Friday, February 24, 2012

"TELL IT LIKE IT IS" aaron neville

A lot of discussion on the News-Herald web site concerning the girl that received a 30-day school suspension for fighting an alleged bully. Due to the ages of these students, we can only guess why the suspension was so severe. I will not even attempt to try to make sense of it. I’m not going to blame any parties… including the school administration.

One thing seems to be obvious; kids are different today. Remembering back in my school days there was a girl we called "witch" every chance we had. Stupid, stupid and if I'm ashamed about this after 45 years I am sure a few more are too. What we then called "teasing" is now "bullying". I sometimes wonder if that girl ever forgave us for our childish taunts. In today’s schools, she might bring a gun into the school to solve her teasing problem.

This bring up the program of Dads Of Great Students…a program Painesville Schools are trying in order to encourage students to know someone cares and is looking over their shoulders. Will it work? I don't know how effective itwill be, but at the moment it seems like the best idea around.

I can't get over the fact that a school board member must check in with the superintendent before visiting a school. Now I can understand a resident asking permission but not a school board member.

Then again, those schools are not the property of the administration, staff or students. Those schools are bought and paid for by the taxpayers of Painesville and we are reminded of that fact twice a year. We elect the board members to be our eyes and ears as well as providing the best education for our students.

Mr. Grippi or Mr. Costell or any school board member who wants to make an unannounced visit to our schools should have everyone’s blessing.

That includes the parents of those two students and the principals of the schools.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"PROMISES IN THE DARK" pat benatar

Well let’s do a short recap of Tuesday’s Council Meeting.

Time and location of council meetings will stay the same.

The budget was presented… and all I can say is there's really not much in it for the current residents of Painesville. $150,000 to repair roads. Apparently only $87,000 for sewers, plus another Tiber Creek Study…but then again it might be the same one. I bring this up only as a reference to those that ran for council with the promise to get a handle on the road and sewer problems we have here in town. Mr. D…. I know you have the residents’ best interests at heart but what do you think you can solve with $87,000?

Council must grab the reins of the budget because the only thing I see that is a priority to the administration is the administration.

Mrs. J…. great question about bids on the grass cutting at the cemeteries. Bad answer from the CM…. why not put an official binding bid out in the newspapers and find out the truth? You should demand the CM does this.

Painesville City Schools will provide the city with $15,000 to pay for a police officer at Harvey until the S.R.O. officer returns. A good start… and the schools should contribute half of the S.R.O. officer’s pay and there should be another one trained to step in when necessary. These officers should be answerable only to Chief Hager, period. I guess we all can feel a little more "comfortable" as to what is going on at Harvey now.

Mr. Green (Electric Plant Superintendent) will retire at the end of March. At this time there is no replacement planned. That’s two highly paid administers leaving in the next couple of months.

I think the Clandestine Drug issue being put on first reading is a good idea. Someone mentioned I was not in favor of passing this on the first reading because of a friend that happens to be a local landlord. That friend does an extensive background check and chooses to live in Painesville. My problem is what about the absentee landlord that would walk away from his slum property and leave the mess behind. To be paid by who. I know the responsible landlords will do the right thing, but who will be left holding the bag for the ones that are not responsible?

I wish every neighborhood in Painesville had a TIF (tax increment financing). We could put 10% down on any project we wanted and pay the man later.

I know what "Capital Improvement" I would like to see, but I will keep it civil.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I guess we will discuss the time council meeting should start? Why they last late into the night.

Along with council adopting the budget? [first reading]

Enacting Chapter 1379 relating to Clandestine Drug Labs.
This one interests me. The Ordinance will if I am to believe make the landlord responsible for clean-up of a meth lab. I know how some of you feel about landlords, but wouldn't they be victims also? Will their homeowners insurance cover this cost? Could they buy a rider to cover this cost? I have been told the cost could be as high as $50,000 for the clean-up. I guess I will have to ask Councilman Paul Hach why this didn't get dicussed at a Housing Task Force Meeting? I only hope some property owners attend and question this legislation before council votes to inact this?
Something to think about. If you rent a house out that in Painesville would have a value of $45,000 and the clean-up cost was $50,000 what happens if the owner just walks away?
The City Manager should have had meetings with the Housing Task Force before this comes to a vote by council. Then maybe it was meant to be railroaded through council?

Another item is sanitary sewers and pumping station for the development of Diamond Business Park? The cost will be paid through the TIFF? I thought that money was for the bridge to connect the road to nowhere? I wonder if council realizes TIFF money could be used in other parts of the city in need of repair.

Friday, February 17, 2012


At the POC meeting Wednesday night, members voted to write a "White" paper for council concerning expenditures in the 2012 budget. My personal feeling is that this will fall on deaf ears.

Until the council decides to rein in the city manager and make her present a line item budget this budget process will continue to be a ball of confusion.

We can start by admitting the city is in a financial fluke. So when they mention ‘No raises are foreseen this year’... except for "steps" or seniority…. sorry people… these are raises that cut into city finances. We will sort out "Grant Money" and find out what the cost of these grants are to the city. We will include the need of a $30,000 lawnmower for the WWTD as well as telephone and computer upgrades. The only things not to be touched are those related to the Police or Fire departments. They are to be excluded.

Council members should question the number of days electricity is produced and the amount purchased off the grid. What is the expense to power ratio produced at the light plant?

If any of you see some waste, please send your ideas to the Blog. Recently someone sent pictures and a note to the Blog that was then sent to the administration as well as all council people concerning a little used service road used by the parks and recreation department that was being reconstructed. The question is with the seriously bad condition of some of the streets in Painesville (such as Oak St.) why the money spent on this instead of a public street.

I will soon post the question and pictures.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"HOW LONG" ace

....has this been going on?

Seems there is a salesperson from a well know security system showing residents the number of burglarys and break-ins in Painesville since last July. The numbers he is showing in the sales pitch are astronomical. Two residents approached by this salesman have asked me if a list exists? A POC member went to the Police station and asked for a burglary report since September... here is the list he received. I have erased the house numbers but not the street names. Do we or don't we have a problem? The police can't be everywhere and a security system or making sure all doors and windows are secured may save you from being violated in a robbery.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


"But parked in her rickety old garage sits a brand new shiny red Super Stock Dodge."

All this hubbub about the Clint Eastwood Chrysler Super Bowl ad?

Seems like many conservatives are upset that this was another Chicago style ad for the Obama administration. Carl Rove was disgusted by the commercial….just to name one.

Now, just to keep this in perspective… when Chrysler was going down the road of bankruptcy… who owned it? Bain Capital? Close, but it was another bunch of venture capitalists… Cerberus Capital Management. If I remember correctly, John Snow ("W’s" Treasury Secretary) was one in charge and for investors like Ezra Merkin. Yes, Obama saved a company and God knows how many jobs with his stimulus plan. Now Republicans claim this commercial was a payback for Obama. I guess it just could not be a ‘feel good’ story about America.

Having said the above, this bunch sees conspirators everywhere… even when a right wing Republican like Eastwood does an ad for a company that is struggling to get back on their feet. Really?

Then I propose that in 2010 Chrysler did an ad for the "Tea Party". How?

Anyone recall Chrysler’s ad for the Dodge Challenger of George Washington and some of his commanders coming over a hill attacking the British Army?

What's wrong with you Democrats… didn't you see the subliminal message of Chryslers ad supporting the Tea Party.

Can this get any sillier?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"SUFFRAGETTE CITY" david bowie

The city manager presented the 2012-operating budget to council Saturday morning at the Morse Avenue Community Center.

Due to another commitment, I did not attend the presentation. Fellow POC members picked up paperwork and gave me their slant on the meeting.

I was told the city manager opened up the meeting by informing council this format would be the way the budget will be proposed. There would be NO line item budget…. This format will be the way the administration will present it.

When I go to work tomorrow, I will inform my superiors that the way I will do my job will be my way. This is the way I will do it, period. What do you think my chances of going to work on Tuesday will be? You have to love the public sector.

A positive change from previous presentations; the two new members along with council member Flock asked many important questions.

I have just had a chance to glance over the budget. As a resident, I already see a large problem. Our General Fund budget is $11,817,644.00 and 78.24% of that sum represents wages and benefits. I figure $9,200,000.00 plus or minus some loose change. (about $470.00 for every man, woman and child that lives here just for personnel). People, you cannot provide the services the city needs on $2.6 million a year. Do not tell me other cities are this high for wages. Yes, some of them might be and are probably in as bad or worse shape than us. On page 93 Painesville lists a schedule of Health Insurance; the city spends $3,182,000.00 a year on health insurance... that is over $9000.00 a year per employee. What percentage do employees pay? Hey, it's a new world out there… everyone has to pay the fiddler.

The city manager believes the administration needs a "pool" car for city officials to make trips to, say, Columbus. How many trips a year are made to Columbus? Maybe renting a car for these trips would be cheaper. Maybe we should buy a plane. The ‘Painesville One’.

The city manager claims she cannot find any source to cut the grass at the two cemeteries for less than $410,000 a year. Really? You must be looking for that service in the same place where you’re buying the finance directors new laptop for $2000.00. $22,000 to do a study on Tiber Creek. $30,000 for a new 60" lawnmower for the wastewater treatment plant. Does this budget have a ton of overrun built into it? That is what happens when you do not do a line item budget.

I am sure that as I reread this I will find many more questions to ask. Two things not mentioned; the Columbarium that a resident asked for at Riverside Cemetery and the Oak Street road improvement. Well, the city has set aside $150,000 for street improvement this year. Maybe the streets can hold a lottery.

The question remains how many council people can vote for this budget in its present form.