Best Watchdog

Jim Darr

It's not easy being the voice of reason in a sea of chaos. But Jim Darr, administrator of a school watchdog panel known as the Bond Accountability Commission, doesn't seem worried. A former Plain Dealer reporter, he now uses his investigative skills to wrest information from state and local officials about Cleveland's floundering $1.5 billion school-construction project. This spring, he broke the news that 30-plus schools would be cut from the project. School officials gave him hell for it, but he remained calm, pointing out that informing the public about such things is, in fact, his job. If he keeps it up, he may force the district to be more careful with your money. And that would be nothing short of a miracle.