SIGH!!!!- CRA (p)- P stands for POLITICS

March 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm 10 comments

by Loraine Ritchey

The CRA (p) has reared its heads yet again!

As I read the Morning Journal CRA- Part one and found it “very very similar in content and tone with many of the same ommissions” to a Plain Dealer Article ( no longer on line) October 28th 2007 ( copy available) I felt I had to once again make mention of ommissions as I did with the Plain Dealer at the time .
I sent my comments also along with documentation to their Editor for his information . Now I could take this piece apart line by line – point out the ommissions -the posturing and the “back story” but quite frankly I am fed up with trying to keep MSM unbiased-

It is a hopeless task- even headlines change from day to day .( Remember when)
and as with the CRA(p)

This time front pages of the Journal for seemingly the next few days will be full of the CRA(p) and hopefully leading to a conclusion

OH please there will not be any conclusion this seven headed hydra will just go on and on with one lawsuit or another and Cha Ching will continue

The spin will spin, the posturing and the agendas and main stream media will myther the population just as it has all along.

The CRA(p) will continue, as it has since Brian Hazelett first brought to my attention in a comment on Wom in the fall of 2006 -the fact that Community Development was in trouble over the CRA.

Since my neighborhood was part of a CRA since 1980 ( a fact also left out of today’s front page article sigh!) I decided to follow up and see what was going on therefore the first article
NOV. 24-2006

Brian informed me at the time this had come about in his conversation with a councilman ( and yes the name is known), one of the two same council people that I met with in December 2006 at an Elyria lunch place ( about the planning of the 2007 Lorain Bicentennial- wonder if they remember that conversation as they were discussing the CRA and “taking it to Prudoff the next morning”)

Note: pity they didn’t do that before the vote!

Yes there has been a lot of by play in this CRA(p) and it continues.

However it was because of these ‘by plays” that I went to the Tax Committee meeting where Tony Krasienko, Dave Wargo, Howard Goldberg and Dan Given were meeting on the 5th floor conference room. Lists of names and addresses were read and approved by the committee – Dan Given abstained from voting on his abatement that evening- Kraisenko and Wargo had no problem at the time even though Given explained his reason for abstaining and asked if there was any problem- but unfortunately there was no mainstream media there to witness that seems those little CRA Tax committees weren’t deemed important at the time but now well NOW. Nope just this retired columnist and blogger was there to witness the meeting and take notes.

Since then I have written hundreds of thousands of words and researched to the nth degree, garnered documentation. However it makes not one bit of difference in the grand scheme(s) of the CRA(p) people read into these things what they want to read and tout their own agenda.( and everyone has one )

The P in the CRA(p) stands for politics and more politics . Even the “all for transparency” bloggers have an political agenda in this CRA(p) . Chandra ( Stewart’s Attorney and in my opinion a Media Manipulator Extraordinaire
was the darling of the Meet the Bloggers– I not saying they can’t have their favourites – but they do have them only human nature!

ME ???my agenda is I don’t like being played by the media -the politicians- and the bloggers- I don’t like wordsmiths no matter how altruistic their motives and I am sick to death of the P

Oh! and before anyone goes off on my “agenda” – ( daughter involved in the CRA area 4 -( May 2007) ( note 6 months after I started the CRA articles)
YUP! it is my fault she purchased a “NEW BUILD” ( as pronounced by Stewart in one of his many letters and marked in yellow on the front page) and came back to Lorain instead of Avon! I talked her into coming home ! My agenda is guilt!

Mondays “fee ” article Morning Journal
Double Sigh – been through this before me thinks!
( Sent to the MJ)
Interesting but I would like to clarify from one who has been there from the beginning.

Mr. Green quotes the letter to the ethics committee in part from Mr. Given and Mr. Krasienko as saying

“In sharp contrast, Krasienko contends that the fee money is solely for funding inspections and administrative costs of the CRA program. He added that the fee money could not be used for other purposes, not even those spelled out in the CRA contract or by Given. Any other uses would be “against program rules,” Krasienko said.

Other uses of the funds are allowed and must be approved in a line item budget by Council, Given wrote. “These funds are not unlimited in their use; examples of uses that would be allowable are to assist in the cost of updating planning and zoning code, hiring of additional inspectors for code enforcement, establishing a revolving loan fund to assist people in repairing their homes regardless of income, target code enforcement activities, among other programs or items that may be identified.”

Just a point this was the understanding of council members including Mr. Given and Community Development at the time and was apparently reiterrated in the letter to the Ethics Committee and I would ask you to read the interview dated November 24th 2006 here

where this was also mentioned

“Other uses of the funds are allowed and must be approved in a line item budget by Council. These funds are not unlimited in their use, examples of uses that would be allowable are to assist in the cost of updating planning and zoning code, hiring of additional inspectors for code enforcement, establishing a revolving loan fund to assist people in repairing their homes regardless of income, target code enforcement activities, among other programs or items that may be identified.”

As you can see Mr. Given apparently was reiterrating what was told to him and Com Dev as the procedure at the time .

This was not Mr. Given’s “idea” as some readers may be led to believe….
There are more answers from that time to questions raised which may clarify the thinking at the time. Sigh!
Loraine Ritchey

Entry filed under: commentary, CRA, media, notorious opponents of exactitude, personal opinion, writers and writing.


10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian Hazelett  |  March 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for your persistence in pointing out your point of view. While I agree with you that this should have been all hashed out at the beginning, I see paying for and defending the legal opinion that the city I believe paid for before this whole thing started as ridiculous.

    While I am not an attorney, I was there the evening in 2006 when the “housekeeping” legislation was passed and could just tell something was wrong. Should our council people been more diligent and read over every page before voting to consider it? Possibly, but then again, it still happens today, and the mistakes of the past will continue to haunt our city until someone says enough is enough.

    My passion for the city is quickly eroding as it has become apparent that the “game” has become more important to the politicians than the people they all say they represent.

    This was never really about us, it was all about them…

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  March 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Brian my “point of view ” has been reached as I have researched and got to know the “players” and it is a GAME a political posturing game and that is so evident by this latest series of articles…… investigative journalism it ain’t .trust me on that one :).. we are paying and will continue to pay ….

    If you remember I too was there that evening and red flags were flying at half staff but they were there…..but naively I thought that the “tax experts” from the county who were also council people at the time ( who have been at the front of the “charge ever since ) would have done their homework- but I forgot they are under the special mind control of Given and Prudoff geesh!!!!

    Funnily enough I asked a council person later on about the legislation and why they voted for it and they referred me to Mr. Snodgrass as ” Craig looks in to all that – he knows what is going on”

    Since that council person NOW does their own homework and has learned from their mistake of “trusting the homework to others” I won’t mention the name…… but you can see a problem right from the beginning….. Oh well the pot will get stirred and stirred some more and as you and I know
    ultimately we lose no matter the winner of the GAME!

    OH by the way since YOU started me on all this I want an extra piece of Pizza!!! 🙂

  • 3. Brian Hazelett  |  March 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I recall the whole Lighthouse Village legislation being held off to do a blight study to allow the city to “borrow” money to make alleged infrastructure improvements that started the whole process of legal maneuvering.

    While the city has stated that the money from the inspection fees could have been used to rewrite the cities planning and zoning codes, someone should have thought about that BEFORE the developments were approved.

    Simply put, where is the landscape buffer that was promised to the residents to the north? This was never about sustainable development but robbing Peter to pay Paul to pay for things that we have neglected, like addressing the cities zoning laws.

    Here we are three years later and what do we have to show for it? Most likely over a half million dollars of legal fees that would have most definitely been enough to cover the costs buried into some untraced legal fees that were buried into a bond that the public was never told about.

    I would have rather seen our city do something, anything 3/4 of the way half assed than to see our city waste away all of the money to get nothing. A twenty year bond to pay for a road improvement on Kolbe Road that may last ten is hardly my idea of progress.

  • 4. thatwoman  |  March 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Brian don’t you wish we had a hindsight machine where we could jump into the frey and yell STOP!!!!

    I feel so weary like this poor old town! I

    f I had to write thoughts from the perspective of Lorain – I would liken her to a used and abused woman of the streets in her declining years, who was still being sent out by her pimp to tout for customers , with makeup applied to hide the ravages of disease and decay .hmmmmmmmmmm not happy thoughts this morning… Loraine

  • 5. anne molnar  |  March 16, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Loraine, I was not in council when all council passed the legislation for the CRA”s. I am so angry that so much money is being spend on legal fees, that is your tax money, mine and all the lorain citizens. I am trying so hard to comprehend the objections on this matter, especially when all members of council voted on this issue. People need to read the state laws on the CRA”s. If this was approved by the state,, and approved and passed by the then council members, then just what do we hope to gain, except more legal fees I believe the courts ought to settle this matter, once and for all.

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  March 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you Anne – I thought that at one point after the Supreme Court ruling on the one aspect and the MOU we might be done with it… and at least cut our legal losses …apparently not…….

    People are reading what they want to read in all of this as well as it seems journalists …. I find it ironic that “truth and transparency bloggers” are touting this series as investigative journalism because it suits their “stance ” when it comes to the CRA and Prudoff and Given and ignoring basic principles of “unbiased and factual reporting” that they always go on about ……. amazing but then pontification makes strange bed fellows 🙂

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  March 17, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Brian paid his penance ( not only having to sit through tonights Council Meeting ) BUT HE BROUGHT ME A HUGE SLICE OF PIZZA!!!! THANKS BRIAN!!!!

  • […] always was a creature of “quick reaction and jumping in where angels fear” […]

  • […] tried to tell the “rest of the story” with what was happening with the CRA(p) – ( P standing for political)- I noticed something that worried me and should have worried anyone who holds a public office. […]

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March 2009

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