Posts filed under ‘hell is other people’
OH OH UPDATE FROM DON THE DOWNSPOUT!!!!: Councilman 2nd Ward Dennis Flores called yesterday- after a morning of Pride with an UPDATE on the “ART CAR:
Seems even 2 council persons, the Building Dept. the City of Lorain Administration, the Law Dept. and prayers to on high didn’t get this vehicle removed to an appropriate place – No! the Art Car has a new viewing gallery just around the corner from its previous our door space. 1504 Lexington –
owned by Jerrod Biebrick
Parcel Number: 0201003138012
Owner: JB PATRIOT PROPERTIES VI LLC
Location Address: 1504 UP LEXINGTON AVE LORAIN, OH 44052
Tax Bill Mailed To: 3946 DUNTON RD LORAIN, OH 44055
to a new home also owned by Mr. Biebrick
1763 Oakdale Ave:
OH! don’t let the dingle dangle – dangle in the dirt…….. You can see he owes back taxes but just before foreclosure he agreed to a payment plan- -”
As it stands – the property owner was slated to lose 38 properties through foreclosure through the tax delinquent process for a total of ~$232k back taxes.
Nearly a week and a half ago the owner redeemed these properties by paying the first installment of a payment plan with the prosecutor’s office/treasurer.
The offshoot is that none of these cases are dismissed – they will remain open until such time as the owner completes payments of delinquency – or- defaults on the payments (at which time the prosecutor will step back in and the land bank will continue involvement.)”
Well by the time he pays those off I will be dangling again !
You remember me , Guest Blogger Don the Downspout.
I was dangling in January had to be fixed by February, whilst the cold winter winds blew across the lake.
The system in Lorain only works for the law-abiding, not the law circumventing.
As you drive around this town, there are manicured lawns to rubbish dumps.
The owner of the roof -where I reside -( not dangling or discharging) stopped filing “formal complaints” with the Building Dept. a long time ago. As you can see from the previous post,
had she done so the Lorain Building Dept would have been inundated just on this street. No ! she just vents on this blog and facebook as quite frankly she believes the system is broken and useless so not much use in complaining officially anyway.
Now why would I say that- after all I DON THE DOWNSPOUT had my dangling and discharging self fixed in the time allotted.
Let us take a look at 1504 Lexington , Lorain….. the house was bad enough BUT for months 2nd Ward Councilman Dennis Flores had been trying to get this piece of “work” moved.
You see there is a lovely old church across the way and parishioners, I am told ,were even praying to a higher authority than here in Lorain to do something. Finally, Councilwoman a Large Mary Springkowski announced on Facebook a couple of days ago the “art car” now in pieces -thanks to strippers- had been removed. Simple thing you would think to remove an unsightly piece of junk, other communities do it all the time.
Well hold up – not so easy in Lorain- apparently according to the owner of the property -Jerrod Biebrick- when he was in court for this and other violations on April 6th told the Magistrate, the woman who had rented from him had signed the title over to a moneylender and they had the title so it was their property and that was the issue.
Excuse me Lorain- your system is laughable – to remove one disgraceful eyesore – one mere vehicle – it took months of complaints- two council people – one Director of Building Planning and Housing – building inspectors, building dept. personal, heaven knows the paperwork – court dates – and a bench trial date – and possibly God just to remove one solitary safety issue- a junked stripped vehicle.
Is it any wonder we have a historic building with a hair net getting more historic every day as she has sat there year after year – over 10 years. Could have fought world War two twice over in that time!!!!
. Can’t even get rid of the Art Car in a timely manner.
Then there is the house on 1820 Long – this is another house that Councilman Flores has asked for help with – the mere fact this house was purchased in 2008 by Brenda Torres from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development- from the Auditors Site
Sale Date: 10/14/2008
Sale Amount: $0.00
Grantor: SECRETARY OF HOUSING URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Grantee: TORRES BRENDA
Number of Parcels: 1
well 8 years later and it doesn’t look like one penny in taxes has been paid
Full Year Tax Before Adjustment: $2,149.76
State Credit: $265.68
Non-business Credit: $0.00
Owner Occupancy Credit: $0.00
Homestead Credit: $0.00
Annual Real Estate Tax: $1,884.08
Current Special Assessment: $0.00
Delinquent Special Assessment: $1,720.77
Unpaid Taxes: $16,105.04
Full Tax Year: $19,804.09
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00
We have given up on asking people to pay their taxes apparently, because we don’t want to foreclose on those properties- there are so many of them and the Land Bank can only take down or rehab a fraction. Nobody wants them!!!!!!
However the mess that neighbors have to look at – 1820 Long ( yesterday )
But one of the statements I find so ironic in my place from on high is being told “an inspector didn’t want to give a written citation to an individual because it was a neighborhood fight” and a personal issue. errrrrrrrrrr sorry but the Building Dept. set a precedent with me of the dangling downspout that cold January Day….. Don the Dangling Downspout has a long memory and all things should be equal in the land of maintenance coding. Seems to me you inserted yourselves into that situation- tit for tat- quite nicely and very quickly…….and now those beans😉
I can’t believe I have lived in this old house for over 40 years . I was young , full of hope and dreams when we came to see this old house during a dark winter evening.
And now- we are the residents who have lived here the longest.
I strongly believe we have paid our dues over the years – remaining here on 4th Street!
We have seen the trials and tribulations of this block- lived through the motor cycle gangs, the drug dealers, any number of domestic violence calls – drug arrests – hmm and those were just in the one house!
We had the arsonists, the chop shop , the “family” burglars, a family gang ( that was just one family).
We have, along the alley way that connects Hamilton and Oberlin Ave, 4th and 5th streets, people shooting themselves and at each other ,drug deals , petty robberies and some not so petty , one tried for murder and condemned to death http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/filiaggi1071.htm one house being blown sky high ( as I drove past ) which was terrifying!
That wasn’t the first house either ( sigh) .
THEN there was the semi truck driver ( parked his truck and trailer on the street) whilst the 18 relatives lived in the three bedroom home. He built on the rear sunroom with a hot tub, this became the menagerie for caged snakes, tropical fish and the hot tub a duck pond.
The ducks routinely escaped, probably wanting to visit the chickens and much running around screaming at the ducks would occur. When the overflow from the house became too much large tents were put in the front yard. Eventually the home was foreclosed upon – “once again”- and a pattern that was followed at least twice more.
There are a lot more stories on the 4th street block – too many- looking back I wonder why we stayed -Oh that is right! I loved this house and the friends we made and now it is my “sanctuary”.
Luckily , not all was doom and gloom we also had some great neighbors who kept up their properties throughout the years and so we didn’t give up the ship!
I have changed however, turned from one full of dreams and hope to an “old” curmudgeon , cynical and getting through what life is left to me. I have learned you can’t legislate respect for others. To be honest I have just wanted to pull my shrubs up around me and disappear from life in Lorain . I am tired and overwhelmed with grief.
One thing that has NOT changed is my philosophy of putting my money ( or time and effort) where my mouth is and following through on what I said I would do . It was something I always taught my children and yes especially my son and he used the concept in his adverting concept – ironically he used a RED DUMP TRUCK in the ad!:
The lot next door-1125- was always a problem from the very first. On this lot was a little brown house ( probably an in- law home at one time) as it was on the same lot along with a larger home. That larger house, a few days after we moved in, was in the process of having her wrap around porch demoed and downstairs windows on the west side covered over and a picture window added to the front – well it was the late 70″s after all. However, what once looked very similar to this
became a big blue box- nothing architecturally pleasing or even a remembrance left of what she once was. Then the house was foreclosed!
Eventually a new situation with the “less than loved” happened, one that totally blind sided us – who would have thought it would become a drive through ? The little brown house ( once on the architectural register ) had to be demolished and it became the City of Lorain’s property – at least I knew the grass would be cut and it was . BUT then it became the “through way” for those using the alley as a cut through not being bothered to go to the alley end- just drive through to 4th street using “highway” 1125. It also became a parking lot!
Time and time again I watched as cars and trucks made the property their own personal driveway and over flow parking lot for residents, visitors, boats and construction businesses parking.
This traffic flowed without any thought to the newly poured concrete sidewalks etc. they routinely ran over.
I have to admit this situation of having boats and ski-doos parked on the front lawn of did annoy ( although the shrubs thank goodness hid a lot of eyesores) .
I was woken many morning with the backing up of a dump truck and its high pitched warning beep beep! beep beep! Watching cars going by under the den window or the antics of those trying to make the turns with the long trailers ( funny as it was to watch) was not amusing in the long run because this situation was not a one off. It was happening almost every day!
removing me from the sight of garbage cans left to overflow on the front porch next door until it would eventually blow into my front yard.
Then we had to come to a decision ….
To be continued….
Update Editorial re the Morning Journal on Lorain’s Housing situation
Basically the City of Lorain and her housing court is not there to punish but to abate the issues that come before the court.
Last evening a two-hour discussion on the situation of poor housing and buildings took place before Lorain City Council Building and Lands Committee meeting.
Law Director Pat Riley spent a sizeable period time explaining “rights” and informing Magistrate Cook what he could and couldn’t talk about. I found that a little condescending actually, I am sure Magistrate Cook was aware of those limitations.
A heated exchange took place shortly after the Law Director’s explanation with Councilwoman at Large- Mary Springowski and Law Director Riley.
Mrs. Springowski vented the frustration of those who are affected by the seemingly lack of accountability and the “wait time” , the frustrations of city council members as they field the calls from constituents , dealing with the conditions of homes and businesses in their wards, pointing out the tax payers also have rights .
Law Director Riley then “lectured” on the law and accused Councilwoman Springowski of “grandstanding and being grandiose”. I am not sure if that was the place of a Law Director who is there to represent council. The “debate” on his part became personal. Mr. Riley would do well to remember ( in this frustrated for 40 years opinion) the “law department is part of the “frustrating situation”.
Dennis Flores , Councilman for the 2nd Ward has been a companion of mine as I have attended Housing Court recently, he too has seen the process.He too is frustrated with the system, from the “lack of service” ( getting the people into court in the first place). The system weighty and unwieldy.
You see every decision made in Housing Court, Magistrate Cook always asks ” is the prosecutor in agreement” and the prosecutor of the day signs off , whether it is dismissal, abatement, sending to bench trial etc. Not once did the prosecutor object at any time I attended court. Lorain’s legal department, in this lay person opinion, needs to remember “they are representing the tax payers of Lorain and the City of Lorain.” They too, bear responsibility to represent us and City Council’s endeavors to correct a situation of Lorain’s building and housing that has been years and years in the making .
The system certainly needs speeding up, the Prosecutors Office needs to play a part in the process. The frustration felt by city officials must be pale in comparison to the Building Planning and Housing Dept. whose inspectors are having to deal with situations day and day out.
I have stated in previous posts on Housing Court the “owner occupied ” issues coming before the court , the average Joe seemed to have a high rate of abating their issues, at least when I attended. I understand that when one of these mega property owners come before the court they cannot have their other disgraceful properties taken into consideration, the magistrate has to go by the “case” in front of him however, the fines are such they can build it into the cost of doing business. Business, yes! because that is what it is one of the largest business in Lorain.
We pay the salaries of “professionals” in our law department to represent the rights of Lorain….
Duties of the Law Director
The City Law Director is elected for a term of four years. The responsibilities of the office include:
•Serves as legal counsel for all elected officials, directors and councilpersons of the City of Lorain
•Preparing all contracts, bonds, ordinances and written instruments in which the City of Lorain is concerned.
•Responsible for prosecuting and defending all complaints, suits and controversies in which the City of Lorain is a party.
•Responsible for reviewing ordinances to be considered by Lorain City Council.
•Serves as prosecuting attorney for the Lorain Municipal Court; prosecuting cases for the City of Lorain and Sheffield Township.
to be continued
It has been a strange few weeks; something has gone awry within me . I am not coping well or as well as I ever cope after losing you. I am – once again raw, intolerant, weepy, my depression level running higher.
I looked for the usual pit falls and triggers- I checked to see those coping defenses put in place these many months were still there. I can now see a black Ford pick up truck without flinching , I can drive past Mary, Mother of God Parish( St. Mary’s church without wanting to physically vomit.
Why have I been so overwhelmed, why am I once again emotionally incontinent ? Then it dawned … the tree , that beautiful large Maple , standing outside my den window. I had to make the decision to pull the plug on that beautiful tree as she too was dying. Your father told me I would miss that tree outside the window.
I hadn’t realized what a terrible difference it would make losing her. You see, in some respects I have become somewhat of a recluse. I find the comfort I crave in my home – the thick walls protect me – I can cry when I need to, lose myself in Acorn TV. for hours, I can lock myself away delete or shutdown the outside world when the need arises.
A great deal of my time is spent in the den on the computer -writing- which for me is cathartic , researching and reaching out from the sanctuary of this place to the world and shutting the world down with a click of the keyboard.
Just as that tree protected you it has in its way protected me, blocking out some of the life and happenings in this neighborhood-
What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over, does it?” ― Peter Shaffer, Equus
And then she was gone- her wood taken away, her stump ground away ! My eyes, no longer shielded by her presence from the view from the den window, were opened to life in the neighborhood. Life, lifestyles and people intruded into my home – no longer softened and deflected by a stalwart trunk arms that reached to the sky and green. Situations, some really pale in their significance in the “before time of losing you”, I would have dealt with, became all-consuming – overwhelming my ability to cope.
I was not dealing well. Was it because I felt the outside life and lifestyles rushing in at me. The tree that had protected you, on the January day, deflecting her sister tree away from your room had, I realized, also by her very presence been deflecting the intrusive, the ugly and unwanted from me. She gave me respite in her own way and now I have to find other coping mechanisms and wait for green to once again return……….
This life has become “coping” – I love you and miss you with each passing sunset……..
Sitting in my drafts is a very long post about “Money where your mouth is”
, something I have tried to live up to all my life. You will see this neighborhood/ block in a different light than the historical aspect than I usually present.
I have lost faith in the system, maybe because over the years I have “used” the system and found not only do the wheels turn slowly but the accountability is nothing more than a slap or a letter!
Lorain’s policy of the
“we want to abate the issue not punish”-
All well and good but although the violators know this the majority of Joe Public (JP) is unaware. JP on the whole thinks there is accountability for the issues that contravene the laws.
You see we think that when an arsonist is caught he won’t be coming back to the neighborhood; not here – back home in two days and “community service”- the stench of the burning rubber still hanging in the air. We (JP) think we call with a” valid “complaint the situation will be taken care of to the satisfaction of the complainant but……. life in Lorain is not Home and Garden TV! Far from it we have had an instance where a business woman on a city board threatened a city official and the Mayor with “bean spilling” if he didn’t follow her wishes- only for her to get elected a precinct person ( a liason between the party and the city) for her chosen party – how wonderful the thinking in parts of Lorain is totally mind boggling imho.
How many times have I heard when grumbling out loud and on facebook as to situations-
call the city – call the inspectors-
It is a shock when you realize the hoops that have to been gone through. The complaints resolved are usually done so by people who care , who have respect for the system . BUT what happens when they are ignored – Prime example
“on August 5th I noticed that one homeowner in Lorain was cited for his outdoor showroom. He was found guilty and the terrible punishment after 4 YEARS of citations and a plethora of lawnmowers $150.00 and court costs.
I drove past two weeks ago even MORE vehicles were stored than the above pictures from August. …..
Or the retaliation game comes into play- after this post I had better add more cameras !!!
My recent go around, chasing my tail, is with neighbors who wish to put an above ground pool in their front yard ( garden to the English readers)
I got very upset when told of their plans ,as you will read in the draft post when published. I was told by all and sundry from bottom to top-
No! not allowed, can’t do that, etc. etc.
You would think I would be relieved by those words, EXCEPT I have lived here too long seen the lack of respect breed more lack of respect and why not we haven’t had any real accountability with their next door neighbors.
Why wouldn’t my neighbors of the “planned pool” believe they can have a “water feature ” when for the past nearly two years their neighbor has used city property for storing construction vehicles, Rv’s on the front lawn.
Oh! there were complaints made for the parking of these vehicles around the neighborhood and they were told to move them. They did to other parts of the area and when it seemingly calms down the Construction LLC with apparently nowhere to park their equipment moves back. What is the point, can’t legislate respect for others or the codes? This young man and his family “know the codes” know they are contravening those codes but in my opinion have no respect for those codes or the neighborhood.
This “business” being run from a neighborhood zoned R3 , they can run a business from their home office – lots of people do!
One has to ask themselves is this fair to other construction companies in the city of Lorain whose overheads include storage and parking??? Shouldn’t a business ( commercial/ industrial) setting up in Lorain meet certain requirements- like storage, parking etc. Maybe they do and that is being ignored as well- who knows just another system??? So once again the view from the den window is what it is ‘ just bloody lovely!!!! ( that is me being sarcastic)
So why vent once again….. it doesn’t do any good…. Well Lorain will not get any respect from outside Lorain when her citizens do not respect the codes , others in the neighborhoods.. and USE and ABUSE the system.
This area of Ward 2 is one of the only locations in Lorain that can expand and has available land – a developer worth his salt coming down the street seeing out-door showrooms , non compliance and general lack of caring by the residents will be less than impressed. We paid a lot of money in 2008 for a lovely report DUH!!!!!
The Staubach Company
Get rid of the Urban Decay –
Clean up the entranceways and gateways to downtown
Fix the existing commercial and building facades on Broadway
Get rid of the Transmission Lines
Move the sewer plant
City Hall is taking up valuable real estate
Take advantage of your “history”
Bring in the Arts
Get rid of the eyesores
Camouflage the existing industry on the river and lake front
HAVE A TIME LINE for completion, a plan and how it will be financed
Maybe we should turn this area and downtown into a RV park!
And when you are told “call the city” – no point…..no accountability at the end ….. just another day of chasing ones tail…….
A further update: Lorain cuts the cord with Lorain Development Corp:
UPDATE: The President of the Lorain Development Corp states the Board view
A year ago April 15th, 2015 I wrote the post “Money for Old Rope – A Taxpayers Question”
I had once again been to a City Council Meeting and I didn’t like the report being given to City Council on a loan with regard to the Lorain Development Corporation
The exchange between council and Director Rangel can be found here- page three
“Unfortunately I remembered $100,000 dollars with much hoopla being given to Prime Industries. http://www.loraincounty.com/manufacturing/feature.shtml?f=12666
prime_industries and media success stories such as the Morning Journal article October 2010- ALL “SOUNDED” VERY PROMISING
Local customers include amusement park Cedar Point, which turns to Prime Industries for safety harnesses for its gravity-defying rides.
In addition to making new parts for Cedar Point, Prime Industries refurbishes safety harnesses after thousands of roller-coaster passengers have worn them out…..
… Other local customers include Invacare Corp., in Elyria; Bettcher Industries, in Florence Township; Nordson Corp., in Westlake; and Latanick Equipment Inc., in Huron. Prime Industries also makes parts for missiles built by Lockheed-Martin for use by U.S. armed forces in Iraq. With more than 500 customers, the company started as a division, called Advanced Foam and Plastics, of Kindt-Collins Co., based in Cleveland
The headline is a bit misleading( prospers???) because halfway through the article the history states:
Advanced Foam and Plastics was created to serve the foundry industry, but by 1984 it was known as Prime Design.
In 1997, Prime Design received $292,000 from Lorain to relocate here from Cleveland, creating 22 jobs.
A $100,000 loan from the city in 2000 helped expand, but by 2002 Prime Industries was up for sale
First, Rich and Joe Persico paid off the $292,000 loan from 1997, and then put up $145,000 of their own capital.
“Then” the city of Lorain loaned them $400,000 and a Warren bank also loaned them $400,000 in 2002 Prime Design became Prime Industries.
In May 2008, Lorain loaned the company $100,000 to gain new contracts. That is $600.000 by my calculations we have had some back in the employee income tax but still money for old rope imho.
The name of the department had changed from Community Development Dept (headed for decades by Sanford Prudoff) to Building Housing and Planning
In three decades under former director Sanford “Sandy” Prudoff, Community Development grew into a overly large department with too little accountability to city leaders and providing too little benefit to Lorain, Ritenauer noted…………..
Prudoff controlled the agenda of how to spend CDBG money in the city with the administration and council seemed to have little say about what projects the city should do or skip, Ritenauer said.
Those determinations were “completely opposite of chain of command and hierarchy,” Ritenauer said.
It appeared the department grew to maximize the salaries for administering federal CDBG money granted to Lorain, Ritenauer said.
30 years , missing paperwork, things getting lax, housekeeping by the way side, the paperwork is either non-existent or “lost”, not complete in some cases.And it appears certain developers( who shall remain nameless in case I am accused of chasing him out of town again)😉 getting a great many trips to the ATM that was seemingly Lorain ? How many jobs have been created???
TRUST– the employee that his “boss” knows what he is doing and is aware of legal ramifications !
TRUST – by volunteer boards the items brought before them are “above-board!
TRUST – by the Administraton -their departments heads, hired for their expertise, know what they are doing and are working with one goal in mind to better the City of Lorain!
TRUST by a City Council they can act upon the advice of those department “leaders”.
One area breaks down in that circle of trust and the ripple effect finally hits the shore with a great crashing sound, as it did last night in City Council Chambers .This morning’s headlines read :
Lorain Council Rips into Business Loan report by Rick Payerchin – Morning Journal
and ” Lorain revolving loan program has $600,000 in write-offs- by Katie Nix”
As Mr. Mason stated, the issues with the revolving Loan fund came to him from the State Auditor
“I got an email from the state auditor who wanted to know why the city of Lorain had over $600,000 in loan write-offs,” department director Leon Mason said. “My response was that I didn’t know what he was talking about, and when he sent me the information, I was able to pinpoint some of the loans, but I did find some that were troubling, to say the least.”
Mason said one that stood out to him was a $250,000.01 loan to the South Shore Community Development Corporation.
South Shore took ownership of the St. Joseph facility in 1997 after St. Joseph Hospital merged with Lorain Community Hospital to create Community Health Partners. An $800,000 federal grant was used to get the building ready for its new tenants. Additional grants and loans were secured to bring it to its current condition.
The state has $1.4 million in loans invested in the community center, while the county and the city each have $700,000 in loans tied to the center. If South Shore files for bankruptcy, the state, county and city will be on the hook for those loans. Gilchrist said the city’s payments on its loan would be about $50,000 a year. Lorain is currently $1.3 million in the red.
After the loans are repaid by recipients, the money is intended to go back to another business.
Federal Funds have certain rules which must be adhered to and Lorain has to be stringent in following those rules- other wise we are in trouble.
Should Lorain have to pay back those monies in question then the General Fund takes a huge hit and we can’t afford even that one dollar hit!
Hopefully, the program changes, the rules are followed and the “iffy factor” becomes totally transparent.
Although, due to a possible investigation in the loan for South Shore Development Corporation,
not a lot was said ( under the Krasienko/ Gilchrist era) that money $250,000,and ONE dollar would give our General Fund a huge hit. Let us hope the Administration, Law Dept. and City Council will support each other on this and get to the very bottom of the “pot of gold- for some”
I remember under the Foltin Administration and Prudoff those “allowable ???” expenses paid to wine and dine the Shawnee and Capital One “tribe” initially, before I asked questions and then after??? well it was rolled over into a bond and I could no longer get the breakdown of all the monies spent but this country club of cash sure sent my red flags flying at the time- Dinner was literally on us!!!!!!
Lorain Development Corporation did respond to my post last April and it can be found here :
1)I prepare a loan write-up that provides a background of the project with financial information and the justification for approving the loan.
(2)Once I have completed, I provide this to the loan board for their review and approval.
We do this process just like bank’s credit teams do and have discussion and if everything is okay, loan approves the credit. They can also reject loan requests or modify them though these do not happen too often.
The loan board are various professionals in insurance, banking, law, small business owners, etc. who all live in, work in or own businesses in the City of Lorain. This board has been a self-appointing board since its inception and they are not appointed by administration or council. Board tries to keep a mix of professionals on board so it is not all bankers or attorneys but a mix. They are an all-volunteer board and most of these individuals have been on board from a few years to one person who has been on board since inception over 25 years ago.
Once the board approves the loan credit, all loans are submitted to Board of Control for approval as they will eventually sign for the loan.
Once board of control approves, we move to documentation of loan with all documents reviewed and approved by City’s Law Department. At that time, we also open a purchase order to commit money and submit check requests when we receive necessary documentation requesting funds.
Loans are derived from two sources, one through HUD http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD and the other through the Economic Development Administration.
You can find the PDF files of Director Mason’s report here:
Economic Development Final
LDC Conflict of Interest Policy
LDC Subrecipient Agreement
Portfolio Quality Report
EDA Title IX Plan
Update : I received the following communication from Kaja Holdings/ Vision Properties as to the fact I had linked Harbour Portfolio with his clients Please see below :
Dear Ms. Ritchey:
It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with you on Wednesday. It is important for every community to have concerned citizens that care enough to voice their opinions on important issues. As a lifelong resident of Lorain County, I appreciate your efforts to preserve the history of Lorain. I especially appreciate your work for Charleston Village Society.
I write to kindly ask you to correct an inaccuracy in your April 7, 2016 blog post. In your post, you state that I may be able to assist the City of Lorain in serving Harbour Portfolio with complaints for Housing Code/POS violations, stating that my clients (Kaja and Vision) are all “part and parcel of the same grouping”. You brought up your suspicion that my clients and Harbour were related entities when we met on Wednesday and I observed Councilman Flores delivering the same message to Assistant Prosecutor Holmes in Court.
I have conferred with my clients and they have confirmed that Kaja and Vision are in no way related, whether directly or indirectly, with Harbour. They share no common ownership, staff, office space or other connection. One is not the subsidiary of the other, they are not sister companies and they do not work together in any fashion. Harbour is a competitor of Kaja and Vision. I respectfully request that you alter your post, print a retraction or otherwise clarify that the companies are not related.
J.R. White James R. White, Attorney at Law
Yesterday, I once again made my way to Lorain Municipal Housing Court, as readers know, I have been there a couple of times. In 2009 Lorain County Photographer’s blog ran a series of thoughts from Judge Pianka from Cleveland’s Housing Court https://clevelandmunicipalcourt.org/judicial-services/meet-the-judges/judge-raymond-l-pianka
“Gee, there are people using the civil side of the court to evict people, but on the criminal side they were ignoring our summonses and complaints. So, it caused some cognitive dissonance on my part. So, we decided that you can’t just come into court and use one side of the court, the civil side, but ignore the criminal side of the court”
In 2009 this Lorain County blog – Lorain County Photographers Blog http://www.locophotogblog.com/ was feeling the frustration some of us, in the City of Lorain, had been feeling and documenting for years. There were hundreds of photographs taken, words written trying to find a way to keep our older neighborhoods free from blight from 2005 onwards. The time line for the above series was, of course, right in the middle of the Sub- Prime Crisis caused by banks and idiotic mortgages.
8 years have passed since the sub-prime mortgage debacle and Lorain is still feeling the ripple effects, Fannie Mae , Deutsche Bank , Freddie Mac etc. all selling off those write off mortgages to the LLC’s, a number out of state , such as Kaja Holdings, Harbour Portfolio, Vision Properties . You can find my thoughts here:
You can also find the article from the New York Times on this group of LLC’s here on the what is happening .
Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers By MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN and ALEXANDRA STEVENSONFEB. 20, 2016
One of the larger firms in this market, Harbour has bought more than 6,700 single-family homes in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and a handful of other states since 2010 — most of them from Fannie Mae, according to the mortgage finance firm and the foreclosure research firm RealtyTrac.
Ten of the more than 50 homes Harbour bought in Akron have been torn down after being condemned and two others are slated for demolition
Harbour and its founder, Charles A. Vose III
I was at the court to see what was happening with the Point of Sale Icon House 1348, West Erie now owned by Kaja Holding/ Vision Properties etc etc etc.
I was curious to see what progress had been made if any or where the “abatement” stood. Pictures of the front steps etc taken a few days before court left me a bit wary as to “tripping hazards”. Turns out I should have been wary of the concrete lip outside City Hall.
As I entered City Hall- well not quite entered- as I fell flat on my face – I went down with an almighty thump. There is some good that comes out of being on the plump side – my fat shock absorbers , absorbed. It was so embarrassing as my chin hit the concrete and I went flat out. I was mortified, especially when the policemen ( running security at the door) rushed to my aid and it took two of them to hoist my “knocked the breath out of me frame” to vertical once more.
“I am fine really , just help me up, no honestly I am fine . she said hoping to salvage some dignity
Now why should I have felt ashamed and embarrassed , it was not my fault just one of those things, but I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. However, my mood and the pain in my head and neck from the jarring of the hitting the concrete left me less than tolerant when it came to Housing Court that afternoon .
Maybe it was the pain, the left over mortification from the half an hour before but I can say that some , actually three of the “supposed to be working for the city ‘s best interest” employees left me wishing I was a caricature artist. They would do well to remember they are working on the taxpayer’s dime , I was wondering if my dimes were being spent well.
The one, who decidedly made the most impression in my pain addled thoughts, was “Miss Looks like she is smelling bad fish” – nose so far in the air it is a wonder she didn’t trip over herself. Can you tell this in my opinion officious official really , as we say in England , got right up my nose!!!” But then I remembered I was not there to critique theatre but then again………….
You see, I am totally frustrated and fed up! Some of us were bleating on about the city and her housing long before the sub prime crisis.
One Mayor ( Joe Koziura) literally lost his campaign for re-election due to coming down hard on housing. I wonder if things would’ve been different had he succeeded instead of the loved by the landlords candidate Craig Foltin who backed off an aggressive stance by the Building Dept 2000 and look where we are NOW!!!!
article found here brokehomes
How abandoned houses are hurting Lorain, and how the city is trying to fight back
Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher
It’s not hard to find examples of crimes linked to abandoned or all-but-abandoned homes in Lorain. The crimes are an extreme example of the kind of “negative effect on the neighborhood stability and economic vitality of the city” that state auditors warned Lorain of a year ago.
“By not administering its code enforcement, property maintenance and building programs, it is difficult for the city to preserve its housing stock,” auditors wrote in their report.
Now Lorain, which had not come close to matching other cities its size in the vigor of its housing enforcement, has acted on recommendations made by the state auditors to hire two additional housing inspectors. The new inspectors started with the city in April………….
……Beyond that, the new housing inspectors have gotten only a lukewarm endorsement from Mayor Craig Foltin, who defeated his predecessor in 1999 in part by making an issue of what he characterized as an overly aggressive Building Department…….
“We feel that if they don’t have a successful plan and aren’t self-sufficient and nice to people, then we will not continue with them,” Foltin said recently of the inspectors…..
Some of us are tired of fixing our properties and “ABATING” without going to court – doing the right thing because we should take care of our property. No matter if it was “vindictive” behavior that caused the inspections in the first place😉
Some of us are really angry how the “playing the system” works for multi property owners, who “prostitute the homes , buy cheap ,rent them out, and don’t pay property taxes and then walk away or dump them on some poor unsuspecting sucker in a rent to own scheme. The out-of-town LLC’s clustering together, confusing the cities and counties where they form like blobs of greed growing bigger with each added LLC. .
Why should the little guy in this city suffer when the MEGA property owners are, in my opinion, prostituting these properties.
Why should our property values decline because of trash housing?
Why should we be punished our neighborhoods looked at with scorn ?
It infuriates me when people I have been writing about for years just keep gathering more and more , paying less and less and in some case not even bothering with the property taxes walking away or even dying – leaving the trapped tax payer holding the bag and looking forlornly at what has happened to their neighborhoods. Sixteen years on and we are still on the same trip!
To be continued …………….