May 16, 2008 at 10:46 pm 29 comments

Mark Stewart

filed today
05/16/08 Motion for settlement conference
Filed by: Stewart, Mark


Entry filed under: CRA.

Guerilla in the Garden LORAIN PRIDE- Charleston Village Sign- Juan Perez

29 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jim  |  May 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I am sure it will be based/exactly the same language of the last settlement offer from the auditor. It is just another example of the auditor/Chandra slowing everything down so the auditor can collect yet another tax payment, June’s.

  • 2. Brian Hazelett  |  May 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I know that at one time you asked the city how much money has been spent on attorney bills so far and as far as I know, you have not been answered. I am also aware that your daughter wrote a letter asking what specifically it was as far as the reasoning why her abatement was denied, and also as far as I know, that has not been answered.

    I quit bringing up questions at council meetings because no one ever answers them and they all just look like deer in headlights anyways.

    As I see it, no matter what happens with the whole CRA mess, you, me, and every other tax payer will never know the truth. While I hope that something comes forward and your daughter gets the abatement she is entitled too, if anyone else is getting retroactive tax abatements, I want mine too and so should you!

    There is a lot of sweeping on both sides of the issue and I think they are trying to find a rug big enough to sweep it under so that me, you, and everyone else will NEVER KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS THAT WE ASKED…

    Who are we to question?

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 17, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Jim 🙂 I think you are right it is probably another “OH see we want to settle but …..”.

    the thing is looking at those numbers 355 households as far as votes are concerned for either council people ( who work for the auditor) and the auditior I suppose is insignificant to them as I was told running unopposed ( Stewart) what does he care…. I would say that is probably over 700 hundred votes ( in a block of Lorain that does vote) and if you add in the extended family ( e.g. me and mine … I am sure there are others) well that number could grow 🙂 but they don’t care if no ones runs against them and they are4 a shoe in……but might be time for someone to throw their hat in for a run at the auditors office….. 🙂 I hear you get lunches with judges 🙂

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Brian funny you should ask No I haven’t received the accounting for how much the city has paid to outside attorneys and NOT just with the CRA case.all accounting for a lot of “cases”

    However she did receive a letter re another tax which stated her occupancy was April30th 2007 and stated NEW BUILD.. over his signature which pretty much negates his argument in her case…. after all his office confirms it… 🙂 BUT I guess he figured that to answer her questions sent as a taxpayer asking for clarification of his stance wasn’t worth the effort……. or maybe he can’t defend his reasoning for denying her abatement.especially when he has been approving other post June 2006 abatements in other areas……..

    I can get an abatement and so can you in any one of the 5 areas all you have to do is build a new house, or rehab
    and apply as it was confirmed that there is no language in the code that give a time line for application 🙂

  • 5. thatwoman  |  May 17, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Also I did make a public records request of the Auditor ( which they were very quick in answering) wanting job descriptions and chain of command of Schuster, Keys.Holcomb, Snodgrass, etc. interesting .I being a lay person saw as much conflict in the city council peoples voting on issues as “they” maintian Dan Given had……( I am waiting to see if my conclusions being a lay person are correct) and if they are too many hats and glass houses probably apply Loraine

  • 6. Brian Hazelett  |  May 17, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Like I was saying, we are told only what we are allowed to hear and everything else is no concern to the asker. “WE KNOW” they are spending boatloads of money, they told us, em, sorta…

    Sandy Prudoff gave us an idea when he said that the city is spending “tens of tens of thousands”. I wonder how close they are to calling it hundreds of tens of thousands.

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 18, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Yup Brian I would hazzard a guess that the cost of this fiasco has cost the city more than any income it has brought in through the program…… ya think
    makes me wonder what hat the auditor employees are wearing when they are council people working for the city 😦 well crying over spilled milk now too late to have actually had the county and the city ” have a conference to settle” that should have happened a long time ago before the courts but now lets see it before the judges and not the ones that “do lunch” .because I don’t have much faith in and unbiased “ladd ies that lunch” 🙂

  • 8. Iron-E  |  May 24, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Shouldn’t the City know exactly how much legal debt they’ve incurred?

    Loraine, don’t you have the city’s ear? Couldn’t you ask them how much they’ve appropriated for legal defense? I can’t imagine that the mayor, council, and auditor all would have no idea how much we’ve been billed.

  • 9. thatwoman  |  May 24, 2008 at 5:00 am

    Anyone can ask all you have to do is file a public records request – and I will in all likelyhood do just that when this is finally resolved- I am also going to make the same request of the county as my taxes are paying for Mr. Chandra too . I should imagine that were are looking at a lot of money.

  • 10. Iron-E  |  May 24, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I think the County has approved the legal fees as they’ve accrued. $25K initially and $50k as it was approved by the Commissioners and reported in the journal.

    I’ve inquired to 4 council persons and the city Auditor how much this is costing the city and none of them know. I also asked them how the city can be accruing this debt without their approval and they also don’t know the answer to that one. No suprise then that they also had no idea what they were approving when they passed the legislation leading to this mess.

    My understanding is the city hasn’t received any billing since last September so a record request won’t do you much good.

    Funny that huh?

  • 11. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 25, 2008 at 11:32 am

    That is why I am waiting until it is all said and done and we have a conclusion one way or another…I want to see what this fiasco has cost the county and the city taxpapers…. because initially those who are paid to do a job of work by the taxpayers in my opinion didn’t sort this thing out initially…. and now is has gone too far and we have to have a court decision…. and I want a court decision now not some “mediation attorney” I want to know if Stewart has the “right to denial ” as a county auditor and I am sure other communities are looking at that as well….

  • 12. Iron-E  |  May 29, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    yeh- I’m sure other communities are chomping at the bit to get on the selling-tax-abatement gravy train. I just pity the poor schools and the folks that live in Amherst.

    I think Brusky is gonna take the issue up if Lorain wins. He’ll make hay in his run for Commissioner. I guess the Amherst School Board is afraid to even mention the issue now. For good reason- they’ll never pass another levy when it gets out that they gave this thing their blessing and did nothing to try to stop it.

    The common Amherst resident perception is already negative toward our kids attending their schools- imagine what it will be when they find out they’ll be doing it for free!

  • 13. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 29, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    UM did you look at the information from the state re the schools in the evidence packet.????????? the schools still get their money…

  • 14. Iron-E  |  May 30, 2008 at 1:37 am

    UM- from what I understand, the majority of the houses the city is abating are already on the tax rolls. Amherst schools lose that tax base (a nice twist is the folks that won’t be paying taxes will still be able to vote for abatements).

    I have friends and family that live in Amherst and their taxes will go up as a direct result of this abatement. Hell everyone in the city, the county even, will see higher taxes because of this.

  • 15. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 30, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Amherst will still get its school monies I would tell them to worry more about TIF

    If houses hadn’t have been built and sold the land up there was what 5,000 for taxable value the LAND ( in my daughters case) is 70,000 so the county makes out in new Lorain as the HOUSE and land in Old Lorain (ME) is 69,000 so she is paying more taxes on her land alone than I am with the house and land….
    And what about Stewart OKing the abatement for other CRA districts in the Lorain School district I guess that is OK as long as Amherst is appeased eh?

    We will have to wait and see now it is in the hands of yet more attorneys and more litigation…….

  • 16. Iron-E  |  May 30, 2008 at 2:33 am

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Most of these houses had already been built, sold and taxed. If they come off the rolls their millage will come from the rest of the county.

    Unless you’re daughter built her house 35 years ago, that land was worth more than $5,000 an acre.

  • 17. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 30, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Irone- sorry I have stated before ( maybe you didn’t see it) I understand HOW the people who had home built before 2006 can apply ( there is no deadline for application i( see questions and answers)…. I know that the city spoke to Amherst Schools about this intitially and apparently worked with them
    I know they don’t lose any funding.

    I personally think that the city in order to garner the monies “marketed to the one area “- and informed people of their ability to apply…. what I have said is that should have been sorted out without litigation with the parties involved. I can understand why those homeowners would take advantage of such a I think it is right that a person who had no knowledge of the program , built anyway should take advantage …….well probably not BUT if I was given the opportunity would I probably in this day and age of taxed to death….. Should my loyalty be to the city of Lorain rather than the county yeah this benefits our city …….. As for the fee…….

    Stewart is complaining about the fee in CRA 3 and 4 being illegal but is OK ing properties in other CRA districts in Lorain that are also having to pay a “fee” sorry but if it isn’t OK for 3 and 4 then by his thinking it shouldn’t be for any other area

    What I am saying is that people who built and purchased “new” ( such as my daughter and some of her neighbors .DUE to this program.….that was advertised in newspapers and by realators who were actually looking to purchase elsewhere should be given the same consideration as the in fill housing ( also 2006) and other properties that benefitted by the program……..

    My thoughts are the fees and the back applications should’ve been sorted out without all the attorneys and posturing ….

    Our taxes are being used by both sides including the county real estate taxes to pay Chandra …we lose no matter what…. because professionals in tax collection , council people, and the city potificate and haven’t come to a conclusion without benfit of outside attorneys.

    Now we have a “mediation by attorney” which is a delaying tactic once again in my humble opinion .look at the term mediation not arbritration ( so not binding…)

    Lorain had a program along with other cities to bring in new housing ..once people were aware…. they used it …..not now … would you or I even consider rehabbing a home and getting caught up i this fiasco ….. build a new home ….nope …it is costing the people who did purchase and buy new more than the taxes they would have paid in Avon and Amherst so Lorain has another black eye ……..

    and a council person in that ward who can’t answer questions or act on behalf of his constituents due to conflict. oif being the deputy auditor

    It is a mess and no one fully understands the program or the ripple effect… people reputations have been compromised ..lets hope that now we have paid to get clarification from the Supreme Court we get an answer soon……. You and I can go round and round about what is what was but it is no longer in our hands…..

  • 18. Iron-E  |  May 30, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    I never said they would lose current dollars, but they lose millions in tax base. The simple reason they don’t lose any money is because WE ALL HAVE TO PAY MORE TAXES TO COVER THE ABATEMENT!

    You’re right it may not matter to the schools, because I doubt they will ever manage to get a levy passed when news of this abatement gets out. It’s incoprehensible how they could just go along with this and still have the gall to put levies before the voters. I guess the president of the school board lives in the area so that probably explains it right there.

    You fail to acknowledge that when the homes that were already built and paying taxes come off the tax rolls everybody elses taxes will go up to make up the difference. Explain to me how this is fair? Especially considering the vast majority of those homes did not need the abatement as an incentive to build.

  • 19. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 31, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Irone E I had said that I find some things with the CRA baffling I never said anthiing was fair just is what it is because people can .is it fair that the car I leased last month gets a better deal this month ….. it is out of our hands there isn’t much point discussing the ins and outs of the program it is in the courts hands….. Loraine

  • 20. Iron-E  |  June 1, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Loraine you get awefully vague when you talk about the particulars of this deal.

    If you want to explain this whole thing away as a product of human greed; well then, Im ready to agree with you.

  • 21. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 1, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Iron-E I never said that I was an expert in the particulars…… I have said I don’t understand some of it…… what I do know is that
    “where were you and everyone else who has a problem in 1989 ( CRA 3 and 4) and don’t tell me the language changed it hasn’t …. just the fact that people stopped reading after the comma ( such as Linda Keys and Co “COMMA” not a period!

    The program was available was ignorance of the program for 17 years….. and then lo and behold people were made aware…… both the people that could “apply” did and those who then decided they had a problem with the program. got all in a snit……. so I guess I would put the situation down to ignorance… not greed ….and also as we all know .”you can’t argue with ignorance”……

  • 22. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 1, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Oh and yes we were aware of the program here in old Lorain back in 1980…..

  • 23. Iron-E  |  June 2, 2008 at 3:54 am

    You sure aren’t very clear on the particulars and really you must be kidding. You were aware in 1980 of an entirely different program- different rules and you know it. 100% abatement in OLD LORAIN is exactly what CRA’s are for.

    Nothing’s changed in 3 and 4? You don’t think going from 1 year 50% to 15 years 100% isn’t a change? Going from no charge to apply to Community Development collection hundreds of thousands in fees isn’t a change? Giving abatements to homes that were already on the tax roles isn’t a change? Really?

    Come on now Loraine- You know enough about the program to sling crud at the county- I’ll ask you the question again- How do you feel about everybody’s taxes (especially the people of Amherst) going up to pay for this? How is that fair?

  • 24. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 2, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Iron E read the languague 50 percent abatement for one year COMMA and then the rest of the sentence UNLESS ………. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and the the language then become the same………. read CRA questions and answers and please read it as I am tired of going over the same thing over and over again
    last time I looked the comma in a sentence didn’t act as a period
    and I don’t sling crud I am not the one slinging the hash with the judge in the case or coming on here as “angry in amherst : with a county ip addy also don’t those tax payers living in Lorain in that area going to amherst schools also contribute ….. what is the Amherst hang up with you people ….. .don’t bother to answer it was rhetorical and as I said “you can’t argue with ignorance”

  • 25. Iron-E  |  June 7, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Insults are the last bastion of an weak mind. Ignorant? The only thing I’m ignorant of is a strait answer to my question. How is this fair to Amherst tax payers?

    I find it humorous that your whole argument for the abatement hangs on a comma written by the brainless goons that run this city. I’ll grant you that the CITY’s BS ordinance reads something like “comma- unless Sandford J. Prudoff can dream up something that fully lines the pockets of Community Development…(sic)”

    But I would draw your attention to the actual laws that govern CRA’s for the state of Ohio which read in short-“The statute does not grant local jurisdictions flexibility to treat taxpayers differently” So as you can plainly see, your comma is moot.

    You have some nerve asking “what is the hang up with you Amherst people” when you don’t even have the guts to answer a simple question- How is it fair that Lorain can abate taxes that should be going to Amherst schools? It’s not rhetorical, and I think it’s getting clearer every day where the ignorance lies.

  • 26. thatwoman  |  June 8, 2008 at 11:21 am

    yeah yeah yeah and I told you I am not arguing the point with you anymore will be up to the courts and lawyers .deal with it..I didn’t insult just said there is no arguing with ignorance ( meaning ignornace of all the facts) I don’t have all the information and neither do you……….

  • 27. Iron-E  |  June 15, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    You not having all the information never stopped you from doing your ‘big stories’ and having an opinion before- what’s changed? Tell those Amherst people why they should pay for your pet tax break?

  • 28. thatwoman  |  June 15, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Oh Geez another one heard from ! are the trolls coming out of the caves due to the heat…..

  • 29. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 21, 2008 at 10:50 am

    You probably are smarter than myself and smarter than a great many people I defer to your self evaluation after all you have added a great deal to your store of knowledge I am sure by reading this blog 🙂 Glad to have assisted

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