Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"HERE WE GO AGAIN" isley brothers

And everything is going wrong
Oh, nobody knows the way you feel...

Before we go any further, I have to ask who were the people that viewed the building contract to that service garage, and when did it become apparent to those in charge that they needed another $600,000?
I can only imagine the finger pointing.

Every once in a while someone asking an innocent question that  has a tendency to open ones eyes. Like having an epiphany.

Years ago as council considered the contract with AMP-OHIO former councilman Andy Flock questioned "what happens if the plant isn't built?" To that the answer was howls from many, administration, other's on council AMP officials and some in the audience. Well as we have learned it wasn't built and Painesville  was left holding the bag for 2.1 million dollars. Not so funny now is it?
Remembering back that was the innocent question that got me questioning.

Now as I sat in the Planning Commission Meeting I listen closely and had interior as well as exterior drawings in hand.
Very innocently a former city councilman who once lived near 265 N. State St. asked where will the garbage dumpster and used grease be stored? With a simple answer "We can deal with that easily". Really? No outside dumpster but will be stored inside until collection? Maybe in a storage room with fresh products? That special moment was there again as I had felt 10 years earlier, they hadn't considered it or they hoped one else would? It'd a safe assumption that no one from the administration and the planning commission had either. But there it was now what? I looked at my interior drawing I don't think the architect considered it either. Yes the obvious was there, financing  parking but little matters like rubbish and delivery's seem to be lacking? So this maybe not as well thought out as we were told. Wonder what else hasn't been thought out?

24/7 operation of this "incubator" was never really explained sufficiently. The why and how many at 3:00 AM in the morning for that matter was clearly not explained. Even will HOLA have staff on site at three in the morning.

Again on the drawing I see no delivery door, and where is that second emergency exit?

Deep in the halls at city hall a decision was made that this project didn't warrant more then the minimal from our city government, especially council!

With the famous Painesville thought "WHAT COULD GO WRONG?"

HOLA has received support letters from Geneva, Chardon, Hawken * School even the Perry Public Library. Yes a few even from Painesville itself. I need to find out what a Mexican Popsicle is?

So it was decided to run this by Planning and not even get the 'Rubber Stamper Council" involved. We do want to be invited to the ribbon cutting! Or don't want to be viewed as Anti -Hispanic?

Public Hearing? Why ask to get the public involved.

A public hearing should be held and do all of us a favor leave the kids at home! Yes even the Three Amigo's!

But that will be left up to 7 people who seem to find time for Executive Sessions, but questions from resident's not so much. 8 days left to ask for a public hearing PCCRS'er can't wait to reach zero.

Have heard today that Republic Services has sent out around  500 SI (service interruption)  letter's to Painesville residents in October.  Maybe you can get a Grant for pick-up?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"ESTIMATED PROPHET" grateful dead

My times coming, voices saying they tell me where to go.

Skipped the agenda for this weeks council meeting?  Doesn't seem to increase the number who show up.

So let's go straight to the recap.

Yes more and more on the size of driveways in Entitlement Hts. (Heisley Park)

Yes of course let the State of Ohio check our bridges.


As most of you know by now for some reason we do a poor job on "Estimates" around here.
First electricity that is estimated to cost $46.10 MWH. somehow ends up costing $119 MWH.
another 'clean' Hydro project estimated at $68.00MWH. comes in at $143.00 MWH. and the reason for increased electric bills is the weather!

A new water line out into Lake Erie to cost 9 million ends up at 15 million, but still no finance charge!

Afraid to ask what the final bill for the parking garage was? Rest assured no one on council will ask.

The latest? Our new service garage to be built on city property at the Storr St. facility with a cost of $900,000. Well I guess we 'estimated' wrong we need another $600,000 to complete the building. (change orders) And while we are at it can we have another $89,000 to install an overhead crane inside? General fund as well as electric fund money .

Not even a whimper from council, why not it's a garage they have been building them forever! Yet no one questions anything around here. One thing you can never expect to hear is "Ahead of schedule and under budget". This is so sad. Why even have a council?

You didn't really elect a council you elected seven rubber stamps.

Yes and I asked for a public hearing on the " HOLA Building" I expect no estimate on that either!

These meetings would be funny if they just weren't so damn expensive.

Tip of the day:

Another news crew in town questioning the price of electricity around here!


Friday, October 14, 2016

"GUANTANAMERA" jose feliano

First the bad news;

It was reported in todays News-Herald 10/14/16 that Spectrum Brands will be closing their Painesville facility on Lexington Ave. early next year. Better known as the STP building more than 70 employee's will be left without employment and Painesville income tax takes a hit.

I'm a sincere man
I'm  from where growing palm

Now lets talk about the Painesville Planning Commission Meeting held last night.

Over 100 attended this meeting (if you count all the 2 and 3 year-olds) The fire department had to limit the people in the courtroom. WE even had three Little Amigo's dressed in black with sombrero's?

First Mobilite permit was tabled until November. (the 75 foot utility pole people.)


Applicant :  Veronica Dalberg on behalf of HOLA Ohio LLC

Well we were treated with a presentation by the firm doing the architectural features of the building along with Ms. Dalberg vision of the future of the building. commercial kitchen, business incubator, catering, retail and office. All sounded great. I was granted to ask questions.
First; Do you have title to the building?  No we are in negotiations with the land bank.
Second; Have they promised to refurnish the building? New roof has been discussed.
Third; Have you applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a $400,000 grant for a commercial kitchen? Yes
Fourth; Have you applied for another grant for new heating and air-conditioning? Yes, there is over 1 million dollars to be invested in this building. (Other people's money)
Fifth; How much is HOLA investing? A lot (no figure given but Architectural firm is owed $60,000)
Sixth; Have you secured parking at St. Mary's from the Catholic Diocese for parking rights? We will secure that in writing .

When I asked does it appear you are putting the cart before the horse? The Architectural representatives said these questions have nothing to do with the reason we are here today?

A nearby resident questioned where will you store garbage? Since building is landlocked it will have to be stored inside. ( no provision on exterior or interior design is shown for this)

After my questions a lady associated with HOLA stood and told be "you don't have to worry about financing, I will cover all costs occurred." Great I hope the people your asking for financing hear that.

Another Hispanic mother said it was important to instil her Mexican culture in her children. This center is needed to promote this. That is commendable. My problem is pay for it yourself don't ask my culture to finance yours. Trust me America is the land of the free not free handouts.

The planning commission put 8/10 stipulations on the building no more than 150 capacity of people on weekends as well as between 48-85 during the week. Most other stipulations made sense. One concerns me, being a business incubator the facility will be open 24 hours a day. I see a problem with this. That building is in a highly residential area do you want people coming and going at all hours? Who, how many?

This passed 3-0 (Mrs. Hada and Mr. Wainwight absent)

 It become effective in 15 days if  4 members of city council don't request a public hearing on this matter.

In other actions;

The owner La Hispana would like to move his business across the street to the old Tony's Subway Inn. That passed.

Today marks the Grand Opening of  "Starfish and Coffee" in the former Your Vine or Mine location.
The Coffee Shop will open with limited hours starting Friday at 4 PM. Hours will expand as the owner's get their feet wet. This business owned and operated by Austin and Bethany Homrighaus.
So why was Austin there? Well it seems Austin is a licensed in Acupuncture and would like to use a room in the back of the building to provide this service. The member's looked at me? "Oh why not this is Painesville. I might even spring for Mr. Lewis first treatment."
Seriously being a college town this business is a necessity. Also this type of business has been lacking in the city. All without a Grant.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"OH WHAT A NIGHT" four seasons


Oh what a night hypnotizin' mesmerizing me

Well let's start my night off in Courtroom #1 at city hall for council's work session on PCA. This meeting turned into a big disappointment. First the power point presentation didn't quite work and it was down hill from there.
A couple of interesting comment's were made . First Painesville does not have anything to do with the PUCO Mr. McHugh mentioned that council was Painesville's PUCO.
The reason for the high electric bills was 'consumption' I learned how hot it was going back 15 years.
Even NEW homes in Painesville might not be efficient due to the builder not having the right size air-conditioner and heating unit for the house.
I guess the PCA is so high because Painesville hasn't raised there base rates since 1991 putting all increase in into the PCA?
Also it appears we have no clue what our electric department net profit is? We know the gross profit but not what we net after everything is paid for. Yes in this business net profit could change from month to month. As former city manager mentioned to me once "some month's we make money, some we don't".
Council asked many question's receiving vague answers. No one wanted to commit I guess.
PJM was blamed for a 190% increase in transmission costs.
And to finish the presentation will be put on the city website. Why I have no idea since no one seems to know the answers?
Mr. McHugh stated the PCA is evaluated once a year? Odd My PCA has gone up monthly.

AMP-OHIO contract's were never mentioned as the reason for increased electrical costs? Again carrying the water or better yet the electricity.
This along with the then administration buying enough power from outside sources to make the plant obsolete.

No questions from the audience were allowed? So I never got to ask what it cost's Painesville Power to produce a MWh. of power.

All and all they believe the administration is doing a wonderful job with out electric department.

Had enough, sorry until they get serious I'm out of here. Call  your council people for your answer's.

So what's doing on the other side of town?

Oh the October BOE meeting at Harvey.

First off two administrator's did their best power point presentation on the positives of our system receiving  4F and 1B in our state  report card.
Look I could have used these two when I brought my report card home to Dad! Never have I heard 4F so elegantly presented!
To be truthful we are making positive steps just not at the rate we need to be. It don't come easy.

Finance Director mentioned that by next  year we have to renew a levy of 6.06  I believe.

During the non-agenda time Painesville resident  Sandy Miller politely question some of what she has witnessed in the district.
First off like many she questioned Me. Shepherds last June commencement speech that lasted all of 40 seconds. You remember the "ain't got time for that" one. She then questioned the board about him receiving a raise. (I'm thinking there's no place for  me  to hide in this room). Followed by who approved his trip to Germany? Not one BOE spoke up. Being the start of the school year he should be here in Painesville not in Germany!
Not wanting here to feel alone I spoke if he wants to take a trip he should have gone to Arizona, New Mexico maybe Texas to learn how others have learned about high Hispanic student population in there districts were empowering students. By this time Mr. Shepherd had not said a word but he was red as a tomato! I was then informed  by Mr. Tackett explained our low report card was NOT due to the high Hispanic population in our district. Well sorry that's been the story line for quite a while. I just watched a power point presentation with a red line that represented when the school district immigrant population exploded and graduation and test scores declined? Only one member of the board spoke positive of Mr. Shepherd's trip to Germany Ms. Remington said it was an honor that he was chosen to make the trip. Great what did he bring back for us and how does that trip help home values in Painesville?
Thanks Sandy for telling like it is.

Now as we left the building Mr. Shepherd came out behind us as Sandy said good night he immediately when into a tirade all the way to his car about how offended he was with her comments. ( guessing must have been the raise) First I thought he was just being funny but soon realized he was still red-faced and serious claiming he will never do any volunteering for this community again on and on all the way to his vehicle. I mentioned to Sandy "he can't talk to you that way!" although thinking back he spent more time on that conversation than his commencement speech! Sandy has  sent an email to all BOE members of the incident.

To the employees of the district I feel sorry for you if your boss is this childish and unprofessional .You have my sympathy.

All in another day in the Ville'

Friday, October 7, 2016









It's Electric!

You can't see it
It's electric
You gotta'  feel it
It's electric!

And many of us are starting to feel it!

A couple of weeks ago Newsnet 5 did a story on electric costs in Painesville. Seems some resident's were surprised by the outrageous increases in their electric bill.
We were even told that although Painesville operates it's own power plant it has contracted to purchase electric power from different sources.

The most recent power contracts Painesville has entered into are huge failures. All recommended by AMP-OHIO as well as the administration in 2007. Three come to mind Meigs County not even one watt but a cost of 2.1 million dollars. Prairie State Energy Campus over a billion dollars in overruns and one of the highest electric prices in the country. AMP Hydro CSW. How anyone can develop a Hydro plant and end up being the most expensive power is beyond me. And don't buy Mr. McHugh answer about mortgages he's full of it. Why not one on council questioned him is beyond me!

So how does this affect our electric costs?
Many have told me it means little to them that we are paying $140 MWh.,So?
What's a MWh.?
A megawatt is a unit for measuring power that is equivalent to one million watts is equivalent to the energy produced by 10 automobile  engine. per hour per 24 hours. so 10 MWh. is the equivalent of 100 automobile engines.

Now I asked the city for the invoice from AMP-OHIO. They recently sent me August's invoice.
For August;


Plus as you might remember  the city operated the plant on some days in August. I am waiting to here from the city on that amount also. (I will add it to the post)  Close to 30 souls also work there.

According to Mr. McHughs Painesville Power produced 3,507 MWh. of power in August.
(information received 10/10/16)

This was all set into motion almost 10 years ago. It has nothing to do with anything (PUCO) just simply a very poor judgment by our leaders t that time. Who were led by the nose by AMP-OHIO who I guess put their trust where they shouldn't have. What has AMP-OHIO lost financially? Nothing
They still send us an itemized bill monthly.

So how bad are some of these deals? First thankfully Painesville only receives  a sixth of their daily power from AMP Hydro. What if it was our only source? I use the 1,250 kilowatt for a Painesville resident's bill . the electric bill to your house would be astronomical. As it is for the 5MWh. we purchase about 1/7 of our needs we paid $212,086.59  then from PSEC for approximately less then a third of our needs we paid $371,753.37.

Let's not even get into Congestive or Transmission cost those alone add more to our bill's.

So let's power up the plant and produce! Why? You are presently obligated to purchase this power (50) years.  So why run plant production as well as the power contract's

And our council as well as administrations answer? I guess it's 'pay the man!'

Is this how you want your city run? Are they looking out for you? Hell are they looking out for the future of Painesville?

WHY NOT!  it can't be that complicated.

"Oh. what a tangled web we weave. When we first practice to deceive"  Felicia Hermans

Tuesday, October 4, 2016



I work all night, I work all day
To pay the bills I have to pay
Ain't it sad

A Painesville resident (Ray Sternot) and I have conversed on the refuse contract many times. I guess Ray couldn't understand the high delinquency accounts in our city. "Who doesn't pay their garbage bill!" Well... many I guess.

That said, after all my bitchin' and complaining the administration went out and secured  us a very fair refuse contract. Is it perfect? No, but it's a whole lot cheaper for the majority than what we had. Now the dilemma... how many delinquent  accounts do we currently have, and what should/will the city do?

Ray asked the administration what their policy as well as Republic Services is..... here is their response :


Subject: Process for Collecting Delinquent Accounts
Dear Ray:
Per your request, below is the process that Republic Services and the City of Painesville uses to collect on delinquent accounts.  We will working with Republic Services to mail letters to delinquent accounts over the next week.  Please see attached.  
Douglas L. Lewis

The process is as follows:  The account goes on SI in our system. The Resident also gets a letter telling them the account has been put on Service Interruption and that a $35.00 service interruption fee was assessed on their account.  If the resident calls in to make payment arrangements, our Collections team works on that with them and then they come off of SI.  Any broken arrangements, they go back on SI immediately upon that date of the broken arrangement.  Our drivers will have a manual list of residents that they are not to pick up on a daily basis per route so we are sure that they are not being serviced.  When the container is not picked up, a sticker will be placed on the container that explains the interruption in service was due to non-payment.  30 days following that approx. Oct 19th or 20th a Final Demand letter will be sent to anyone who still has not paid at that time letting them know that we are closing their acct and will be sending them to a 3rd party collection company and then the acct will be closed and bins will be removed.  At that time in advance of the close I can again send you over a list of residents.  I have reviewed the letter the City of Painesville will be sending and other than the obvious name change, our hours would be 8am to 5pm M-F and Sat from 8am to noon and our customer service number is 800-968-7789.  Thanks.
Kelly Griffith 
Office Manager
Cleveland Division
8123 Jones Rd. Cleveland, Oh 44105 .    
So I guess that if you read Section 955.03 of the City of Painesville Code of Ordinances this will be the result?
Dear Doug,
Got it now!  Looks like it is a misdemeanor (which I assume will mean a resident is ultimately going to be subject to a fine).  And, I assume all services will be interrupted until arrangements made (power, water by the city and trash by the vendor).  I hope I’m understanding it correctly.  I want to be sure as I will post this information on NextDoor Heisley Park.  There will always be someone willing to test the situation without really understanding the penalty/risks involved. 
Failure to comply with Section 955.03 is a minor misdemeanor and services will be interrupted until arrangements are made.
So why go through all this? Ignoring it won't help. Putting the bin next to your neighbors won't (Driver's know how many bins they paid for.)  Along with you can't expect people who pay their bills to have an added cost because someone doesn't.
All Services  something to think about.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Fall is upon us!

The first two Resolution on the agene I assume will pass. The six acres at Horvath Lagoons and the access lot in Liberty Greens. Council has a tendency to follow shiny object's as well as the  magic word 'FREE' . Only one question if Painesville would say "no thanks" what then?
Great another worthless piece of property!

Let's get that 'switchgear project rolling. What's 1.4 million dollars among friends?
Want to bet this won't last 96 years? Like the one we are replaced?

Ordinances 1137.03, 1137.07, 1137.12 Best guess is in in response to Heisley Park resident's having to go before the Zoning Board over a variance wanting to widen their driveway's. Change the ordinance and you no longer have to deal with Zoning. On the other hand you still must get a building permit as well as I wonder how this change will be abused there,as well as other parts of the city?

Oh, The State of Ohio wants to renew the program to inspect our bridges. Again free!


Council Procedures  (You have to show up?)

Council Legal Services Budget (Oh yeah we have to pay that attorney that got rid of Carson for us!)

Everbridge Notification System  (Haven't a clue)


There will be an Executive Session immediately following the meeting to discuss personnel issues.