Thursday, February 26, 2015


 Are we at the limit?

I took a commenters advice and called our Fire Chief with some questions concerning the operation of our fire department. Chief Mlachak was very interested in the questions I was asking along with being very direct in his answers. Knowing his position he was more informative then I thought he would be.

I had some questions I had for him and also what I believed some of the answers might be. First off I believed the Fire Department was staffed by nine firefighters on all three shifts.  Seems we have only 25 firefighters and when you take in vacations sick leave on the night and most times we only have six per shift. This for the busiest station in the county that does over 2,000 EMS runs a year. Remember many times the runs could overlap leaving the station empty.

When I asked the chief how many of the runs were "taxi" calls to Tri-Point ? The chief feels 25% were calls that shouldn't need an EMS unit. Many people use the emergency room as their primary care service, along with believing if they arrive in an ambulance they receive faster care.

I questioned Chief Mlachak about increasing staffing using part-time firefighters. With his budget approved by council he is only allowed one part-timer per shift. A full time firefighter cost the city approximately $100,000 a year he claims he could have three part timers for the same amount. Starting rate for a part time firefighter in Painesville is $9.85 per hr. other Lake County communities pay as much as $15.00/$16.00 an hour. So why would you even think about applying in Painesville.

Now the past levy we past last year provides the fire department with funds for equipment and upgrades only. At the same time the previous departments budget for equipment goes where?

I agree with the chief that the purchase of Tower 2319 is a useful added piece of equipment for us. Remember it's only a stop gap with a maximum life of ten years. At that time Painesville-Concord hopefully have the financial resources to purchase a new truck with the going price of $1,000,000.
Maybe the chief realizing the truck was needed and painted a prettier picture of the truck? and let's face it what was anybody expecting with a 23 year old truck. In hindsight maybe the chief could have played it safe and told the administration your asking for miracles for a piece of equipment like this at $100,000 ?

Something to remember all departments rely on mutual aid. As a fire is called in dispatching calls for automatic aid to all nearby fire stations. The fire crews are sent out to the fire and the fire department on scene can ask for mutual aid or tell responding fire departments they aren't needed. Painesville sends four firefighter and one truck at the same time our fire department calls in off duty firefighters until the situation normalizes. Fire insurance rate being kept low because with mutual aid you can get the amount of firefighters and equipment to a fire in a reasonable time.. 14 firefighters in eight minutes.

Truth be told the administration should budget the part time firefighters and raise there wage to what is reasonable in Lake County. Something tells me they will get push back on this but what is more important than the safety of our community?

Seems what I learned most of all is our fire chief is born and raised in Painesville and loves the place. But remember he answers to others. He cares, give him the proper resources.

Knowing the numbers it seems rather important that all first responder be trained in first -aid six people can't be everywhere.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"IT'S ONLY WORDS" bee gee's

and words are all you have to take my life away

Recently so much has been made on the semantics of what to call radicals whose goal is to kill us.

Now FOXNEWS daily , hourly criticizes the President for not calling a spade a spade. There Radicalized Islam, or Radicalized Muslims... why can't the man bring himself to calling it what it is.

Simple answer to the people in Middle Eastern countries; only the word Islam and Muslim will be heard. So what? Well, if you really want to defeat ISIS, you need the resources and support from those countries. If the President uses the term Islamic Radicalized Muslims to ISIS, it means we, as a country, agree that this is a Holy War. They will spread this thinking throughout the Muslim world.

Noted Conservative columnist Cal Thomas claimed Christians don't act in this way. Really, Cal?

Let's take a short trip back in history. What, if at the start of WWII, FDR would have called Germany Radicalized German Christians?

Let's face it... compared to the Nazi's, ISIS is the JV team. A Christian country (mostly Catholic and Protestant) killed over six million Jews in the Holocaust. Where was the Pope, where were Protestant leaders while all this was going on?  They were unaware? Or maybe not wanting to be invited to Auschwitz?

No, the leaders of our country always claimed we were at war with the Third Reich , Nazi, or the Axis Powers. Very few in power called it a war against the German people or Crazy Christians killing Jews.

How many American people would have been insulted or not even supported the war if we had defined it as Radical Christianity?

Yes, words have meaning and I for one just want the problem exterminated. I don't want to argue over words.

Recently FOX implied that the administration was showing it's cards by suggesting a major offensive on Mosul. A day later they reported about a attack soon on the Mall of America by Al Shabaab. Were they showing their cards or just giving us something to think about?

Congress should give the President an authorization of war or cut off all funds... just do something.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"I'M SORRY SO SORRY" brenda lee

Well to you readers in Painesville I owe an apology. I sent you some bad misinformation.

A resident shared with me some billing information he received from a relative.

In the post "The Way I Am" I gave a short summary of water rates for different water suppliers in our area. Seems although my calculations on the 4488 gallons of water I did miss out on the Lake County minimum charge amount of $31.41 which would make Painesville's rate of  $23.80 $7.62  cheaper  a month than Lake County Water Service. LCWS has a minimum fee of $31.41 for the first 1,200,000 cubic ft. of water.

My apology to the Water Department and the City Administration as well as residents for posting these wrong numbers.

It is my and this site responsibility to inform Painesville residents with the absolutely true facts.

Sorry another retraction. (I got to quit listening to some of you) the County water system is $31.41 PER THREE MONTHS making monthly minimum $10.71 ? Look back to square one does anybody ever wonder why everybody has a different process?



Kiss me each morning for fifty years costing me millions more"

You have to wonder how long before the wheels come off completely?

Simple fact whether you purchased 30% or 300% of power from PSEC your in  for an expensive ride.

As you read the article take note of the 1936 exemption. As I read more and more about AMP-OHIO and PSEC I learned that no Municipality Electric System in Pennsylvania bought into this scheme. Maybe their smarter than the rest of us? Or maybe by state law they are regulated enough not to get involved in ideas like this.

The Courier-Journal |     Thursday, 19 February 2015
Bundling up in Paducah
While people in Paducah bundle up in Snuggies as temperatures plummet and power bills skyrocket, political leaders in Kentucky need to rethink the wisdom of letting municipal power providers operate outside of state consumer protections.
The Kentucky General Assembly in 1936 exempted municipally-run operations like Paducah Power System from rules under the Kentucky Public Service Commission. That helped allow the terrible predicament in which Paducah, along with Princeton, find themselves, Together, a decade ago, the western Kentucky communities bought hook, line and sinker what Peabody Energy was selling: a coal mine with lousy coal, and a boondoggle of a power plant that cost twice as much as planned and hasn’t run very well.
Paducah, Princeton and dozens of other communities across the Midwest, in fact, gambled and bought into the Prairie State Energy Campus in southern Illinois, and are now paying the price.
As The Courier-Journal reported on Sunday, some Paducah business leaders fear their rising electricity rates and $555 million in long-term debt (about $25,000 per customer) are hammering the local economy.
Paducah customers’ bills are now 60 percent higher than those of customers of the state’s four main investor- owned, regulated utilities.
“I can’t imagine a bigger mistake that was made,” said Paducah businessman Ronnie Goode, owner of Cole Lumber Co.
“People are going to bed cold because they can’t afford to turn the heat up,” added Princeton businessman Don Hancock. He closed his Princeton grocery store last year because, he said, his power bills went up $5,000 per month.
The PSC isn’t perfect. But at least PCS requirements make sure there’s a thorough vetting of economics and needs, when utilities make decisions as consequential as thosemade in Paducah and Princeton, which ended long-term ties with the Tennessee Valley Authority to buy into Prairie State.
Theirs is a cautionary tale for nine other municipal power providers in Kentucky that are looking for a new source of electricity on the open market: Frankfort, Berea, Barbourville, Bardwell, Corbin, Falmouth, Madisonville, Paris and Providence.
It’s buyer beware.
The mess has a significant Hoosier angle, too. Indiana Municipal Power Agency, which powers 59 communities including Scottsburg and Paoli, has a 12.6 percent ownership share of Prairie State. And it’s now being sued by residents of an Illinois community who claim IMPA misled their community into investing in Prairie State, when it was serving as a consultant to that town’s power provider.
That really is the issue: Were these communities duped? Paducah officials blame the recession and falling natural gas prices, which makes their coal commitments much more costly.
Still, somebody needs to get to the bottom of this. The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued some subpoenas, including one to Peabody and one to IMPA, so maybe that may lead to something.
Paducah attorney Mark Bryant is looking into whether residents or the city can sue Peabody, which somehow escaped with just a 5 percent ownership in Prairie State. That lawsuit should be thoroughly investigated.
The Paducah Power System just hired a new general manager, Gary Zheng. He can give the city a fresh chance to examine all the options. That includes filing for bankruptcy to leverage debt relief from bondholders, and giving customers more weatherization help to make sure they aren’t freezing to death because of management mistakes.
After placing a bad bet on coal, these communities need some new hands to play. And maybe a new deck of cards.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Thank-you sugar bear.

Found in todays News-Herald

UH donates defibrillators to Geauga County Sheriff Office

University Hospital Geauga Medical Center is putting lifesaving technology into the communities it serves.

The hospital donated 15 new automated External defibrillators to the Geauga County Sheriff Office for use in department vehicles by first responders.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the American Heart Association, and AED's have been shown to dramatically increase the survival rate for victims

The newest AED's electronically analyze a victim heart rhythm and prompt the rescuer to deliver a shock when necessary.

"The best way for out-of-hospital cardiac -arrest survival rates to improve is to have trained rescuers with proper resources delivering immediate care to patients," said M. Steven Jones, president UH Geauga Medical Center. "Every minute counts for improved outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest"

Please read full article in today's News-Herald or online

This article was composed by staff reporters of the N/H

I guess it might not be asking for to much for our patrol cars to be as equipped as Geauga County Sheriff cruisers are? They have EMS units in most localities in the county?

Something for our Safety Director and Police Chief to contemplate on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"THE WAY I AM" eminem

Whole lot of frustration Monday night.

To start with in the visitors recognition I brought up;

Waste Management
Painesville Billing cycle
Need for 9 million dollar water line and crib to be built into Lake Erie
Along with asking for an assessment by the City if the three businesses run by Painesville are in the residents best interests.

Jeff McHugh explained the (PCA) cost adjustment on our utility bill. If anyone understands what was explained , please feel free to inform us here on the blog.

I heard of rates set in 1990 by ordinance  929.06  and what goes into the PCA monthly but its fuzzy math to me.
Councilman Flock questioned if Painesville Power Customer's were paying for "levelization" Mr. McHugh said no it comes out of our profits? You are free to draw your own conclusions here..

Back to the Water Department when you compare water prices between Painesville and the County presently the City rate for 4488 gallons with the $8.00 surcharge is$23.60

Now the County for the same 4488 gallons is presently $20.94

But Painesville customers (Outside the City Limits) pay $31.28 for the 4488 gallons

Now before we move forward on this 9 million dollar project it should be know that our contract to supply Concord Township comes  up very soon. Shouldn't we get that contract signed first? Or it might take 40 years before that temporary surcharge goes away. Seems we are putting the cart in front of the horse?

Councilman Fodor mentioned that when he first went on council the administration made mention of a new line and crib. He is absolutely correct. I checked the minutes of the meeting where the $8.00 surcharge was voted on by council and correct me but I found no mention of that line or crib were brought up during discussion at that time.

Frustration by Councilman Flock over the missing fire truck that I am glad to report is presently at the station. Councilman Flock admitted that he personally knew nothing about Fire Trucks and his voting for this vehicle on the chief as well as  other professionals expert's advice he felt he wasn't given the proper facts.
Again in defense of Chief Mlachak he and the Concord chief were sent on Mission: Impossible and I and many others believe they got the best "bang for the buck." Maybe the correct answer should have been it's 23 years-old it might have problems in the future and I recommend  we spend more for a newer vehicle. Hey isn't hindsight a great thing?

Councilman Flock was frustrated, Chief Mlachak was frustrated, me I'm glad they both are frustrated because in by eyes that means they care! and they are not just going through the motions with a  just don't give a damn attitude!

Councilman Flock is correct in his assessment we dodged a bullet over the last two major fires. I still have faith that maybe now the Tower 2319 purchase will still be a major plus for Painesville. 4:42 you with me?

Monday, February 16, 2015

"YOUR CHEATIN HEART" hank williams

Many allegations of what was and wasn't promised with the purchase deal of Prairie State Energy Campus. $48.06 was JUST an estimate  and $100.00  cost a reality.

But one thing stands out more than anything else in this ruse on communities all over the Midwest. What was Peabody Coal complicity?

Recently Jeff Parsley a former TVA executive and energy consultant made this quote;

One of the biggest problems has been the quality of coal. The mine that supplies Prairie State has "the worst quality of coal I've ever seen as an analysis on in my 35 years in the coal industry."

Ton for ton, it produces almost twice as much ash  as normal coal when burned, the heat content is very low and the coal is dirty with a lot of rock.

Odd none of this came up when AMP-OHIO took the "PSEC" sideshow on tour to 68 Ohio communities. Maybe they didn't even know?

But you can bet your last dollar Peabody Energy knew. Why else dispose of 95% of this wonderful energy investments? Peabody knew exactly what the content of the coal at the Lively Grove Mine consisted of.

A question arises are city councils as well as administrator educated enough about electricity to make commitments as they did?

Did Peabody Energy take advantage of  these people for their own benefit?

Odd that a wonderful opportunity to purchase power in this endeavor....
Not one privately held energy company chose to get involved in this miracle of power for the next 50 years. Wonder why? Maybe they did their homework.

As it stands every community who purchased into this scheme should be allowed to defund itself from what they bought. If it is such a successful endeavor Peabody Energy should have no problem selling shares in this project.

I guess it comes down to is "Take or Pay" the same as "Come Hell or High Water"

"Sure I'll love You in the Morning"  Must be Peabody's motto?

As was once told to me, "I PROUDLY submit this article"

Back to Painesville for a second.AMP-OHIO sends a monthly statement to the city with a list of what percentage and cost are from  our diverse suppliers. Painesville not producing power could very easily show us what a kilowatt of electricity plus transmission cost the city. Also what they end up charging residents as well as our biggest industrial users.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Yes Tuesday because of President Day.

Looking forward to the Electric Department Presentation.

Also curious about the one item on the legislative agenda.

Resolution Establishing a Painesville Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) as permitted in Section 716.15 of the Ohio Revised Code and Declaring and Emergency.

The City of Painesville's Economic Development Department has drafted a Job Creation Tax Credit Program (JTCT) based on the recommendation of the Economic Development Committee of Council. This resolution will allow the City to exercise its authority to form a Job Creation Tax Credit Program under section 718.15 of the Ohio Revised code. This is a new Incentive Program that can be added to the City's existing programs for business retention, expansion and attraction. The program would allow eligible companies  who are creating new jobs to receive a refundable tax credit up to a maximum of 50% of municipal income tax withheld for qualifying new jobs against their City of Painesville income tax with approval from City Council. At least 25 new, fulltime jobs must be created and maintained by the company (taxpayer) within three years of initial operations.
For the purpose of this program, "new jobs" do not include transfers from affiliated companies within the City of Painesville, nor for wage and salary increases from existing jobs. The  average hourly base wage rate (excluding benefits) of the new, full time, or full time equivalent jobs be at, or above 150% of the federal minimum wage (average income jobs),  If the average hourly rate wages rate (excluding benefits) of at least 10 new, full time equivalent jobs are at, or above 400% then the minimum number of new jobs to be created to qualify for this programs reduced to 10. The company must agree to maintain operations at the project site twice the term of the maximum number of years the tax credit is offered up to 20 years.

What brings this about on a chilly February night? This Bill has been law since 09/26/03 .

Is this the first step to new jobs in Painesville? We can all hope.

Friday, February 13, 2015


An early morning fire broke out at Kensington Apt. around 4:30am this morning is the second unit back from the street. Residents heard a popping sound as windows blew out at one of the units.

More than 20 fire department responded to the three alarm fire due to mutual aid. Seven people were transported to Tri-Point Hospital do to smoke inhalation.

Fire departments from as far away as Euclid and Mayfield responded. Seemed odd to see a Tower Truck from Euclid heading down Cedarbrook towards the apartments.

Heritage Middle School is closed today because the parking lot and school were used as a staging area as well as the cafeteria used for firefighters.

Look I've been harping on this missing Tower Truck but this is the second fire in the last six months where that fire truck could have been very useful. I'm presently not in much of a mood to hear excuses as to why and how. Only that it isn't around. If it doesn't make a difference due to mutual aid then why purchase it in the first place?

We will probably never know the why's and the how's because recently the city administration allegedly  has sent out a letter to employee's to not  speak to anyone or attend council meetings and make complaints about city operations. So much for whistleblowers?

When I was a 10 year old I watched as a small child who was burned alive in a car fire. Seconds seemed like minutes minute's seemed like hour's my whole point is will a situation arise when mutual aid won't be enough?

Do we expect our fire department to fight fires with one hand tied behind their backs?

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I sent this Utube to three different council people. Now the question isn't that they didn't take the time to email me back BUT did they take the time to inquire to the administration if this was a feasible solution to the many potholes in Painesville. If it is a solution or why it is not a solution?

Best guess it will be deleted and for the foreseeable future we residents in Painesville will watch a large pick-up with four guys and a trailer with cold patch filling potholes that may or may not last a day or two. Because that's the way it's always been done?

Just maybe if certain people and union's quit protecting their turf and start looking out for the city things might improve. But if we continue to go down the same road this city will not survive.

Four guy's, pick-up and a trailer. As it was in the beginning is now and always shall be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"BROTHERS IN ARMS" dire straits

This comment was sent to the blog.

The City of Painesville is unique. That is, it is different from most cities where the focus is on providing basic city functions/services for residents such as police, fire, and building inspection services. It's different because it preforms several utilities functions, specifically electric, water, and sewer unlike the major Lake County cities around them such as Mentor, Willoughby and Eastlake. Many people seem to feel that these utilities are like the crown jewels and should remain under city control (sacrosanct). Perhaps that is true. But shouldn't the governing body of Painesville ask whether this sacrosanct view should be investigated? Shouldn't Council ask the Administration whether these utilities add value to the city? And, should council ask whether the city has the operational expertise and logistical to run these utilities? And, do these facilities have operational economies scale  to be run more efficiently and effectively as a (non-government controlled) utility firm? Further, would the assets of these utilities (customers, plant, equipment, revenue) and liabilities (wages, pension liabilities, healthcare liabilities) be of greater value if they could be sold at a profit and the funds used for basic city functions/services?

The question on the table is whether Council has seen an independent economic study done answering what is the value and it's resident's to continue to preform the utility functions or, alternatively, sell these utilities and possibly be able to use these funds for other purposes, such as basic city functions/services? That is, could funding from a sale of these assets/liabilities be used for police, fire, road and other infrastructure improvements over a substantial ( to be determined via study) number of years? 

Great questions I've always wondered why in a county of 230,000 people one municipality with 20,000 people had to have their own electric, water, and sewer utilities? Now if the City Administration can prove we as a community are saving money be owning and operating these businesses well fine. But what I have watched over the last fifteen years I'm not so sure we have a bargain. I do believe an independent economic study should be taken. After AMPGATE, as well as funding a $9,000,000 water line with the contract with Concord Twp. up soon are these purchases wise?
I guess my question comes down to is how important are these utilities and are they being run like our roads and street's?

Oh, the word sacrosanct? meaning, to important or valuable to be interfered with. sacred, untouchable, inalienable.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


The February POC regular meeting will be held Tuesday February 10th 2015 at 6:30pm at

 Steele Mansion.

We have some very interesting topics to discuss.

The meeting is open to all people interested in attending.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Excuse me for being late. A little under the weather earlier this week.

Now to the council meeting. There was no agenda items at all none, zilch, zero. nada.

Different topic did come up. I asked for an explanation of our electric bill. Since I have always been told the (PF) or (PCA) was the difference between the amount it cost's us to produce power and what we purchase on the open market to fill the city's power needs. Since we don't produce electric power isn't the whole bill the  (PF) ? I used the analogy if a gas station advertised a gallon of gas at .99 a gallon plus the PF of a $1.00 why even mention the .99. Someone needs to explain. Presently Painesville is purchasing 30% of it's base load power from the most expensive source in North America (PSEC) and we also have an agreement voted on by council to purchase power from AMP-OHIO for $69.00+ for the next five years for I guess another 30% of base load power. Both deals presently cost a whole lot more than can be purchased on the open market.

I also asked what the manpower at the inactive power plant costs the average metered customer being served by the City of Painesville?

I guess I should have asked if residential customers are subsidizing huge industrial users, but we will never know without transparency.

Where did and who paid for the 2.1 million dollars sent to AMP-OHIO  for Meigs County come from. Did that cost us ratepayers any money?

Has any of this had an adverse affect on the city's credit rating?

I guess what my problem seems to be is with all these poor investments and other things going on how do they find the balls to shutoff the power for a residents nonpayment?

*I expect to hear that we have a diversify power purchases and the plant workers at the power plant aren't costing customers  anything. Good, if they don't cost us anything there are many unemployed Painesville resident presently unemployed if it cost us nothing hire a couple dozen more.

A presentation by the electric department will be made at the next meeting.

Ray Sternot asked the administration if the city had a street maintenance program to keep streets in good order between major resurfacing a subject the former assistant city engineer brought up at two previous council meetings.

Randy Bruback gave a department presentation on what improvements and training along with new equipment being used at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. He mentioned in passing that the plant as well as the electric, and water plant all are equipped with  AED defibulators as a safety precaution. He also mentioned all electric line trucks as well as fire trucks are also so equipped.

After the meeting I mentioned to the police chief how many defibulators   he had. (I assume his officers probably in many cases are first on the scene. His answer none? As a matter of fact he told me none of the patrolmen are trained in first aid or CPR? When I asked why I was told an EMS unit was only 90 seconds away. So if you suffer cardiac arrest make sure your near a electric department line truck.

We were told the wrong cylinders were ordered for our absent Tower truck and now we are hoping for it to be back in-service by the end of February.

This situation seems to be an unending story. I think maybe myself and others are being a little harsh on the fire chief. He seemed to have been sent on an impossible  mission to provide Painesville-Concord with a needed piece of fire equipment with a budget that you aren't going to get to much with what both communities wanted to spend. They probably got the best deal they could. It's like you being sent out to buy a used car with a $1000 budget and then people wonder why you have transmission problems. Let's hope this purchase ends on a positive for both communities.


FYI  Today's News-Herald finally reported on the new 9 million dollar water intake to Lake Erie voted on in the January 20,2015 meeting. I brought this up at a Town Hall Meeting and wondered how it will be paid for? Councilman Fodor explained it will be paid out of the temporary $8.00 surcharge on your water bill. to the tune of around $450,000 a year for the next what 18 years? But what about replacing water lines ? Well we collect close to a million bucks a year so we still can fix waterlines. Ever get the impression this was the reason for the surcharge from the start?