Thursday, May 31, 2012

"CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION" tommy james & the shondells

Commenter AnnOn seems to believe 1) that I am "STUCK" and 2) this BlogSpot is giving residents a lot of misinformation. That is certainly not my purpose. I would like her to give me more than misspellings of people’s names, but I have not heard her expanding on her allegations yet.

Does addressing questions to the Painesville authorities automatically make someone a ‘troublemaker’? Is it too much to ask that answers be given honestly and in a reasonable amount of time? When a city budget is proposed, shouldn't it be easy to understand and follow? What’s up with the 19 million dollars of "other"?

AnnOn claimed I should read the budget. O.K. Here's an example. Page 14 Non-Departmental Function 231.970… other services and charges… $100,000.00. An amount this large should be given a little better description than 'other'. In this particular case, the 'other' is $100,000 sent to the Riverside School District as the amount they are entitled to from the TIF in Diamond Center. Was that so hard? What's the secret? Maybe it is too difficult to explain to residents why we are sending money to the school district on the other side of the river.

As I go through the budget, I will let you know what I find. Right now, all I can tell you is that I will soon ask the city for the breakdown on telephone expenses in Painesville.

I believe Councilman Flock is pressing the administration to tell us where the money to pay for Prairie States is coming from. Yes, I know that no matter what fund they tell him it comes out of… in the end it comes out of your pockets. Higher "Power Factor" fees maybe. Please Ms. McMahon… enlighten us.

In closing, if any of you feel I have misinformed anyone about anything please feel free to leave your comments.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The area SWAT team responded to a call about a man threatening suicide on E.Eire St. in the afternoon today. As police entered the home around seven they found a deceased person. This was a sad ending but Thank God no one else was killed or injured. I can only imagine how hopeless this person found himself in.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day 05/28/12

This Monday we honor the truly important One-Percent, along with all those that have sacrificed so much in our country's past for us to even be able to enjoy this day. There are no Righties or Democrats or Republicans... only All American Heroes. Enjoy Monday and please take the time to thank a Veteran.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


After the goings on at council meetings and planning commission meetings. Last night Painesville City Council stepped up and did the right thing. They put the good of the city ahead of a few individuals and unanimously voted 7-0 for Inns in Painesville, along with this  the Steele Mansion can go forward as an Inn.. Not everyone was happy in the courtroom and I don't see the end of this presently. I cringe everytime someone tells me that this Mentor Ave. Historical District is  residential neighborhood?
Now Heisley Park is what I call a residential neighborhood. I guess everyone has a right to their  own opinion?
Being a unanimous vote by council I've been told this will be hard to win in a court battle.

How much have we payed our "Partner" AMP-OHIO for Painesville involvement in Prairie States Energy Campus since March $100,614.72 a month every month March, April and May we have payed over $300,000 for interest and maintenance. Painesville broke the second rule of business. Don't pay for something until you get something. If this plant is not operational in a year that means Painesville will have payed $1,200,000.00 for what? Lets not forget Meigs County's bill is still out there.

I have been told that AMP-OHIO is a member of ALEC why a not for profit  business gets involved with them is beyond me?
AMP-Ohio has over 484 million dollars in revenue a year,  [129 members] 540 million in assets [half in power generating plants]
A 150 million dollar in line of credit from JP Morgan Chase { I don't know if that's wise or not]
In 2009 they built a 20 million dollar corporate office have a corporate jet as well as a fleet of BMW's
This partner of ours seems to be doing quite well for themselves?
Now explain where the $100,000 we send them is coming from?

What makes a Vicious or Dangerous Dog? Well first they have to bite or kill someone or another animal. Innocent until its to late. City Council should leave our city legislation as it is written presently.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"ALIVE AND KICKING" simple minds

What you gonna do to make a dream survive?

This Monday council will have to vote on the Steele Mansion. Unless they decide to table the motion.
We should know then if Painesville will have another Inn, what a guest is or isn't I wish the Shamakians good luck and presently I'm getting all indications that the Inn will pass.
Voting on some zoning as well as a discussion on another Columbarium and I see AMP-OHIO is also mentioned in new business. This along with a presentation from the electric department. To bad residents can't ask questions during the presentation. Let's hope someone on council does.
I also have been told our City Manager is on vacation and will not be at this meeting? I was always told the reason for only one meeting in July and August was because that's vacation time?

The news article from Aspen High School is located in the "MORE THAN A FEELING" comment section.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Well… still no answer from our assistant manager concerning interest payments for Prairie States (no surprise there). I really believe that man cannot go to the bathroom without first consulting with the city manager. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what purpose he serves. Possibly, so our city manager does not have to attend meetings in the evenings. His job title should be “I’ll check with Rita and get back to you."

So here is another story I found in the Columbus Dispatch on Saturday. As if we don't have enough problems around here… now I find out this state of the art multi-billion dollar coal fired electric plant we are heavily invested in (Prairie State) has broken down and it might take as much as eight months (maybe more) to become operational. All this while the city refuses to tell me how much they are paying in interest on this venture.

The good news is until the plant goes on line Painesville is paying $50.00 a MW on the open market and when this plant if ever becomes operational, we will be paying $65.00 a MW. So am I to believe we are saving money?

The big question here is how much is AMP-OHIO losing on this venture every month? I believe the AMP-OHIO community members share all the risk and costs.

Painesville broke one of the first laws of business… do not have more skin in the game then your partner. Right now I would not trust this current administration to go down to Walgreen’s to pick out the right size D-cell for my TV remote. This is what is known. Makes me wonder what we don't know about how Painesville’s finances are run.

Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skillings would be proud of what AMP-OHIO has accomplished.

I expect a book out soon.... ‘AMP-OHIO… the smartest guys in the room’.

My reason for this inquiry? I want to know how and out of what fund these payments are made. Is this another example of "other" in our city budget? I do know the electric power users of Painesville are paying for this and other mistakes through those numbers on your electric bill that bears the name of "Power Factor".

By Dan Gearino

The Columbus Dispatch Saturday May 12, 2012 5:19 AM

An equipment failure might lead to months of further delays at an Illinois power plant partially owned by American Municipal Power of Columbus.

In a regulatory filing, AMP says that one of the plant’s large fans became damaged on March 27. The company owns 23 percent of the project, the Prairie State Energy Campus, which was scheduled to open late last year and is several billion dollars over budget.

“The extent of damage and root-cause analysis is under way,” the company said.

The lead contractor at the plant, Bechtel Corp., will need 10 to 12 weeks to get critical parts needed for the repair and up to 30 weeks for some parts, AMP said. That doesn’t include the repair time, which would add an additional six weeks, the company said.

“Bechtel is working diligently to improve upon these schedules,” AMP said.

The company could not be reached today about the filing, which was made this month with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

The Dispatch reported about Prairie State on April 29, showing how cost overruns have made the plant’s power much more expensive than today’s price on the open market. At that time, AMP said there had been a mechanical problem that was a normal part of a big project, and that the repair time was not a concern. In interviews for that story, the company did not disclose the months-long timetable that is in the regulatory filing.

AMP is a nonprofit company that manages power purchasing for city-owned utilities. Sixty Ohio cities have invested in Prairie State through AMP, including Cleveland and Bowling Green. The closest investor to central Ohio is Galion in Crawford County.A spokeswoman for Cleveland’s city government said the city has been notified of the problem and city leaders will review it.

Prairie State, designed to generate 1,600 megawatts, has two identical generating units. After the fan broke in one of the units, the contractor shut down the other unit to prevent the chance of a similar problem, AMP said.

The fan is part of the coal-fired plant’s systems for reducing harmful air emissions.

Before the problem, the unit was going through testing before it was to begin providing electricity to its owners.

This latest delay could push the completion of the plant into late 2012, which would be about a year later than the first unit was supposed to come online, according to the filing.

Under AMP’s agreement with Bechtel, the contractor owes damages for each week the plant is late and places a cap on budget overruns that AMP must pay.

While this places a limit on AMP’s exposure to some costs, the member cities still need to make interest payments on the bonds that financed the project and they need to pay to replace the electricity that they had expected to get from the plant.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Council had a work session Monday evening and council as well as the administration believe we have an emergency situation on Bank St. I tend to agree. The solution will be something called "Soil Nail"
They will drive nails into the side of the embankment and fill with a mesh screen that will hold dirt and vegetation. This project for approximatly 150 feet will cost $173,000.00 we have applied the Ohio Public Works  Commission for a grant with Painesville paying a $75,000 match. We learned that Painesvilles request was rejected and we will spend the $150,000 in road funds on this project and look to find the other $23,000 from some other fund. So zero road repair in Painesville this year. If they do do these repairs on Bank St. I hope they have the common sense to close this road to thru truck traffic.
Council will consider a road levy to be put on the November ballot for roads & sewers possible a 4 mil. levy that would cost the homeowner of a $100,000 home $140.00 more a year in property taxes this amount would generate $900,000  a year for roads and sewers this levy would have to be renewed every 5 years. The council might ask for 2,or 3 mils. instead if it would be easier for residents to buy into their plan. Nothing presently is set in stone. and it will be up to residents to explain their wishes to council.
I heard so much tonight I'm still trying to understand why and why not you can't do things. The city manager claims we won't save money by laying off people it will affect the budget next year?
One goal of the POC was to find ways to save Painesville money . Some on the POC went and asked for bids to do the landscaping at the two cemeteries in town. I believe using the cities figures we could save as much as $200,000 on this alone. No, that comes out of fund 204 and short of going to court you can"t take funds out of 204 to put into 201 yet all the time we are talking general fund dollars. I guess somethings just can't be fixed without more money?
Also the city would like to repave Mechanics Alley? That's the little alley that runs between St.Clair St. and State St. behind the stores on Main St. I guess the $900,000 we will be spending on Main St. just doesn't cut it.
Citizens will be given the right to comment and also vote on this levy this November. Please help  council they don't seem to know what you want done.
It's more than a feeling resident will be asked for more money this November, and the Painesville City School's have not weighed in yet.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"I FOUGHT THE LAW' boby fuller four

And the law won. Sometimes... As I read in the paper in Saturday's News-Herald about Miguel Gutierrez sentence of 180 days in jail on the misdemeanor charge of assault and possessing criminal tool where he along with  three others also were convicted of misdemeanor charge that sent two men to Tri-Point Hospital in a very brutal attack last December. Seven against two usually has that result. Now Mr. Gutierrez attorney says Miguel is a very peaceful person. We can debate that forever. I disagree but the main result of this conviction is probably none of the four will face deportation because it was pleaded down to a "misdemeanor". Now we have a family traveling to Cleveland for a rally about immigration and a driver is stopped by the police for driving in a Bus Only Lane. No drivers license, not here legally, probably no insurance as well. This on top of not being completely truthful to the arresting officer lands him in jail the Feds called and he now faces deportation. Does anyone but myself see something wrong with this picture? If the driver who's crime is driving without a license and other misdemeanors facing deportation why not the four convicted Friday in court? Yes, we can agree that they all should be deported but in this case it seems the guy driving a Chevy in a Bus lane might be the only one heading south? Think about it if you were illegally here in this country and you just watched American justice this week what would you think? Besides take the bus to Cleveland?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"I'M IN WITH THE INN CROWD" dobie gray

Well, another confusing council meeting… watch it if you have over two and a half hours to kill. Again, we needed to hear an explanation on what an Inn is and what a guest is or is not. Also discussed was if a guest can have another guest over for breakfast and how late a meeting can be held. All of this along with many questions about how to micro-manage a business. Andy Flock had to remind Lori DiNallo that an Inn is a business. I have no idea what she thought an Inn was. Councilperson DiNallo suggested we get rid of three of the requirements by the Planning Commission and implement Mr. Callender’s solution instead. Well geez Mrs. DiNallo… when no one in attendance knows what Mr. Callender proposed (including the Inn's owners) it's nice to see you wanting to clear that up and clue us in. With that said, the way things stand now I only see three "YES" votes for the Inn. There could be more but it seems people do not want to show their cards just yet. I think what the Shamakians should have done when the Planning Commission voted to let it become a B1, they should have made council vote. Instead, they must have believed that being good citizens would produce a unanimous vote. Seems all that has been accomplished is wasting two extra months. I guess it does not make much difference …the attorneys and court reporter were present again. I wonder if the purpose is to intimidate council, the administration or the Shamakians. Right now, all I see is a lawsuit in the future. The city also will have a NEW $90,000 phone system to better serve us. We will replace the truck with 29,000 miles and bad brakes. That truck will replace another vehicle at the light plant. {Hope it gets new brakes first.] The city will ask for $75,000 from the county block grants to be used towards Painesville’s share of $290,000 for Streetscapes for Main Street. This city has no idea what the word priority means. Soon, if nothing is done, South State St. will become the new Bank St. and all we can come up with is spruce up Main St? Go figure! We did receive some good news from the State of Ohio. A grant of over a million dollars to rehabililtate the Coe Manufacturing property and I believe Painesville's only responsibility will be to creat fifty new jobs on that site. Yes and I know that's Ramsey Lewis's tune.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"SWEET DREAMS" eurythmics

I check in on the Steele Mansion Facebook page to find out what's new and to read the comments posted by the Shamakians and others from time to time.

 Mrs. Shamakian mentioned the council meeting coming up this Monday. In her last post, she stated how optimistic she is about the ultimate outcome. I wish I could share her optimism.

Recently I’ve heard many negative reasons for the Steele Mansion not becoming an inn...everything from ‘injured’ neighbors to the renovation not in keeping with the original structure. Along with the restrictions read at the council meeting, I question who will be responsible to make sure there are only 50 people at a wedding or that a meeting breaks up by the deadline. Are we going to have the Inn Police? Some of these restrictions make no sense to me because if a meeting should run late...are the Shamakians to throw the people out? With no personal knowledge of the provisions proposed by Mr. Callendar (I have no idea what they are) I’m willing to guess that they will be much more restrictive than even the city's. I imagine those proposed restrictions will make running a successful inn impossible. An analogy I ‘ll use is: someone wanting to build a railroad and being told ‘OK’… but you can't use the rails.

Then we have the matter of litigation. It seems pretty obvious that something like this could be tied up in the courts for a long time, especially with one of the neighbors of the inn having a relative in the legal profession (that would probably work pro bono). Meaning that the Shamakians will have to bear the cost of their own legal representation on top of all the other expenses they’ve incurred to bring the Inn back to life . I would imagine there would be some kind of restraint on anything being done until it makes its way through the court system. I wonder if the goal here is to have a 15 unit college dormitory for Lake Erie College rather than a first class Inn....if that happens, it would be interesting to see if the ghost of George Steele will leave 10 cases of beer for the residents every Friday evening.

Be careful what you ask just might get it.

Jamie Callendar of Concord Twp, son of the property owners next door to the Steele Mansion, made a statement at the council meeting “I would like to ask for more time. I don’t think there is an emergency for this. We need more time for compromise to be worked out. The building department has mis handled this from the get-go. We were to be informed. We formed the Painesville Historic District to have some control over what happened to the Steele Mansion.” (Lake County Tribune, 4/27/2012, page A3)

What an interesting strategy.

To the people who comment on the Facebook page of the Steele Mansion...truthfully, it’s not enough. What you folks have to do is show up early and often at these council meetings and let your opinions be known. Not just three or four residents… but 25 or more. With that said, the people who oppose the inn should also state their opinions against the Inn in a public forum at the council meeting. Even though I disagree with Mr Smead and Mr Callendar, at least I give them credit for voicing their opinions at council meetings.

The most interesting reason I have heard in the last two weeks is that Painesville has an does not need another one. To that I say Painesville has tons of apartment we need another one?

 Please… whatever your position on this...take the time to let city council know your viewpoint. I’d like to think that in 25 years, after I am gone, I will have played a very small part in something positive and unique for Painesville, rather than just another apartment building.

Mrs Shamakian, if for some reason your current dream does not become a reality….I know a person like you will never stop dreaming. I am sure you will have your dream come true…even if it doesn’t happen in Painesville.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"ONLY GOD KNOWS "Y" kid rock

On top of everything else going on in town now, the Central Branch of our YMCA has a survey that asks ‘what would you prefer?’…. 1. Massive renovation to the Central YMCA branch on Mentor Ave. 2. Move near Diamond Center 3. Move near Tri-Point Hospital 4. Move near Tyler Blvd. 5. Move near the Mentor Civic Center I agree with one comment….. I also view this as a ticket out of Painesville for this organization. Massive renovation vs. a new location? What, have we outgrown the present site? Well, if you need another branch fine. However, this sounds more of a ‘let’s leave this location for a new location’. Every location mentioned makes getting to the new location harder than getting there now especially if you take public transportation. Yes, you could ride LakeTran down Mentor Ave. to the new location if it's near Mentor Civic Center, but not Diamond Center, Tri-Point, or Tyler Blvd. Why can't the YMCA add another location if they feel it is necessary? Or does this sound like just another way to leave the Ville? One comment was complaining about the sliding cost structure at the Y. The name ‘Young Men’s Christian Association’ means to provide for everyone in the community as best you can. That is the Christian thing to do. Have you seen the median income for Painesville? Along with the simple fact that if you don't like being around African-Americans and Hispanics then you are really living in the wrong place. Then again, many of you can't afford to leave, can we? Try to make the best of it. I would really like to see the administration and city council get proactive on this one. A good start would be to sit down with the people from the Y and ask them directly ‘What would it take for you to stay in Painesville?’ Then make it happen. Nothing is impossible…just some things are a little more difficult than others.