Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"ANTICIPATION" carly simon

Wonder what Tuesday will bring? Most of the people striving for office won't change my life one way or the other. I'm still trying to figure out how our governor cost us 400,000 Ohio jobs. I see no surprises on the local level although if I was a Democrat, I believe I would have a restless sleep Tuesday night.

Money issue, that's what I'm waiting to see how that turns out. Will the Lakeland levy pass? Will the Painesville City Schools replacement levy pass? I'm like everyone else at the mercy of the voting public. If either of these two levy's pass I can only assume things aren't as bad as everyone tells me.

I voted against the Lakeland levy because I believe its unfair to subsidize out of county students who I don't believe pay a fair amount of tuition for the education they receive at Lakeland. Maybe we should limit out of county enrollment?

Painesville School levy. If I thought this levy would put our schools back on track
I would make the sacrifice and vote for this levy. I don't believe this extra money will make the education of our children ,one bit better. Along with not believing its for the kid's. That whole pay structure of the system must be reexamined. Should the board be in the transportation, and food service business? Should qualified teachers monitor study halls? Are the students and their parents somewhat responsible for what transpires in the classroom, or are the school's just a glorified babysitting service? Has anyone mentioned a pay freeze for the next upcoming contracts? The schools will be negotiating new contracts for classified and unclassified employees at the end of the school year in 2011. Will the state send us LESS money because we just added close to a million dollars in local revenue?
Listening to Mr. Taylor list the financial crisis the schools face, it almost sounded like what I'm facing in my life. Higher Health care costs, utility costs, food, gasoline you name it its gone up. Not my wages, who do I ask for a levy from? Even senior citizens have now lost their COLA on Social Security where will they find the money.

The fact that the nine highest payed employees of the district don't live in Painesville and won't be voting on this levy makes me wonder why I should believe in the product that is the Painesville City Schools.

I will wait in anticipation for the voting results. Then I will wait in anticipation the results this levy will bring or not bring. If you got it and don't need it vote "YES" If your in a struggle to keep your head above water vote "NO". It's really quite elementary.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WHO ARE YOU' the who

As some of you may have read the demolition of Lake East started yesterday with the parking lots. Now some questions you didn't read in the paper. One, the young man that is the project coordinator, who is he? He is the son of former Congressman Dennis Eckhart now how did he acquire this position and what are his qualifications? No one spelled them out. I wonder if there was an unemployed person in Painesville or even Lake County that could have also met the requirements? Plus assistant city manager Doug Lewis along with Burges & Niple are coordinators? The contractor who is it? Why weren't they represented at this meeting? Did anyone catch a name? 2 million dollars of State of Ohio money and the people in this town stimulate Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania's economy. Why? "The easy way"
It's Ohio taxpayer money you think they could have found a suitable Ohio contractor. Along with this one not even attending this meeting? I guess I should have figured it out considering we had an out of state contractor demolish Gristmill.
This project if I remember was to start in July, was it the city, state or contractor that waited until now to start the work?
The rubble is to be removed using North or South State St.[ pay attention Hal] even if its sent north to Rt.2? Why would you send the truck north down State St. to Chester St. then west to get back onto Richmond St. to get on the ramp. Someone doesn't want to see trucks go by the Golden Dome I guess, Richmond St. is also a state route.
I am glad Councilman Flock brought up operation hours, for some reason the city overlooked giving this in there presentation.
I am also sure Mrs. Lee will keep the city informed of all noise and debris issues. I also noticed that Dr. Shinns office building is not part of this project? I wonder how that will work out?
By next spring all will be gone as planned, then Mr. Zaremba can work his magic in 2012 at the earliest.

Something tells me this project is in for some union problems from the get go.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


0.This letter showed up in my Tuesday mail, I have a feeling many of you have also received it.

1. How have we supported our schools in the past?
November, 2004: passed levy to build new schools
May, 2010: passed Lake County School Financing District Levy Renewal generating
$1,614,609 for Painesville City Local Schools.

2. Why does the district need additional money?
Because Superintendent Hanlon, Treasurer Rick Taylor, Business Manager Ted Roseberry all received either bonuses or raises this year. Bonuses were handed out for the school district having new buildings. Treasurer Taylor had made a $500,000 error in the district finances and received a very large raise.[TERM>> I believe he didn't make a financial error only counted his chickens before they hatched] They cut teachers and support staff in the schools to scare us and lined their own pockets.

3. Levy literature emphasizes that $91,000 median home value in Painesville. Why do so many PCLS administrators make more than our homes are worth and NOT ONE listed below lives in the city of Painesville?

Listed below are the administrators that earn a total of $736,689 is a year's salary.
That averages out to $105,241 per year. Yes, some make more and some make less than the average but I feel that it is not my place to state their salary as individuals.
David Bull - Director of School Improvement
Kim Martin - Harvey High School Principal
Steven Ramos - Heritage Middle School Principal
Ted Roseberry - Business Manager
Greg Towns - Elm Street School Principal
Denise Ward - Assistant Superintendent
Michael Hanlon - Superintendent
This did not include the Treasurer salary, that was left a question mark????

These figures are a matter of public record and were taken from Board of Education minutes from July 10. 2010. Go to
The letter I received listed the individuals salary.

The letter included facts such as in 2006 our graduation rate DROPPED from 83% to 65% in 2009.

The letter stated that they are failing the voters yearly and questioned who has to tighten their belts US or THEM?

The claim was made that PSLS had the highest tax rate and are rated the lowest in Lake County.

I was planning to attend the information meeting at 6:30 at Harvey tonight but I have to say "FOR THE CHILDREN" Doesn't seem to be what this levy is really about.

Again, I have no idea who this letter was sent to me by only its not mine [although I wish I had thought of the number of PSLS administrators that make more than the $91,000 medium home they talk about in their literature.]

My gift for this campaign season will be brought out sometime this weekend. {to a lawn near you?]


In the interest of fairness here is the letter the PCLS posted. If anyone would like to see it on their site I have provided the link below the letter.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Thursday night's AMP - Ohio council meeting was more than a little bit contentious. AMP - Ohio has the best snake-oil salesman in the world. First, they get you to invest approximately 35 million dollars in a fifty year contract with a coal burning electric generating plant, cancelled the plant at a cost of roughly two million out of your pocket; turn around after cancelling the plant and tell you they have saved you millions by cancelling the plant they first talked you into buying into. AMP...Please don't poop on my head and then expect me to thank you for the hat.

I personally understand the city's venture into the Gorsuch plant in 1988. I even understand the city wanting into the Prairie View energy campus. Maybe not to the extent they finally exposed themselves to, but it was understandable. Which brings us to Meigs County the mother of all ponzi schemes. Am I upset that Painesville stands to lose around two million dollars on this venture that the residents will have to make up in their electric bills? Yes, but what really upset me were the people in the administration and the people on council that went straight ahead with this last project after numerous warnings from many concerned Painesville residents. The take-or-pay contract is a loser that no one would subject their personal finances to but the powers-that-be have had little regard for the city's [people's] money. People on council that voted for this can claim they had the best intentions for the residents of Painesville, but in reality took a "my way or the highway" approach. The four people I hold responsible for this: City Manager Rita McMahon, Councilman Joe Hada, Councilman Paul Hach, and Councilman Robert Fountain. The other 'yes' votes are no longer serving on council. I put most of the blame on Councilman Joe Hada, who ram-rodded this legislation through council. Lets assume for a minute that the loss is an even two million dollars. In a city with a population of 18,000 people that's a cost of $111.00 for every man, woman and child that lives in Painesville. That's the math I wish the city manager would have used, instead of telling us about the 10 to 14 million dollars of electricity we sell yearly.

Someone asked me today if I felt vindicated after all the time I have raised my concerns about this issue. I answered honestly that I wish I would have been proven wrong. I don't know what the next move should be....but a hasty step into a new contract with AMP-Ohio seems illogical to me. I would appreciate any plausible solution to the situation we are facing because I know least I think I know....we do not have 2 million dollars sitting around doing nothing.

I will post the questions I asked the AMP-OHIO representatives at the meeting later this weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

'HEY BIG BROTHER" the sequel 5meb

Someone asked how Mrs. Bihary was dealing with her garage issue. Well, here's her follow-up letter to Councilman Flock. I give this lady a lot of credit: she's smart and not going to go quietly into the shadows. I call it "Moxie"

Dear Andy, October 11,2010

Excavation began this morning at 7am on our garage. On Friday, Oct 1 John Schlund city inspector, the cement contractor, and the construction contractor were in our back yard discussing the placement and elevation of the garage. John said there wasn't a topographical survey done, but the city would help us out with that. He was going to talk to the architect. The contractor called on Friday, Oct 8 and said the cement crew would start Monday, Oct 11. This was a week delay because Mr. Schlund wanted to talk to the architect. Mr. Schlund shows up at the garage site Monday just before noon. He says he didn't talk to the architect. Nothing has been decided about the elevation. He gives me an ultimatum either IO agree to raise the garage floor an arbitrary 8 inches from the drawing or I will have to get the topographical survey done. In other words, stop construction which meant leaving 4 foot trenches all around the perimeter and a dump truck full of fill gravel sitting in the driveway. First of all, I was lead to believe he had taken care of the elevation issue. I had not received a call telling me he was unable to get in contact with the architect. It was my understanding that the construction could not go forward until the elevation problem was solved. The cement contractor works with the city and did not want to go ahead with the digging until he had the cities OK. Since he was going ahead with the digging, I thought the elevation issue was resolved.
Instead Mr. Schlund shows up and arbitrarily moves the floor level up 8 inches. So the crew commences to redo their measurements and bring in three truck loads of fill gravel needed for the change in elevation.
I am halting construction. This 8 inch change in the architect plan causes the elevation of the garage floor to be 9 inches higher then the back door sell. It also means out of the garage the slope will be a foot drop in 7 feet to the driveway. That is too much drop in such a short space. This is also where the turning radius into the garage will be tight. It will be to hard to turn and go up a steep slope into the garage. It the driveway is higher at the garage the water will pool at the back door with no place to go except in the house. (this was the situation when we moved in the house in 1995. The back door was rotted and the stairs to the basement needed replaced. The problem was solved by removing dirt so the water would collect in the back yard.)
I will call a surveyor tomorrow. Hopefully, he can come out at a moments notice. I believe the elevation the contractor was planning to use would have been just fine. We have to go with the existing house elevations. Excavation needs to be done so the water will flow to the back of the property. The problem with that is there is no elevation drop. The city has discussed trenching down the back of all the properties on our street. This would be one answer to the problem. The storm drain is on the opposite side of the street. To connect to that would be expensive and I do not believe the city will let us do that.
So, we are back to the issue of not building anything until the water problem is solved. Jacking the garage floor up so high that it becomes unusable is not a satisfying answer. It does not solve the water problem.
As you know, the city took us to court for not replacing the barn we tore down with a garage. The city was shown in court the water problem we have. The water problem is what destroyed the barn. The water problem is not being addressed adequately or professionally.
The garage will not be built if the city can't come to a compromise with the elevation of the garage floor and some guarantee the trench across the back of the property will be done by the city in the near future.

Bullied by the city again,


Well after Councilman Flock was informed of the situation he managed to get all parties together. From the assistant city manager to the inspector, even the cement contractor. It was resolved to go back to the original plans. And we all lived happily ever after. Not so fast... Mrs. Bihary had to shell out another $500 dollars to get here property surveyed remember.
I just hope Ms. McMahon had something better in mind when she mentioned having better relationship with the "customers" of Painesville.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Yeah we got signs and we don't have signs.
First the signs that make little sense to me. Traveling east on Mentor Ave. just past the railroad tracks are three overhead signs. It shows a left turn arrow for the left lane a straight arrow for the center lane and a straight and right hand arrow for the right lane?
First the center lane ends within a 100 feet, where do you turn right with the right turn arrow? I always thought you did that at a street not Pizza Hut?
This is not a big deal for most of us locals but it could cause problems for someone not from the area. Yes Hal there are signs telling people to not block streets coming into Mentor Ave. but its hard to do when you have bumper to bumper traffic from Fern Dr. to Walnut St.
Now I notice a "NEW" Painesville game has begun called "Run The Center Lane". People pull into the center lane at say Lincoln Dr. and run if almost to Chestnut [although most chicken out by Newell St.] There a Black Ford Fusion that runs that center lane with success daily.

Now the signs promoting the 6 mil. Replacement Levy. They would have been better off without the signs reminding the "what levy are you talking about?" citizens. As of Thursday evening I noticed only two city councilmen with "For the Children" signs in their yards. [Hada, Hach] What gives, even a current employee doesn't have a sign along with a former Assistant Superintendent? Hal must have figured a sign might hurt his re-election chances even more? How about our own "Ground Traffic Controller" on Levan Dr., where's her sign?

This along with the usual sign of the times in Painesville. AVAILABLE, FOR SALE, FOR LEASE, FOR RENT.


Attended the school board meeting. At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Dillard explained that the BOE was setting up an "Informational Meeting" for people who have concerns and questions about Issue 3. No date was given for this meeting. A word to the board:.... voting has all ready started almost two weeks ago. If you're going to have this meeting it should happen very soon... please.
A couple of very interesting comments made Monday night. First off, Mr. Taylor said "We are all right through 2012". We were also told
"If the levy passes, people should still expect to see cuts" and
"If the levy fails, the BOE will implement severe expenditure cuts".
(Along with asking for a higher millage levy in 2011).
The "Race to the Top" money was discussed: it was explained this money cannot be used in the general fund.
Resolution #10-259 to approve a work-study program between Lake Erie College and Maple Elementary School for the 2010-11 academic year. GREAT IDEA! What about the other two elementary schools?
Resolution #10-266 to approve "Moving Stipend". Now this one I going to have to ask for an explanation.
On a final note nothing that was discussed at the Town Hall Meeting last month was addressed. I have to wonder why?


Since the passing of my father in the early spring I have spent many a day taking my Mom to his grave site. I have grown to appreciate the flowers, the planters and how much time people put in to honor their loved ones final resting site.
Now Painesville "Riverside Cemetery" has signs that explain to people that all summer decorations must be removed my October 1. Well today was the day that the city got around to removing planters, sheppards' hooks, solar lights, balloons as well as artificial flowers. Fine. Now will someone from Parks and Recreation please explain why the city took the time to have city employees dig up all the mums and perennials along with other planted flowers? Now please don't get the idea that my family had planted flowers at my fathers gravestone. We removed our sheppard hook and pots in late September.
I did watch a young mother cry at her daughters grave that her mums had been dug up, along with watching a very irritated man who had just planted flowers at his wife's grave that was going to give the city an "earful". A lot of man hours spent doing what? How about cutting the grass, its pretty high in section 18.
As I drove home the thought that kept going through my head was I expect this city to run a service department, a water department, a light plant along with a waste treatment plant. Heck, these people can't even run a cemetery.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Painesville Charter Change Committee.
Public meeting on Thursday October7, 7:00p.m. In the First Merit Bank Building,
56 Liberty St. Suite 309. Speaker Robert H. Myers,Jr Co, LPA,
discussing charter changes All Painesville Residents are welcome.

This would be a good opportunity to ask any questions about this charter change, along with finding out how the process works.
Please feel free to call Former Councilwoman Arlene Becks 440-358-9955 for more information.


A City Council work session has been scheduled with representatives from AMP-OHIO for Thursday October 14, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Courtroom #1.

I have been assured that residents will be given time to ask questions.


For some of you that might have missed Andy's Town Hall Meeting. The school board will meet on October 11,2010 at Harvey High School in the Hanlon Presentation Room at 7:00 p.m.
They have a public forum at the end of the meeting where you can bring up concerns and questions.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

"HEY BIG BROTHER" rare earth

Recently Nancy Bihary sent Councilman Flock an E-mail concerning her court trial results. With her permission I will reprint the e-mail here. Some of you may remember Mrs. Bihary as the lady that brought her story about building a garage to replace a shed in her yard to city council. She read a letter to them about the way she has been treated by city officials.
At that time the City Manager said there were "mechanisms" at the residents' disposal for her to use. You judge what was or was not done.

Today was the court date. We arrived at court with our two neighbors for a 9:30court and didn't get into court until 11:00am. There was no place to sit down to wait. My husband and one of my neighbors had to take time off work to show up for us. There needs to be adequate seating and better scheduling.
We lost the case. Judge Cicconetti dismissed the case provided we pick up the building permit in six days. We will have one year with a possible extension of 6 months to get an enclosed parking space on the property.
Noel Siversten lied again. I did not agree with her when I picked up the demolition permit. She said we are taking down a garage and therefore need to put one up. I said it wasn't a garage. She said I agreed with those terms. I did not! There was no written notice given to us that we were in violation. We have been denied due process, still. I am thankful that we do not have a criminal record since the case has been dropped.
We did not win. To win would have meant that we would be grandfathered in and not made to put up a garage. Then the decision to go in debt for a garage would have been ours not the cities. If we could have afforded a house with a garage we would have bought one.
I do not know if you are aware, but the sighted violation to the front of the house in October of 2008 was taken care of by us removing the porch and added living space to the house. This space included a bathroom on the main floor which is vital for people who visit that are handicapped.
Again, Noel stated at court today, "We didn't need to spend the money doing that. We should have spent the money building a garage. We could have just painted the porch." I would like to know when it is that city officials have the right to make these decisions for the citizens. The city is over stepping their authority when they can make demands on citizens based on nothing more than a cities need to increase the tax base with more structures such as a garage. That is all this is about. It is not about the safety of housing or the citizens real needs it's about increased salaries for city employees. It seems to me most people would prefer increased living space over a place to park a car. If the city can't apply this ordinance in a sane way it needs to be repealed. It is hurtful and morally wrong what the city is doing. A garage is a luxury not a necessity. With so many people out of work, why put more people in jeopardy of losing their home by demanding a garage be built. We can live without a garage, but if one of us has hip issues in the next few years the added bath and living space on the main floor will be a life saver. The garage will do what?

OK I'm going to stop, but I am not done!


Now my question was Mrs. Bihary informed by Ms.Siversten that she had other options, like going to the board of zoning appeals? [BZA]? The gall of Ms. Siversten to DECIDE that a garage was more important for two people who are looking to make their living space more comfortable in their senior years?
I bring up the BZA only because of my neighbor, who lives in Mentor and at best can be called an absentee landlord.

February 18,2010
Refusal No.2177
Valarie Chiappone
485 Owego St.
Mrs. Chippone asked for a variance to Sec.1137.03[b][2] that requires that each single family dwelling unit have a minimum of [1] enclosed garage., along with her making allegations that neighbors "STOLE" the garage doors.
She wants to sell the property and not build a garage. I argued that the garage could be repaired, and the Chiappone's kept a car in it when they lived there. along with most homes needing a place to store lawnmowers, bicycles, lawn chairs whatever. The ruling of the BZA? A garage need NOT be rebuilt but a 120sq.ft storage building must be erected. I was assured this would cover the problem. NOW where was the city is this instance? Where was Ms. Siversten? Why the double standard? Why was Mrs. Bihary a long time city resident not given the same leeway as the lady from Mentor?
How many police calls to 485 Owego St. compared to Mrs. Bihary?
I believe this lady stood up to City Hall embarrassing them, and was put in her place by the administration period.

In other news Painesville Council Meeting Monday October 4,2010 will be all positive as no legislation is on the agenda.