Tuesday, May 26, 2015

" DON'T NEGLECT THE ROSES" larry sparks

Got off of Richmond St. this morning, viewed how manicured the underpass by the power plant was.

Headed to downtown viewed city workers putting down mulch on Main St. Lookin' good for the Bathtub Races (how original).

Went to T &T for famous Painesville bread and then headed down N. State to  check on the homestead.

Now in less then two weeks I expect a huge group of people coming to Painesville for the first time and the underpass on State St. well, it's a mess the grass hasn't even been cut yet this year.

How this city can send out letters to residents about grass length and completely ignore city owned grass three feet high  a couple of hundred yards from the service garage is beyond me?

Everybody worries about Painesville's "image" well here's  a good start.

Downtown Bath Tub Races are fun but what has any group done about cleaning up the surrounding area of the Train Station? I expect at least 2,500 or more visitors to the Lincoln Funeral Train event all from outside the communities'. Has the downtown restaurants  and businesses been notified ? Or will they roll-up downtown early Saturday and not even bother on Sunday. Painesville fare; McDonalds, Taco Bell, Arby's and Burger King ?

Have fliers been printed up to promote Painesville's downtown to these visitors?, Has anyone asked Tony Torre to park a couple of his antique postal trucks outside the station for photo opportunities?  Anyone make arrangement for say Lollie  the Trolley to transport visitors to and from the exhibit?
I do know Steele Mansion as well as Rider's Inn is promoting this event.

This could build a lot of traction for not only the Railroad museum but also the city of Painesville.

This idea not looking so dumb now right Mr. Fodor?

Bath Tub races....Please !

Any idea's some of you may have please add them. I think someone maybe paying attention.

Friday, May 22, 2015


As we all venture out to do what ever we do on this the start of the  summertime season. (low of 37 degrees tonight?)

Lets remember the reason for this holiday to the men and women that served and some even gave their lives for the reason for this Holiday.

I get a big charge out of the Big Toyota Sellathon, the Beauty Rest Bed Sales Event, Even the BOGO shoe extravaganzas. Which for the life of me has nothing to do with Memorial Day?

Enjoy the games and races spend time with friends and relatives, picnic's rib cook-off's whatever.

Many will be on the job as required police, fire, EMS, nurses and many others. I once asked a farmer what he was doing this holiday? His answer "the cows don't know it's a holiday".

Just take a minute to say a prayer of thanks for those no longer with us. And thank a Vet. I might get some hate mail for this but say something a little more personal than '''thanks for your service". Seems empty to me. Myself I mention that I will do  everything in my power so as to the government keeping it promises it made to you! A promise we all should keep.

Happy Memorial Day

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

" DO YOU REMEMBER" phil collins

Well I did find Mr. Gerken comment ;

TO: AMP Prairie State Participants
FROM:  Marc S. Gerken PE
President  & CEO
DATE: May 15,2015
RE: Danville media coverage

Some  of you may have seen a recent article appearing in the Danville Virginia Register and Bee regarding a recent meeting of the Danville Utility Board. I was invited to address the board regarding power supply and the utility's  in various AMP generation projects.

A quote from me appeared in the article has caused some confusion and understandable concern from other AMP member communities  participating in the Prairie State project. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain my comments and provide some context to the discussion.

The quote from me indicating I "wouldn't do it again" was taken out of context and has thus created confusion. I was speaking as an AMP CEO and responding to a question as to what lessons had been learned. When saying I would do things differently, I was referring to being a part of an owners group with eight other entities having a say in plant operations, which can present governance issues. This as many of you has been a frustration for AMP for some time. I went on to point out that we weren't having these issues with the AMP Fremont Energy Center, where we have complete operational control of the facility.

Obviously, we continue to have concerns regarding plant performance, but I am encouraged by the
the operational improvements and improved performance at Prairie State and remain confident  in the current management team. The plant's operating indicators showed marked improvement in the first months of  this year and while we had some forced outages, Unit I had 92 percent availability in March and Unit II achieved 95.5 percent availability in April. I believe the plant remains a strong long-term investment and look forward to continued improvements in the coming months. If you have additional questions or wish to discuss this or other AMP projects further, please contact me.

Sorry I'm not buying this at all. No confusion for me.

So what did Mr. Gerkens tell us? To many cook's in the kitchen at PSEC? The relationship with Peabody Energy? Did AMP even consider the problems that comes with eight different owners?

Unit I operated at 92% in March, what did Unit II run at in March? Unit II operated at 95.5% in April what did Unit I run at in April? Please the whole story don't cherry-pick the results.

Please don't misunderstand this question the I pose to AMP it in no way measures up to the cost in lives and treasure this country faced in the Iraq War, So we will call this the looking back question.

Mr. Gerkens looking back to 2007  if you knew then what you know now in 2015, would you have recommended the Prairie State Project to AMP participating communities that have suffered from a little to a lot by your recommendation?

I know it's a trick question, if he answer's yes then he looks like a fool for this  recommending this foolish  50 year investment. If he says no then it appears AMP see's no problems with the AMP communities involved paying double the electric prices and enduring the hardships that they are.

In a perfect world I wish Council Lady DiNallo could bring Mr. Gerken to Painesville to answer that question.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"NO TIME" guess who

"The council meeting tonight  was the shortest one in my memory"

Council passed no legislation, Zero everything tabled.

Visitor time ; Tony Torre asked council to get involved in next years refuse contract.

Mr. Art Shamakian addressed council with the official grand opening of the Mansion.

This on the birthday of the original owner George Steele June 2, 2015.

Come enjoy the event;

June 2,2015

2:00-8:00 p.m.

Ribbon cutting ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

Music   Food Trucks  Cash Bar

Come tour the mansion and enjoy the grounds with us!

348 Mentor Ave. Painesville, Ohio

Info; (440) 639-7948

In other council business councilman Flock read the statement  by AMP's President Marc Gerken about not being proud of the Prairie State project and if it was up to him, he wouldn't do it again.
Enough said. But No

Council lady DiNallo chimes in that Mr. Gerkens was "misquoted" (seam's to be a lot of that going on presently?) I wish I would have asked her where she received this information, but if it's out there I will find it. And some of you wonder why we still deal with this bunch?

All done and going home in less then twenty minutes!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Well it that time again in Painesville....Car show time in the park!

You might be thinking by now what could possibly upset TERM>> about the car show?

Well last year Tony Torre ask me if I knew where the 50/50 raffle profits were going? Well I assumed that the proceeds went to the group running the car show? Well in a way I was correct it goes to the Downtown Painesville Organization?  Let's say you get  $300.00 out of the DPO part. Yes they pay the DJ $125.00 a Friday night and the porta potty $75.00 a month so that explainable.

But what about the contributions to the Car Show from say Classic Auto Group ( I heard this amount could run as high as $5000.00 per year just from them) Cashen Cement, Lake Hospital , and others. So do these contributions also flow into the Downtown Painesville Organization too? Odd maybe I'm missing something but does this group or people help in the volunteer jobs associated with the car show? Heck I even heard the Ice Cream truck pays a fee?

Now Painesville City on the other hand drops off the fences and the barricade's but Car Show volunteer's have to erect them and take them down. Thanks Painesville.

Thinking back I believe Tony was curious because of there being no door prizes plaques, (hey, we're big on plaques around here!) or trophies where other car shows do.

My hat's off to the volunteer's who devote so much time and energy to this successful Car Show with little thanks from the people who benefit the most from you.

It's a nice weekly event for Painesville, but has anyone on council seen the books of the Downtown Painesville Organization?

Added Message :

Had a conversation with Fred Pollutro yesterday. He helped me understand the operation of the Downtown Painesville Organization and mentioned that there was more than paying  the DJ and port-a-potties  . There are items like insurance and bookkeeping to consider. That along with the Car Show people  being a quasi group of the DPO. He did tell me that the organization was looking at the car show budget this year. Which is good news. Also how to give visitors a pleasant experience when they come to town. This is an event that Painesville can build on. Food Trucks, Swap Meets.

Thanks Fred and feel free to comment anytime on the blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


"You just can't have it all"

Looking through my AMP-OHIO stuff I found an interesting article.

Seems the town of Danville,  Virginia  AMP-OHIO's biggest investor in the  Prairie State  Energy Campus at 49.7 MW along with being the biggest investor in AMP's failed Meigs County plant which they owe millions in stranded costs plus owning 22 MW of AMP expensive hydro projects soon to come on line.

Yes we were (are) involved in these projects but not to the extent of Danville.

Danville was recently addressed by AMP President Marc Gerken the one that came to Painesville City Council and explained to Council Councilman Flock he had the wrong bad information?

Well this statement pretty much sums it up;

He also recently admitted he is not "proud of the Prairie State project either ... looking back, if it were up to me. " I wouldn't do it again."

So in retrospect who is the loser here? AMP-OHIO who contributed nothing financially, or the numerous communities that are invested in these failed projects?

No not the communities involved, they will pass the cost onto you know who. (YOU)

Well, the loser's are us. We will pay the piper for what these professionals and experts that
signed us up for this folly!

Maybe not today but very soon the chickens will come home to roost and we can all proudly pay the piper!

Maybe Council-President Hada was right maybe we will not be able to have turkey on Thanksgiving because we won't be able to afford to cook it?

Buckeye News:

Bowling Green and Hamilton, Ohio, each have a 35-megawatt stake in the plant and both are suffering because of it. Bowling Green has raised it's electric rates by 25 percent over the next five years to cover the cost of Prairie State's electricity (and AMP very expensive hydroelectric plants). The situation has placed tremendous strain on Bowling Green State University, the towns biggest electricity customer, and Fitch has cited Hamilton as being under "financial stress and considering rate hikes.)

Cleveland (24.8 MW ), Piqua (19.9 MW) and Celina, Ohio (14.9 MW) all are noted for being at risk because of their exposure to Prairie State.
Cleveland in particular is in jeopardy because Cleveland Public Power is the only municipal utility in the state that competes house-to-house with First Energy. If CPP rates become higher it will most likely plunge into a financial spiral. Standard and Poor's downgraded CPP bond rating to "negative" last year, and an independent consultant hired by the city said its high-priced fixed contracts for electricity must be remedied.

Oh, The Joy Of Owning A "Toxic Asset" Us Loser's do seem to have it all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"THE WAY WE WERE" barbra streisand

"How much we've changed in less than two decades?"

Below you will find  minutes from a council meeting from 1993.  Maybe it's time Painesville went back to the future.


MONDAY - MAY 3, 1993- 7 :00 pm

The meeting was called to order by Utilities and Services Committee Chairman Joseph Hada, and the council convened in a special meeting at 7:00 PM in Council Chambers. The following were present:  John Clair, Abby DelaMotte, Ron Graham, Lillian Kerestman, Gregory Klucher, Wendell Walker, Joseph Hada, City Manager Lester Nero, Finance Director David Miller, City Engineer/Service Director Gary Paine and Clerk of Council Shirley Onderisin.

Mr. Hada noted that bids were taken recently on the City's refuse collection system in an effort to obtain the best possible rate for our customers. He asked City Engineer Gary Paine to elaborate.

Mr. Paine explained, in taking bids, three levels of service we looked at were a bag and toter systems, and the current unlimited service. All levels included all bulk items, including refrigerant items such as refrigerators and dehumidifiers at no extra charge. This also includes yard waste until December 1,1993, when it will no longer be accepted at the landfill. Recycling will likewise cost nothing additional, as money will be available from the County through the 592 Board. Under the new system, billing would be done by the hauler, instead of the city. They would bill quarterly in advance, with the customers notifying the hauler of their choice of level of service. Delinquencies over 90 days old will be submitted to the Finance Director for follow-up twice a year. Code section 955 is still in effect and will be coordinated and enforced by the Public Service Department.

The City will save $19,000 by going with the County for recycling, but the downside is the contractor may or may not pick up on the same day as the customer's regular pick-up. The Cities of Mentor and Eastlake will not be joining the County's program, which is a three year contract.

For those who choose the bag system, the bags will be available for purchase at City Hall, and each Ward in the city will have a convenience store that will sell them.

Mr. Paine noted the bids will have to be analyzed to determine the best deal.

Mr. Hada said he believes we should go with the tiered system, based on consumption, because it's fair to both the large families and single residents, and it gets us away from the mandatory requirement.

Mr. Paine noted he had received a call from Anthony Torre, who commended City Council for going with this system, which he supports wholeheartedly.

There were no further comments. Motion by Mr. Clair, seconded by Mr. Graham, that the meeting be adjourned. All members agreed. The meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.

Shirley A. Onderisin CMC                              Joseph Hada Jr.

So it appears less then twenty-years ago everyone was in the loop. So what happened in that span of time to turn everything over to the City Manager and Why?

Time is now for Council to take some responsibility.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


"Attended last nights Board of Education Meeting"

As I asked the board and administration about the change in the Painesville Public Schools change in the gifted program. I questioned the reason for the change, yes PCLS would lose funding for this program from the state under it's present operation.

I was told the students will be served not only by their classroom teacher at their home school but the gifted teacher will visit every school once a week. They will be served in this manner.
not only the elementary schools but the middle as well as the high school.

Seems like an awful lot to expect from one teacher as well as all the classroom teacher's. but the board as well as the administration assured me that the new system will be successful. I like the makeup of the present board as well as the administration but it seems like a heady goal we will see the good or bad results in say less than six years.

My post about this drew one of the strangest responses to a post. Many times I get this is not for publication for many reasons, but this one drew the most some from parents , teachers, even  a person that claimed to be in the administration? Don't know if there legit but all seemed unhappy with the new policy.

I met a parent at last nights meeting that was happy with the new policy? Well at least I had a face to go with their comment.

Look everyone I know that seems to want Painesville to return to somewhat of it's former glory whether it's a streetscape project, improved public services, historical districts no matter what the plan . The foundation for any successful community is a successful school system. New building are great, but the bottom line to most new home buyers seems to be the quality of education a community has that they will provide to their children. A good example might me new immigrants to the city being told the system can take care of their children. I even have been told that parents in the Riverside district send their children here because Riverside claims we have the tools to educate them.

I will admit that going to the meeting was not going to change anything that was going to happen in the next school year, only that some parents may chose other options as well as some residents watching what was going on in the district. A final thought I left them with was this policy change should have been brought to the whole community and not just a meeting with the parents of the students, a letter home to students involved even a discussion of the subject at a round table event. You have Television and web access please in the future use it. Transparency is so important.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE" public enemy

" Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of Government-                    Milton Friedman

As a comment in the last post about the $90,000 government study concerning fire departments by Aislinn AKA Rita McMahon .  Our good Mansion friend Kip asked for the grant on behalf of Mentor-on-the-Lake. 

What exactly did it tell us that we didn't even know?

$90,000 PUF!

Why this study and why now by this person? Two years to tell us what we already knew.

Well hears a few thing you might have not been aware of;

First when Cobblestone was being developed the CM at that time claimed she had an agreement with the Grand River Fire Department to be first responder's to Cobblestone. As Grand River had funding problems Painesville Twp. took some responsibility of the GRFD. When they were made aware that GRFD was covering Cobblestone the TWP. decided to end the agreement. Fine but Painesville's city manager never informed council. Why?

The Mentor City Manager wrote a letter to the city of Painesville
 that Mentor would be glad to assist Painesville with Cobblestone until the bridge was built. Painesville refused  the  offer. And that didn't come to light until Councilman Flock got a copy of Mentor's official letter. To which the CM exclaimed "where did you get that?" I was there I witnessed the whole thing. Let the denier's explain.

So this is the person you put in charge for a $90,000 grant that everyone already knew the answer too?

Yes, protect the feudal system in O.K. pass the mustard!

Out of curiosity I looked up the word Aislinn its an Irish word meaning inspiration, vision and fantasy. I believe the latter applies.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I guess we seem to reached the tipping point of political correctness?

Everyone from CNN reporters, to the Mayor of Baltimore as well as our President has been chastised for using the word "THUG"?

I guess if your around long enough you can pretty much offend anyone?

The word Thug has been around since I know even when I was a kid. It at that time meant anyone who pushed the realm of common decency, fought, stole and lied a common criminal.. Now in the Hip Hop   generation seems to have added extra meaning to the word, and now some claim it is the new "N" word? Well who might be responsible for making this connection? What do we call individuals that burn and loot their own neighborhoods? "Stupid's" what would you accomplish burning businesses and looting them in your own neighborhood? It's a stupid action.

The other day sadly a New York policeman was shot to death by a young black man.
 Did White people go home and start looting and burning their neighborhoods? No because that would have been stupid.

I know these young men seem disenfranchised by the whole system but in my eyes there can truly be only one thing that can make these men whole. A good job. Baltimore claimed in the 60's almost 20% of jobs dealt with manufacturing now it's 6%. All these manufacturing jobs shipped overseas and it the President gets fast tracked due to TTP you can expect that number to shrink even more. The governments responsibility is first to provide the American dream to all Americans, Black, White Hispanic all of us not a trade deal for the multi-national businesses in this country. I've gone off track here but just maybe the answer is a good paying job might work instead of another government program.

Explain to the American middle-class how any trade deal has made for a better life?

Back to Thugs any idea's what we should now call them? 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"MIRAGE" tommy james and the shondells

"I was thinking of a song that left me in a fog"

I attended last night council meeting and in the visitor's time I questioned why the city will receive $96,000 for the year 2014/2015 from Waste Management also why the feel they have the authority to put a lien on property for failure to pay a delinquent bill did anyone check the validity of the bill?

I questioned why the city employee's were finishing "Streetscape" and did we loss grant funds?

My answer's came in the manager report. The CM claimed that due to budget cuts and the city looking for revenue enhancement. Waste Management agreed to this $96,000 to this to help Painesville financially and it was discussed at one of the 2015 budget meetings? The money went in   to the general fund and was not earmarked for an project. Along with the money received
 in the towing contract. The city views the lien on delinquent bills the same as a lien due to grass cutting fees.

Whatever or however you get these funds it's really just a hidden tax!

Streetscape yes the contractor was terminated and the city employee's are finishing the project and "NO" we did not lose any Grant money.

Council also authorized the purchase  of new circuit breakers for the Richmond St. substation to be installed by electrical employee's.

The city also directed the CM to submit an application to Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency for funding for Infrastructure Improvements of Jackson Street or North State Street ,

 Council also passed  Ordinance to the classification and compensation Plan.
The Operating Engineer union has ratified their negotiated union contract. The operating Engineers contract calls for a 2.5% rate increase in 2015,a 2.5% rate increase in 2016 and a 1.5% increase in 2017. The American Federation of State,County, and Municipal Employees will be voting on there contract soon and their rate is the same as   the one above. Also non-union salary and hourly as well as division heads, senior supervisors are also looking for the same as the Operating Engineers.
Police are voting on their contract and  the contract calls for a 2% raise affective April 2015 ,2016,2017. The city is still in negotiations International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Painesville City Firefighters. I believe the vote was 4-3 fore but their was confusion in what was being voted on?

City council was also informed the sidewalk plows were in their final days and parts were hard to find. So the city needs direction on what direction council wants to take. Cost of new sidewalk plows range in price  from a  $37,000 Bobcat to $142,000 for a trackless MT-6.

June 6&7 10 am to 6:00 pm
For some good news the CSX Railroad will not let Lincoln's Funeral Train run on its tracks...But the train will be trucked in and displayed east of the station (there's even a possibility the engine could be steamed -up)
Take a step back into history tour a full size replica of the Lincoln Funeral Train.
Engine and Tender and tour the funeral car.

Admission: $5.00 each (13 and above)
                    $10.00 Family max.
Seems like a good idea having a Railroad Station Historical District?


Sunday, May 3, 2015

"POWER TO THE PEOPLE" john lennon

"Power Revolution"

"Another example of a "Vision" thing Painesville Leadership has failed us on"

This is a note to me neighbors and friends who have invested in a 50 year contract for electric from a coal fired electric power plant.

Most of you probably have heard of the premium electric automobile maker Tesla. Owned by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Well Mr. Musk has taken the wraps off it's ambitious battery system that can work for homes. A 10 kWH version for $3,500.00 presently excluding installation and inverter.

All this from free solar power system called a power wall a unit about three feet by four feet in size and about six inches thick,

Pipedream? "Our goal here is to change the way the world uses energy at an extreme scale."

The Gigafactory under construction in Nevada as a product, the first of many. With 160 million Powerpacks, we could power the United States, he said and with 2 billion, the world.

Powerwalls has been testing for a year, and has already been on sale to select customers. Tesla will start taking orders later this year and then really ramp up production as Tesla's battery building goes online.

Will this happen overnight? I don't believe so but it will be a normal operation by the time we go into a third Presidential election cycle. (12 years) and remember how color television got cheaper along with flat-screen TV's? I expect the same from solar panels and power walls.

Now the question what will we do with the  thirty year's left at Prairie State?  Don't forget we are also responsibility for the plant closures and the miles of coal ash.

Maybe we will own two power plant museum's, Painesville Muni, Prairie State.

Hey, Mr. Musk we have a battery-box building here, cheap! Also some windmill's somewhere!

Friday, May 1, 2015

"IN HIDING" pearl jam

"I Know The Secrets That You Keep"

Attended Councilman Flock's Town Hall Meeting Thursday Night. Learned what we should put into our recycling bin and what not to. Vic From Waste Management handed out pencil's and wood rulers to all that attended. In the Q.A. part of the meeting I thanked Vic for the pencil and ruler but asked him why the city was receiving $96,000 from Waste Management. Like a council meeting ...SILENCE.... Then he asked if he should answer or should this be asked at a council meeting? I just wanted to know his opinion if he thought it was ethical? He did think it was.

Then Mr. Fodor jumps in and really I felt like a high school student being questioned by a teacher,
" Do you get to vote on your Federal income Tax?' he asked, So Jim it is a tax, a hidden one at that and yes I send representatives to Washington or try to that look out for me. Well it's a franchise fee paid by Waste Management. Now I felt disenfranchised what franchise only pays the fourth and fifth year of a contract?

Yes according to him this was the way the contract was set-up by the former city manager?

There's only one thing missing here and that's TRANSPERENCY... period. Why weren't the residents of Painesville never even notified about this franchise fee and the amount the city was given? Mr. Fodor even admitted he had no knowledge of this franchise fee. If council didn't even know well then who did? This is my reason that council should be on contracts negotiated with the city
Mr. Fodor then made the statement the $48,000 was put into the general fund, although he didn't know what fund number. (You understand now why the administration doesn't want a line item budget?)

Most franchises provide a service or product, What service did the city provide Waste Management with? A Cadillac plan with all the bells and whistles that every household in Painesville had to participate in no matter what. Along with putting a lien on a property if the bill wasn't paid. Someone questioned Mr. Fodor does the city investigate even if the amount of the bill was correct?

This unlike the franchise the city grants cable companies if doesn't demand you take the service and at what premium level. Only the opportunity to provide services to residents. So can we see cable bills  put liens on property?

The people should have been notified about this, and it does take a genius to figure out why they weren't.

OH, and by the way there is a franchise fee paid when a certain company is notified to tow your car be the City of Painesville. Wonder what else they are hiding?