Posts tagged ‘politics’

No Exit – trapped in Lorain- The Others

freedom of speech by Chris Ritchey

I don’t know why  I am writing this , not much  point really  apart from getting it off my  chest. In my  theatre days I was part of  a production  at the Palace Theatre ( Lorain) of John Paul Sartre’s  “NO EXIT”  Three people trapped in their own kind of hell……

““All those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!

The “Other” people, they  come into  a neighborhood that is quiet  especially  in old Lorain ,  a Lorain that is not  growing old so  gracefully.

First: The Others   come in and dump  what used to  be decent family  homes onto  the market because of poor business practices and the sub prime mortgage scandal.https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/my-roses-their-guns-walk-away-from-lorain/

 

Then  : Others come in like money  hungry  vultures and buy  up the properties  for pennies on the dollar,

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/when-vision-is-cloudy-property-holding-llcs-ny-times/

Agencies  provide housing lists  where RSO’s and those on parole can “assimilate into  the neighborhoods- Bureau  of Community  Sanctions http://drc.ohio.gov/community

Bureau of Community Sanctions Overview

The Bureau of Community Sanctions distributes and monitors grant and contractual funds provided to local jurisdictions and private vendors to establish community sanctions and residential services for adult offenders that are re-integrating into the community or who, otherwise, would be incarcerated in local jails or state prisons. Programs funded by the Bureau include Halfway Houses, Community-Based Correctional Facilities, Community Residential Centers, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Community Corrections Act grant programs including Intensive Supervision Probation, Standard Probation, Prosecutorial Diversion, Non-Supervisory Treatment Programs, Electronic Monitoring, and Community Work Service. Additionally, the Bureau has provided Probation Improvement Grants, Probation Incentive Grants, and SMART Ohio Grants in order to alleviate voids in services.  The funds and contracts managed by the Bureau are addressed in Ohio Revised Code Sections 2301.51, and Ohio Administrative Codes 5120:1-3-01 and 5120:1-5-06.

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and the Adult Parole Authority , http://drc.ohio.gov/parole

The APA’s mission is to “aid in the reentry of offenders by partnering with community stakeholders and law enforcement agencies to preserve public safety by holding offenders accountable through diverse supervision strategies and technology.” The philosophy of supervision statement for the Field Services section of the APA is to “effectively supervise and provide opportunity for offenders to reenter into law-abiding citizenship and to reward, encourage, and promote positive behavior, while holding offenders accountable for negative behavior.” The APA determines release of inmates from prison to parole or transitional control, sets supervision conditions for inmates released on post release control, coordinates placement of offenders in the community and supervises them upon their release from prison. In addition, the APA assists counties in the development of basic felony supervision services upon request for the Courts of Common Pleas. The APA administers Ohio’s interstate compact agreement for probation and parole coordinating movement of supervised offenders among states.

 

and now rehab centers for drug dealers and convicted felons, along with  people who  NEED Rehab.   ( follow the money , and the grants)

https://www.familywatchdog.us/

RSO’s around my  house 165 mapable and 15 unmapable…. churches, schools also  in the same vicinity  along with  a struggling downtown.

A  neighborhood starts to  spiral downward, a business district suffers because of deteriorating neighborhoods surrounding  that district and they  are getting worse.

Others move into  these homes, others who are bent on living THEIR life style , no  respect, just  feed the sound system, deal  the drugs, intimidate what is left of  a neighborhood, bring in “others’ until  what is left are those that cannot move , are unable to  cope and so  hide within their homes, frightened of the “armed others”. 

 

The “left people, meaning those that are left – not of the political term- they  try to  call government, the police, anyone , they  for the most part do  not live this lifestyle, it is  foreign to  them , they  don’t understand  this disrespect  or how this is happening,  they  do  not know what can and can’t be done, they  reach  out for help……… and not a lot can be done.

There is NO  HELP  from the likes of a Bureau of Community Sanctions, helping THEM to  live in their neighborhood. No  service agency  for those that are left , trying to  live a peaceful hardworking  existence and live out their lives in their homes whether owned or rented.

Most of these issues, the music , the loud lifestyles, the implied intimidation  , watching people dealing  in parking lots ,  the lack  of quality  of life CANNOT  be addressed quickly  or with  much  accountability.  So  we live in a limbo  of fear of retaliation  perceived or intended.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/hurled-through-the-window-retribution-who-done-it-lorain/

The crime map  of this morning , as I  type, you   can see this old neighborhood  is seemingly  outnumbered by  the “Others”  How does  community  breathe in the 44052 . http://communitycrimemap.com/

 

Oh  some  of the drug deals etc are looked into  and documented for the courts by  our Lorain Police Dept, sometimes months of work goes into  these deals and dealers. BUT  what good is it when felons are given  a ” time out for  drug rehab” and a $750 fine and released back  into  the neighborhood. What message – Judges of Lorain and County  does this send to  the people who  are “left” ?

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/to-stabilize-or-de-stabilize-that-is-the-question-lorain-county/

The police can only  do  so  much, “call when there is an issue..  “make sure your  mention they have a scanner if you  believe that to  be the case” The police have to  witness the “crime or activity”. In Lorain on any  given day  or night there are only  6 -7 officers on the streets for a population of 64,000 and covering 24 square miles and is comprised of 113 Police Officers and 34 civilian employees.

The “Others” know the system they  know how to  get around the laws, they  know how to  waste time ,  they  know eventually  the “the lefts “ will either give up, die , move or just get plain worn out or be put down as a “complainer”…  Been there done that

In this house,  at the moment I have a hospice patient, last days of living in Lorain…. dying slowly without a murmur  and if you  ask me Lorain and the 44052 are following in the footsteps…….

I hope I am wrong but if this street and what is happening in this neighborhood is anything to  go  by  we the lefts  are terminal as there isn’t much  hope with  the solutions we have…… I  am not sure there will be a “continuation…..” not when the “others are spreading the disease as quickly  as they  are….

 

 

July 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm 7 comments

“Game of Loans” Clear as Mud- CDBG funds Lorain

The Lorain Development Corp – an ongoing ripple effect – standing alone – questions and accounting tools  all  as clear as mud to  me and I  have been writing about this for yonks!

There is a plethora of information starting with  a series of articles on Lorain Community  Development in 2008 ( 10 years ago  ) by  Mark Teleha

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/category/community-development/ and his interviews with  Sandy  Prudoff and Doug Rangel

“the opportunity to meet Doug Rangel. Doug is the Executive Director of the Lorain Development Corporation. Flashing back briefly, this is what Sandy Prudoff explained to me during the interview:

The other division, which is not really a city department, is our contract with the Lorain Development Corporation. The reason why we have a contract with them, we don’t have city staff doing that, is that he (Doug Rangel) has a ward of accountants, bankers, attorneys and business people. They, for no fee, and volunteer time, meet with Doug, and any small business request for financing, all the way up to $1.3 million on the Duane Building, all the way up to a $6 million undertaking of the Industrial Park, he and his Board, but primarily him, will structure the financing, monitor the financing. The Industrial Park had $2+ million for the loan, a loan from the State. A $2+ million loan from the Federal Government, a $2 million grant from the State, and a $2 million grant from the EDA (Economic Development Association)……

D. Romancak 2008

Doug doesn’t work for us, he works under contract with us. His agency is independent. He takes care of all the financing and business loans. So, first perception that we’re these rogue agents just doing whatever we want is definitely misplaced in a statutory city where we are the City of Lorain; we’re not separate and apart, we’re not different. We find it, sometimes amusing, as people say ‘There goes Community Development again, doing whatever it is that they do.” So said Don Romancak,

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/saving-downtown-there-is-available/

Note the above link make interesting reading as to  how the system was supposed to  work https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/community-development-city-of-lorain/

FAST FORWARD to  2015 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/money-for-old-rope-a-taxpayers-question/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/lorain-development-corp-lorain-op-ed/

and then  2016

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/lorain-development-corp-the-revolving-evolving-story/

http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/04/26/City-cuts-ties-with-Lorain-Development-Corp.html

Robert Ellis, a local attorney and president of the LDC board, said the corporation, a nonprofit, has two options — it can find another foundation that is willing to loan money to businesses in Lorain, or it can dissolve.

AND then the FBI enters the picture: http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.html

and THEN!!!  August 30th  2017

http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/30/Lorain-acts-on-defaulted-loans-before-HUD-comes-calling.html Glenn also noted the FBI investigation regarding the program, which began last summer, is still going on and now the situation  as it stands today February  28th 2018

as the ripple effect of decisions  made  by  Lorain and the spending of money  and write offs  is still causing  ripples

http://www.cityoflorain.org/announcements?view=1683  February 26, 2018 Public Hearing – CDBG PY2017 Substantial Amendment

http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2018/02/27/Lorain-wants-to-change-block-grant-spending.html

Ritenauer {Mayor} said one of the biggest hurdles to lowering that ratio, though, is the revolving loan program, which was frozen several years ago due to over $600,000 in loans being written off and thousands of others were delinquent. “The problem is HUD counts that credit against us so that’s inflating our ratio,” he said. “It’s just north of a million dollars and when we get payments that makes it go up. Well, we can’t spend it to make it go back down because they’ve frozen it. We’d be in good shape if they would unfreeze that money and we could put it where it needs to be.”

Also  the Morning Journal : ” Lorain puts local projects on hold to repay  federal money http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20180226/lorain-puts-local-projects-on-hold-to-repay-federal-money

Lorain’s problem comes in part because the city and HUD have frozen Lorain’s revolving loan program to help businesses. That was due to questions about loans raised by Glenn’s predecessor, Leon Mason, who led the Department of Building, Housing and Planning. That frozen account inflates Lorain’s ratio of CDBG money allocated to money spent, the mayor said.

10  years of documents papers and pointing up  the issue on this blog  with  Money  for Old Rope three years ago.. and that pesky  $600,000.00 I  couldn’t figure out and apparently I  wasn’t far off the mark. was I ( even if I  can’t understand  government accounting 101) 😉

In the middle of all this moneying…. and accounting is a loan of $250.000.01 to  South  Shore CDC

“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.

UPDATED- Minutes of the committee meeting April 11th 2016 where the report was given to  Lorain City  Council members

75_4-11-16commmin

Oh well – 2018 and we are still trying to  find our way  clear of this one. BUT I am troubled – I  am like the majority  of tax payers,  I  can’t even figure out my  own taxes let alone understand “accounting tools” of government .

I looked through spread sheets – I looked through “loans” and to  whom they  were made- BUT I looked at them as a citizen  with  a fair to  middling  IQ. I looked at was down as a “loan”  to  the City  of Lorain (Building Housing and Planning)

NOTE: Yes! I  know I  have issues with  the way  “that” department is and has been  run https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/ and the archaic means at their disposal when it comes to  checking Point of Sale and the “paperwork”-

Little did I  know I was in for  a plethora of emails and answers  and more  confusion. I looked at a sheet of  what were termed “loans”  and one in particular caught my  eye- no  interest and  under the category  “closed not paid”- since the 501C3 mentioned was still an ongoing organization HOW COULD THAT BE? Well what was to  be a simple question turned out to  be a confusing answer You  see this “Loan” wasn’t a loan – No!  No!  I  have it all wrong  apparently  BHP  needs an accounting tool  to  track payments for RENT etc.

The said organization paid out IN LEASE/RENT  $ 19,050 from  April 2013- March 2017 BUT  in the accounting for BHP this was down on the books as a LOAN

Why??  according to  the City  of Lorain : their  (BHP)  system is a LOAN system.  The way they keep track of any building lease/rent is to enter it in this system as it tracks the “due “ payments and categorizes them if they are late/past due etc.

Art Work Scott Bakalar

So confusing as it is  –  when is a loan  not a loan when it is an accounting  tool  with  BHP. Note: Excuse me  just  would make life easier it seems if it was classified under something say  :  Incoming rents from city  owned properties   I think there might be software somewhere to  handle that………. Just my  2 cents (  or is it?)  😉

Now let us get back to  South  Shore  Development Corp  and that $250,000.01 loan that was written off by  the Board of Lorain Development Corporation  on  February  3rd 2014

 

The Board  was  supposedly  independent of City  Administration and Council etc. BUT there were in place safety  measures – from Mark’s 2008 interview :

All of these loans are subject to review and approval by the loan board of Lorain Development Corporation as well as Board of Control, if they fall within the guidelines and would additionally require City Council approval if the loan request goes outside of guidelines. Doug Rangel “

In the case of the loan to  South  Shore Development Corp   there were issues with  conflict of interest. http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.html

One of the loans that HUD officials flagged is a $250,000 loan made to South Shore Development Corp. in 2011 to help keep the struggling St. Joseph Community Center afloat. That loan was never repaid and eventually written off by Lorain Development Corp. State auditors have said that more than $600,000 worth of loans distributed by Lorain Development Corp. were written off over the years, but Mason said that his research indicates that figure might be slightly lower because of how some of the loans were structured.

The HUD review said that the money lent to South Shore was troubling because at the time of the loan, Robert Gilchrist was serving as both the city’s service director and president of the South Shore board. HUD called Gilchrist’s dual role “an apparent Conflict of Interest.”

Mr Gilchrist – he of the diversionary  program –  voting illegally , pleading guilty  to drug charges

http://www.chroniclet.com/cops-and-courts/2016/06/10/Former-Lorain-Service-Director-Gilchrist-pleads-guilty-to-drug-charges.html

and alleged domestic abuse  which  cost him his job at as President of the Lorain County  Community  Action Agency  was also  in his Service Director position on the BOARD of CONTROL for the City  of Lorain.

You  know that BOC that  is one of the checks and balances  the taxpayers have. But hey  we are OK because this Lorain Development Corporation is a separate entity – although  contracted by  the  then Community  Development Dept. ( see 2008 interview)   and the money  to  fund it came from where ?  Too many  of the same names and  relationships for my  liking .

    http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20110630/state-oks-funds-to-tear-down-st-joes-with-document

Early in 2009, South Shore announced its intention to close the St. Joe’s center because its income was outstripped by operating expenses, notably high utility costs. Lorain City Council in 2010 approved money to operate St. Joe’s while Krasienko’s administration looked for ways to keep it open. Lorain Service Director Robert Gilchrist was a key in brokering the deals needed to keep the center open and yesterday he made the city’s presentation to the Clean Ohio Council in Columbus.

Such plans in 2011- ……….

You  can find the Board of Control minutes here – through various administrations http://www.cityoflorain.org/mayor/documents You  can also  access the Journal Entry  on the discussion with  the County  Commissioners  et al  APRIL 2012 with  charts and discussions in depth here JOURNAL ENTRY Commissioners Meeting St. Joes

2012 (no leasing) 2013 (15k ft) 2014 (15k ft) 2015 (15k ft)
Revenue 913 1,063 1,213 1,363
Expenses 1,046 1,077 1,109 1,142
Net Income (132) (14) 104 221
Capital/Other 212 200 200 200
Grants/Loans 0 0 0 0
Other Receipts 2 2 2 2
Profit/Loss (342) (212) (94) 23

Loans;

  • $1,350,000 Loan on Property from the State
    • Guaranteed $675,000 each to the City and County
    • Payback of the State Loan does not begin until profitable OR when SSCDC property is sold.
  • As a part of the development agreement a $250,000 Loan was provided to South Shore Community Development Corporation to cover operating shortfall.
    • Beginning on April 1, 2012 the first monthly payment of $1,488 is due.
    • The Loan is unsecured.

Grants:

  • HUD EDI Grant – $166,500. Grant funds were used to fund the LCCC expansion/extension and Little Lighthouse tenant improvement work.
  • HHS – $253,000. Grant funds were used to fund mechanical deferred maintenance to the then occupied areas and common systems.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant – $480,000
    • City application for funds allowed for both a grant component and loan component for use at St. Joe’s totaling $480,000.
    • In 2011, when EECBG project scopes for St. Joe’s were being developed, use of funds for maintenance of existing systems was disallowed.
    • The Dep. Of Energy also determined that the combination of both a grant and loan could not be used at St. Joe’s; thus the funding became capped at approximately $200,000.
    • City and SSCDC now developing a revised scope to utilize the available EECBG funds for non-maintenance energy efficiency projects.

CORF

  • $1,600,000 Grant Awarded to the City of Lorain for SSCDC project.
  • Mercy match over 3 years- $120k per year for 3 years = $360k
  • Demolition includes Building D, Reidy Scanlon Bldg., Thrift Shop.
  • The City of Lorain is currently advertising for a certified professional.
  • Demolition anticipated to begin summer of 2012

and the rest of the story????????????????????????????? Who  knows but I  agree with  Mayor Ritenauer .. to  me this is all as clear as mud………… and just to  help  with  information :

CPD_Funding_Grantee_Matrix_LORA-OH_OH_20180201

loraincdbg 2017

BDRLF written off_notpaid_

27Feb2018

Copy of Public Service Streets and 108 spreadsheet(2)

Economic Development Final http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Economic%20Development%20Review%20FINAL%20PDF.pdf

LDC Conflict of Interest Policy http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Lorain%20Development%20Corp%20Conflict%20of%20Interest%20Policy.pdf

LDC Subrecipient Agreement http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_LDC%20Subrecipient%20Agreement%20PDF.pdf

Portfolio Quality Report http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_Portfolio%20Quality%20Report.pdf

EDA Title IX Plan http://destinyhosted.com/loraidocs/2016/CCREG/20160404_68/628_EDA%20Title%20IX%20Revolving%20Loan%20Fund%20Plan.pdf

 

March 1, 2018 at 11:03 am 4 comments

Tale of two – The cost – Part one




Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
Part Five- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/the-tale-of-two-the-how-supporting-cast/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/a-tale-of-two-the-why-land-of-iz-not-woz/
Part Seven- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/a-tale-of-two-do-nowt-get-nowt-lorain/

If nothing else the previous 7 posts in the series has confirmed there has been an ongoing problem for 12 years ( or more) the houses and their ONGOING problems may have gone through 3 administrations heaven knows how many different councils and council members but with ONE Building Dept and the way of non accountability. The only people cited who follow through seem to be the already law abiding property owners, the rest seem to “play the property / enforcement game – IN MY OPINION- based on the research over the years.

There is a cost to all this diseased, decrepit, dilapidated housing and in 2005 – 3 years before the sub-prime mortgage debacle The National Vacant Properties Campaign with the support of the Environmental Protection Agency came up with a 24 page report – 12 years ago just about the time our city was starting to go belly up…
https://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/true-costs.pdf
the above report is really worth the read and government with Community Development and Building and Planning surely should have accessed the report


If you ask any Lorainite in the year 2017 they will say this photo from the 2005 report is a familiar site , especially in the 44052 44055 where our poster child houses are located

2005

Cities must address the increasing number of vacant properties, not only because of the negative impact they have on the surrounding community, but because of the numerous costs they impose. They strain the resources of local police, fire, building, and health departments, depreciate property values, reduce property tax revenue, attract crime, and degrade the quality of life of remaining residents. In summary, vacant and abandoned properties “act as a significant fiscal drain on already strapped municipalities, requiring disproportionate municipal resources, while providing little or no tax revenue to municipal coffers.”

As the years passed and we continued our downward slide and lack of enforcement there were other reports written.
http://www.cleveland.com/cleveland-heights/index.ssf/2015/08/abandoned_homes_affect_communi.html
http://www.cleveland.com/rocky-river/index.ssf/2015/08/rocky_river_westlake_hide_vaca.html
Then we get to the 2017 White paper on Blight another must read

For a single home, one can attempt to calculate these costs.
Using the following conservative assumptions the foreclosure of a home will cause a loss of value of at least $130,000 as a result of the following:
1. The home if owner-occupied would be worth $200,000, which is just under the national mediansales price of $235,000. The loss of value to the
home itself is 38 percent, the amount expected by buyers and in the midpoint of the range ofestimates. This is a loss of value of $76,000.

2. Assuming 21 houses within 500 feet. This is
a conservative assumption based on houses that are roughly one-fourth of an acre that have100x100 foot square plots. Thus, there are five
houses on both sides of the affected property as well as another 11 across the street. This number could be substantially higher in urban settings
(condominiums or row houses) and also lower for rural settings or areas where there are not uniform plots or housing on both sides of the street. Each
of these houses experiences a 1 percent decline in home value. For the $200,000 home, that is $2,000. That is a loss of value of $42,000.

3. There are another 12 houses beyond 500 feetbut that are still affected. Recall some studies used the one-eighth of a mile (660 feet) while others showed effects all the way out to 1,000 feet and even further in some to half a mile. For this estimate we are assuming an impact of another 300 feet in all directions, which is conservative given other findings. These impacted houses have a 0.5 percent decline in value, or $1,000. That is a
loss of value of an additional $12,000.

For those who find the methodology of studies that find losses of
2 percent in value of neighboring properties closer and 1 percent
of those farther away more compelling, then the total losses
jump to $184,000. In this scenario the property loss suffered by
neighbors is actually greater than that suffered by the foreclosed
home itself!

http://www.communityblightsolutions.com/files/CBS_White_Paper_2017.pdf
And the latest complaint in Lorain is 330 W 9th Street.
This too was a Fannie Mae dump selling in 2010 for $44,000.00 and dumped by Fannie Mae to a Bayvillage resident just 7 months later for $13,500. and there you have it proof once again the system sucks!!!!

The typical foreclosed home imposes costs of more than $170,000. Approximately $85,000 of this total is directly attributable to a property being vacant and the condition in which that vacant house is kept.
 Over half the total cost of a foreclosure’s impact on neighboring properties comes from the fact that the property is abandoned.
 Foreclosures that involve vacant properties lead to increases in violent crime.  The impact of vacancy on crime increases as the property stays vacant for longer periods, likely plateauing at between 12 and 18 months.
 Vacant buildings are major fire hazards; vacant residential buildings account for one of every 14 residential building fires in America.

Yes there is a municipal cost, a cost to property worth for the surrounding houses BUT there is also a cost I will explore in the next post to the taxpayer of Lorain for the system that enables this system- salaries, vehicles, law courts………. coming up in part two of the broken system. We can’t say we weren’t warned of course we also paid in our taxes for the costs of the reports, whitepapers and studies………..

To be continued …………….

June 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

A tale of two- do nowt – get nowt- Lorain


Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
Part Five- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/the-tale-of-two-the-how-supporting-cast/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/a-tale-of-two-the-why-land-of-iz-not-woz/

And here we go back onto the non express journey of one of the two properties used in this series. This house has a lot of history!
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/when-vision-is-cloudy-property-holding-llcs-ny-times/

May 2012-
1348 West Erie ,located on the entrance way to Lorain’s entertainment and business district ( also a bit of an oxymoron), has had a plethora of news articles, blog posts, discussions and yet today sits pretty much in the same condition as it was ( except this week the grass was cut and the window in the attic closed the door in the garage is still wide open !)but apparently some repairs were made in a couple of years of back and forthing – roof not being one of them

Oh! complaints were made for years- the Morning Journal used it as an example in their Point of Sale post – in 2014
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20140620/lorain-house-sets-record-with-45750-escrow-requirement

realtors squabbled – this is why you will never sell another house in Lorain brigade -( Point of Sale) Well that didn’t stop the owners of 1348 West Erie – what is the point?????

Another bank dump from Fannie Mae and past the date of Point of Sale –
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/the-housing-tale-a-history-not-a-mystery-just-bank-business/

the point being they didn’t go through POS and a journey to the court room for the “housing court” – but that is only a misdemeanor .. cost of doing business?????? ( $110)


Sale Date: 2/3/2015
Sale Amount: $0.00
Conveyance: 2015090327
Grantor: FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
Grantee: KAJA HOLDINGS 2 LLC

The Kaja journey continued in 2015 they spent a great deal of time wasting paper and man hours ( for which we the tax payer are footing the bill) in housing court

We had two different attorneys for Vision/ Kaja and the last attorney James White stated to me in August 8th of 2016

Several of the violations to the exterior have been repaired. The City’s required escrow to perform the repairs has been deposited with an escrow agent with repairs to follow.

Oh good something has happened at last thought I…… what happened was the property changed hands again to

Prosperity Investment Fund LLC – and on the 3/3/2017 it was back on the court docket now this becomes a little confusing because the auditors site has Kaja Holdings selling to Prosperity Investment Fund LLC – on 1/10/17 for the sum of $30,000 dollars– This LLC came into being 8/29/2016

The City of Lorain filed in Housing Court 03/03/2017 a charge that a certificate of Inspection was required and the defendant was Prosperity Investment Fund LLC and taxes are and were still owed
Delinquent Special Assessment: $952.02
Unpaid Taxes: $2,074.78
Full Tax Year: $5,327.83
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00

But wait for it on the 15th of June 2017 we have another LLC coming into play 2/13/2017 FICC Realty Holdings LLC – and the property ( which still owes taxes ) being sold ? ( transferred) according to Auditors site just 4 days ago from this writing .

It seems we have another attorney in the line of attorneys…
CARMINE CAMINO
55 PUBLIC SQUARE, SUITE 2100
CLEVELAND,OH 44113

Effective Date: 02/13/2017 Attorney Camino was the registering agent for both PROSPERITY and FICC REALTY LLCs

So here I sit with a plethora of court dockets, inspection certificates, paperwork, news articles , trips to City Council – emails to Administration and attorney’s galore since the story broke in 2012 ( five years on) but the steps in this ongoing property saga are as broken as the one leading to 1348 West Erie Ave.

e

June 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

A tale of two- the Why- Land Of IZ not WOZ!!!

Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
Part Five- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/the-tale-of-two-the-how-supporting-cast/
January 2013 Photo Lorain 365

1. We now know that a property 3620 Clifton purchased in 2011 after five years of being open to the elements was deemed bad enough to be issued a search warrant in Sept 2012-

2. Declared a public nuisance and uninhabitable – the property listed for demolition ( along with two neighboring properties ) Jan 4th 2013

3.Given a reprieve because the “Duo of Will Do” ( Barbee and Johnson) owners pleaded before the Demolitions appeals Board for more time a week later Jan 11th 2013 by that same board . A board that had doubts caved to the “give em a break mentality”

-” and apart from the President who had to recuse himself ( Fire Chief Brown) had previously stated:

” for the record I have personally toured the last two properties (3620 Clifton) and they are a public nuisance. …. these properties are deplorable “

and Chief of Staff Derek Feuerstein ( No vote) we kept 3620 as part of our housing s stock in the City of Lorain.

But to be fair the City of Lorain Building Inspectors were to follow through and make sure the Duo of Will Do” would.

Did they continue to inspect in those ensuing months and years? I asked for all notes, inspections and reports and I received nothing in that regard from April 23rd 2013 through 2016 ??? Did not Mr. Cantu ( now retired- 2017) ever do a cursory contact??? If he did I didn’t receive any documentation .

Lorain 365 blog has its reservations at the time and JUNE 16th 2013

https://lorain365.com/2017/05/14/3620-clifton-avenue-part-three/

Demolition Board of Appeals meetings are held during the week and are impossible for me to attend. At the meeting held February 28, 2013, the owners were given another month to continue their work on the property. They were granted this extra time because they had roofed and secured the house, plus cleaned up the yard.

Since then, 3620 Clifton Avenue has never been mentioned in the newspaper again. I’ve gone by there a few times over the past couple months, but never stopped to take pictures because nothing had changed. When I went by there two weeks ago, I surprised to see that the houses on either side had been demolished recently!

The pictorial tour continued on that Lorain 365 post and the unanswered question from Lorain 365

How long does the City have to let this go on? Are the owners now caught up in the cycle of permit perpetuity? As long as there’s a permit in the window, the City will continue to watch from the sidewalk

AND THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION LORAIN 365 IS YES!!!!!!!!

4.April 25th 2013 Mr. Ralph Cantu, the gentleman Building Inspector who first asked for the search warrant had a change of heart and on that date declared to the Demolition Board of Appeals that the roof was nearly completed and he had agreed they Duo of Will do ” were doing what they said they would”.

Mr. Nathanial Johnson – one of the duo declared 4 1/2 months after the initial Demo ruling

“We have only a four by four section left . We tore down the fence and put in three more windows .

Mr. Daniel Rodriguez ( Engineering) Can we make a motion to possibly remove this case from the Board demolition board?

and FAMOUS last words from Mr. Cantu Yes because we could cite him on property maintenance if he doesn’t continue to go on.


” At least for another 4 years – you see 3620 was pushed to the back burner on the blogs – too many other issues with building and inspections reared their collective hydra heads

However in January 2015 this blogger asked Lorain 365 Blog to check out the property and GUESS WHAT , it was still as bad as ever and contacted Mr. Feuerstein as to what was happening with this property where it was in the system and the reply from Mr. Mason ( the then Director of Building Housing and Planning on February 9th 2015


LEON MASON ( no longer with the City of Lorain)

As it relates to the Clifton Avenue property (which I’m assuming is 3620 Clifton), it was forwarded to the County Land Bank to begin the foreclosure process. As you may or may not know, the process for demo has changed since the original program, and the county must take possession of the properties….

Due to statute of limitations being reached on some cases pertaining to nuisance inspections from previous years, the cases had to be dismissed. On that same note, the City can again issue notices as well as citations/summons for people to appear in court (e.g. tickets) for housing code violations.

I’m using the data as I type this email, to send letters to property owners whom are in violation of the Untenanted Property Registration ordinance, using the Vacant Property Report………There no longer exists a Nuisance Inspection Task Force; it is code enforcement with hopes on placing a strong emphasis on ENFORCEMENT.”

Sept 2016 and I started asking questions again and it looks like according to the public records request once again April 2016 -3 years after Mr. Cantu we can always inspect .. the property was before the Housing Court AGAIN!!!!!!
….
March 24th-2017 I contacted the Lorain County Auditor because 3620 Clifton had disappeared from their site…. demolished ??? but NO it was still alive and well and was then reinstated…… Can this tale get any better ?

How many heads on the Hydra….

1. a property that was deemed such a nuisance, a health hazard, on par with living in a 3rd world county for “insanitary conditions ” and ” according to Chief Building Official Klinar

This building has been deemed a dangerous building and poses an immediate danger to the public health and safety and welfare mandating summary abatement..

All fixed and abated because of a partial roofing and three windows – all the danger made to go away…. but it didn’t did it and the process starts all over again because according to one piece of paperwork hand written notes Chris Yates building inspector “nothing abated 7.18/16 and again 9/13.16 and still no change 11/22/16 …

May 16th 2017 the bloggers again went to inspect

Apart from this property still standing , the time the effort the frustration of 6 years of ownership with the Duo of Will Do and the 5 years before that … what of the waste of time, man power and sheer in my opinion lack of A decent “enforceable ” inspection process that is not equal across the system. This could be the reason this property on Lexington went from this in those same 11 years

to this

and why for the past 11 years we have had this at the “beginnings of Broadway???
This “expensive ” system to quality of life, to the taxpayers IS BROKEN

We are paying salaries for all these people,, INSPECTORS, JUDGES, FIRE DEPT, BUILDING AND PLANNING,SUPPORT STAFF,POLITICIANS ,AND HEALTHCARE AND MAINTENANCE , VEHICLES YOU NAME IT – THIS IS COMING FROM OUR POCKETS and there is a financial cost to us the tax payer…… and that will be the next item on the “AGENDA”

And we haven’t even touched upon 1348 W. Erie the poster child of Point of Sale

to be continued

May 29, 2017 at 1:38 pm 1 comment

The tale of Two – THE HOW-Supporting Cast

Original Image Scott Bakalar

Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
January 2013 Photo Lorain 365
Let us just have a quick reminder of the facts of 3620 Clifton.
Sept- 2012 Inspections galore prior to getting a search warrant to inspect the “inside and outside of the property The Health Dept., the Fire Dept and the Building Dept. inspections all agreed , it “constitutes a severe safety and health hazard to the community”.

January 4th 2013– The property came before the Demolitions Board of Appeals and all members present including the councilman Eddie Edwards for the area concluded it was a hazard, dangerous, and eyesore open to the elements filled with trash and vermin….



REMEMBER THESE PHOTOS OF JANUARY 2013 ( Lorain 365) AS WE CARRY ON DOWN THE ‘WAY OF THE 3620″

Because, after the glad handing all around and agreement this property should come down gave way to the “Duo of Will Do – Mr.Barbee and Mr. Johnson who owed at that time $431.00 in back taxes (twice what they paid for the property ) and to date they NEVER HAVE paid taxes

So in the months and yes it has been YEARS this property has been “dithered about the ” Duo of Will Do” DIDN’T and now well $2,964.19 OWED. How is this happening ??? well!!!! you might ask.

Mr. Joseph Barbee and Nathanial Johnson (Duo of Will Do) came before the Demolition Board of Appeals a week after their initial decision of January 4th 2013 to “take it down” and cried have pity pity please. And for 13 pages of testimony on that January 11th 2013 day . I have linked those pages at the end of this post. READ IT AND SEE HOW THE SYSTEM FAILS US-
Chief Brown ( who had to recuse himself) Derek Feuerstein ( Chief of Staff) who tried to pin them down the “missing in action Howard Goldberg ( Prudoff’s Community Development ) and Rey Carrion who pleaded their case very well the cast of characters all of whom had their say and they wanted a “plan” as to how the “$17,000 committed to the project would be spent-
Derek Feurestein at one point asked

DF- Can I ask a question does it really make sense to buy a house for $200?
N. Johnston – Because anything can be fixed- if it was a hazard why would you sell it like that ?
D.F We {City of Lorain} didn’t sell you the hazard – It was the COUNTY AUCTION)

ED> Note AH HA!!! and another character has entered into the story of 3620

Richard Klinar ( Chief Building Inspector was also at the meeting) also stated : The time frame on permits and inspections are controlled by the State of Ohio- the City of Lorain has nothing to do with it we can’t shorten or lengthen

Another cumbersome character the State of Ohio
The Duo of Will DO had a credit card limit of $17,000 for the property
and even Richard Klinar had his doubts
“Just a comment , I find it hard to believe you can replace , electrical , plumbing, heating , roof , siding, windows, doors, drywall and insulate for $15,000

I would have chimed “WHAT ABOUT THE FOUNDATION ISSUES” but by that time you could tell the way this was going the 2nd 2nd chance for the property known as 3620 Clifton As I sat in the audience that day hearing Ralph Cantu (Building Inspector) ask as we were leaving

” I don’t know why you people {bloggers} are so hard on George (Schneider) ( who had also been at the meeting appealing one of his “portfolio of properties coming down) he is such a nice guy!

NOTE TO SELF – maybe a building inspector should be required to inspect properties not like or dislike the property owner.hmmmmmmm

BUT the end result of that meeting the demolition was put into abeyance for another week………… and then from Lorain 365 blog who covered this property from the very beginning …

“It is my understanding that the owners of 3620 Clifton presented an acceptable plan to the Board and will have to bring proof of progress to the next meeting on February 28th.
I will be there.
The work started

Photo Lorain 365
The only way the Building Department knows if these serial second chancers are completing the work to code is if they report back to say the work is done and request an inspection. The Building Department can only drive by and look at the outside of the house from the public sidewalk or an adjoining property (with the owner’s permission).

As long as the outside looks good and the house is secure, there’s nothing else the Building Department can do unless they are invited inside by the homeowners. That needs to change. Stop the repeated prostitution of problem properties in Lorain. Break this vicious cycle before it completely breaks this city for good. It’s time, Lorain.

The pages of testimony
doc into
Doc1
Doc2
Doc3
Doc4
Doc5
Doc6
Doc7
Doc8
Doc9
Doc10
Doc11
Doc12

And four years later

To be continued………………

May 24, 2017 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

A tale of two – a tale of woe – Lorain


Original Image Scott Bakalar

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Twohttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/

In our quest to find how Lorain’s housing stock in the 44052 went from this for example ( sold for $100,000 in 2005)
(photo Auditor’s site)

to this in just 12 short years

Photos Councilman Dennis Flores – 1939 Lexington
ED Note a visit to Mr.Flores’ Face book page as he walks his ward is worth a visit – ( rose-colored glasses a requirement for those that get depressed easily)
https://www.facebook.com/dennis.flores2

In that 12 year period we had Craig Foltin (R) for Mayor and a couple of appointed mayors eg. Romoser filling out the last weeks of his term as Foltin left for more lucrative climes, Mayor Krasienko (D),(2008-2012) and current Mayor Ritenauer (D), 4 Safety Service Directors 3 (Community Development Directors ( that department segued into Building Planning and Housing) BUT the common denominator is and was the Building Dept. and inspections.

Foltin – Building Inspectors department came under the direction of Bill Desvari who was told to be nice ( see file Broke Homes- Chronicle Telegram) brokehomes

I won’t go into the legal issues faced by Desvari the Chief Building Inspector or even the legal issues of S/S Miller, and the serious legal issues of Krasienko’s S/S Director – Robert Gilchrist or the fact the long time Community Development Director Sandy Prudoff went to jail in that period.
What I do know for sure down spouts have been seen as an important , very important code enforcement issue. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/
I have to wonder why the dangling downspout at 1939 Lexington didn’t receive the same “inspection process” 😉

However, Lisa Miller and Lorain 365 has been on an “inspection process” of her own concerning 3620 Clifton
Part 1 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/12/3620cliftonavenuepartone/ 1 /13/13
Part 2 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/13/3620-clifton-avenue-part-two/1/19/13 and now we have the third in the series as Lisa revisited the “home” six months after the concerns of the Demolition Board of Appeals
Part 3 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/14/3620-clifton-avenue-part-three /6/16/13


“Since then, 3620 Clifton Avenue has never been mentioned in the newspaper again. I’ve gone by there a few times over the past couple months, but never stopped to take pictures because nothing had changed. When I went by there two weeks ago, I surprised to see that the houses on either side had been demolished recently!
How long does the City have to let this go on? Are the owners now caught up in the cycle of permit perpetuity? As long as there’s a permit in the window, the City will continue to watch from the sidewalk


Last Sunday Lisa and her camera revisited the “home” 4 years after that initial “inspection” of the 2nd , 2nd chance given to 3620 Clifton
Part 4 https://lorain365.com/2017/05/15/3620-clifton-avenue-today/ and they put up a parking lot – well not exactly it has just morphed in to “yard parking – and maybe the city inspection process was marred by the tree being in their line of sight.


There is a reason we have still got this lovely property .

I requested a public records request for information and documentation that followed this property and the poster child of 1348 West Erie from the city . It should be noted I received the information all 80 odd pages of it within hours , can’t complain about that efficiency.

Next up the talk the talk that enabled this fiasco……….

to be continued……

3620 photos Lorain 365 https://lorain365.com/

May 16, 2017 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

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