2014 CC11 P&G Currid, John

2014 CC11 G Digital Dossier: Currid, John

Mr. Currid is the Republican Party candidate for this office and will face incumbent Sunny Simon in November.  His questionnaire response is below, following the results of our biographical research. Follow this link to our YouTube page to view his video.   

Biographical Information

I.          Personal Information

            A.        Name:                                      John J. Currid

            B.         DOB/Age on Election Day:        33 (circa)

            C.         Home Address:                         South Euclid, Ohio 

            D.            Spouse/Significant Other:           Julie

            E.         Children:                                   Emily & JAC

            F.         Social/Civic/Club Affiliations:     St. Dominic Catholic Church

            G.         Professional Affiliations:            Unknown

 

II.         Educational History:       College of Wooster, BA, Communication Studies – Media (2003)

III.       Employment History

IV.       Background Check

            A.        Criminal Record            No records at Ohio Supreme Court                                

            B.         Civil Litigation               None found.

            C.         Bankruptcy                   None found.

            D.        Ethical Issues                None found.

V.        Campaign Information                          

            A.        Political Party:                                       Republican

            B.         Campaign Address:                               1683 Beaconwood Ave., South Euclid 44121

            C.         Campaign Officers/Participants:             Ron Sabransky, Treasurer                                                                                                                      Committee to Elect John J. Currid

D.        Prior Campaigns:                                   Unknown

            E.         Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations:     

  1. South Euclid GOP
  2. Ohio Republican Party
  3. Cuyahoga County Republican Party

 VI.       Issues of Interest          

  1. Main Street Reinvestment Funding Plan
  2. Local revenue collected in community first made available locally. Promote local Neighborhoods & Main Streets and grow from within!
  3. Skilled Workforce & Education Plan
  4. Work with students starting in middle school to train the next generation of skilled contractors, plumbers, elections, welders, machinists, and other skilled tradesman.
  5. Sales Tax Holiday (Back-to-School & Holidays)
  6. Hardworking families in our community could utilize this savings while local businesses would benefit from real stimulus. Many states, including NY & MA, already offer.Anti-Truancy Plan
  7. Partnership between county, schools, and businesses to prevent students from getting “service” at businesses during school hours. Kids need to stay safe and in school!
  8. Four-Step Transparency Plan

1)      All county transactions searchable online;

2)      All county records searchable online;

3)      County meetings held after-hours, streamed online, & online Q&A;

4)      Charter changed to recognize & promote transparency! WE CANNOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES!!!

http://www.bestcuyahoga.com/a-vision-for-the-cuyahoga-county

VII.      Sponsored Legislation

VIII.     Other

 “South Euclid GOP attempting to have its voice heard; John Currid is new president of organization” by Jeff Piorkowski, special to Sun News (2/9/2013)

http://www.cleveland.com/lyndhurst-south-euclid/index.ssf/2013/02/south_euclid_gop_attempting_to.html

Press Release: http://www.bestcuyahoga.com/news/media/

Campaign theme: “B.E.S.T. My priorities will be to promote Business, Education, Safety, and responsible Taxes for Families and Business to thrive”

Note: Spoke against sin tax because the voting party did not identify how the money may be used for the benefit of the suburbs, in particular the suburban merchants who commonly gulp the tax cost to stay competitive.

Questionnaire response.

A.        Integrity

1. 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? No

2. 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. No

3. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, other than a minor misdemeanor?  If yes, please provide the year and jurisdiction of the conviction. No

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

Prior to be deposited all campaign donations must first be approved by me.  Anyone who accepts donations on the campaign's behalf must first receive a copy of the Ohio Campaign Finance Handbook and sign-off on receipt and compliance.

5. 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? No

6. Prior to this campaign, have you campaigned for elected office?  If so, please identify the date, the office, and the outcome.  No

7. Please identify the top three contributors to your campaign, how much you have raised thus far, how much you intend to raise, and how much you have spent thus far on your campaign.

My treasurer, Ron Sabransky and myself are the top donors to my campaign.

B.         Transparency

8. What steps can be taken at the county level to make access to public records easier?

Public transparency must be a mission of government and a priority for all elected officials and public employees. Leadership in office requires a commitment to transparency. As an elected official I will make it a priority to side with open disclosure as the standard, making it as easy to access records without going through the public record request process.

Records should be kept on a secure yet searchable website that can access at anytime without going through the process of Public Information Requests. Meetings should continue to be made available to stream OnDemand from the county website, steps should be taken to make those meetings available real-time with live Q & A from virtual attendees.

Finally, the county should take steps to follow the lead of the State of Ohio and make all public transactions, payments, receipts, payroll etc. available online and searchable. The State Treasurers office has already completed this process at the state level and is assisting local governments to do the same.

9. What steps can be taken to make the operations of county government more transparent?

Unlike the precedent throughout much of government where public inquiry is looked at as a bad thing; I will advocate and lead to make nondisclosure the exception and NOT the norm. Records and meetings should be open and easily accessed in person or using technology.  In cases where disclosure is not legally allowed, a full explanation should be immediately available and all relevant information not legally withheld should be suggested and made available.

Further, unlike the situation in my home city of South Euclid where the city skirted legal responsibility in DiFranco v. City of South Euclid based on a thin reading of the Ohio Revised Code. I would recommend a Charter Amendment be passed at the county level to require payment of legal fees and damages when a court decides that the county was in the wrong for withholding or delaying access to records and/or meetings. This will serve as a determent to elected officials to block access to the peoples government.

10. If elected, what steps would you take to improve citizen engagement and to communicate critical information to your constituents?

As previously suggested above, I would advocate for and be an outspoken leader to make all records easily searchable online without going through the Public Information Request process. I would expand the online viewing of public meetings to be real-time and offer live Q & A from virtual attendees. Finally, I would make efforts to change council and committee meetings to more convenient for working residents and hold such meetings outside of regular business hours.

C.        Efficiency

11. What steps do you believe could be taken to improve cooperation and between county government and other local governments?

I am a strong advocate for home rule where and when it does not interfere with the state and federal Constitutions. I do not think the county should mandate regional or collaborative government but should offer assistance when requested by individual communities.

Some examples of these collaborations would be on tactical safety forces: SWAT, Water or High-rise Rescue, Bomb Squad, etc. I support the voluntary collaborations of safety force dispatch for those cities interested in a joint unit.

For those cities still operating their own public parks and libraries, the county could play a role in managing those systems and utilizing the existing county run park and library systems. AGAIN, THIS SHOULD BE VOLUNTARY AND BE INITIATED BY THE INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITIES AND NOT THE COUNTY.

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

SEE ANSWER TO QUESTION 11

13. After four years of the new county government, can you identify any areas or programs that you believe could be run more efficiently?

14. In what way(s) would you improve that relationship between the Executive and Council?

The Executive should have less unilateral authority and the council should have equal power to that of the Executive.

D.        Competence

15. Aside from your campaigns for County Council, have you ever run for public office? If so, please identify the office and the date of the election. 

No.

I do not agree with the implied premise that only a career politician is "competent" to hold this office. I have spent my entire career in the private sector and my experiences and successes there more than qualify me for this position. I do not have an ambition for a career in politics, jumping from one election to the next.

16. Aside from your current position, what public offices have you held? When?

None, I have served my family and community by being a public voice for good government at the local, state, and federal levels. I have been a contributing, tax paying member of society since 14 when I first started working a part-time job at a bagel shop.

17. Have you, or any business in which you held more than a 50% interest, ever filed for bankruptcy.  When, where? NO

18. In your opinion, which aspects of your education and experience prepared you to serve on County Council?

My education at The College of Wooster has prepared me for critical thinking and researching. It also has prepared me for the public and interpersonal communication needed to be a good public leader.

The time I have spent in the private sector has prepared me to work within assigned budgets, manage my own time and responsibilities. I have worked within budgets small and large, ranging from a couple thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars. 

Further, my time as a manager has provided the experience to work & collaborate with others as well as manage individual personalities and behaviors.

Finally, as someone who has worked in media and publishing sales throughout the US and Europe, I have a strong business development background and know how to market and communicate the strengths of Cuyahoga County.

E.         Policy

19. What steps do you believe county government can take to take advantage of Cuyahoga County’s lake front?

One of the priorities of my BESTCuyahoga campaign is to close and redevelop Burke Lakefront Airport. With the expiration of the Sin Tax in 2015 and United reducing their capacity at Hopkins, Burke Lakefront Airport is an unnecessary and costly luxury the county can no longer afford. Tax payers should not be burdened with this continued tax and my plan is scalable and replaces the lost tax revenue with the windfall of revenue from the sale or lease of Lakefront project. The continued property, income, and sales tax revenues from the project continue to promote a BESTCuyahoga.

20. In your opinion, what is the single most important thing county government can do to promote economic development?

There is no magic bullet that will immediately reverse decades of mismanagement and corruption. A first step in making Cuyahoga County a beacon for investment would be to lessen the regulatory hurdles and tax burdens currently faced by families, individuals, & businesses.

This hits at the core of my BESTCuyahoga plan. By reducing its grip on businesses and individuals the county can focus its attention on issues like education and safety which will be a requirement in attracting new residents and businesses to call Cuyahoga County home.

21. Do you believe that the powers of County Council should be expanded to enhance its ability to check and balance the authority of the County Executive?

YES -- The council is body represented by eleven individuals sent to office by their local communities. Theses individuals best represent the county as a whole and should have equal power to a single executive.

 22. Did you support Issue 3 on the November 2013 ballot? Why or why not?

YES.

The best viewpoint I read on Issue 3 was from the Plain Dealer. Unfortunately, their view was inverted, applying it against Issue 3. The editorial claimed a Human Resources board could be politicized if overseen by the Council and not the Executive. However, I do not see how Council comprised of eleven individuals and requiring a majority vote to overturn rulings or make appointments, would be capable of politicizing the board more than a single Executive.

23. Do you support the renewal of the sin tax? Why or why not?

NO -- As stated above and as a staple of my BESTCuyahoga campaign, I am against renewing the Sin Tax and think a different approach needs to be taken to pay for the $226M obligation of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. I  suggest the redevelopment of Burke Lakefront Airport, using the windfall revenue from the sale or lease of the property to pay for the Stadium obligation while reserving the surplus tax revenue to further lessens the tax burden placed on families and businesses throughout the county.