The PD’s Gomez is all over this.

According to?recently posted minutes, the public engagement committee met from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Thompson Hine law firm in downtown Cleveland.

And of course, guess what was the major topic of discussion – doling out a contract.

Attendees discussed a pending?request for proposals (follow link to see the request) from communications consultants. Zanotti?confirmed this monththat the transition team wanted to hire someone for the job. The public engagement committee plans to score the proposals received by Thursday’s deadline.

I’m having a hard time understanding why official county business of a county government appointed committee is taking place in a private firm, secretly.? Did the county pay for the room?? Or was Thompson Hine just offering the room out of the goodness of their heart?? One look at the attendee list answers that one.? Listed as attending the meeting is Robyn Minter Smyers, who is a partner at Thompson Hine, whose practice includes, emphasis mine;

Robyn is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate and Corporate Transactions & Securities practice groups and chair of the firm’s diversity initiative. She focuses her practice on commercial real estate acquisitions and sales, development, financing, leasing and corporate transactions. She regularly represents and advises real estate investment trusts (REITs), real estate investment funds, public and private real estate development companies, commercial lenders, retailers and public companies. The coordination of complex transactions, including ground-up development deals and multi-site, multi-state acquisitions and divestitures, are her forte. Her practice has a special focus on shopping center deals and urban redevelopment projects.

Issue 6 was sold precisely to do away with this type of back room secretive dealing.? That it has occurred in a private meeting of the “public engagement” committee is only one of the more delicious ironies.

As I’ve written before, this transition advisory process is utterly tainted.? It has occurred for 3 months in secret, in violation of Ohio sunshine laws, and now it appears county contracting was an intended use, in fact priority of it.? That’s probably why it was held in secret.? And that’s why anything that comes out of this transition advisory group is completely unenforceable.