his first term, to say the very least.  When White House Director of African-American and Minority Business Outreach Michael Blake visited Columbus a couple of years ago, it was one of the questions posed to him by the Onumba.com during an interview at the State House, Downtown. Blake, who was in Columbus to trumpet the president’s accomplishments for the African-American community, was asked if the president was planning a major trip to Africa. “It is not finalized,” he replied, but quickly veered off matters of African visit, saying, “We have shown a very sincere and continued engagement with Africa,” particularly in the area of economic aid and support for elections to shore up Democratic governments there. “Finalized,” or not, it never happened in the president’s first term. Continue Reading

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After hedging, board agreed to allow Coleman’s panel in

ONUMBA.COM –After months of grappling with an immensely embarrassing probe involving student attendance record skullduggery, which is still playing out, it would be safe to assume that members of the Columbus Board of Education and school district officials are now busy cleaning up the mess from this massive catastrophe by installing adequate measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But there’s no assuming what role Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is playing as part of his effort to help improve the district. Recently, he and City Council President Andrew Ginther formed a panel of 25 members to recommend ways to do that. It is called Columbus Education Commission (CEC). To be sure, it wasn’t clear at first just how both independently concieved orbs, that is, the districts internal housecleaning efforts and Coleman’s moves, would coalesce or at the very least work in choriamb in pursuit of a common mission. Continue Reading

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Mayor’s small business conference lauded by small business owners

ONUMBA.COM – It wasn’t the first time the city of Columbus has organized a city-wide clambake for small businesses, but it could be the finest and the biggest ever. That was how a very satisfied Thomas H. Stephens, Assistant Director of the Mayor’s Equal Business Opportunity Office, described the 10th Mayor’s Small Business Conference & Expo that played out recently at the Hyatt at the Columbus Convention Center, Downtown. The theme of the gathering was “Go Forward: Driving Local Economic Growth through Small Business Inclusion and Sustainability.” 

“This is outstanding. People loved it,” said Stephens, adding, “It was more than what we planned it to be. This year’s conference was a full day, previous ones were half a day. Continue Reading

Ginther

Ginther poured cold water on charter reform plan

ONUMBA.COM – Initially, Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther was taciturn over the raging debate concerning the proposal to amend the City charter and swap the current ‘at-large’ method of electing members of the City Council with a blended system that would incorporate elements of ‘at-large and ward’ systems.

But recently, he weighed in with a bray and caviling posture about the simmering hubbub. 

Simply put, there would be no changes to the charter, he declared. The “petition” is “over.”

But the bad news for the leaders of Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government, the cabal rabidly seeking to reform the city charter, is not really that Ginther is fiercely opposed to their plan. Rather, their official waterloo is that not enough petitions were submitted to advance their cause, meaning that they failed to meet a cardinal requirement for amending the city charter. Ginther, whose opposition to the plan certainly doesn’t help, elaborated further in a letter he sent to the citizens of Columbus last week. “In short, the petition failed to meet the minimum requirements for a charter amendment to be placed on the ballot, which is 19,164 valid signatures, representing 10 percent of the electors in the last preceding municipal election,” said Ginther, adding, “Upon review, the Franklin County Board of Elections determined the petitions contained only 8,471 valid signatures.  Therefore, City Council concluded the process by voting unanimously not to place the proposed charter amendment on the November ballot.”

The cabal of reformists is seeking to place the issue on the November ballot for residents to decide. Continue Reading