2014 CE P Smith, Shirley

2014 CE P Smith, Shirley

I.          Personal Information

            A.        Name:  Shirley Smith

            B.        Date of Birth and Age on Election Day: 11/29/1950 (63)

            C.        Home Address: Cleveland, OH

            D.        Spouse/Significant Other: Divorced

            E.         Children: 2

            F.         Social/Civic/Club Affiliations:

II.        Educational History

III.       Employment History

IV.       Background Check

            A.        Criminal Record: None

            B.        Civil Litigation: Unclear, common name.  See civil suit identified by candidate below.

            C.        Bankruptcy: None

            D.        Ethical Issues: None

V.         Campaign Information                       

            A.        Political Party: Democrat

            B.        Campaign Address: People for Shirley Smith • Lisa Grotsky • 3819 Mayfair Drive• Columbus, OH 43123

            C.        Campaign Officers/Participants: Richel Wiggins

            D.        Prior Campaigns:

            E.         Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations:

VI.       Other


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?

State Representative, 10th District: 1999 – 2006

State Senator, 21st District: 2007 – Present

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

Yes.  Ethics trainings include individual consultations with and participation in events sponsored by Ohio’s Joint Legislative Ethics Committee (JLEC) and other events sponsored by the Ohio Senate and Ohio House Democratic Caucuses.

3. 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? 


4. 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.

YES: #2006-05543 – Habeeb v. Smith, Civil Defamation Law Suit.

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


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

I have reviewed all laws and policies regarding campaign finance law with my staff and with volunteers, when necessary.  I have recruited knowledge volunteers who are familiar with Ohio Campaign Finance Laws.  And I have regularly check with appropriate authorities when questions have arise.

7. Do you intend to support and maintain the office of County Inspector General?


B.        Transparency

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

The county government can dedicate additional personnel to the task of helping the public have access to public records.

9. What steps do you believe can be taken to make campaign finance reports more transparent/easily accessible to the public?

Cuyahoga County should implement a modern online filing system, akin to that used by the Ohio Secretary of State, that will make documents, contributions, and filings more accessible and more easily downloadable by the public.

10.  Please identify the top three contributors to your campaign and how much each has contributed.

Records for all contributors and contributions can be obtained at the Office of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

11.  What steps do you believe can be taken to make the operation of the county government more transparent?

With the implementation of the new County Charter, county government seems to be headed in the right direction towards transparency.  

C.        Efficiency

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

As County Executive, I would prioritize building relationships with local elected officials, and establishing joint, attainable goals to ensure that the municipalities are moving forward.

13.  Describe any specific areas where you believe it would be beneficial for local governments to consolidate services through the county government.

I believe that we should look at opportunities to share the following services when possible: insurance coverages, fire departments and emergency personnel, and payroll services.   Additionally, I would work with state legislators to remove restrictions that prohibit municipalities from working together.

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

I believe in regionalism in terms of sharing services yet maintaining the distinctive character of each community.

D.        Competence

15.  Have you ever run for public office? If so, please identify the office and the date of the election.

Cleveland city Council, Ward 10: 1993/1994

State Representative, District 10: 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004

State Senator, District 21: 2006, 2010

16.  What public offices have you held? When?

State Representative, 10th District: 1999 – 2006

State Senator, 21st District: 2007 – Present

17.  Describe your experience in administering or managing an organization, and provide details relating to the size and nature of the organization.

Working for a local soft drink company, I worked as the Manager of Brand Development, and I was responsible for public relations and promotions in order to increase sales.  I also ran branding and promotional campaigns in Northeast Ohio for this company.

Additionally, I served as the Chairwoman of Ohio’s Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) for over two years.  In that position, I was the only Democrat legislator to chair a committee in a government where Republicans controlled both the House, the Senate, and the Governor’s office.  I was responsible for overseeing the efforts of the Executive Director and the CIIC staff, for organizing and leading hearings, and for approving expenditures.

18.  Have you participated in preparing a budget for a business, government organization, or non-profit organization?  If so, please generally describe that experience.

Working for a local soft drink company, I established and managed a budget for programming and sponsorships in specified territories in Cuyahoga County.

I began service as a member of the Ohio Senate’s Finance Committee in 2009, and that service continues to this day.  In this role, I established relationships with local agencies and organizations to make sure that state funds were adequately appropriated to fund their services and programming.

19.  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. 

Please see my response to Question #18, as it relates to my service on the Ohio Senate’s Finance Committee. 

Additionally, I have worked on issues related to the bonding of state assets, such as the Turnpike, and I have worked on the state’s capital budget, providing funds for capital projects for local infrastructure projects by use of state bonds.

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

No, not by professional training or license.

21.  Have you ever held a public position in which you held public meetings? If so, describe that position and your role. 

Yes.  As a State Represenative and Senator, I have regularly held town hall meetings to inform the public on issues of major importance.  Topics of my townhall meetings include: Neighborhood Safety Programming, local budgets cuts caused by the Great Recession, Changes in Ohio’s Cosmetology Industry, and Ohio’s new laws on collateral sanctions and records sealing.

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


23.  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 a member of the House of Representatives and as a State Senator, I have made sure that my office staff comply with the state’s ethics policies.

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


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


E.         Policy

26.  What philosophy will you follow in appointing leadership positions within county government?

I will hire and appoint those individuals who are qualified, capable, and committed to the people of Cuyahoga County.  All candidates must meet charter requirements for their positions, if there are requirements.

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

There are many options to consider, including consolidating airport management through a regional board, reconsidering options for Burke Lakefront Airport, promoting coastal communities as mixed-use neighborhoods with access to a unique resource, maintaining and/or expanding public parks and access to them, and enforcing and promoting policies that restore Lake Erie, its tributaries, and their natural habitats.

28.  What steps do you believe county government can take to promote business development?

Cuyahoga County government must prioritize job creation, a healthy Cuyahoga County, and neighborhood development.

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

We must create an environment that is conducive for business growth and attraction.  This environment must include healthy and educated residents, good infrastructure, strong public-private partnerships, and a responsive county government.

30.  Do you believe that the County Charter provides an appropriate balance of power between the County Executive and the County Council?  Please explain your response.

Yes it does because the County Council and the County Executive are two separate,  functioning entities that work independently of each other towards the same goal: representing and serving the people of Cuyahoga County.

31.  Did you support Issue 3 on last November’s ballot?  Please explain why you did or did not support that issue.

I supported Issue 3 because I believe that it is important for employees to feel that they can safely report problems without worrying about the quality of the system that exists to handle their reports and concerns.

32.  Do you support the renewal of the Sin Tax? Please explain your position.

The question should not be whether one supports renewal of the Sin Tax.  The question should be, “Do Cuyahoga County residents fairly and equitably benefit from this regressive tax?”  And to that question, I say no.

33.  Please identify and generally explain your top three public policy goals.

No. 1: Jobs – Making sure to connect the unskilled with job training programs in areas where businesses need employees now, connecting the underemployed individuals with new opportunities and re-training programs, supporting local start-ups and spin-offs, and making Cuyahoga County the place where innovative businesses want to be.

No. 2: Health – Eliminating health disparities by promoting access to healthcare services and by promoting healthy lifestyle choices. 

No. 3: Community development – Collaborating and cooperating with all of our communities to realize local and regional goals.