St. Joe’s Community Center- Three legged stool- one missing leg

February 16, 2012 at 12:41 am 23 comments

Media Accounts of the meeting : February 16th-2012
Morning Journal
St. Joe’s fears eased as leaders intend to move forward with revitalization

Chronicle Telegram ( More in depth coverage)
Questions freeze veterans’ plans for St. Joe’s in Lorain


After all my words on the subject of St. Joe’s Community Center in the past few days

I thought I should at least go and see what was happening at the meeting called by the Veterans to discuss their issues and concerns as to the is it open or is it closing – St. Joes Community Center or Lorain County Community Center as they called it.

The attendees were mainly Veterans, various post commanders and Lorain County Veteran Affairs (Services). City Council members Mrs. Molnar/ Mr. Flores/ Mr. Edwards / Mr. Arredondo ( not sure which hat he was wearing City Council or South Shore Board Member. Leon Mason (audience) from Sherrod Brown’s Office ( who seemed to be the Sgt at Arms role 😉 Commissioners Williams/ Kokoski/Kalo- James Cordes Lorain County Administrator ( audience)
Mayor Ritenauer/Doug Rangel Director of Lorain Development Corp/Com Development/. There were also representatives from various tenants and businesses housed within the building.

A Mr. Giggolotti (sp) ED Note: GILLOTTI- thank you Chronicle for the correct spelling) acted as “facilitator” and admitted his interest in the building right up front. He also used the analogy of the three-legged milking stool.

Probably a poor analogy, in this tax payers opinion, because I was representing “the taxpayer” and this blog. I was there to find out some answers to my questions as evidenced on this blog ( please no more gobbledegook).

The three-legged milk stool

Leg number One The St. Joseph’s Community : the businesses – Veterans ,LCCC, non profits and agencies that pay to be housed in the facility

Leg Number Two The Management : South Shore Development Corporation and Ohio Realty Advisors

Leg Number Three The Government : City , County , State and Federal all whom have a “stake” and monies involved in St. Joseph’s or Lorain County Community Center.

But you see this three-legged stool has a problem it needs one more leg
THE TAXPAYER – from whence “ALL” of the government funding flows- we are the cash cow that provides the milk…. and no where and from nobody did I hear a mention of US 🙂 and without us that one leg – government well this is what happens

There was some “handbags at dawn” passionate dialogue between members of the Lorain County Veterans Affairs(Services) and members of Lorain County Government which, whilst entertaining, wasn’t helpful to the taxpayer who was trying to see a clear path to the barn.
The cow pats of confusion

Among the cowpats of confusion

One : Mr. Lee Berger ( Management)who stated things weren’t as dire ( and I am paraphrasing) as portrayed in the media and the infamous letter . He stated “we the community took this project on when the loss per month in 2010 was actually $65,000 a month and now we were only losing $25,000 per month”- Great but I don’t recall ever being told as a taxpayer the building was running 65,000 in the red each month- of course maybe I missed that cow pat!

Err…. and wasn’t this letter sent from Ohio Realty Advisors in the first place? Hardly the media’s fault for following up on it and since its tone was negative the articles were going to be less than positive .

Honestly – tip toeing through the cow pats here -I don’t think the letter was meant to be public. And now damage control is in full play. Please no cow tipping allowed:

Another Cow pat is the situation between the Commissioners and the Lorain County Veterans Affairs(Services)- the methane gas that permeated the air in that room certainly caused a bit of a stink.

Cow Pat Four – from the infamous letter it seems that Valor Homes was the stopped up udder – because they had not moved in quickly enough – the whole enterprise was backing up and in jeopardy.

It also seems, if I have sorted my way through the fresh cow pats, the Veterans ( at least the ones represented this afternoon) wish the Lorain County Veterans Affairs (Services) to move in St. Joseph’s as well – however there were concerns as to practicality from the “Government leg” .

The discussion didn’t seem to be getting to the crux of the matter – I had spent over an hour and half and seemed to be no further ahead in my confusion- I left – after Mayor Ritenauer stated the partnerships need to be in place- ( the three legs???) – support was needed from the veterans in order to help get the “tax issue” sorted out and a comprehensive sustainable plan needed to be in place. Mr. Berger had said they would be coming before the “community/ citizens ” in an open meeting in the next couple of weeks.

I hope they have more than one leg to the stool at that meeting or we will all end up in the cow pats!!! I await the next meeting of the “MOOvers and Shakers”

ED NOTE I will leave it to the reporters in attendance to give the account from their perspective and will link in the morning their articles.


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, city of lorain, commentary, hell is other people, personal opinion, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

The reprise of “gobble de gook” – claptrap- wishy- washy -ask me no questions I will tell you no lies It is better to have an aeroplane stuck on your head than saviour syndrome

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. aka mozart  |  February 16, 2012 at 1:03 am

    sounds like there was a lot of heartache..(so to speak.)..well heartache..ur gonna have to get a job…cuz there are bills to pay!
    Again. Loraine..well done/said!
    remember…stink always floats to the top…. “the methane gas that permeated the air in that room certainly caused a bit of a stink.”
    oh my…lol…and a big fat UGH!!!

    and Loraine…how about the story in the ct today…what was the amount again….300.000!

  • 2. Grammy  |  February 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    It’s amazing what you reported and what the MJ reported. Were you at the same meeting? It seems to me that someone is getting some sort of tax advantage with a losing situation, they all know the breaks they can get. Why oh why would you praise a losing venture if you weren’t getting something in return? Capital gains loss. Eventually that break will run out and unfortunately for all of us so will the backing for the St. Joe’s Center.

  • 3. Brian  |  February 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    The taxpayer is supposed to be represented by the third leg that you mentioned. Isn’t that why they were elected in the first place?

    Many times when politicians speak and act, it generally isn’t because of what is in the best interest of the taxpayer, it is because it is something that they can say that they did to get re-elected.

    Taking a hard stance and doing what is best for the taxpayer will alienate the MACHINE that is in place and that is why the boards of many of these organizations are filled with politicians and their political supporters.

    People who are best suited to sit on boards that vote and control how government monies are spent are never pursued, and if for some reason they do find there way on the board, their votes are silenced and they are quietly replaced.

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I am waiting for the Chronicle report 🙂 they pretty much blamed the media for all the bad publicity that resulted and the fact that funding started to dry up for Valor homes after the articles…. However it didn’t start with the media it started with the letter, which THEY THE MANAGEMENT LEG OF THE MILKING STOOL WROTE … they can’t blame the media for doing their job… but anyway those journalists have editors and publishers to which they have to answer I don’t so I can write from my perspective ….. 🙂 they can’t .

  • 5. Socks  |  February 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    THe elected officials who ask the questions are most often ridiculed and cast off as well. Most politicans will not take the tough financial stance anymore because the public (most of them) wont take the time to understand and thus like the rest of society shove their head in the sand. THus if the public dont care, they figure they should take the “easy” way out and vote for the boisterous populace.
    Is it right…No. Does the public want “right”…its not clear. Remember the old saying..and I paraphrase…the people the public like the best are the greatest liars, the ones they detest the most, tell them what they dont want to hear…

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Well precisely Brian which is why that leg if it loses the support of the taxpayer the whole stool ( pun intended)is in doubt and yet we weren’t mentioned

    However the Veterans and I have veterans in my family going back to 1066 and I live with one 🙂 to the surface dweller on looker were pulling the them and us situation ..and in an election year language. they need to sort their differences out..

    And this idea is going to go over like a lead balloon I know but

    if everyone of the 28,000 veterans served by the LCVA and various veterans organizations in Lorain county donated 1 dollar a month for 12 months or 12 dollars for the year it would more than cover the cost of the move for the Lorain County Veterans Affairs ( services) and with money left over for Valor house ……… it would also show “ownership”……..

    but I am sure that idea will be met with
    “why should they they have already given etc.” buttttttt I don’t think it unreasonable a dollar a month up to 12 dollars ….

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    AH the taxpayers were finally mentioned after I had left 🙂 you knew someone was thiking of us 🙂 from the CT report

    Lorain veteran and attorney Lisa Swenski, who is challenging county Domestic Relations Judge David Berta in the Democratic primary next month, said she is examining whether the veterans are guaranteed a piece of the some of the tax money collected by the county. She also suggested that the county could ask voters to back a tax increase to support veterans

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    You will find some updates the the post especially the confusing cow pat to this surface dweller as to who is who in the Veterans groups is it services or affairs .as speakers spoke- without benefit of microphone ( although they knew who they were) we, the great unwashed at the back of the room and this blogger had added confusion – we didn’t know the “players” as such so if you name is wrong ( I knew I had Mr. Gillotti’s name wrong) or your organization let me know and I will correct it – and quite frankly I wasn’t going to stay to the end to find out…………………

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 17, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Note to stwhore Avon lake, d27-96-67-127 sorry you are in moderation and I would dearly love to “get real” if you would kindly extend the same courtesy 🙂 unless of course you really are a stwhore by name or occupation 😉 then I would most certainly enable your comment

  • 10. Brian  |  February 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Does anyone know if there is a commercial kitchen still in St. Joes and is it being used? There was at one time a cafateria and kitchen equipment and the fixtures, hoods and fire suspression apparatus, is big big money.

    I have a thought for the building, but if the stuff was scrapped out it isn’t worth discussing.

  • 11. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    We were in the cafeteria Brian for the meeting – I didn’t see any evidence of it being used other than a meeting room… I think meals on wheels was housed there but I think they left… at least I asked the chap next to me if they were still there and he didn’t think so- I know when it was “closing” the first time around they said hey were having to find a new home sooooooooooooo

  • 12. Brian  |  February 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Kitchen equipment and the stuff that goes with it can cost a hundred thousand dollars or more to install new. If the stuff is still there, I have an idea, but if it is gone, it isn’t worth discussing.

  • 13. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Well the city should know I would think

  • 14. Brian  |  February 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I have learned not to request information from our city because I feel that they believe that they are the wisest people in the world and my suggestions carry no weight. Stupid people like me just want to stir up controvery in their eyes.

  • 15. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Oh been there done that a recently as YESTERDAY we suffer from the malady called saviour syndrome and in a few minutes I will explain in the new post 🙂

  • […] So I threw myself back into “Lorain” as evidenced in the writing about St. Joes –… […]

  • 17. Brian  |  February 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Why do schools serve meals? The obvious answer is besides being that if they let the children go home to eat, many wouldn’t come back, it is grossly inefficient.

    The only option of a “quick meal” would be walking over to Fligners and standing in line and taking your food back to your office. There is also el kefon, but I don’t think that is all take out also.

    That is a problem that will have to be overcome. Sort of like what came first, the chicken or the egg. People need to be able to eat a relaxing meal without jumping in a car and spending half their lunch break trying to buy it and then worrying if their parking spot was taken.

  • 18. Brian  |  February 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The second problem is the name. While I drove down 20th Street on my way to Fligners after work last nite, what does the name community center promote?

    The name rings out government, so good luck getting any independent private businesses besides social services from locating there. I saw a sign saying that there is now a storefront style church in the Gould Auditorium now. Not to say that I am against a church locating there, if government money is being used to help subsidize the facility till it can get on its feet, this should be a big red flag.

  • 19. Brian  |  February 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I mentioned that in time, Mercy Hospitals, the folks that used to own St. Joes Hospital will close its facility on the cities west side. It was reported in the papers that they are cutting staff again, as they have been doing every year in recent history with its workers in the city.

    They are working on their “exit strategy” and the writing is on the wall.

  • 20. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Didn’t Mercy just give money to the Pipe Yard naming thingy? Hmmmmm

    also Given has called for an independent audit of South Shore- I understand the premise that non profit and separate entity argument – but by the same token a non profit ( at least CVSI) has to have their books available and “open” – because of the taxpayer connection… so I don’t see why an outside entity couldn’t look at those books… I would say Ohio Realty Advisors wouldn’t meet that stipulation but since the tax payer is part of the equation city and county through the community development programs that information should be available…… let us SEE where we stand because it will be the taxpayer who is the saving partner 😦

  • 21. Brian  |  February 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Mercy is making money, just not as much in Lorain like other communities. Fish do not need health care. Just because Mercy doled out some pr money for the pipe yard doesn’t mean that money actually came from profits taken here in Lorain.

    Many of our residents use facilities outside of Lorain, like the cancer center in Elyria or other facilities scattered along major roadways. The writing is on the wall. Mercy closed St. Joes and it is just a matter of time before the hospital on the cities west side is mothballed when, not if, a new facility is opened outside of our cities borders that will be more profitable.

  • 22. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Yes I suppose so hadn’t thought of that ……
    Just because Mercy doled out some pr money for the pipe yard doesn’t mean that money actually came from profits taken here in Lorain

    Have MERCY 😉

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