DAY 12 OF HUNGER STRIKE & UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ON RIGGED VOTES TO DEMOLISH LANDMARKED JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOLI

Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:21.
Slide1.JPG

DAY 12 (12-01-12) OF HUNGER STRIKE BY 70-YEAR OLD SIKH-AMERICAN &
WHY IS JENNIFER COLEMAN, THE CHAIR OF THE CLEVELAND LANDMARKS (DEMOLITION) COMMISSION, NOT RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS OR PROVIDING DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO VOTE RIGGING AND IRREGULARITIES THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE JANUARY 12, 2012 MEETING, DESPITE MULTIPLE REMINDERS PERTAINING TO THE HISTORIC 80-YEAR OLD JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL?

WEIGHT LOSS = 14 POUNDS. CURRENT WEIGHT = 124 POUNDS. SPIRITS ARE HIGH!

VOTE RIGGING & IRREGULARITIES:
COUNCILMAN & CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT MARTIN J. SWEENEY OF CLEVELAND, OHIO RIGGED THE 5 TO 4 VOTE TO DEMOLISH HISTORIC 80-YEAR OLD JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL AT THE JANUARY 12, 2012 MEETING OF THE CLEVELAND LANDMARKS (DEMOLITION) COMMISSION!

IN ADDITION, THERE WERE NUMEROUS IRREGULARITIES AT THE MEETING!

Mayor Jackson took no action when the vote rigging and other irregularities were brought to his honor’s attention.

Also, City Hall has not submitted any requested public documents pertaining to vote rigging and irregularities despite multiple reminders.

THE PLAIN DEALER WANTS PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO BE HONEST, TRUSTWORTHY, ACCOUNTABLE, CLEAR, AND TRANSPARENT!

WHY IS JENNIFER COLEMAN, CHAIR OF THE CLEVELAND LANDMARKS (DEMOLITION) COMMISSION, NOT RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS OR PROVIDING DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO VOTE RIGGING AND IRREGULARITIES THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE JANUARY 12, 2012 MEETING, DESPITE MULTIPLE REMINDERS?

THE QUESTIONS WERE LISTED IN A DOCUMENT SENT VIA E-MAIL TO MAYOR JACKSON, MS. COLEMAN AND OTHERS, AND VIA CERTIFIED MAIL TO MAYOR JACKSON ON NOVEMBER 8, 2012 AND A RESPONSE WAS REQUESTED BY NOVEMBER 19, 2012 AT THE LATEST.

THE RESPONSES PERTAIN TO QUESTIONS ON THE $50 MILLION JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ALL IN THE CONTEXT OF MAYOR JACKSON’S STATEMENT: I HAVE “NEVER LIED TO YOU” AND THE PLAIN DEALER’S CALL FOR HONESTY, TRUSTWORTHINESS, ACCOUNTABILITY, CLARITY, AND TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

LISTED BELOW ARE THE QUESTIONS AND A FEW REQUEST FOR DOCUMENTS FROM JENNIFER COLEMAN:

E. QUESTIONS FOR JENNIFER COLEMAN, CHAIR OF CLC (CLEVELAND LANDMARKS COMMISSION) PERTAINING TO THE JANUARY 12, 2012 MEETING
UNLESS NOTED:

Councilman Sweeney (also City Council President) rigged the 5 to 4 vote to demolish landmarked historic 80-year old John Marshall at the January 12, 2012 CLC (Cleveland Landmarks Commission) meeting. The Chief Architect of the City of Cleveland (with the title of Manager of Architecture) who should be preserving and protecting our landmarks -- voted to demolish our architectural gem.

Mayor Jackson took no action when the vote rigging and other irregularities were brought to his honor’s attention.

For example, at the January 12, 2012 Cleveland Landmarks Commission meeting, despite repeated requests, the Chair refused to let me respond to inaccuracies in the financial numbers, on behalf of petitioners, while the School District, their Architect, and Councilman Sweeney were free to get up and interject at any time. Additional irregularities are discussed below.

Also, City Hall has not submitted any requested public documents pertaining to vote rigging and irregularities.

E1.
A member (Allan Dryer) was absent at the subject meeting.. While quorum was still satisfied, Councilman Sweeney nevertheless brought in Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland as a one-day replacement  -- not clear under what rules of the Commission -- and she also voted for demolition. City Hall has not submitted any document citing the CLC rule to justify temporary replacement of CLC member Allan Dryer by Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland at the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting even when quorum did not require a replacement.

Question E1: Please quote the specific CLC rule under which Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland was brought in as as a one-day replacement even when quorum was satisfied?
Response::

E2.
Question E2: Please specify the dates of all other CLC meetings during your (Jennifer Coleman’s) tenure as Chair – when a CLC member was absent – and quorum was satisfied – yet a temporary replacement was brought in?
Response:

E3.
According to the CLC’s website: The mission statement of the CLC is listed as follows: “To encourage the preservation of historically and architecturally significant buildings and historic districts within the City of Cleveland.” In addition, the website lists the following statement: “The Landmarks Commission is an eleven-member board of preservation-minded individuals consisting of architects, historians, property owners, attorneys, Cleveland City Council representatives, the Director of City Planning, and the Commissioner of Architecture.”

At the CLC meeting, Councilwoman Cleveland stated that she liked new things and was not a preservationist. City Hall has not submitted any document confirming whether the Councilwoman met the requirements for membership in the CLC.

Question E3: Did Councilwoman Cleveland meet the requirements for membership in the CLC as a preservation minded individual?
Response:

E4.
City Hall has not submitted any document confirming whether Councilwoman Phyliss Cleveland toured the 80-year old historic JMHS facility before the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting.

Question E4: Did Councilwoman Phyliss Cleveland tour the 80-year old historic JMHS facility before the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting?
If yes, please provide the date and time of the tour.
Response:

E5.
According to the minutes of the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting -- Councilwoman Cleveland approved the minutes of the previous CLC meeting held on December 8, 2011 – a meeting which Ms. Cleveland did not attend.

Question E5: Why did you (Jennifer Coleman) as Chair of CLC accept approval of minutes of the December 8, 2011 CLC meeting from Councilwoman Phyliss Cleveland – knowing fully well that Ms. Cleveland had not attended the subject meeting?
Response:

E6.
Despite requests, the Chair (Jennifer Coleman) of CLC refused to let me respond to inaccuracies in the financial numbers, on behalf of petitioners, while the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), their Architect, and Councilman Sweeney were free to get up and interject at any time. Councilman Sweeney, also Council President, very aware of protecting basic rights of individuals, demonstrated no outrage when my right to speak in City Hall was denied.

Question E6: a. Why did you (Jennifer Coleman) deny me (Satinder P. S. Puri), on behalf
of over 2,400 petitioners, my basic right to speak about inaccuracies and mathematical
contradictions in the School District’s financial numbers at the January 12, 2012 CLC
meeting?
b. Why do the minutes of the subject meeting make no mention of the denial of my
requests to speak about inaccuracies and mathematical contradictions in the School
District’s financial numbers?
Response:

E7.
The Chair was aware “there were lots of questions about the financial numbers.”
In the January 19, 2012 article by Ken Prendergast posted on Cleveland.Com:
“Cleveland Landmarks Commission clears way for John Marshall High school demolition”, Jennifer Coleman, Chair of CLC stated:
“It’s important to have a connection to the past,” she added. “I understand the (school) district’s economic argument, but I think there were lots of questions about the financial numbers. In 20 or 30 years, we’re going to look back and realize how much we’ve lost. The question is, how can we go forward?” 

City Hall has not submitted any document confirming the CLC rule under which the
Chair of CLC permitted a vote (at the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting) on whether
landmarked 80-year old JMHS should be demolished when the Chair was aware that
“there were lots of questions about the financial numbers.”

Question E7: Why did you (Jennifer Coleman) as Chair of CLC permit a vote (at the
January 12, 2012 CLC meeting) on whether landmarked 80-year old JMHS should be
demolished when you were aware that “there were lots of questions about the financial numbers.”
Response:

E8.
At the CLC meeting, the Chair (Jennifer Coleman) stated that speakers in public sessions were limited to 2 minutes. I spoke, within the allotted time on behalf of over 2,400 petitioners. However, Councilman Sweeney was allowed to speak for 18 minutes without any objection from the Chair. City Hall has not submitted any document confirming exception to the 2-minute rule and why Councilman Sweeney was allowed to speak for 18 minutes without any objection from the Chair.
Question E8: Why did you (Jennifer Coleman) as Chair of CLC permit Councilman 
Sweeeney to speak for 18 minutes, without any objection, when the stipulated rule,
according to the Chair, was 2 minutes?
Response:

E9.
Question E9: Why were the concerns of over 2,400 petitioners who want JMHS to be
renovated ignored during the discussions at the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting?
Response:

E10.
Question E10: Why were the concerns of the community who had rejected the new school
in three successive zero votes ignored during the discussions at the January 12, 2012
CLC meeting?
Note: For a description of the three successive zero votes please see page 44. This
information was included in the e-mail of January 8, 2012 sent to Mayor Jackson on
which you were copied.
Response:

E11.
Question E11: At the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting, I read a portion of my prepared
comments. A copy of the prepared comments was included in the box left with CLC.
Why were the prepared comments not acknowledged in the minutes of the January 12,
2012 CLC meeting?
Response:

E12.
At the CLC meeting, a box (weighing 7 pounds) was handed over to CLC. The box contained the following:

* Copy of 2,421 petitions: The petitions were collected on the SAVE JOHN MARSHALL 
   Facebook Group Petition Site; by hand; via e-mails, and again by hand. The three sets 
   total: 122, 1,157, and 1,142 petitions respectively.  
* Copy of Comments made at January 12, 2012 Cleveland Landmarks Commission
   Meeting (8 pages)
* Copy of January 8, 2012 document (nearly 200-pages)
* 12 copies of SAVE JOHN MARSHALL CAMPAIGN
   January/February 2012 Newsletter
* 12 copies of Plain Press article, August 2011
* 12 copies of Sun News article, October 2011
The CLC minutes of the January 12, 2012 meeting make no mention of the box or their contents.

Question E12: Why were the contents of the box not acknowledged in the minutes of the
January 12, 2012 CLC meeting?
Response:

E13.
Question E13: Please refer to your office records and provide the date on which  Councilman Sweeney requested CLC (Cleveland Landmarks Commission) to add his  name in the agenda of the December 8, 2011 CLC meeting (see page 37) as advocating for demolition of John Marshall High School?
Response:

E14.
Question E14: Please refer to your office records and provide the date on which
CMSD (Cleveland Metropolitan School District) or their architects provided the slides
(see page 38) on the existing John Marshall High School which are listed along with the
agenda for the December 8, 2011 CLC meeting.
Response:

Request E1: Please provide copies of letters from Ken Tischler and Anthony Rizer
submitted to CLC at the January 12, 2012 CLC meeting. Both letters supported
demolition of John Marshall High School.
Response:

Request E2: Please provide a Copy of Certificate of Appropriateness pertaining to John Marshall High School issued by the CLC.
Response:

GOVERNOR KASICH OF OHIO:
GOVERNOR KASICH HAS NOT RESPONDED TO OUR DEMAND WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO HIM VIA CERTIFIED MAIL ON OCTOBER 9, 2012,
NOVEMBER 8, 2012, AND NOVEMBER 20, 2012!

THE DEMAND IS THAT GOVERNOR KASICH ORDER THE CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT TO CEASE & DESIST FROM DEMOLISHING HISTORIC 80-YEAR OLD JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE OF GROSS IRREGULARITIES COMMITTED: COLLUSIVE INACTION, VOTE RIGGING, & DENIAL OF DUE PROCESS!

MAYOR JACKSON OF CLEVELAND, OHIO:
MAYOR JACKSON NEVER RESPONDED DESPITE MULTIPLE REMINDERS TO   THE REQUEST DATED NOVEMBER 8, 2012 THAT:

 Mayor Jackson and others
(Councilman and City Council President Martin J. Sweeney;
CMSD CEO Eric S. Gordon; Chair of CMSD Board of Education Denise W. Link;
Cleveland Landmarks Commission Chair Jennifer Coleman;
Manager of Architecture Robert Vilkas;
Councilman Anthony Brancatelli; and Councilwoman Phyllis E. Cleveland)

provide written responses by Monday November 19, 2012 at the latest, to questions (on the $50 million John Marshall High School Construction Project) all in the context of  Mayor Jackson’s statement: I have “never lied to you” and the The Plain Dealer’s call for honesty, trustworthiness, accountability, clarity, and transparency in public officials.

The questions pertain to gross irregularities committed: collusive inaction, vote rigging, & vote rigging.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
SO FAR, I HAVE I HAVE LOST 14 POUNDS. AT THE START, I WEIGHED 138 POUNDS.

WHILE I FEEL WEAK – I AM ABLE TO DO CHORES AROUND THE HOUSE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR PETS. I WORK VERY VERY SLOWLY – SO AS NOT TO WASTE ENERGY.

I SLEPT A LOT ON THE SECOND DAY – BECAUSE I WAS VERY TIRED ON THE FIRST DAY. ON THE THIRD & 4TH DAY – I DID NOT SLEEP THAT MUCH.
I FIND LYING IN BED IS VERY RELAXING – WITH OUR CATS ALL AROUND -- NOW THAT I HAVE AN EXCUSE NOT TO GET UP.

WHENEVER I FEEL TIRED, I TAKE A NAP AND AFTERWORDS I FEEL VERY RELAXED AND ENERGIZED. I WOULD LIKE TO GO OUT AND DEMONSTRATE FOR HOURS – BUT I KNOW I WILL WASTE A LOT OF ENERGY.

I DRINK LOTS OF WATER – IT FILLS UP MY STOMACH – AND GIVES A VERY REFRESHING FEELING.  I AM TAKING VITAMIN PILLS AND SALT.

ALSO, I WASH MYSELF IN THE MORNING – USING WET PAPER TOWELS AND CHANGE MY CLOTHES. THIS REFRESHES ME FOR THE DAY. I AM AFRAID OF TAKING A BATH – FOR FEAR OF FALLING DOWN.

GOING ON A HUNGER STRIKE CAN BE BORING – SO I SPEND AS MUCH OF MY WAKING TIME POSTING ON FACEBOOK (SAVE JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL GROUP) AND MY BLOG AT REALNEO. USUALLY THE POSTS ARE FAIRLY DETAILED AND REQUIRE MULTIPLE DRAFTS.
 
I CONTINUE TO BE IN HIGH SPIRITS. I HAVE ALSO BEEN OUT ON FOUR OF THE TEN DAYS – I WALK SLOWLY AND SIT DOWN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. ON THE 3RD AND 4TH DAYS WHEN I WENT OUT – I LEFT MY TRAVELING CART & ALL THE SIGNS I USE IN MY DEMONSTRATIONS BEHIND – FOR THE FIRST TIME – IN NEARLY 18 MONTHS. IT FELT SO STRANGE -- THE CART HAS BEEN MY CONSTANT COMPANION – AND I MISSED IT. BUT NOW I HAVE TO CONSERVE ENERGY – AND I CANNOT AFFORD HAULING A HEAVY CART.

I ALSO WENT OUT ON THE – THE NINTH DAY – I WALKED VERY SLOWLY. IT TOOK ME 40 MINUTES TO WALK TO THE BUS STOP – WHICH I NORMALLY CAN DO IN HALF THE TIME.
I ALSO STEPPED OUTSIDE ON THE 10TH DAY – IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE -- WAVING MY SIGNS – AND SURPRISINGLY A FEW OF THE CARS HONKED. I WAS ABLE TO GET A FRIENDLY PEDESTRIAN TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME.

ON THE 11TH DAY – I WENT OUTSIDE FOR 30 MINUTES. I WALKED ALONG COOLEY AVE, WAVING MY SIGNS – I WALKED VERY VERY SLOWLY – TO WEST 130TH STREET.  I DEMONSTRATED FOR A SHORT WHILE – AND VERY QUICKLY GOT WORN OUT. A FEW OF THE CARS HONKED. MOST – JUST WHIZZED BY – TOTALLY UNAWARE THAT A HUNGER STRIKE WAS IN PROGRESS. HUNGER STRIKES ARE NOT PART OF THE LOCAL CULTURE.

PRIOR TO START OF THE HUNGER STRIKE ON 11-20-12, I HAD FASTED  – 12 TO 18 HOURS EVERY DAY SINCE MAY 1, 2012. SO FAR – I HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED ANY HUNGER PANGS.

PLEASE SEE PREVIOUS POSTS FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON THE HUNGER STRIKE!

FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE:
Follow the SAVE JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/160386844035662/

Also, see the following three YouTube clips:
1. Save John Marshall High School, Cleveland, Ohio
http://youtu.be/S6Shgwi5cuU
2. Save John Marshall High School Pt. 2: Demonstration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdTaCQrwoF4
3. Save John Marshall High School Part 3: Call for a Hunger Strike
http://youtu.be/nyoL5sFBjeA

( categories: )

Plain Dealer JMHS coverage-albeit

A very condescending article with a headline that says it all-PD is dead:
http://www.cleveland.com/naymik/index.ssf/2012/12/a_cleveland_mans_hunger_strike.html

Comments to Naymik article

 

I am glad to see that the Plain Dealer has finally reported on Mr. Puri's efforts. Not only his though; Mr. Puri had thousands of people who signed his petition. There were also others also attended school district and Landmark Commission's meetings. And then there are the letters sent to City Hall about John Marshall. It is a tragedy that his and other's efforts were not reported earlier. I have often heard it said by some that there is a lack of civic involvement. This is simply not true; as in this case, those speaking are often ignored by elected officials and the media if they are not of the same mind as those in power.  
It should be noted that citizens have to take time away from their own jobs and families if they are to attend meetings almost exclusively scheduled during working hours. Why, for example, if a commission of any sort (city or county) meets only a few times a month, its members are part-time, and paid well for their time by taxpayers, should that commission not meet outside of regular working hours? Even if they are full time employees, the taxpayers who pay these salaries should be afforded the ability to attend meetings without having to take off from work. Our government is supposed to be by, for, and of the people. 
So Mr. Puri’s and other’s efforts are not in vain; would the Plain Dealer please do an in-depth report on misguided state policies that reward new construction over renovation? These policies almost ensure that cash strapped school districts opt for the destruction of the primary thing that provides continuity for generations of alumni of a school; the building. The state of New York and the city of Buffalo are good examples of an alternative that allows people to retain their architectural and educational heritage. 
I get the Plain Dealer delivered to my door every morning, and I encourage others to do the same. We need the kind of in-depth, local reporting that only our local paper can provide. That said, the citizens of this community also need the Plain Dealer to be our voice when our government refuses to listen. It is good that the Plain Dealer has covered the efforts of Mr. Puri and the many others who have signed petitions, attended school district and Landmark’s meetings, and written City Hall about John Marshall. However, it is unfortunate that our local paper has probably done so too late for it to matter for John Marshall. The Plain Dealer, if it chooses, can now do something to ensure that Mr. Puri’s and other’s efforts are not in vain, and this type of injustice does not happen again.

There are real injustices here that Mr. Puri is protesting that this article does not address and should come to light. Councilman Sweeney in his desire for all new schools in his district ignored the wishes of the community and stacked the Landmarks Commission meeting so the demolition would be approved. It was a 5-4 vote to approve demolition. There were a number of irregularities.  
 
The most significant of the problems with the vote is that Sweeney orchestrated a last minute substitution of one of the members of the commission, and had Councilwoman Cleveland attend for this meeting only to vote for the demolition. Mr. Puri has questioned whether this maneuver was legal and has gotten no answer. Quoting from a PD article:  
 
"[So, in Dreyer’s absence, Sweeney named Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland to stand in for him. “I don’t really know a lot about preservation or architecture, but I do like new things,” Cleveland said at the hearing. “I am not a preservationist. I am not against it. I look at it as a case-by-case basis. I vote demolition.” The section of the City Charter which provides for a Landmarks Commission reads “All (commission) members shall have, to the highest extent practicable, a known interest in landmarks preservation.”]" 
 
The planning director and the City Commissioner of Architecture who usually do not vote at meetings were under pressure to vote Sweeney's way. So was Councilman Brancatelli. The Commission Chair Jennifer Coleman, who would have opposed the demolition, did not vote because she traditionally does not vote except in the case of a tie (which is not in any official rules of the commission). If it would have been a 5-5 vote she would have voted and the demolition would not have been approved. Also Sweeney was allowed to speak for 18 minutes at the meeting and Mr. Puri was only allowed 2 minutes on behalf of 2400 petitioners. Since only a couple of days notice that John Marshall would be on the agenda was given to the public, there was not enough time to organize supporters to be at the meeting. 
 
This article does Mr. Puri a diservice by ignoring the injustices he is protesting and marginalizing him as a well-meaning crazy cat man, which he is not. He is an important and respected activist who cares very deeply for his neighborhood.