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Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald made his annual State of the County address on Wednesday.

Below are FitzGerald’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon, and thank you for attending my fourth and final State of the County address.

I want to thank the City Club, our esteemed citadel of free speech, for hosting this event again. Thank you to Mayor Jackson, Council President Kelly, all of the suburban mayors and elected officials, and especially our County Council for your attendance here.

My wife Shannon is here; our oldest son, Jack, is away at college today, but our three teenage kids are here to listen to a detailed policy exposition on county government, and they are thrilled. You may not know this, but for teenagers, today’s lunch is the hottest ticket in town.

The changes in county government are reflected in how these State of the County speeches have evolved. A few years ago, the President of the Board of County Commissioners would give a State of the County speech before a few scores of people in the City Club auditorium. Now, this speech is given in a brand new convention center before nearly a thousand residents.

But it’s the content of the speeches that tell the real story of the path we’ve been on.

Taking over after the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the county, our priority in year one was to restore public trust, which we accomplished by taking swift and decisive actions. We enacted the toughest ethics rules in the history of the county, including mandatory ethics training for all employees and vendors, we established an office of Inspector General, eliminated patronage positions, required performance evaluations and accountability, hired and promoted based on merit, and managed this whole system based on data-driven best practices.

And it worked. The pursuit of excellence replaced politics, our payroll was reduced significantly, and millions and millions of taxpayer dollars were saved.

To read the rest of FitzGerald’s speech, click here:

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

Picture Courtesy of Facebook and WOIO 19 Action News

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