City officials were embarrassed recently when a television I-team turned up dozens of felons on the city's payroll. City officials have responded by dumping their employment-screening contractor, a company based in Oklahoma, and putting the entire contract up for rebid. The business is said to collectively amount to well into six figures.
The problem? Industry sources say the city's contractor cut corners by failing to supplement electronic criminal-records searches with the more time-tested method: hiring human investigators to selectively comb through courthouses.
But everybody's doing it
With all the attention spent watching the revolving door at the airport, few people noticed Cleveland Mayor Michael White recently qualifying the new projections for the Cleveland Browns stadium.
Current estimates are at $280 million. That's $33 million over the original budget-or a 13 percent cost overrun.
While that isn't really news, the press release issued by White's office also contained some interesting statistics about other cities. Among them:
- Denver's new football stadium. Original estimate: $240 million. Current estimate: $320 million, or 33 percent over budget.
- Phoenix's baseball stadium. Original estimate: $279 million. Current estimate: $390 million, or 40 percent over budget.
- Anaheim, Calif., stadium renovations. Original estimate: $100 million. Current estimate: $117 million, or 17 percent over budget.
- Baltimore's new football stadium. Original estimate: $200 million. Final cost: $220 million, or 10 percent over budget.
So what's the point? Apparently, that everybody's doing it.
But isn't that the same logic we all used as children when we wanted to do something our parents forbade? Lucky for us-and the mayor-everybody else isn't jumping off the Terminal Tower.
Ad club goes tabloid
In an effort to spur attendance at its public forums, the Cleveland Advertising Association - begun around the turn of the century to police unscrupulous advertising practices and promote the industry - is increasingly turning up the wattage of its speakers.
Last September, the association heard from the principals behind Miller Lite's kitschy "Dick" ad campaign. In October, while it couldn't land superstar golfer Tiger Woods, it did hear from his agent, IMG's Hughes Norton. He discussed "Team Tiger," which nets the golfer more than $18 million annually in commercial sponsorships. In December, the club hosted the since-departed chief marketing officer of KeyCorp, Steve Cone, billing the event as "BANKING EXECUTIVE REVEALS ALL! - sex, sin, golf and banking."
Now, ad association insiders say, the sights are being set on even splashier speakers. Among those said to be at the top of the wish list are boxing promoter and new publisher Don King - a former Clevelander who recently purchased the black weekly Call & Post - and radio shock jock Howard Stern.
Corporate Club breakfast schedule announced
SBN has become a sponsor of the Corporate Club breakfast series, the highly regarded speaker's program developed by Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.
The events are held on Tuesday mornings, with breakfast served at 7 a.m. and the speaker beginning at 7:30. Cost is $25 per person.
The first breakfast is Oct. 6, and the speaker will be Garry Regan, president of North Coast Energy Inc.
On Nov. 3, Bill Sanford, president of fast-growing Steris Corp., will speak.
Other dates and speakers are:
Jan. 12, 1999: David Burner, chairman and CEO, BFGoodrich Co.
Feb. 9, 1999: Michael Salkind, president, Ohio Aerospace Institute
March 9, 1999: Robert Rawson; partner-in-charge; Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
For more information and reservations, call Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, at (440) 449-0700.
Pillar Award judges namedMedical Mutual of Ohio and Small Business News have announced that the following people will serve as judges for the 1998 Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service:
- Lee Bailey, executive director, The Citizens League.
- Dr. Nelson Bardecio, executive director, El Barrio.
- Kent Clapp, chairman, president and CEO, Medical Mutual of Ohio.
- Polly Clemo, associate director for institute advancement, Benjamin Rose Institute.
- John Hairston, external programs directorate, NASA.
- Patricia Horvath, associate executive director, The Health Museum of Cleveland.
- Fred Koury, chief executive officer, Small Business News Inc.
The Pillar Award honors businesses of all sizes for showing an outstanding commitment to community service. Nominations were collected throughout August and September, and were due on Sept. 30.
Honorees will be named on Nov. 1 and honored at a banquet on Dec. 3 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, and in special coverage in the December issue SBN.
Ups and DownsUps...to the newly renovated Allen Theater. The $15 million facelift of the one-time silent-movie house completes the expanded Playhouse Square Center. A good reason not to go to Toronto.
Downs...to the global economy, which has seen better days. Russia is on the brink; Japan's economy hasn't been worse since Nagasaki; and the Canadian dollar is at an all-time low. Guess we're headed to Toronto after all.
Downs...to the DJIA. Or is that an up? Perhaps a Down? An Up? What do you make of this financial thrill ride? The only comfort is nobody on Wall Street knows either.
Ups...to Jo-Ann Stores Inc. Talk about timing. With the Dow in free-fall and the entire financial world looking for a bright spot, the former Fabri-Centers of America decorated Wall Street with pink cloth to publicize it's new name and ticker symbols. The stunt must of have worked; on a day of record losses, the stock was only down by pennies.
Ups...to sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Sure, baseball is a big and serious business. But on their way to making history, these guys are having fun. That's worth a couple million a year.
Ups...to Al Lerner. Can we forgive him for what happened in '95? In the end, we gave up Art Modell for Carmen Policy. What's to forgive? If he'll cover stadium overruns, we might even kiss him on the mouth.
Downs...to Ups & Downs. We thought the Dolans would get the Browns. We were wrong.