Thursday, September 30, 2010

"ANDY'S TOWN HALL" Thursday Nite

Must say it was one of the all-time better ones. Mr.Taylor and Mr. Dillard were very honest and answered questions from the audience very professionally.
Many great questions and ideas were passed along.... including residents volunteering time in the classroom.
We were told that a home with a market value of $100,000 pays (just in Painesville City Schools tax) $1006.00 a year. If this levy passes the schools will collect $1155.45 a year in property taxes. This does not include Lakeland College, Morley Library, and certain city and county taxes; just PCLS.
The total budget for our schools is $44 million dollars a year; coming from $17 million local, 21 million state and $6 million federal dollars. It costs us over $10,000 per year to educate each child.
One citizen asked why the schools used projected figures in order to budget and negotiate. She was referring to the approximately $700,000.00 shortfall that had been rumored to be a misappropriation/mistake a few years ago. It was explained to her that those funds were yanked from the local schools by the state at the last minute....and the state can do that any time they think it's necessary. I've spoken to a few people that are knowledgeable about public budgeting and was surprised to learn that that is the way it is done at all levels. You have to use projected revenue figures in order to do any kind of long-term planning. It isn't the most efficient way, but it is what it is.
I even suggested privatizing the food service as well as the transportation departments. For some of you that know me; I was a Teamster for over 20 years. I have always been pro-union and pro-labor but even as a union member I knew that other locals (as well as other non-union companies) would love to see us price ourselves out of a job. I watched it happen to our largest competitor in the Cleveland area. Where is the competition for the classified as well as the non-classified school employee?
Is there any sacrifice with any of them? The people employed by the school system better get over the idea that their jobs are some kind of sacred cow.
Government employees at every level better heed the warning, people are not going to work everyday just for you to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Get used to it; its brutal out there in the private sector. Don't think you are immune (or should be) to the economy.
After listening tonight to some of the people's views, a new term will have to be learned, "Concessions". I'm afraid the cow has run dry.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"WHO'S FOOLING WHO?' robert palmer


Image, image image... that, next to 'perception' (with diversity not far behind)is all I hear about Painesville. This blog site is bad for Painesville's Image!
"We as citizens need to change the image as well as the perception of our lovely town". I keep hearing this same mantra.
Yes I tend to agree: ask a reputable real estate agent what they feel is the true perception of Painesville? Do many of them steer potential buyers away from Painesville? Has our housing become investment property for some buyers, or a place to purchase if your son or daughter attends the local college?
Image can consist of making a property owner repair his or her sidewalk. It can also consist of refusing to cover your recycling area, without an excuse that can be "we're looking into..." Try using that one with the housing inspector Grinch?
Telling people that our electric costs are "almost 50% cheaper then surrounding communities. Mr. Council President, take anyone's electric bill; yours, mine, a total stranger's, and compare days and usage, and then please show me the 50% savings. We have an image of cheap utilities, Mr. School Board President, show me what our current taxes are compared to surrounding communities. The one across the river is rated excellent by the State of Ohio; what, is there something in our water?
Why does our image need another five year plan every three years?
Now comes Fridays News-Herald 09/24/10, with a human interest story about a company from Canton that comes to Quail Hollow for a meeting As part of the meeting they build bicycles for under-privileged children and non- English speaking children in Painesville. Now, you're traveling from say, Syracuse New York, and you read this article in the paper. Honestly, what would be the image and perception of Painesville that would form in your mind? Blame this blog.? Blame the local paper?
Read this week that one of Painesville's largest employers was sold to a holding company. What will they think of our image after they drive down Lexington Ave. to their new acquisition? We can only hope they don't look at what their tax bill is. [They will] They may consider even moving to China but it might be cheaper to move to Beverly Hills. Remember we're saving them around 50% in utilities right? I believe if this fact was true many commercial properties in town would already be filled.
Perception: you drive by a manufacturing plant that produces Chevrolet's , yet the employee parking lot as well as most of managements is filled with Fords? What's your perception? Probably 75% of the city and its schools employees live outside the city limits. Not saying some don't have valid reasons but with percentages this high, they must know something. Sure they pay income tax, what's that their fine they have to pay to work here. Wouldn't these people be the the ones that would add so much in the housing and retail to Painesville?
We hire a Downtown Painesville promoter to "showcase" the city, and he honestly does a pretty fair job (or his support staff does). Listen to him, great... then the first thing he does is move west to Cleveland Heights... go figure?
I can't tell you what the answer is, only that the people in charge of our city and schools don't seem to have a clue either. Flowers and Raider Pride....along with throwing more money will not change the image. Sorry, it's not working along with the people at the controls.
"Who's fooling Who"????


Come on people what kind of people do we have living here in town? January 27th its a general question. You call yourselves Painesvillites?



Rick Taylor, Finance Director for Painesville City Schools will be present at Councilman Flocks Town Hall Meeting Thursday September 30,2010 at the "New" Huntington Elementary School going by the 'alias" of Elm St. Elementary School on Elm St. at 7:00 pm. Like I mentioned before this is not a pro or anti levy meeting this was setup to ask any questions you might have about the PCLS financial condition and how this could affect your budget. I can only hope CHARTERLADY attends.

AMP-OHIO will meet with city council sometime in the middle of next month. I have no idea as to whether the public can ask questions.
As soon as I hear about a date and time I will post it on the blog. Sometime around the 18th of 15 to 20th of the month.

Monday afternoon at 4:30 pm Governor Strickland's bus tour will be at Lake Erie College come meet and greet the Governor.

Went to the Harvey /Riverside game and watched a damn good football game. With the prices of entertainment being what they are today. I believe you can't get more bang for your buck.

Who's Birthday is January 27th? Should we do anything SPECIAL?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"DREAM,DREAM,DREAM, everly brothers

Dream Act, Sorry President Obama this one doesn't work for me.
First off I believe any individual that would give four years to any branch of the United States Armed Services should be granted citizenship along with his/her spouse and children. That's it period. He or she could attend college after they finish their service obligation.
No citizenship for his sister, brother, aunt, uncle, second cousin, even mom and dad.
Now my Democratic friends are trying something I really despise; packaging something with something else to get it passed. Didn't you learn when the other side did it, people replaced them?
Well, now the good news..... it FAILED. How out of touch can these legislators be?
The Dems thought that they could shame the 6 or 7 GOP senators who were for Comprehensive Immigration last year to hold their votes? How stupid was this idea?
Maybe Harry Reid was playing to his Hispanic base?
Maybe I should see this only as a promise kept to the Hispanic caucus for their support in the last election. Along with the one in forty days? Wonder how Congressman Luis Gutierrz is spinning this?
What exactly does DREAM stand for? Development,Relief & Education for Alien Minors.
Now what exactly does my DREAM Act mean? Development, Relief & Education for "AMERICAN" Minors.
This country has done so much for the world....its time to turn inward and start thinking about our own children and grandchildren.
This country starts rewarding law breakers there won't be a fence high enough to keep everyone out.... Then the ship will sink.
I guarantee it.
Politicians promising people something they cannot deliver has never worked. The Republicans have promised to end abortion for over thirty years, along with Democrats that will promise Hispanics amnesty. Will either ever deliver?
Why should they.... it keeps these groups in their camp.

Friday, September 17, 2010


This Replacement levy the Painesville City Schools has put on the November ballot seems to be one of the quietest issues in a long time. Sometimes, when in conversation, I mention the school issue I am greeted with a puzzled look and a "what levy"?

The only advertisement I have seen so far is in the back of the Harvey High School Football and Fall Sports Program.

Inside the rear cover is the full page Ad.

It's For Me!


Vote YES

Tuesday, November 2
Polls open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30pm
Absentee Ballot applications available now at Board of Elections, Morley Library
or web at

Painesville City Local Schools.

This along with six photos of students in different activities at school. Along with paid by citizens for Painesville City Local Schools.

Is this informative enough for you to decide on this levy?


Now a another secret, an ad hoc committee is in the exploratory stage to oppose this levy.
My advise to them was don't be against the levy. Do your homework and act as an information group to Painesville taxpayers. Here is their proposed first ad.

Are you a Voter?

Are you Aware of Issue 3?

NO on Issue 3

Sorry it's not for Me!

The school board wants to replace a 6 mil. property tax for Painesville Schools in November. It sounds like a renewal but the facts show under the current 6 mil. levy, we pay $34.22 on $100,000 home
Under the new REPLACEMENT levy, we will start paying
$180.97 when are property tax bill come due in February.
An added $146.75 a year.
What will this additional $950,000 assessed to Painesville residents to be used for?

This is a lose,lose for all of us!

Painesville sadly is presently the LOWEST ranked school system in Lake County. With the lowest graduation rate and test scores!

The arrogance- more taxes in this down economy!
The system in place is failing our children and more money is not the answer!

Vote NO on the Painesville Schools 6 mil REPLACEMENT levy.

"Money cannot guarantee success, it only beautifies failure".


Is this too "negative" or "mean spirited" a statement?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"THE GAMBLER" kenny rodgers

Know when to raise 'em... know when to walk away.

Went to the BZA meeting Thursday night and greeted by, you guessed it, the 'goodfellas'from the Internet Cafe, along with their two attorneys.
In the city's corner was Mr. Lyons Esq., and for the first time at any city meeting I have attended, a stenographer.
Well, to start off, a gentleman got his variance for a garage, a couple was denied the size of a cement pad for parking in their front yard. Along comes the main event.
The Lawyers talked and talked, neither of whom were at the planning Commission when their clients offered all their information. It was about parking yes, but your client was the one that brought up sweepstakes, not the planning commission.
The members of the Zoning Board wondered 'what was their purpose in all this?', along with an attorney representing the Internet group stating the merits of this business. Look, the city gave us a building permit, one told the board. We take this to mean they approved of what we were putting there. Really? I would have never thought that a place named "Internet Cafe" would be a place to practice their skill at a game, but I should have known better. The city of Painesville took liberties with their words and so did these guys. Gambling. Its a skill if you win, its a game of chance if you lose, ask anyone in Vegas.
In their wisdom they decided that the city had enough information and they didn't need to be there any more. The lawyers left the room with their clients.... returning in seconds to withdraw their appeal.... and I guess we'll all see them at the next Planning Commission Meeting.
These businessmen want to go forward with this enterprise in the poorest city in the county, in its poorest neighborhood, wonder why?
I'm willing to bet there will be a judge involved in the near future. Lets just leave zoning and planning to do their jobs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WORKIN' MY WAY BACK TO YOU" four seasons

Well Painesville council had a work session yesterday. I am happy to report that the "newbee's" Fodor and DiNallo had more than their fair share to contribute.
Both had excellent points about their concerns on many of the problems the residents face living here.
The main concern they seem to have heard the most about were streets. "When will my street get repaired, repaved?". Fodor would like a timeline of different goals the city wants to achieve....priorities set.
DiNallo seems truly concerned about how different homeowners have to deal with certain city ordinances along with some employees. I can't help but wonder when the city manager mentioned that the city is under some financial strain and projects and goals have to be scaled back for the time being, and yet takes people to court who are unemployed and expects them to pull money out of God knows where to appease a building inspector's complaint.
Let's face present times are tough on just about everyone.
Council was united that safety was and should be the city's number one priority.
Until it comes to Cobblestone and Regionalization. First off, yes we have some issues all over the city concerning EMS coverage. I stress Cobblestone is unique. What other Painesville community requires that you must get on the freeway, drive through another town, and then drive back into your town just to service a neighborhood? Sorry bridge either. If we would spend the money and join with Painesville Township, and Grand River in a joint station for $100,000 a year, that area would be covered; and if one EMS unit is at Tri-Point and they get a call from Bank St. that unit is in the station and not out somewhere on Rt.2. Seems everyones a winner. Councilman Werner is concerned that maybe with regionalization Painesville will end up on the short end. Hal, where's your head? All I see is shoulders? Safety forces care about serving people and are not (or should not be) concerned about someone else's political turf war. I would be willing to bet that Painesville would come out a winner along with all surrounding communities.
To Andy Flock this idea will never see the light of day until, God-forbid, something really bad happens. You should be the only one on council that should sleep easy at night. Some walk the walk and some don't.
I showed the pictures that were on the blog to council. The City Manager stated that the area was staked out... funny, I walked the property and only noticed stakes for the walkway. The word everyone seems to remember was small. I will promise you that it will be safe even if it has to be fenced in with wildflowers around it. In the end it must be a plus to the area.
The city Manager also proposed the one lane traffic starting in front of McDonalds thru the town square with traffic signals at Erie St, Mentor Ave. and Washington St. along with a stop sign at Sterling Ave. When I mentioned between the one lane traffic, three traffic signals and the four way stop, did she realize how that would slow down traffic? Her answer "thats why we're doing it". Sorry its Miller Time.
Driving home my only thought was, I hope those people who moved into Condon Ct. aren't looking for some of us in six months.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"FIXING A HOLE" beatles

Well in my travels today, someone called and mentioned that I should go over to the former Huntington School and asked what I thought of the progress on the "Park" along with the "Water Retention Area"?
I couldn't believe my eyes when I got to Huntington. This is a open post to anyone who attended the Elm St. or Huntington site proposal meetings.
We were flat out lied to, by Park Director Lee Homyock, along with the City Manager Rita McMahon. The retention basin is not where they said it would be, along with not being the size in width, length, and depth. I will post pictures in the near future of me standing along the east wall [90%] with my arms in the air and I'm still not reaching the top. We were told it would be on the north end between Owego and St. Clair.St. To our city officials you got us again! To Councilman Flock and Council at Large DaNallo are they trying to make you two out to be fools? If neither of you don't gets up and tell the administration this is not what you signed on to. Councilman Werner would you let them do this yo State St? Councilman Hach the same goes for you; go over and look, and tell me you would approve this at the Lathrop site. This is not what was on the drawing. I attended both meetings and I know both Flock and DiNallo attended at least one, do either of you remember this proposal? What a bunch we got running this town!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Painesville lost another pillar of the community this week. Ferdinando Daniel "Fred" Pollutro. Long time local businessman who was very active in youth baseball and St. Marys Church.
My condolences to his wife of 71 years Maria, along with his son Fred and his family. Some of you may know Fred Jr. who at one time served as a Painesville Councilman. The last time I talked to the senior Mr. Pollutro was when he was taking computer classes a few years back, not bad for a guy in his 90's


To some of you who might be interested

Saturday morning.... I have been infomed there will be a ceremony held at Painesville Veterans Park with over 3,000 flags which will represent the lives that were lost on 9/11. Taps will be played at 8:43am when the first plane struck the Twin Towers. A day most of us old enough to remember will never forget.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"WISHIN' AND HOPIN' " dusty springfield

When it comes to any community that is in the AMP-OHIO circle of "take and pay" there sure is a lot of wishin'... hopin'... and sure to be plenty of Praying.
I came across this article in the Martinsville Bulletin, where for some reason their city manager could get the President of AMP-OHIO to come to their fair city and explain certain costs along with the liabilities of the Meigs AMPGS plant. The key words in this article seems to be that 'even if we screwed up Meigs we're still going to save you millions in the coming years'. Really? Why wouldn't you screw something up in the future? As far as "rolling" expenses into the gas plant from the coal plant? That's sorta like trading in your vehicle that you still owe $5000.[ that's worth $500.00] and it will be assumed in your new loan. Clever bunch. Also take note it seems the only way to control your destiny is to have control of the power facilities? If that's true why would they want us to spend over a million dollars on ways to conserve energy?
Another interesting fact I found out the coal plant was going to be a 24/7 operation yet the proposed gas plant Will only operate 7am to 11pm 5 days a week, why?
Our city manager better get a crash course in electricity, and AMP-OHIO had better be ready for a lot of questions on the horizon. In the mean-time could someone take that shovel out of her hand? She just continues to dig deeper, with no clue.
One thing I keep thinking about as I print these news-paper stories, have you ever read anything or any mention of AMP-OHIO losing any money?


Council gets AMP briefing

City Electric Department Superintendent Dennis Bowles (right) introduces Marc Gerken, P.E. president and CEO of American Muncipal Power Inc., to Martinsville City Council at Tuesday’s meeting. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Martinsville will save millions of dollars on its future wholesale power costs even if it chooses to pay back its share of expenses toward a ceased power plant project without participating in future projects.

That is what City Manager Clarence Monday determined when Martinsville City Council on Tuesday heard a presentation by American Municipal Power (AMP) executives about the city’s involvement with the organization and three power projects.

According to AMP projections, by participating in one of the three, the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois, Martinsville will save $5.4 million on wholesale electricity costs during the first 14 years of the plant’s operation.

Through 2020, the city will save $5.6 million on wholesale power costs by AMP’s recent decision to enter into contracts to buy electricity on the wholesale market. That will replace power that another project, the discontinued AMPGS project in Ohio, would have produced, projections show.

Monday said the latter savings results from a decline in market prices due to the recent economic downturn.

The total savings is $11 million, Monday noted.

AMP officials on Tuesday estimated Martinsville’s share of the development costs toward AMPGS at $1.7 million. That is down from the original estimate of $2.08 million.

They did not say how soon the city will find out exactly how much it owes. Monday confirmed after the meeting that it could be many months due to ongoing negotiations with contractors and potential litigation.

For that reason, figuring out the exact cost is “very complicated,” said Pam Sullivan, AMP’s vice president of marketing and operations.

Through negotiations and perhaps litigation, “we’re going to try to get your money back” — as much of it as possible, AMP President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Gerken added.

But the city will be liable for whatever it owes toward the project, he said.

The city can pay whatever it owes toward AMPGS through future electricity purchases from the wholesale market through AMP, rolling the expense into a natural gas-fired plant that AMP now plans for the AMPGS site, or not taking part in another project but paying the cost in payments over an unspecified period of time, according to Monday and officials with the organization.

AMPGS was to have been a coal-fired facility, like Prairie State.

Even if the city chooses the latter option, it still could save about $9.3 million overall on its future wholesale electricity costs, Monday reasoned.

AMP is an Ohio-based, not-for-profit organization owned by its 128 member localities, including Martinsville, through which the city has bought wholesale electricity since 2006. The city electric department then provides the power to its residential, commercial and industrial customers.

In 2008, the council entered into 50-year agreements to buy power from three AMP projects being developed — AMPGS, Prairie State and the three hydrodams on the Ohio River. AMP was to own or partly own each project.

City officials had estimated that Martinsville would spend about $3.5 million annually toward the plants, mainly through the cost of power bought from them. It is not yet known how discontinuing AMPGS will affect that.

Costs for each of the projects have been higher than expected.

In late November, AMP canceled plans to build AMPGS after contractors’ cost estimates rose 47 percent.

AMP realized “we could buy power on the market” for less money, Gerken said.

Construction has begun on Prairie State and two of the three hydrodams. Prairie State is under contract to be completed in December 2011 and two hydrodams are to be finished by September 2014, officials said. The other dam is in the permitting process.

Martinsville would pay its share of development costs toward those plants through its purchases of power they generate, officials have said.

Despite the projects’ cost increases, a consultant from the Blue Ridge Power Agency told the council that AMP — including participation in the projects — remains Martinsville’s best option for buying wholesale power in the future.

More coverage of the AMP discussion will be published in the Martinsville Bulletin on Thursday.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

"IF YOU GOT THE MONEY" merle haggard

All this money that just seems to fall out of the sky? "Race to the Top" $637,000, Emergency funding $975,000 going to our schools and the year isn't over. How all this funding should affect the school's budget should be explained at a board meeting. I really would just want accountability on where and how all this money will be spent . Along with knowing that before election day.
To say I am disappointed in the administration on how they have handled this "Replacement" levy so far is an understatement.
I would expect them to go all out beating the drums on the need for passage on this levy. Not a whisper?
Maybe we should look at this in a different way. How much money does the school district want this levy to raise every year?
That's the main purpose of a levy to generate X amount of dollars. I Will promise to call the school treasurer Tuesday and find that information out.
1) What amount did the old 6 mil levy generate.
20 What amount will the "Replacement" 6 mil levy generate.
The community seems focused on the school issues presently. It's either by the state scores or the money issues.
To be truthful a poster on "I'll be watching You" hit it on the head. To solve the school issues it must fall on its main "customers" The students and their parents
More parents need to take a role in what's going on. PCS is not meant to be a "Glorified Baby-Sitting Service".



I had a short conversation with the school administrator Mr. Taylor who is the Treasurer. I asked him what were the figures between the existing 6 mil levy along with the "Replacement" levy

Presently the 6mil levy we have today generates app. $329,000.00 yearly for the system.

If the "Replacement" levy passes in November that levy will generate app. $1,282,000.00

Now if it passes the old levy ends so the true cost to the citizens of Painesville;

$ 953,000.00 increase in revenue to the district, and added to the tax rolls
starting next year.

Again Mr. Taylor was very helpful and open with my questions.
You and yours have to judge this levy for yourself.