2016 CC2 G Digital Dossier Miller, Dale

2016 CC2 G Digital Dossier Miller, Dale

I.          Personal Information

Name:  Dale Miller

Date of Birth and Age on Election Day:   age 67 (born September 16, 1949 in Cleveland, OH) (www.dalemillerforohio.com/meet-dale)

Political Party Affiliation:  Democrat

Home Address:   4300 West 143rd Street, Cleveland

Spouse/Significant Other:  Carol Pierse (married since August 10, 1985)

Children:   None

Social/Civic/Club Affiliations: 

II.        Educational History

Garfield Heights High School (1967)

Case Western Reserve University, Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, awarded highest honors (1971)

University of Utah, Doctor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology (1976)

(www.dalemillerforohio.com/meet-dale)

III.       Professional Background

Program Evaluator for the Great Plains Community Mental Health Center in North Platte, Nebraska, 1977

Program Evaluator and did some testing and counseling at the Community Guidance Mental Health Center in Cleveland, Ohio, 1977-1979

(www.dalemillerforohio.com/meet-dale)

IV.       Criminal Record and Civil Court Involvement

Criminal Record: Unknown

Civil Litigation:  Unknown

Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas(http://cpdocket.cp.cuyahogacounty.us/p_NameSearch.aspx)

Bankruptcies: None

Ethical Issues:  None found.

V.        Campaign Information

Campaign Address: Friends of Dale Miller, 4300 W. 143rd St., Cleveland, OH 44135

Campaign Officers/Participants: 

Prior Campaigns:  See list of prior elected offices.

Prior Elected Offices: 

    Our Digital Dossier from Mr. Miller's run in 2012 is here.  Our review of that race is here.  

 Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations:

 

 

Dale Miller's Response to Candidate Questionnaire

Office of Cuyahoga County Council

2016 General Election

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?

I served previously as a member of Cleveland City Council, the Ohio House, and the Ohio Senate, and currently as a member of Cuyahoga County Council. For each of these positions, I filed the annual required report with the Ohio Ethics Commission or the Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee reporting gifts made to me or expenditures made on my behalf. I held these positions from 1980 through the present. There has not been much, if anything, of this nature that I’ve had to report during my time on Cuyahoga County Council.

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?

I am very knowledgeable about the campaign finance laws and prepare my own reports.  I have each report reviewed by my treasurer, who is a CPA, prior to submission. 

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 complaints have ever been filed against me or my campaign committee by any of the election authorities. There have been times where routine audits have resulted in requests for additional information or correction of technical errors. In all such cases, the necessary responses were made quickly and to the satisfaction of the election authorities.

6.  Prior to this campaign, have you campaigned for elected office?  If so, please identify the date, the office, and the outcome. 

I ran for Cleveland City Council in 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, and 1997, all successful. I ran for County Recorder in 1984 and lost in the Democratic Primary. I ran for the Ohio House in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004, all successful. I ran for the Ohio Senate in 1990, 1994, and 2006.  In the 1990 and 1994 elections, I lost in the Democratic Primary. I was successful in 2006. I ran for Cuyahoga County Council in 2010 and 2012, both successful. I also ran successfully for Democratic County Central Committee several times. I also ran several times for Democratic State Central Committee. I won two of those elections and lost the remainder.

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.

Top 3 contributors: Realtors PAC ($2,000), Ray Park ($1000), Al Ratner ($1,000), several others tied at $1,000. Raised so far in 2016: $42,705. Current amount on hand: Approximately $66,000. I don’t intend to raise much more. A few responses to previously made requests will probably come in. I’ve spent about $13,650 so far in 2016.

B.        Transparency

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

My main suggestion is to make information more available on how to access public records. There could be a link on the front page on the County’s website to details on who and where to contact for various kinds of information.  Also, I’ve been resisting the administration’s tendency to process a lot of public records requests through the central communications office and the law department. If routine requests could be provided at the departments where the information is kept, it would be easier.

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

Our process for displaying the status of legislation and showing successive versions as it is amended is still hit or miss and needs to be improved. The long awaited database on county contracts still needs to be fully implemented.  The County needs to have a publicly stated process on how pay levels for employees are determined and a long-range plan on how we will achieve pay equity across positions and employees.

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

This is an area that clearly needs improvement.  I believe that County government overall is reasonably transparent for those willing to get involved but there is not enough engagement. I have resisted mailing newsletters at public expense because of cost. We should develop a list of people interested in receiving regular updates and send them email reports (and mail reports for those without computer access). We should determine what legislation has broad public impact and proactively seek public input. The County Council, for the first time, is preparing to implement a process that I embedded in the County Council rules 5 years ago but so far has not been done. It would create a County Council Committee which includes both members of County Council and the general public.

C.        Efficiency

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

The new County Government has a Collaboration Office and has done a lot of good work in this area, especially collaborating on sewer maintenance, street repair, IT, and health care.  The current need is to correct the financial problems with the Regional Health Care Program.  We are providing a regional health care system for about 15 local governments and agencies in the area, but the rates were not properly set, and the system is running a deficit.

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

The concept of regionalism, which I embrace, reflects the knowledge that economic competition in the 21st century is at the regional level involving large regions such as all of Northeast Ohio.  Having 59 municipalities just in Cuyahoga County, each with different laws and policies, is not the ticket to economic success in this environment. In the ideal, we would benefit greatly if we could merge current jurisdictions into a simpler pattern of regional governance, but it is very difficult to overcome all the history behind them.  The next best thing is to promote a high degree of collaboration and an effort to pursue regional economic goals, rather than internal competition.  The efforts to reduce the number of public safety dispatch systems through collaboration is an example of how we can make some progress without governmental mergers.

13.  Can you identify any departments or programs that you believe can be run more efficiently?

The County Council passed legislation on September 13, 2016, of which I was the prime sponsor to create a comprehensive system-wide planning process for Health & Human Services in Cuyahoga County.  There are a huge number of agencies and programs, both inside and outside of government in this area, producing duplication and inefficiencies. I am hopeful that the planning process can lead us to approaches that are more client centered, less complex, less duplicative, more efficient, and more effective.

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

    The Executive and Council both need to be willing to share ideas that are still in concept and share work that is still in draft. Holding off on interaction until we have finished products reduces flexibility and fluidity.  The Health & Human Services Planning Process mentioned above is an example of where this could work well. At the administration’s request, the legislation was amended to provide that most of the Council and public input will take place before the HHS plan is submitted to Council.

      The Executive and Council are not on the same page on some aspects of human resources policy.  Through direct communication, we need to work through this and achieve a common understanding.

       Overall, the Executive and Council have a very positive relationship and did so under the prior administration as well. The last biennial budget process was a good example. The administration and council were initially pretty far apart, but we listened to each other and worked together, and we produced a budget in which both sides achieved their most important priorities.

15.  Please comment on the effectiveness of the County’s Audit Department.

The Audit Department has done good work. For example, they discovered serious problems with the way court payments were being processed and got it corrected. They also highlighted the problems with the Regional Health Care Program, which is in the process of being corrected. Passage of a charter amendment which provides that the Executive and Fiscal Officer will be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Audit Commission, rather than voting members will provide greater independence and integrity to this process in the future.  The Executive is strengthening the audit process by finding and recommending really high quality financial experts from the private sector to sit on the Audit Commission.

D.        Competence

16.  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. 

See Question #6

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

Cleveland City Council (1980-1997)

Ohio House (1997-2006)

Ohio Senate (2006-2010

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

No.

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

My 30 years of legislative experience at the city and state level were very helpful. My knowledge of parliamentary procedure was also important, as I played the major role in helping the County Council set up its own rules of procedure. The scientific background in my education is also help in evaluating information and making decisions.

E.         Policy

20.  What are the impacts of the limits on the County’s current borrowing capacity?

Cuyahoga County has taken advantage of favorable economic trends which produced significant opportunities, including construction of the Convention Center, Global Center, Headquarters Hotel, County Administration building, and numerous economic development projects.  Most of this work has been debt-financed, which has produced a debt level which is greater than what would be ideal but manageable. The main impacts are that we will have to be very selective in the large debt-financed projects that we can do over the next 20-30 years until the debt load works its way down.  We are also financing some of our capital and economic development projects from current income, which will constrain the availability of funds for operating services.  By doing most economic development projects as loans rather than grants and by putting some operating money into economic development in each of the next several years, we’re hoping to create a self-sustaining economic development fund through loan repayments, so that we can do most of our economic development work without use of either debt or general fund operating money.

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

Cuyahoga County is applying to become the 4th city in the US to receive a $15 million grant from the Say Yes to Education Foundation, which would be combined with a $100 million local fundraising effort and a reallocation of local resources to provide scholarship assistance to all college-capable graduates of the Cleveland Public Schools on an ongoing basis combined with social and academic supports to enable more students to be college capable.  Success in the effort would greatly improve our economy over the next generation.

22.  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?

I do not believe the powers of the County Council need to be expanded. The powers that we already have need to be effectively used. We have already made great progress in this area, providing a level of oversight on budget and programs far above what many expected. The County Council has also initiated significant policies, such as the successful proposal for a 1-mill increase in the Health and Human Services Levy and the Health and Human Services planning process.  The Council needs to exert its powers to insure that human resources policy follows the principles put forward in the charter.

23.  Do you believe that some or all of the members of County Council should be drawn through an at-large election?

I do not. The reason for having at-large elections is to prevent parochialism. However, we’ve not had parochialism. The Council has done remarkably well at looking out for the interests of the whole community and not getting bogged down in internal fights about allocation of resources among districts.  As long as parochialism does not emerge, we should make a change that would result in elections costing hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece and in which public familiarity with the candidate’s last name would be a major determinant of the outcome.

24.  Do you favor the relocation of the Justice Center?  Why or why not?

If an appropriate alternative can be found, relocation probably makes sense because of the difficulty maintaining services during construction at the same site and because of the economic development potential of the current location.

In my opinion, more important that the question of relocation is the size of the jail facilities at the new Justice Center.  I favor a smaller jail to force us to find and implement alternatives to incarceration where jail is not necessary and likely counterproductive.

25.  Will the investments made in the Global Center for Health Innovation, convention center, and adjoining hotel be good ones?

I believe these investments will pay off. In my opinion there is no single magic bullet for local economic success. Rather, we need a combination of manufacturing, finance, health care, arts, sports, conventions, travel, and leisure.  Not having these facilities would leave a hole in our capabilities that would negatively impact our overall success.

26.  What more can the County do to combat the opioid overdose epidemic?

The opioid crisis keeps getting worse despite serious, dedicated efforts by many people. Our approaches need to involve discouraging excessive prescribing, promotion of non-medical approaches to pain management, addiction prevention and treatment, mental health treatment, enforcement against illegal drug traffic, and availability of naloxone. The “more” that the County can do is to work with the schools, community organizations, and faith-based organizations to promote addiction prevention at the block and street level. While such efforts are needed at all age levels, we should focus on youth.  Studies show that youth who are able to avoid significant use of addictive substance through their teens have a very good chance of remaining addiction-free for a lifetime.

27.  Identify and explain your top three policy objectives?

Successful implementation of the Health & Human Services Planning Process. Council passed legislation on Sept. 13, 2016, that I prime sponsored to create a comprehensive HHS planning process for Cuyahoga County. Any planning process is only as good as what you put into it and how much use you make of it.  My objective is that the process help identify ways to achieve a more prevention-oriented focus, greater efficiency, greater collaboration with other large systems, more accessible intake, and more effective use of metrics to improve services and choose among programs.  Success would also require that the HHS plan is used to guide system improvements, rather than sitting on the shelf after it is completed.

Inspector General Charter Status:  My objective is to pass a charter amendment to give the County Inspector General’s Office permanent status by making it a charter agency.  Such action would help insure that our commitment to honesty and transparency does not wane as memories of the county government scandal recede into the background.  If elected, I will present the amendment to the Charter Review Commission which will start work in September, 2017.  If recommended by the Charter Review Commission, I believe the issue can make the 2018 ballot.  I have worked extensively on this issue with Councilman Greenspan in the past, and we have developed good language that would put the core principles in the charter without being overly detailed.

Tree Planting Program:  Cuyahoga County has been losing trees at an alarming rate, and this loss is harmful to our quality of life, health, and efforts to deal with climate change.  We would need to plant 35,000 trees per year just in Cleveland just to stay even.  My objective is for the County to collaborate with other organizations in the region, such as the MetroParks to create a large, on-going tree planting program for Cuyahoga County with a dedicated revenue source to pay for it.