2010 CE G Digital Dossier: Dolan, Matt

Digital Dossier: Dolan, Matt

The information that follows is from our independent research. It is followed by Mr. Dolan's response to our questionnaire. You may e-mail us for a copy of this candidate's campaign finance disclosure. For an update on the recent campaign finance information, please read:  http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2010/08/matt_dolan_and_ed_fitzgerald_lead_money_race_for_cuyahoga_county_executive_primaries.html

Name:             Matthew J. Dolan

Date of Birth and Age on Election Day:  45          

Political Party Affiliation:  Republican

Campaign Address: 

Friends of Matthew J. Dolan
30325 Bainbridge Road, Building B Unit 1
Solon, Ohio 44139 

For contributions:

1500 W. 3rd Street, Suite 120
Cleveland, Ohio 44113



(See http://electmattdolan.com  (as of 7/28/2010)

Campaign Officers/Participants:

Brittany Williams, Treasurer 

(See http://electmattdolan.com  (as of 7/28/2010)


Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations:   Endorsed by Republican Party of Cuyahoga County (see Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/1/10, Cuyahoga County Republican Party endorses Matt Dolan in inaugural county executive race, by Henry Gomez  http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2010/07/cuyahoga_county_republican_party_endorses_matt_dolan_in_inaugural_county_executive_race.html

Former Attorney General and State Auditor Jim Petro, State Senator Tom Patton, District 24, State Representative Nan Baker, District 16, State Representative Josh Mandel, District 17

Mayor Tom Perciak – Strongsville, Mayor Scott Coleman – Highland Heights, Mayor Greg Costabile – Mayfield Heights, Mayor Jerry Hruby – Brecksville, Mayor Dennis Clough – Westlake, Mayor Connie White – Gates Mills, Mayor Robert Blomquist – Olmsted Falls, Mayor Pam Bobst – Rocky River, Mayor Tom Brick - Chagrin Falls, Mayor Debbie Sutherland - Bay Village    (See http://electmattdolan.com  (as of 7/28/2010)



Home Address:  515 Solon Road, Chagrin Falls OH 44022 (see http://auditor.cuyahogacounty.us/repi/General.asp)

Spouse/Significant Other:  none found

Children: son, Sam

Educational History:  J.D., Case Western Reserve University, Bachelors from Boston College, Gilmour Academy (high school)

Employment History:

See http://electmattdolan.com;  Plain Dealer, June 25, 2010, “Cuyahoga County executive candidate Matt Dolan branches out from family tree, touts moderate views” by Henry Gomez - http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county-reform/index.ssf/2010/07/cuyahoga_county_executive_cand_1.html#incart_mce)

Social/Civic/Club Affiliations:

Per campaign web site (http://electmattdolan.com):

Board Member Kent State University, Geauga Campus
Board Member American Red Cross Cleveland Chapter
Board Member, YMCA Wellness Center
Member, Cleveland Council on World Affairs
Member, Cleveland City Club

The Providence House National Respitograpy Award, 2009
Boy Scouts of America Appreciation Award, 2008
Ohio Horseman's Association Legislator of the Year, 2007
Watchdog of the Treasury, 2006-2008
Buckeye Institute Fiscal Pistol, 2006-2008

Criminal Record:  None found

Civil Litigation:   None found

Bankruptcies:  None found

Ethical Issues: 

Prior Campaigns –
2004 Campaign for 98th House District seat

See below, from http://www.ourcampaigns.com/CandidateDetail.html?CandidateID=44103:


OH State House 98

Won 100.00% (+100.00%)



OH State House 98 - R Primary

Won 100.00% (+100.00%)



OH State House 98

Won 56.76% (+13.51%)



OH State House 98- R Primary

Won 100.00% (+100.00%)



OH State House 98

Won 65.21% (+30.42%)



OH State House 98 R Primary

Won 59.73% (+19.45%)

Questionnaire Response

I. Integrity
Have you ever held a position, public or private, where you were required to report
gifts made to you or expenditures made on your behalf? When, where?
Yes, as State Representative for the 98th District, 2005 – January 2010

Did you attend any type of ethics training relating to holding or campaigning for
public office?

Has a complaint ever been filed against you, or any campaign committee acting on
your behalf, in the Ohio Elections Commission, or Federal Elections Commission?
Yes, for a late amended filing, for which there was a $100.00 fine.

In the last five years, have you been a party to any civil law suit? If yes, please
provide the case name and nature of the suit.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime, other than a minor misdemeanor? If yes,
please provide the year and jurisdiction of the conviction.

What steps have you taken to ensure that your campaign is complying with Ohio
Campaign Finance law?

I have hired an experienced campaign treasurer that understands Ohio elections law.

In your opinion, what are the most important steps that can be taken to prevent the
type of corruption that has recently been alleged to have occurred in county offices
and other public entities?
Restoring public trust in government is the key to being able to move the county
forward. In order to do this, I will lead with honesty and integrity, setting an
example and making it apparent to voters that I intend to hold the county to a higher
standard. County employees will be evaluated on their merits and those who perform
well and embrace a spirit of innovation and creativity will be rewarded while those
that do not will be let go. Furthermore, I will establish a bi-partisan advisory
committee to review and define the necessary qualifications for each board and
commission and then to evaluate potential candidates. With this culture shift, county
operations will focus on delivering the highest quality services with less hassle and
less waste.

II. Transparency
What steps do you believe can be taken at the county level to make access to public
records easier?
The charter places the responsibility that currently rests with the individual elected
offices all under the County Executive. This presents an opportunity to consolidate
the administrative functions of these offices so that anyone interested in obtaining a
public record will be able to go to a single point of contact with their request that will
be responsible for managing all requests. Furthermore, restructuring, under a Dolan
Administration, will include a concerted effort to place more and more public
documents online so that they are readily available to the public.

What steps do you believe can be taken to make campaign finance reports more
transparent/easily accessible to the public?
I am in full support of transparent disclosure and electronic filing of campaign
finance reports so that the public can readily access records online.

10. What steps do you believe can be taken to make the operation of the new county
government more transparent?
Communication is an essential ingredient in all good relationships and part of my
effort to restore the public’s trust in government will be to establish an open dialogue

with the community and to hold meetings and make decisions out in the open.
Furthermore, I will restore the public/private relationship so that there is an ongoing
dialogue between the business, non-profit and public sectors. With such a dialogue,
the knowledge and expertise of those outside of government can become a factor in
important decisions that are currently made in vacuum.

III. Efficiency
11. What steps do you believe could be taken to improve cooperation and between county
government and other local governments?
We must get our own house in order so that municipalities can once again have faith
in County first by increasing our own efficiency and effectiveness while operating
transparently. I intend to immediately conduct an assessment of the County’s real
estate holdings, put viable properties back on the market and align building use with
our space needs. I will identify our core competencies and focus our energy on doing
these really well. At the same time, I will determine whether our non-core
competencies, such as car repair for example, can be more effectively provided by the
non-profit or private sectors, which will create more jobs and stimulate the economy.
I will implement a contract management system internally and amongst the 105
taxing entities throughout the county that will implement contracting standards and
identify opportunities for collaboration. The system will also sync the timing of
contracts so that for those faceless contracts such as paper, phone service or salt,
municipalities can choose to enter into a single joint contract instead of 41 different
contracts with the same vendor for the same service, which will drive down costs and
save tax dollars. Successfully taking these steps will open the door to dialogue
surrounding further cooperation opportunities.

12. Describe any specific areas where you believe it would be beneficial to pool regional
As I described in my answer to the last question, the faceless contracts of government
are a perfect opportunity for municipalities to pool together in order to save tax
dollars. The County owns its own fiber-optic cable and municipalities could
potentially jump onto the County’s network and take advantage of this resource as
well. The expansion of the County’s health care plan to other governments is another
example and more are sure to arise once we have reestablished an open dialogue.

13. Please generally describe your position on the issue of regionalism.

The unfortunately reality is that we are years away from regionalism because of the
current lack of trust that exists among local governments that is the result of a lack of
leadership and vision over the last 13 years. By taking the steps I discuss in my
answers to the two previous questions, we reestablish that trust and set the stage for a
real conversation about regionalism.

IV. Competence
14. Have you ever run for public office? If so, please identify the office and the date of
the election.
State Representative, 98th District – 2004, 2006, 2008
State Representative, 68th District -1992

15. What public offices have you held? When?
State Representative, 98th District – 2005 – January 2010

16. Describe your experience in administering or managing an organization, and provide
details relating to the size and nature of the organization:
Public sector: As State Representative, I supported Northeast Ohio’s business, nonprofit
and arts and culture communities by ensuring they were allocated proper
funding resources. I was the key sponsor of the Great Lakes Compact, legislation to
protect our greatest asset and natural resource, Lake Erie. I was also the primary
mover of other visionary legislation. For example, the Cuyahoga County Landbank,
which is fighting foreclosure Countywide by acquiring abandoned properties and
returning them to productive use, and the Third Frontier Project, which supports new,
creative and innovative companies.

While serving as Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Geauga, I had complete
managerial responsibilities over the office.

Private sector: As Vice President of 7th Avenue Property, I am responsible for
management, leasing, employee contracts, vendor contracts and overall business

Furthermore, I took over the operations of a day care center when it was $72,000 in
debt, overstaffed and on the verge of closing. I immediately cut staff from 18 to 10,
reduced salaries 8% and re-worked daily operations to increase efficiency. It remains
in operation today.

17. Have you participated in preparing a budget for a business, government organization,
or non-profit organization? If so, please generally describe that experience.
While in the House, I earned the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Finance and
Appropriations Committee during my second term. In this role, I worked with
Republicans and Democrats to pass a nearly unanimous $54 billion budget that
lowered taxes and reduced the size of government. Also while in office, I made
strides in the area of tax reform, spearheading a campaign that resulted in legislation
reducing the kilowatt hour tax and supporting tax credits that stimulate business

18. Have you dealt with public finance issues (i.e.
predicting tax revenues, bond
issuance, etc.) in any prior position? Describe your experience in public finance. If
such experience is limited, please describe related experience.
As I mentioned in response to the previous question, while serving as State
Representative, I served as Chairman of the Finance committee, responsible for
oversight of the state budget. I also represented the Geauga County Board of
Educations and the individual school districts throughout the county as well as
representing the Geauga County Treasurer.

19. Do you have any experience relating to accounting; if yes, please describe.

20. Have you ever held a public position in which you held public meetings? If so,
describe that position and your role.
As Chair of the House Finance Committee, I held public hearings pertaining to any
legislation that came before the committee.

21. Have you, or any business in which you held more than a 50% interest, ever filed for
bankruptcy. When, where?

22. In any prior position, have you developed, implemented or been in charge of
enforcing an ethics policy for employees? If so, please describe.
Yes, as managing partner in charge of the personnel committee at Thrasher, Dinsmore
and Dolan.

23. Have you ever held a public position where you managed employees who were
subject to civil service laws. When? Where?

24. Have you ever held a public or private position where you managed employees who
were subject to a collective bargaining agreement? When, Where?

V. Policy
25. What philosophy will you follow in appointing leadership positions within county
I will fill his Administration with Agents of Change, who reflect the diversity of
Cuyahoga County and who understand the need to make tough decisions and institute
creative approaches in order to move the County toward positive growth. The
Change Agents will:

Take the proactive steps to eliminate redundancy,
Streamline operations,
Seek innovative strategies to maximize service delivery at the highest possible
efficiency, creating savings,
Require that each position within County government have a job description
detailing its duties and qualifications, and
Establish a system of performance budgeting and audits to quantify the
effectiveness of the County’s service delivery.
A primary function of the County is the delivery of health and human services. By
placing the right people in key positions and taking steps to increase efficiency and
effectiveness, a Dolan Administration will deliver higher quality services to more
people who need it with less hassle and less waste.

26. What steps do you believe county government can take to take advantage of
Cuyahoga County’s lake front?
I will appoint qualified, creative individuals with maritime experience to the Port
Authority Board and the Economic Development Commission and work with these
entities to establish a comprehensive, strategic vision for the lakefront.

27. What steps do you believe county government can take to promote business
The single most important thing I will do is establish Cuyahoga Forward, a one-stopshop
for businesses and non-profits that will:

Act as a central point for economic development throughout the County
Provide relevant information, such as the availability of financing
opportunities, tax incentives, real estate and workforce development
Supply information on government loans and grants
Offer grant writing and technical assistance
28. In your opinion, what is the single most important thing county government can do to
promote economic development?
The single most important thing I will do is to restore the public/private relationship,
opening up a dialogue and creating an environment for jobs.

29. Please identify and generally explain your top three public policy goals.
Restore honesty and integrity to Cuyahoga County government

1. Issue an Executive Order requiring ethics training and institute a strict gift
2. Refuse any financial contributions from any County employees,
3. Establish a bipartisan committee, taking the politics out of the boards and
commissions appointment process by setting standards to ensure the
service of qualified individuals,
4. Demand accountability from every County division by instituting
performance budgeting and auditing
2) Increase effectiveness in government

1. Focus on the core competencies of County government,
2. Determine whether non-core competencies can be more effectively
provided by the non-profit or private sector,
3. Identify commercially viable County owned properties and return them to
the market place,
4. Centralize the County’s purchasing process, eliminating redundant and
unnecessary purchases, increasing uniformity and driving down
administrative costs,
5. Use the County’s new home rule authority to improve the County’s
construction project management approach where they would be
beneficial, lower project completion times and save taxpayers money,

6. Institute contract management internally and amongst the 105 taxing
entities throughout the County
Define the objectives of collaboration to be cost savings, as
measured by tax dollars and time savings, as measured by the
reduction of duplicate services
Focus on the faceless contracts of government, such as printing,
back room supplies, salt, and cell phones
c. Implement standards for contract measurement
3) Stimulate economic development and growth
1. Restore the relationship between the public and private sectors,
2. Create a stable, competitive and predictable climate for business growth,
3. Form Cuyahoga Forward, an independent non-profit entity that will serve
as a one-stop-shop for businesses and non-profits,
Act as a central point for economic development throughout the
Provide relevant information, such as the availability of financing
opportunities, tax incentives, real estate and workforce
c. Supply information on government loans and grants
d. Offer grant writing and technical assistance
4. Promote the manufacturing, distribution and use of alternative energy
4) Deliver effective, efficient and comprehensive human services
Reform County agencies to conduct wrap around services so that all the
needs of an individual are assessed at first contact
Focus on funding the most effective agencies, not simply just the biggest
Eliminate redundant services within County agencies and consolidate
duplicate efforts,
Encourage partnerships among service providers so that similar and
related services can be provided in a manner that is practical and best
services the citizen