Councilman versus Bagman

Submitted by mabeldog on Sat, 02/14/2015 - 16:02.

Late last week I visited a fabulous French bakery in Old Brooklyn that just opened in a beautiful double store front on Pearl Road in City Council President and councilman extraordinaire Kevin Kelley's ward. I chatted with the owner. She told me that Kevin Kelley recently penned an eloquent appeal to the zoning board on her behalf. The successful result of this appeal: after being denied in the first try, the bakery now has a plot of land from the land bank for a parking lot around the corner. In his letter Kelley said, "We want this business to succeed". Imagine a councilman saying something that clearly and directly speaks to the interests of both his residents and his small businesses. Imagine a councilman, if you CAN residents of Brooklyn Centre, NOT beholden to sleazy developers who buy up properties, do nothing to improve them and then knowing nothing will happen they also stop paying their property taxes. Kevin Kelley stands very tall. A far cry from the very small and barely re-elected (by 19 votes) "representative" of part of Brooklyn Centre, Senor Brian Cummins, where her bakery was located until a few months ago. She had many problems, including periods with NO WATER, with the landlord, August Garofoli (aka Ginmark Development LLC of Valley City Ohio) heralded 2 years ago by Senor Cummins as a great visionary who is doing great renovations and investing cash in the former Masonic Building at 3804 West 25th (or 3804 Pearl Road from Cummins infrequent "news"letter). When she approached her "representative" about the landlord, Senor Cummins shrugged his shoulders and said there was nada he could do about it. Including apparently following up on the delinquent property taxes owing on the building to the tune of nearly $27,000. But hey it IS pretty damn cool, or kool to count among your friends someone who rocks a monocle. Check out the "retail" strip along Pearl Road, the joint responsibility of Cummins and Anthony Brancatelli. A nearly empty plaza, an empty former Aldi's. Successful businesses are not the goal of the "representives" north of the bridge. But at least the former Aldi's is current on their taxes.

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Star shows bakery and adjacent "land bank" lot

Some of you may recall - Cummins had the properties on Stanford Ave. demo'd at taxpayer expense - for some reason, these Aberdeen Investment folks still retain ownership on one of the vacant lots.

Ginmark on West 25th not paying taxes

Many folks are set to FINALLY benefit in the West 25th St. corridor - including Ginmark and Robert McCall, who was straw buyer on the YMCA building on West 25th.  The RNC convention has investors lined up for the flip - erasing back taxes in the process for pure profit.

Stay tuned-


Here is my response to an article by Dan Mouthrop in the online magazine Politico:


Cleveland is racist - and it's a tool that serves private real estate companies like Forest City and Safeguard very well in Northeast Ohio. The displacement of families east-west, north-south allows various municipalities in Cuyahoga County to play a flipping roulette game that benefits real estate investors who control the board through the Cuyahoga County "Land Bank." Before the creation of the "land bank" - two players - Rokakis and Frangos controlled real estate values through the treasurer's office, Board of Revision and through the sale of tax liens. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund found Cuyahoga County to be discriminatory against African-Americans in the sale of those tax liens. The Washington Post followed up with a series "Left with Nothing."

The game continues with many investors playing the hold-em, don't pay taxes, vacant strategy that also involves straw buyers known to be of many ethnicities, including African-American. Federal HUD monies, demolitions and CDCs are important tools for these "investors." See for the continued documentation of this real estate scam.