Posts filed under ‘AMNT’

Mark Stewart- You got Mail!!!

Mark Stewart . ” I am a General of the County ” 🙂

He is at it again…. just loves the US Postal Service….. but then of course he has his own private real estate fund to draw from … watch this space

November 16, 2009 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

Here it comes CRA(PPPPP)

DEPENDS ON THE DAY IT SEEMS..what the politicians have to say 🙂
HAVE THEY CHANGED THEIR TUNE??? Not what they told us ??

Before the vote, Mayor Anthony Krasienko told council the city’s legal advisers have said the original ordinance, passed in 2006, is “illegal, unlawful and flawed.”

He said the program was administered poorly by the then-Mayor Craig Foltin and former Community Development Director Sanford Prudoff.


Thursday January 29th-2009
Krasienko said the CRA program is working well despite those possible problem areas. He said no changes need to be made in the Community Development Department’s administration of the program because the auditor’s office has a check on them.

“Ziance said the CRA program is perfectly legal and falls within what the state statute allows.”
and then there is this from the attorney’s to this blog

The legislation stating the abatement period “should”
provide the percentage of abatement….
Q. Does the stated abatement in the contract held by the property owners meet that requirement . For instance back to the 50% abatement for 1 year UNLESS……..100% for 15 years or 12 ( depending if it is a rehab etc.


Yes, combined with the language in the states CRA Act

( what is a reader supposed to think??)

Chronicle Telegram:

I maintain those who voted against this don’t understand it and never have and want to get out of dealing with it by passing the buck to the 9th District Court,” Holcomb said. “The only issue the appellate court can rule on is whether (Common Pleas Court) Judge (Mark) Betleski can hear it.”

That’s something Stewart confirmed Monday night, saying it’s “an impossibility” for the appellate court to decide whether the CRA legislation now on the books is legal.

AND let us not forget that Mr. Greg Holcomb had more than a passing interest

Why were the two Lorain council people free to speak to the Plain Dealer in that article –
Councilman Holcomb and
Councilman Snodgrass

when at least one informed the public and myself, on at least two occasions, they were unable to discuss the CRA program due to pending litigation. Yet, apparently, no such “gag order” was in place for the PD article and why wasn’t the fact mentioned in that PD article, that the two most outspoken critics of the City CRA and fellow council person Dan Given ( as noted on the pages of WoM and page 5 PD article)of THEIR other hats?

The question that begs to be asked “were they acting in the City of Lorain’s best interest as City Council people or as EMPLOYEES of Mark Stewart, their boss, the respondent in the lawsuits?”


although now working elsewhere was also a Stewart employee during much of this argy bargy ..

and Here comes THE FRIENDLY JUDGE YOU can run 😉 but you can’t hide – we still see you with Mon Generale Stewart 🙂


Just to repeat:

And speaking of too many hats:

People in CRA 4 cannot even complain to their council person (Craig Snodgrass)

because he is under a “gag order” and is also the Chief Deputy of Finance for County Auditor Mark Stewart. ( enough to make you gag!)

The other argument that Chandra and Stewart make in their dismissal

The City is a party to two pending actions, a declaratory judgement and an administrative appeal, before the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas etc


Mark Betleski, The Judge

is the brother of Phil Betleski
(‘Nervous’ Betleski avoids jail time for theft in office)

the former Lorain City Councilman who voted AYE on the amendments and then was running against Dan Given for Council at Large, contacted the Chronicle with his concerns, which the Chronicle then wrote about AFTER the election,

LORAIN — Councilman Phil Betleski has accused two fellow councilmen of violating the Ohio ethics code and is calling for one of them to resign from a committee position. Betleski, D-2nd Ward, sent an e-mail to Councilman Dan Given dated May 1 in which he asks Given to recuse himself as chairman of the Tax Incentive Review Committee. He also wrote that Councilman Tony Krasienko, another committee member, was in violation, too.

Then we have Judge Betleskis Law Clerk- John Keys -who just happens to be married to Linda Keys who sent out the letters of denial ( you guessed it )works for Mark Stewart as well

The abatements were first called into question earlier this year when they came across the desk of county auditor employee Linda Keys…… The chief deputy for the real estate section in the Lorain County Auditor’s office, Keys is the official who processes abatement applications

I wonder why the PD isn’t asking about that seemingly conflict of interest? And they have a problem with Dan Given wearing too many hats !!! Can we say hypocritical? And can we say

people who wear too many hats themselves -shouldn’t toss them


Let us remember the “Betleski Connection” as we read these words of wisdom from the Generale 🙂

“The case is assigned to Judge Betleski,” Stewart said. “You have to go to the local judge before you can to the appellate court.”



A question: can it be that if the Judge rules in favor of the County then the City of Lorain can indeed be held harmless for future litigation ???? Just a thought

November 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm 6 comments

Houston- Hot – Humid- Horses and HMMMMM

NOOOOOO!!! this isn’t a picture of the horse after I rode it. Whew! 90 degrees yesterday after a rain that could’ve floated a boat. My foray into the wild west “avec” plastic helmet. I realize that horse rentals have to protect their clients but you tend to lose heat through your head … just ask a politician 🙂 and when it is covered with plastic and foam OMG!!!! Anyway 2 hours later after riding through swamp and shrub and bush I now remember why cowboys are bowlegged. It has been 20 years since I rode and it won’t be anytime soon I will be repeating the experience ( I hope) .

Once again the heat is turned on full blast here in Houston. I definitely prefer the midwest’s autumn.

It is quite enlightening to read the local papers and forums on line, because although they still warrant my attention – the intensity of emotions are lessened from my perch in the internet cafe.

But I couldn’t help reading some of the comments on one forum and wondering just as Garbo had his agenda reading between the lines from “a distance” could it be at least one “perceived by me to be the Republican candidate” is coming out against his opponent from “behind the forum closet door” hmmmmmmm. I wait to see how this unfolds… We have to remember that when dealing with “forum folk” without an “identity” to be circumspect and ask “what is the real agenda here”-I know a tough thing to wrestle with 🙂

October 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

“I vant to be ( left) alone” – Garbo

Greta Garbo star of the silver screen – famous for her “I vant to be alone” quote
greta Garbo 1925
urbanek Garbo 2009

It seems we have a Garbo in Lorain- star of the Lorain County dot com -Lorain Forum- and it seems I have rubbed “HIM” the wrong way – according to our Garbo’s post he is in fact Thomas Urbanek – Yup!!!! that is right our City Treasurer- that I , and the Morning Journal , took to task over the past few days

So since Our Garbo has decided to come out of his other personna for the sake of fairness I will let him have his say on this blog:

Title: Re: Lorain City Income Tax question /1999

Message: Ms Ritchie, I do understand that will i have been the cities tresurer let me tell the kind of accomplishments have been completed in our office. I wrote a new employee manual for my office long before the city had one.Replaced very old furniture and carpeting wth grants at no cst to the city. Moved the tax dept into the21st century by installing a drop box and an efile system. Taken several hundred dead beat non payers to court to bring in almost a half million in revenue more than anyone before me. Instituted a first ever collection agency ( at no cost to the city) that has brought in over fifty thousand dollars just this year. We have supplemented the general fund by more than half a million dollars by prudent investing. So Do Not tell me to watch the money because I have and will continue to do so. I am still negotiating the issues that have been in the papers and since the journal jumped the gun for a hot story it has not been very easy but I am moving forward. Your comments about me as of late are based on yor being disgrunted about a comment I may have mad years ago that did not agree with train of thought, due me and every other person you write about and please be sure to write about todys issues not those in the past. Thank You Thomas c. Urbanek OH and by the way yes I am a hair stylist and also attended L.C.C.C. and have owned a very successful busines in Lorain for 40 years\that has give me more reall everyday working knowledge about money and businees than the average person

Written by: garbo on August 5, 2009 12:34 PM
View other posts from garbo

I explained my thought process to Garburbanek

But just to reiterate: I find Mr. Urbanek’s thinking somewhat lacking in now at least three areas:

1. Ore Piles ( Taconite) in the middle of a neighborhood and downtown are NOT an asset as he stated- and I think you will find that any developer or any study will agree with me on that.

2. Taking a raise whilst your department has to take unpaid days off is not something that is endearing but smacks of “self” ishness

3. And finally in the I can’t understand this man’s logic . Mr. Urbanek in his Garbo stage name has made 162 posts to Lorain County dot com – Lorain Forum on a great many subjects – all of them Monday through Friday from 9:02 in the morning through 3:58 pm. giving the excuse for not working at those times (and they run at different times all through the day ( check them out I did )

Written by: garbo on August 5, 2009 3:11 PM
View other posts from garbo

Well Garburbanek sorry but you just keep making me wonder about your thought processes-

Why is the City of Lorain Treasurer posting about – Bishops, Pot holes, City Government , Parks and Cheese Festivals – taking BAH to task for his employee manual stance ( when you deemed your employee manual important enough to mention in your post to me – ironic that) since May 2008 –

Wouldn’t your time in the department be better spent explaining taxes for instance? ( just a thought)

Mr. Urbanek what you choose to write and what opinions you express are a matter between you and your conscience.

However I take issue with the fact that your days are spent doing this on city time ( taxpayers time – how many coffee breaks and hours off for lunch do you get anyway ) and presumably on a city computer.

Note:If you are using your own I apologize up front but then I may have to make a public records request to have that validated.

So , unfortunately , instead of changing my thinking as to your thought process I find that you have indeed, only confirmed my original opinion of your “thinking” or lack thereof.

But it makes no never mind in the grand scheme of things since you are running unopposed- my not voting for you makes no difference. and my opinion doesn’t count for much then does it ?
money  urbanek


August 5, 2009 at 9:49 pm 13 comments


urbanek source ( City of Lorain)

Workers take pay cuts; boss accepts $1,700 wage increase By AMANDA DOLASINSKI

Urbanek accepted a 3 percent raise, about $1,700, on top of his roughly $58,000 annual salary. Urbanek said this was the first raise he accepted in the 20 years he served on City Council and four years he served as city treasurer.

“It was the first time I did that,” he said. “I am the lowest-paid elected official and department head.”

Currently, Urbanek has not cut his hours. He has to check with the city’s legal department to determine if he is eligible.

“If I can take them, I will,” he said. “If I can’t, I won’t.”


And as a councilman he loved the ore piles too- of course he didn’t have to live with them or behind them or look at them living in the 4th ward !

Yes there were homes of taxpayers behind those lovely vistas- but he thought they were an asset.

coal  docks

Not sure I like the “thinking” of our poorly paid ( said with sarcasm )elected Treasurer- he really is a “treasure”
money  urbanek

August 4, 2009 at 12:29 pm 10 comments

Revisionist History by Omission

by Loraine Ritchey

There are many hundreds of thousands of blogs on the internet, some are written by professionals, some by gifted amateurs, some by the not so gifted and some by nutcases.

Mainstream media has long held the argument that blogs should not be relied upon for their accuracy, to be unbiased and objective, balanced in their reporting , in fact their lack of journalist integrity and accountability has long been questioned.

Another blog has died in this City of Lorain- for many reasons already covered. This blog and its first incarnation had thousands of “blog posts and comments”. The blog owner espoused freedom of speech, factual posts and ideals of ““honesty, openness, and transparency”- a mantra that he expected his contributors to follow.

The blog is no more and really does it matter? The articles and posts pulled from the internet or blocked-

So what? It is just a blog!

Well it does matter because this ( at one time) well respected blog did a lot of source reporting- uncovered many aspects of Lorain that weren’t being covered in the mainstream media. Those facts and writings have now disappeared. Does it matter ?

Yes, it does! not only can mainstream media say:

“look we told you so there is no accountability , no paper trail , a blogger can pull the plug and take his articles , words, opinions and thoughts and go off into never land along with the rest of the “lost blogs”.

But even more worrying is that “history of behaviour , information and holding one accountable for their writings has also been expunged from the public view “

I wonder what the “transparency police “would have to say about that if the tables were turned and articles in the MSM were allowed to “cut” and “delete on a whim ?

Case in point – Word of Mouth – back in September 2006 I broke the news that then Mayor Craig Foltin , who wrote a post for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s “Open Mike” made an announcement the Ford Plant had been sold. I immediately sent emails and called City Hall – they were aghast- the deal had not yet been brokered and Foltin in his rush to pat himself on the back ( he was running for Congress at the time) had let the cat out of the bag.

Mayor Foltin, made aware of my questions, then went back to his blog post and “deleted his words” – something he could not have done in print.

The comment was gone – I was accused of making the whole thing up – only I had printed out and saved a copy of the original post- so Foltin the Plain Dealer Blog were exposed and embarrassed.

The articles were written but NOW they have disappeared once again thanks to the decision of the blog owner on WoM

You can try and get into the series of articles from the discovery of the “disappearing act” from Foltin but it won’t do you any good because like Foltin the owner of the blog too has “wiped” the slate ( and information) clean.

You can access the headlines on the Buckeye State Blog at the time- don’t bother to follow the links in the Buckeye State Blog – they have “left the building”

Ironically the same blog owner ( Scott Bakalar) who has done some wiping himself now” at the time left a comment on the situation

Foltin is just a cavalier blogger
Submitted by scott bakalar on Fri, 09/22/2006 – 4:11pm
Mayor Foltin was invited by the PD to be a part of their OPEN MIKE series.

Early this morning in his second OM entry he disclosed that the now closed Lorain Ford Plant had a buyer, and that the property was indeed sold.

Good news for Lorain, Ohio! Jobs! What a coup for Foltin!

When we questioned City Hall early this morning on this new development – all references to the Ford Plant being sold were WIPED from the OPEN MIKE piece.

Fortunately we saved a copy of the original non-edited post and were able to reprint it for comparison purposes at WoM.

The question persists and remains unanswered – Why the edit?”

Cavalier??? himself , (imho )becoming what he once railed against. It makes no matter because mainstream media now have had yet another confirmation of “the blogs and bloggers” and their lack of accountability and I agree with them- a fact brought home to me this week .

And I have a lot of work ahead of me. You see, in some aspects of my writing I have managed to keep some of the important notes and information in hard copy and notes ( having written for the print media old habits die hard) .

So although WoM may have “wiped” there is still some tell tale tissue left behind and to that end I have started an archive blog.

I have stated in more than one of the “lost” articles:

“For those of you that have followed my articles you will know that I have promised to treat these blog articles in the same manner and standard as if writing for the print media.

To that end I have a lot of work cut out for me- downloading what notes and articles I have to substantiate and keep alive what was previously written by myself and others.

You can find “some”( not all) of the Foltin Follies here.
Foltin’s original Blog post

One of my WoM posts on the subject
Scott Bakalar’s take at the time

And instead of linking to the “lost Wom” I will over the course of time be uploading the material from the archives to articles previously written that were linked to WoM- that is unless the owner unblocks and leaves the information on line.

And I never thought I would be doing this but :

The Owner of WoM and wordofmouthblog – Scott Bakalar now gets the
Notorious Opponent of Exactitude Award for “WIPING”


July 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm 9 comments

A Propensity for Dens-(c)ity

By Loraine Ritchey

Maybe I AM DENSE – I found myself doing a lot wondering and second guessing in recent days.

For the most part I try to respect others opinions BUT there are always the “few” that aren’t worth the effort – they are classified, in my somewhat messy filing system, as the ” writers of unmitigated rubbish” or “talking out of the back of their neck” type , the ‘Carriers of Codswollop and I don’t even bother with them. ( And I am sure, from time to time , I am also relegated to similar categories in other’s filing systems)

However, there are certain people whose opinions and intelligence I have come to respect a great deal, so much so that when their opinions differed greatly with mine and I believed they had more knowledge on a particular subject – I would defer to their greater knowledge and count myself fortunate in having “learned” something.

So it came as a bit of a shock as I read mail – sent from various people -to my inbox the following part of a comment
lasst rites

Although the exact time of death can only be estimated, a few (either extremely dedicated or extremely dense) para-paramedics remain, tirelessly, out of sense of duty or guilt or blindness – continuing to perform CPR, not wanting to grasp the reality that the patient has expired – crying out to each other in urgent tones that just one more cycle of compressions and breaths might just make a difference

that and the rest of the comment was very descriptive and well written but even that being said , normally I would have filed such a load of tripe under “The All Mouth No Trousers “ section along with No One ( Barnicle on her Butt) or the Angry in Amherst – or even the Iron-E that get their own “special place ” in my filing system.

This comment was different though , it was from someone for whom I had a great deal of respect and regard. I , along with many others had just finished up a week on yet another “project without pay” so it struck a chord.

Could it be “Lorain is Dead!” and the “dense , dumb and blind woman” was just wasting time and energy in the efforts of resuscitating a corpse. Maybe I should concentrate on “pin ball”.

I started to question my motives after reading the character flaws of those that don’t seemingly have sense to know it is over:

Am I guilt ridden? – No! definitely not fitting into that category.

Blind- I have always trusted my visions to be worthwhile in the past and the writer of the comment had agreed with them…. so it couldn’t be that..
scott2 Black River Bicentennial

Sense of Duty – what is my duty as I see it – it is to my family …. so I didn’t fit into that category..
therefore it follows:

I must be DENSE

because obviously the patient ( Lorain) , according to the comment was dead and we , who are the “para- paramedics”

“para” ( Para- (prefix): A prefix with many meanings, including: alongside of, beside, near, resembling, beyond, apart from, and abnormal)

have to be suffering from one or more of the previous traits and are stupidly and noisly trying to revive the dead.

I thought about this in a mood that had turned sour and dour after all this “pronouncement of the
death of Lorain”
came from someone I respected-

therefore it must be so – I sighed and went into a funk.

But then I got angry!!!!!

Who died and made him the “all knowledgeable all knowing demigod of all things Lorain ? “

Maybe we are dense , maybe our efforts as volunteers and people who still see life in this city and beauty amongst the angst and “try ” are wasting our time and efforts, maybe we should all dress in black, mourn, rend our clothing , beat our breast, and bemoan our fate. and blog of doom and gloom . Those options are open to us.

BUT this city is home – this is where I will die – where my children were born, where my grandchild was welcomed to the planet. And if that gives me a propensity for dens( city ) then so be it .

I would rather surround myself with those dense , stupid people who care, who don’t quit, who do more than detractors ever thought of attempting (no matter how seemingly intelligent they are ) any day of the week.

So those of you with a propensity for density the ” reports of Lorain’s death have been greatly exaggerated”

June 16, 2009 at 10:52 pm 17 comments

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