Journalism or Propaganda ??? Your $$$

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 10/03/2012 - 18:33.

In a rare show of common sense, the Plain Dealer actually heeded the comments posted to a story:

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/09/clevelands_glut_of_vaca...

When this came out--I felt the usual nausea: the Plain Dealer printing propaganda to support the Land Bank, though the numbers were so obviously bogus.  I have been banned at the PD, so I rarely comment anymore.  I chocked it up to the same old...

Fortunately, the reporter here and her editors bothered to THINK about the actual content being published and today they published an article that really examines the report prepared by a former PD writer (Becky Gaylord) and paid for by taxpayers.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/10/consultant_erred_in_ana...

It's time the PD REALLY wakes up to the reality we live with here in NEO.  Take the blinders off and print the TRUTH.

BTW-Council paid Gaylord’s company $20,000 for the report and her advocacy. Your $$$

Roving Broker exposes Land Bank fraud

Re: Consultant erred in analysis of Cleveland's long-term cost of blight, Councilman Tony Brancatelli says

Brancatelli and Gaylord can roll all the expenses they want into the $27,000 per year per vacant home cost and it still won't compute. East 59th street between Francis Avenue and Maurice Avenue has 28 residential lots, most with houses. The market value of the houses is about $60,000 each and annual taxes are about $900 each (these are rough approximations from Zillow.com data and are on the high side -- some of the houses are already abandoned and some of the lots are empty). 
 
Total Market Value = $1.680 million 
Annual Real Estate Tax = $25,200 
 
The Brancatelli/Gaylord report claims that if those 28 homes were abandoned that cost to the city (direct and indirect) would be $756,000 per year. Year after year after year. 
 
Direct countable annual costs (lost taxes, "maintenance") would total about $4,000 per house and would be on-going. Loss of value to surrounding properties would be a one time cost and could not exceed the total market value of the houses. This means that at $27,000 per year, all the possible indirect costs would be accounted for in a little over two years. After that the number would be more like $4,000 per year. 
As for Brancatelli’s, “We don’t want the government to feel like it can be let off the hook because we received money from the settlement,” … he is the government.

http://cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/10/consultant_erred_in_analysis_o.html/post/2012-10-03/1349273640-451-708.html

 Re: Cleveland's glut of vacant housing could cost billions to eliminate at current pace >The report is available here... 
http://www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/media/document... 
(very large pdf) 
 
In the "Sourcing Documents" at the end it lists the Cuyahoga Land Bank Budget Resolution which is available here... 
http://cuyahogalandbank.org/documents/organization... 
 
On page nine of that document it budgets $1,000 per year maintenance cost for houses that are vacant and waiting for demolition. It budgets $3,000 per year maintenance for houses that are vacant and awaiting rehabilitation. These numbers are a far cry from the $27,000 per year shown in the Gaylord/Cleveland City Council report. 
 
I am unable to exactly duplicate the report's totals because some of their assumptions are unclear but I am able to come close. Using the same model and substituting $1,000 per year for the report's $27,000 per year, the report's $4.5 billion projected cost drops to about $265 million. 
 
This is still a substantial amount of money. Several commentators have questioned the $27,000 figure and I'm disappointed that this newspaper didn't question it before featuring it on the front page. 
 
Leila Atassi: Please respond to this comment so I know you read it. 

http://cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/09/clevelands_glut_of_vacant_hous.html/post/2012-09-27/1348785441-916-598.html

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Re: Cleveland's glut of vacant housing could cost billions to eliminate at current pace

"The new report on Cleveland’s vacant housing glut, which was prepared by consulting firm Gaylord LLC, will help the city make its case if those funds become available, Brancatelli said." 
 
Did the Leila Atassi ask the councilman for a copy of the report? Has the councilman or city council made the report available online or in printed form? I don't see where the consulting firm that created the report -- Gaylord LLC -- has any experience or expertise in preparing economic reports. Gaylord LLC " ... works with words, ideas, issues and people. We manage wide-ranging projects that shape powerful outcomes." They are a PR firm. An advocacy firm. Not a place that reasonable people would turn to for unbiased research and analysis of important problems and issues. 
 
On their home page Gaylord LLC says, "Change occurs when people are moved by the right story artfully told." $75 per day to manage an abandoned house is certainly a story. Artfully told? No. It's fancifully told. Incredibly told. Unbelievably told. 
 
Leila Atassi needs to do follow up interviews with Councilman Brancatelli and Becky Gaylord and report back to her readers. Soon. 

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When in doubt--make up the numbers!  Low ball it !!

 

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