Good Afternoon Cleveland

Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 15:22.

Good afternoon. Today, I delivered the City of Cleveland ’s 2009 operating budget to Cleveland City Council. For the fourth year, I am proposing a balanced budget without layoffs or reductions in service delivery. However, in these hard economic times, I pledge to you that I will remain vigilant and that my Administration will continue to seek efficiencies, reduce cost, increase economic development and raise revenue. Please click here to find out more about this year’s proposed budget.


Frank G. Jackson, Mayor City of Cleveland

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Council's agenda

Liquor permits

Wow, I wonder who got this ball rolling?

Hint a Phoney that lives in Tremont.


 Combat the unwanted increase of liquor permits and remove nuisance liquor establishments. By using the powers of Council to object to proposed establishments, citizens and council are working to reduce the number of licenses. Council sponsors local hearings with state liquor officials and argues cases before the State Liquor Control Board when necessary. 

I am glad that Council President Sweeney sees this as a top priority.



  Hi Henry--it would be best not to mince words here.  Just elaborate and explain how Santiago facilitates liquor licenses for friends and allows nuisance liquor establishments to undermiine the livability of neighborhoods. 

Also, I seriously doubt that Santiago had any influence over this written agenda.  Nonetheless, I would skip adjectives like "phony."  We can have our own personal opinions, but readers don't want our opinions....just the "facts," as they say :) I have to remind myself of this as much as possible, which is why photos are the best way to present facts.  Hard to argue with empirical evidence.

Hi Laura

I was sarcastically referring to myself, since I was called a "Phony" on this blog.

If it were not for my activism on Bars in Ward 14, this issues never would have come to light. Since 2006, about 16 locations received citations. Several have closed, several are on death row with appeals with the state.

Santiago basically appropriated this and ran with it, Cimperman is now involved with it to a point over private clubs like Rosemary Vinci was going to open in the flats, that’s what started this for round II, people in Stonebridge got real upset. Actually there is going to be a Committee Hearing on Friday February 13, at City Council at 3PM regarding Private Club legislation and use issues.

I will look for an old article.


Liquor permits


Last call for illegal bars

Thursday, August 02, 2007

By Ken Prendergast

West Side Sun News

A rising tide of violence involving patrons of bars and nightclubs in Ward 14 has prompted its councilman to take a hard look at whether their operations are legal.
Specifically, Joe Santiago is seeking a review of licenses, certificates and zoning for all 74 liquor establishments in his ward to ensure they are operating in compliance with city and state building codes and laws. He asked neighborhood activist Henry Senyak to conduct the review.
"I'm making it a top priority because it's a safety issue," Santiago said. "This is going to be a fair process. It's going to be across the board. We're not singling anyone out."
Senyak, who has already researched every West 25th Street liquor establishment from Bridge Avenue to Interstate 71 via public records from the city, said he was happy to take on the effort.
"Only about 10 percent (of establishments on West 25th) are operating within their legal use or their correct certificate of occupancy," he said. "There's only two or three that are."
He hasn't yet researched establishments in the rest of the ward, however. But he found that, at least along West 25th, for all the establishments operating as adult cabarets, the city has no past records showing that they're allowed to operate as adult cabarets. Several establishments are operating as nightclubs but have certificates of occupancy for restaurants or bars.
"They can't be a nightclub," Senyak said. "The noise and music has to be contained within the bar. And there's been no willingness for enforcement."
Ward 14 resident and Clark-Metro Community Development Corp. board member Rebecca Kempton said she was concerned that the entertainment district zoning overlay could be used in Ward 14 to legalize non-compliant establishments.
"That's the kind of businesses that we've had there for 40 years," she said. "I'm concerned the councilman would use that as an excuse to have an entertainment district. People have a right to live in a safe neighborhood where they don't have problem bars and nightclubs at their backdoor."
Santiago said he isn't interested in the entertainment district zoning overlay, like the one recently approved by the City Planning Commission for the Columbus Road peninsula in the Flats. The zoning overlay was applied there to allow the Hustler Club to relocate near Diamond Men's Club to make way for Scott Wolstein's $250 million Flats East Bank neighborhood.
"That's a totally different situation with the Flats," Santiago said. "They're doing a district. It wouldn't work here. What I've been doing is working with one of the residents (Senyak) to work on bringing everything into compliance."
"As this (entertainment district) law is written and approved, if savvy legislation and districting was put forth you could legalize these (Ward 14 establishments) in a heartbeat," Senyak said. "I can't speak for Santiago but I don't think he would do this based on a conversation where he asked for my assistance in enforcing compliance or closing Ward 14 troublespots."

Compliments of the West Side Sun News

(I ended up being the driving force of compliance on the liquor permits mostly in Ward 14, but three in Ward 13 got to know me too)

Coverage on Santiago

I picked up on the liquor permit item in council's agenda, too. A good deal of reporting done by me and Mark Puente over the last year backs up Henry Senyak's account of history. I mentioned the council agenda and linked to an old story about Councilman Santiago on my City Hall blog today.

This is my first post here, but I have been enjoying the commentary on RealNEO for months. I hope my sharing of a link is not out of line.

Nice to see any smart, concerned people in the community

I think it is great you are posting here - I certainly read you on PD/ and appreciate your coverage of the wacky local business and real estate world...  

Welcome to all new media folks of all sorts!

We all really love you - tough love - we all want the best for the community.

Disrupt IT

Welcome Mr. Gomez - links are fine

If Mr. Senyak is doing the job – i.e.  investigating license compliance of liquor and entertainment establishments - that the City of Cleveland really is responsible to do, it only seems reasonable  that Mr. Senyak be paid - at least as a consultant once he submits his report.   With 70+ establishments to visit, and late hours to check in on them – this is will be a full time job.  


My hat is off to Mr. Senyak for his civic energy!


Thanks Jeff, but no need. I

Thanks Jeff, but no need. I did it strictly on a volunteer basis. Santiago really never went with any of it.
But I worked with Sherry Lawson with the Mayors Action Center and former Building and Housing Inspector Rufus Taylor for over a year and a half.

I had pulled public records requests over a two-year period before Santiago was forced to ask me to help. I really tried to work with him too. Its unfortunate after reading over 4000 of his emails, the same emails the PD requested I found out he was disingenuous.

Taylor was the only after hour’s inspector. He had the most experience. He transferred out of B&H and went to Community Development.

He was upset that he would get these places cited for operating outside of their usage, and his bosses did not back him up. Why because a few places in Tremont became in question.  This is why some In Tremont want me gone.

Mind you both fine places with fine ownership. In both Rufus and my opinions some favoritism was shown because of certain top Building and Housing officials. Rufus left, they discriminated against him, and he was doing two jobs. He finally told me he was sick of his bosses pissing down his back and telling him its raining.

We all owe Rufus Taylor in Cleveland, He cited every Scrap yard in Cleveland, Auto repair sites, and almost every bar wanting to be a nightclub in a residential neighborhood in Ward 14. These all effect our quality of life in Cleveland.

 Thank you Rufus for a job well done.

Inspector Taylor was not even allowed to testify at a BOZA hearing. Again my issue was that the good places must take the lead. But if certain locations were granted things it would make it that much harder to cite or close real trouble spots like El Tropical or La Copa.

My hats go off to the three Ward 13 locations that went and became legal. Because most of the locations in Santiago's Ward 14 still are not. But trust me the City of Cleveland now seems to have gotten the message finally loud and clear.

People would be surprised at how far I will go to expose political corruption, the best in the last few years was being by and in a dumpster to videotape Joe Santiago’s Anti-Recall fundraiser.

Or my favorite.

Or one of my friends site. Its old



Hi Henry G.

Good to see you here!

I read the PD

  Everyday...for work and for myself.  I found Phillip Morris' column especially relevant yesterday. 

Safety Forces job opportunities