The Cowboys of Lorain- No more shooting blanks !-Part 7

February 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm 12 comments


Part One

Part Two-

Part Three-

Part Four -

Part Five-

Part Six-


So what is a community to do ? Here we sit in the older neighborhoods of Lorain slowly dying. We are a community that is fueling its own destruction – we are the enablers of our own plight .
more dumping

We are a city whose main big business ( in my opinion) has become the business of rentals - it is not unusual for property owners to own not just 2 or three rentals but we now have people owning dozens and dozens of properties – if not hundreds such as- George Schneider.

Why because they make money – just like any other BUSINESS hopes to . We have Kent Sutton, himself a mega property owner stating to the newspaper

We (Lake Erie landlords Association) simply assure housing providers that they are running a business not like any other business,” Sutton said. “The housing should be kept up to some condition of the neighborhood.”.

It has been shown ( I hope) through my blog the landlords are determining the health and the condition of these older neighborhoods .

Why even the City of Lorain ‘s previous administrations such as the Foltin – Miller administration brought in Mr. Sutton to determine how rentals should be inspected- that was a “brilliant idea’

I wonder who benefitted??? surely not my neighborhood.

We have over 10 thousand rentals properties in our housing stock of around 29,000 of those 10,177 are occupied rental.
( Note)These are not you high-end rentals the average rental costs are approximately $550.

Our vacant properties around $3,600 ( since some have now been demolished). According to the census in Lorain our numbers add up like this
of those 29,000 homes over 50 percent 15,953 were built before 1959 over half century ago in fact we have only had 755 homes built AFTER 2005.

Our housing situation is the stuff of nightmares in some streets.

Landlords, who do not apparently care or do due diligence when checking references ( tip one – please check the court files- will give you an idea of their “worthiness” and reliability of your prospective tenants)
Far too many landlords have given succour to criminals who ply their trade in our neighborhoods: You want to help out these individuals fine put them in the house next door to you!

The individuals coming from incarceration are told which communities have the social service agencies readily available and into which neighborhoods they can assimilate - a neighborhood where apparently there are no lace curtains from which to be noticed- as there are either no windows and / or they are boarded up- leaving them free to do business from these “homes”.


Take the recent case of Joseph Worthy and what can happen in these vacant homes- a drug deal gone bad , very bad in this “vacant home”. He was out on the parole- Joseph has been before had been before Lorain Municipal Court 55 times- and before Lorain County Court of Common Pleas 10 separate times – he has given his address on a number of occasions as the homeless shelter and a rooming house (Broadway) and Catholic Charities on 8th Street.

Police now say the victim knew her attacker, 36-year-old Joseph Worthy. They believe the victim went willingly with Worthy to a vacant home to take part in a drug deal. Police do believe a sexual assault took place during the drug deal. Worthy was arrested on rape charges.The investigation continues.

Photo Source: Bobel – Morning Journal
fire housejpg

These homes also keep the Lorain Fire Dept. busy ( emphasis mine)
and from an earlier article -

“The city of Lorain has a problem with vacant house fires,” Lorain Fire Chief Tom Brown said. “We have absentee landlords and homeowners. People get into the houses and cause crime. We don’t have any witnesses or descriptions of suspects. We need help.”

City Council wants to know the cost to the city of putting out the fire especially when it looks like nearly one-third of fire calls to homes is for vacant and abandoned house of late .

NOTE: speaking to Chief Brown he stated the LFD responded to 14 vacant house fires last year and 2 gas leaks.
also he stated that if he had the ability to charge for recovery ( as with Hazmat)) he would for have to apply for a minimum $1,000 per hour just for per vehicles and man power to be covered.-

Councilman-at-Large Dan Given asked for an analysis of the cost per call to understand how different calls affect the budget for the city.

Brown said he is working on a reply for council.

It is possible to divide the department budget by the number of calls to get a dollar figure per call, Brown said.

The figure would be “astronomical,” Brown said. “People are going to fall out of their seats, and I don’t blame them,”


Our very school system depends upon a healthy community- our quality of life depends upon our neighborhoods. The survival as a viable community depends upon “quality” – The bar has to be set higher – we can’t have the mend and make do mentality- and drive by inspections that only get the bare minimum accomplished. 500Oberlin


Since the “business of rentals” is becoming Lorain’s largest business it is time to treat them as a business, to set a standard in Lorain and for judges to do more than fine someone a few hundred dollars and let the eyesores continue.


I see the need for more emphasis on the older properties. However, as we have learned in this series the City of Lorain Inspectors ( unless asked to Oh do come in) cannot do interior inspections . Changes NEED to BE Made in Lorain. Since in a previous post I referred to the City of Lakewood and their way of dealing with nuisances and older homes-
I checked with them as to interior inspections and point of sale. Let us look at Lakewood Building Dept. emphasis mine !


The department is made up of one Dept. Administrator, one Assistant Building Commissioner for Residential, overseeing a staff of five residential inspectors, one Assistant Building Commissioner for Commercial, overseeing a staff of four commercial inspectors, one Litter Control Agent, and three Administrative Support Staff. This staff has over 300 years in combined professional experience with inspections, engineering, contracting, and support, plus 30 hours of continuing education every 3 years for each state certification an inspector holds (avg. of 4 certifications each)

The chief priority of this department is enforcement of commercial and residential building codes for every structure in the City. This task is accomplished through the following processes:

NOTE::::: Complete Interior Inspections

1.Annual inspections consist of COMPLETE INTERIOR , exterior, and yard area inspections of NON- OWNER OCCUPIED structures on a street by street basis. Streets are assigned until all of the above properties have been inspected. When completed, the inspection rotation begins again.

marshalled 2
Now how do they get to perform these INTERIOR inspections when we apparently are on a “do come in basis ” or relying upon the integrity of the rental / landlord property owner. According to the Lakewood Building Dept. they send a letter with an appointment- and if they are not welcomed they go before the prosecutor because this is a codified ordinance with the City of Lakewood! YES! for Lakewood!

Now Lorain? we need to treat this business of rental as Mr. Sutton ( whose advice was to dearly sought by the Foltin Administration) as the businesses he says they are and treat them as such.

back to Lakewood:


2.Exterior inspections are performed in all non-Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) areas. These are external only inspections and are assigned by complaint and on a rotational street-by-street basis.

3.Zone Check inspections are the responsibility of inspectors assigned to a specific ward of the City to ferret out the “eye sore” properties and to issue a correction notice to the property owner.

4.Exterior/Interior Complaint inspections are triggered from various sources including citizen calls, councilpersons, “report-a-problem”, police or public works referrals, etc.

5.Certificate of Occupancy Inspections are mandated for all non-owner occupied rental properties that are on the market for sale. This inspection includes the interior, exterior, and yard areas of the property.
6.Prior to Sale inspections are for owner occupied properties. Should an owner request it, an inspection is conducted on the interior, exterior, and yard areas when they are marketing their property for sale.

7.Lakewood First Time Homebuyers Program inspections are initiated by the property owner and are required for participation in the program.


Lorain is literally feeding upon herself!
citylorain feeds


No More Fudd for thought we need action!!!


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Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, city of lorain, hell is other people, Lorain Multi Property Owners, notorious opponents of exactitude, personal opinion. Tags: , , , , , , , .

The Birthdays- 94 to 1- Happy Birthday Mum! A Novel- idea- the words with in – a secret unwritten SHHHHHH

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rich Robbin  |  February 15, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Awesome story! Won’t anyone print it? Headline news?19-action news? Anybody?

  • 2. Renee  |  February 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    There are a few places on 2nd st between Washington & Oberlin and also on Washington between W Erie & Ist st that decaying week by week ( not even month by month). The landolors have a responbil

  • 3. Renee  |  February 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Sorry-having computer problems: regarding the decaying properites between Washington and Oberlin on 2nd st and also between W. Erie and ist st–how and the heck can people live like hogs and be allowed to submit neighbors to their hoggish, piggish lifestyle with no recourse because they rent???? And why aren’t the so called business owners ( landlords) keeping watch over their ” business”! If your business includes over a 100 rentals then it should be run like any other business-with goals, outcomes, weekly deadlines, projects, managers, emplyees, ect. It’s one thing for a 100 year old home to need paint & outside maintence repairs but many places are beyond dumbfounding!!! There’s no excuse!! From either the tenants & landlords. I don’t get it. Renee

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    it is where we set the bar for the quality of life- the bar in Lorain is set low low enough so the Bureau of Community Sanctions and the prisons will tell those on parole etc and getting out of prison which neighborhoods they can assimilate into—– and Lorain is high on that list because we have “accepted” and because the social services agencies are here because it is profitable to be here – ask for the salaries of the “Directors”……. and the more clients they have on their books well you know where I am going with this……

  • 5. Mark  |  February 17, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Lorain’s Housing Judge(s?) would do well to take some notes from Cleveland’s Ray Pianka.

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Yes seems in Lorain we are corraled by “lets us not offend the offenders” thinking :)

  • 7. Brian  |  February 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I don’t believe that focusing on just one thing, like hiring additional inspectors or creating a housing court, will be very effective unless a real “program” is established. The “programming” is fairly easy to obtain from other municipalities that have already created it. Funding and implementing is more difficult because here in Lorain doing things like other cities is near impossible.

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I agree we in my opinion have to totally overhaul how the Building Dept is set up- how the “process” is set up and fix it…… so that there is accountability — to the community —

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