PD complicit in CRIME - like Russo-Dimora endorsements

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 09/07/2014 - 10:28.

Comments posted to Pass the $50 million dollar bond : PD Editorial 

Garry Kanter16 minutes ago
Mr. Evans asks me in the comments what the True cost of a demo is.
Based on a conversation I had today, without being asked, I was told the cost is $3,000 to $10,000 in one particular east side suburb. This is very reliable info, I was told.
So, where did the $10,000 come from, and how can that be reduced? Or, who is that extra 30% - 70% of the $50 MILLION going to?
Let me guess...
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WRH Bill
WRH Bill
1 hour ago
I frankly am not an expert on the pros and cons of using tax money to demolish vacant houses.  But my instinct regarding costly new government programs is "when in doubt vote no".  And the PD,s endorsement does absolutely nothing to dispel any doubt, given the PD,s knee-jerk "We Never Met a Tax (or government spending programs) we didn't like" position. Let's see facts and opinions on BOTH sides of this issue, and let's disregard the PD,s urging to rush rush rush into your putting taxpayers on the hook for another $50 million.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter8 hours ago
Let it be noted that Mr. Evans' "responses" are essentially unsubstantiated and false ad hominem attacks and Straw Man arguments.
He ignores the Washington Post and the NAACP LDF. Belittling of the work that #OpCuyahoga has put together, without actually challenging it.
Makes no mention of the status of the tax lien purchasers scams or of Safeguard Properties. Blindly defends the land bank and the CDCs.
Offers no support for he $50 MILLION in new taxes beyond the self serving words of the Thriving Communities "Institutes' " own employee.
Fails to recognize that the very laws Jim Rokakis and Gus Frangos have championed have been major factors in Cuyahoga County's foreclosure crisis.
Mr. Evans was a speaker at a recent Thriving Communities "Institute" event. Probably *not* because he's such a thorough investigator of their activities, and maybe because he was willing to accept their payment for his services.
Evans has clearly shown himself to be a hack. To the best of my abilities, I will not respond further to his postings on this worthless editorial.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter8 hours ago
One last post, as this screenshot was previously deleted.
The PD's actual investigative reporter (including the RAPE Kit series), Ms. Atassi apparently found merit in my concerns.
Although I never saw the PDs tax lien sales reporting. 
That Mr. Evans is blind to these issues reflects on him.
http://media.fyre.co/FCJ1N8fHShOwdgV4QBsD_Screenshot%20from%202014-09-07%2001:25:28.png
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Madeline
Madeline17 hours ago
Not that this is directly on topic, but why don't we do a HUGE "Habitat for Humanity" style reno on East Cleveland and move that city out of the blighted condition we have allowed it to fall into?
Get people to demo and build, pay them little or nothing for their labor and if they are otherwise good folks, then exchange that sweat for a home's title. Who would better protect a neighborhood than a bunch of people that built their own homes?
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter16 hours ago
Well, then, the wrong people would end up with the real estate, wouldn't they?
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter23 hours ago
Here's another organization that sees what is going on.
The mind reels at the magnitude of the takings, as well as by the silence by The Powers That Be in Cuyahoga County:
------------
From: Foreclosurepedia <coo [at] foreclosurepedia [dot] org>
To: 
Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2014 6:02 PM
Subject: Weekly Update From Foreclosurepedia for 08/30/2014
Cleveland Housing Court: Tracking The Homes
Foreclosurepedia has been working on an enormous expose of the behind-the-scenes movement of properties from low income, disenfranchised homeowners to non profit entities such as the Cuyahoga County Land Bank (CCLB) in Cleveland, Ohio. This has been a four month investigation which is finally beginning to produce results. Appointed as close to G-d as is possible terrestrially is a little known entity known as the Cleveland Housing Court (CHC) which is technically the Cleveland Municipal Court, Housing Division, Cuyahoga County. While Foreclosurepedia is currently reserving its opinion upon the situation as a whole, we are beginning to fully grasp and comprehend the scope and scale of what is taking place in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Foreclosurepedia spoke today with CHC to request the production of documents which detail the amount of properties which have been transferred from private home owners and corporations to CCLB. The sheer magnitude of tracking even basic information is so massive that CHC stated they would only be able to give a guestimate, for want of better words, as there is no infrastructure in play to track such information.
Without tipping my hand to the entirety of the series, understand the simple premise. Municipal and County government employees issue citations for issues pertaining to properties throughout Cuyahoga County. Wherein, these types of citations in most jurisdictions are fines, CHC has the ability to send people to jail by and through their implementation of their local legislation. What Foreclosurepedia has begun to do is:
Quantify the numbers, since inception, of CHC and CCLB materials;
Extrapolate these numbers on a Google Fusion Table;
Compile all CHC Docket Data — The Warrant – Capias Docket since inception is now over 100 Pages long;
Interview Homeowners whom have been through the CHC Process;
Interview Lawyers involved in the CHC Process; and
Determine whom the Stakeholders are with respect to CCLB and what the ROI is to Cuyahoga County Citizens
The sheer magnitude of this Project known as ‪#‎OpCuyahoga already takes up nearly 4 gigabytes of storage across two cloud servers. So, while this introduction to #OpCuyahoga is spartan, the Series we roll out will have ramifications Coast-to-Coast. In fact, critically acclaimed Hollywood Producer Patrick Lovell has agreed to take a look at our Findings when we officially present them. Lovell is best known for his first person account of the Foreclosure Crisis in Forward 13: Waking Up The American Dream. Lovell was additionally interviewed on MSNBC and founded Everyman SuperPAC.
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Madeline
Madeline19 hours ago
@Garry Kanter I cannot understand why none of those judges was not arrested for public corruption.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter You spin like a wheel, my friend. If you weigh the information objectively, the Housing Court has been pro-active in holding predatory flippers, banks and out of state mortgage lenders accountable. It is the city law department that has failed to follow through with arresting and prosecuting these parasites. 
As far as your ill-informed attack on the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, it is based on nothing more than your dislike of Gus Frangos. You have made specious attacks on his motivation without providing documentation.
 
#OpCuyahoga is a front for your personal agenda which seems to lack focus or purpose.
We understand that the process of stabilizing neighborhoods and property taxes in the wake of the foreclosure crisis is a work in progress. 
But the housing court, the land bank, Thriving Communities, Habitat for Humanity and a select group of city council members have worked hard to affect positive change.
Good luck with "acclaimed Hollywood Producer Patrick Lovell."
Who plays you in the movie? Patrick or SpongeBob SquarePants?  
 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter9 hours ago
Laugh at the Washington Post and the NAACP LDF all you want, funny guy.
I have no connection whatsoever with #OpCuyahoga. Are you disputing their claims?
If you would do your homework, instead of sitting on your keister, you might connect the dots. 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter23 hours ago
By the way, the entire editorial is based 100% on the suspect "analyis" performed by, and on behalf of, the primary beneficiaries of the $50 MILLION.
Well, that and the pointless list/admonishment of "gotta do's" included by Mr. Evans (SOP for PD editorials) that somehow never get included in the legislation, have any teeth, or make any difference any ways.
You can't make this stuff up. 
-------
There are 24,164 zombie properties currently festering throughout the county, according to number-cruncher Frank Ford, senior policy adviser at the nonprofit Thriving Communities Institute.
These vacant and abandoned residences are tax vampires, sucking $70.5 million out of local and county coffers, Ford estimated.
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Madeline
Madeline19 hours ago
@Garry Kanter What could POSSIBLY go wrong with this, then?
 
These Democrats must seriously believe most Cuyahoga County voters are mentally impaired.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter19 hours ago
The term "Democrats" when used in Cuyahoga County is often misplaced.
The Cleveland Growth Partnership is the local chapter of the conservative, business oriented US Chamber Of Commerce. President Joe Roman does such a good job he's the vice chair of some national sub-group.
They and their pals call the shots in this region. 
I hardly think the great personal wealth-builders Rokakis and Frangos would be "Democrats" in most other cities in Ohio. (I can't imagine billionaire sports team owners are "Democrats", but who knows?)
The Western Reserve Conservancy, parent of the Thriving Communities "Institute" supports fracking, selling land to frackers.
That the local Democratic politicians go along with these guys in lockstep shows how thoughtless they are.
This is the fundamental change needed in this region.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter17 hours ago
Oops, I meant Greater Cleveland partnership...
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter Well, yeah, the beneficiaries would argue for their share of the $50 million. How that taints them baffles me.
 
We are serious about the "gotta do's." 
 
"You can't make this stuff up" because it's true, Garry.
 
Let's see some documentation of the suspect analysis.
Or is that hidden in the nearly 4 gigabytes of storage across two cloud servers.
 
 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
Thanks to those of you who took the initiative to read the Washington Post link I posted, and for your thoughtful comments.
Sadly, that is more effort than the PD Editorial Board put forth before writing this grossly underinformed and biased editorial.
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Madeline
Madeline19 hours ago
@Garry Kanter I have not yet read the Post article, but i will.  Thanks for taking the time and energy to serve us all by speaking out so articulately about this, Gary.
 
 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter19 hours ago
I am humbled. Thank you.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter How is the editorial biased? We are asking the county to make good on FitzGerald's commitment of $50 million for strategic demolition of zombie properties.
 
You support tanking property values and annihilated neighborhoods?
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zmerno
zmerno1 day ago
Why does it cost $10,000 to tear down each property?  Where does that figure come from?  Is there a competitive bidding process?  Please provide more details.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter23 hours ago
Great question.
It would seem that there are *many* economies of scale available.
But by "establishing" $10,000 as "the cost", these economies will never be enjoyed by the taxpayers.
It's Business As Usual in Cuyahoga County, and the PD gang is banging the drum as fast as furiously as they can. 
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter What is your estimated cost of demo?
 
What factors determine the cost?
 
Your whining is annoying. Give us facts, figures, some clue you have any idea about what you're talking about.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter9 hours ago
How much were you paid to participate in that Thriving Communities "Institute" program moderated by Jim Rokakis?
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epig
epig1 day ago
Really?  More borrowing?  More debt?  You sound like John Kasich.
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Madeline
Madeline19 hours ago
@epig Come again?  In what way is Kasich a "More Taxes" kinda guy, IYO?
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
I especially love how this is described as a "bond issue" and not as a 10% or higher tax on income.  
 
I thought a 2% tax on the sales of cigarettes for Progressive Field was foolish.  THIS is ginormous, compared to that!
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solarian
solarian1 day ago
Not one more penny for the donkeys GOLDEN FAUCET!  How much of the 50 million TAX PAYER dollars will come back to donkey politicians and their hacks (select below}:
 
1. 10 Million
2. 20 Million
3. 30 Million
4. 40 Million
 
I select #3 but I am an optimist and I don't think they are greedy enough to go for the 40 Million.  
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
I think the way this ridiculous snow job is meant to work is this.  Most people's experience with paying property taxes is limited to their own homes.  They know, if they did not pay, the government would take their home.
 
Then the PD calls the abandoned properties around here "zombie houses", "crime scenes waiting to happen" and in general, creates an aura of fear and danger, meant to panic voters.
 
Then, when asked about why the bank which foreclosed should not pay, the PD does this "it's too complex you would not understand it" song and dance, and people are meant to give up in frustration.
 
Ask yourself, if you were owed money by a bank, would you be able to find them?  If they just refused to pay even though they clearly owed you the money, wouldn't you just hire a nice lawyer to drag them into court and make them pay?
 
These banks are no tin China.  They are in the US.  Please do not fall for this routine and PLEASE, remember to vote for Jack Schron, GOP for County Executive.
 
*End of rant*
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AspieJoe
AspieJoe1 day ago
The reason the government , not a bank, is "paying" because it was the government which forced banks to give the doomed loans to people who could not afford them, undermining stable bank lending standards which had worked quite well for everybody the previous 100 years.
I do concede that since it was the Federal government which fored the banks to lower lending standards, it is quite unfair that local government must pay for the demos.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@AspieJoe But this is not about the mortgages people took out.  That harm is already done.  This is about the taxes and other amounts due to this county by WHOEVER has title to that property.  If the land had no value because nuclear waste had been spilled on it, it would not matter,  The taxes abd fees would still be owed (although I will grant you, the title-holder could seek an assessment reviuew and have the value reduced in future.)
 
But whether we can tax this land in 2020 is not today's problem.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Madeline Zombie properties are real and they are crime scenes. 
Why the bank foreclosed on a property is not complex issue. The owners do not have the vig to pay the mortgage. Yes, the banks can track them down. But if they are broke -- job loss, under-employment, divorce , death -- the bank doesn't try to work out a financial arrangement that would keep the property occupied.
 
Instead, it evicts. And then it walks away. 
As the property loses value and gets cited for code violations, the bank lets the tax payers pick up the tab.
Great endorsement for Jack Schron, btw. 
 
 
 
 
 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
Here's the link to the Washington Post's investigation.
Christopher Evans can be as obtuse as he wants.
The facts are undeniable.
 
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ooohhya
ooohhya1 day ago
@Garry Kanter   Great article Gary. You would think the PD would have put this in the editorial, instead of softening us up for ANOTHER tax hike.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
The PD is part of the problem.
Facts oftentimes are disruptive to the narrative they want to share.
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BPGuy
BPGuy1 day ago
@Garry Kanter Excellent link Garry.   Im wondering, could the problem be solved by prohibiting the sale of the back taxes?   Want to make sure Im following this correctly.  
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@BPGuy @Garry Kanter The debt is transferable by the lender -- that would be Cuyahoga County, in this case.  If China wants to BUY all the unpaid taxes here and offers a reasonable proce, it is not illegal to make that deal.
 
OTOH, if we are owed money by Chase and they say well, we transferred  that debt to our subsidiary, go bug them, IN GENERAL we can just drag the subsidiary AND Chase into court and let them do their finger-pointing there.
 
You cannot defend against a debt by saying I "sold" the duty to pay. (In general.)
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BPGuy
BPGuy1 day ago
@Madeline well after reading the link Garry posted, I have come to the conclusion that someone needs to "foreclose" on Mr Schwarz....permanently.
 
This is where the Federal govt does need to step in and do its job....that being ensuring fair commerce (as scripted by the founders).  
 
 
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Madeline
Madeline19 hours ago
@BPGuy Uh, have you noticed we have a Democrat running the federal gov't ATM?  I agree with you 100%, but Obama has immunized the banks from further liability for their crimes.
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Madeline
Madeline19 hours ago
@BPGuy But not their debts as to property taxes, thank God.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter The facts tell us that there is a lack of oversight and prosecution of real estate predators.
 
That doesn't address the slow-death of neighborhoods. The $50 million bond helps stabilize some of those neighborhoods.
 
Stay on topic, Garry.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
Does anyone still remember the Savings and Loan Scandal or the Junk Bond one?  Remember Enron? 
 
How many times are we going to permit these banks, etc. to escape the financial consequences of a fraud because they are "just too rich to sue"?
 
PLEASE, vote for Jack Schron, GOP, for County Executive.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Madeline And what is Schron going to do to save our neighborhoods? He has been a zero as far as dealing with the foreclosure crisis, or any other issue of importance to Cuyahoga County. Seems like he just he enjoys scamming tax payers while pocketing their money.
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bayvillager
bayvillager1 day ago
We have Obama phones...let's have Obama homes
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
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pgcleve
pgcleve1 day ago
Its about time.  These houses need all new mechanicals, roofs, windows, etc.  They do not have enough room to house all the applicances now available for kitchens.  Wvwn the lots are too small because the streets are too close together.
 
This layout was ok 150 years ago, but not in 2014.  bull doze them all, take out half the streets, then let developers start over.  Do not waste this green field by letting politicians make decisions about the re-build.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@pgcleve I agree, Cleveland needs new minimum lot size zoning ordinances, but do suburbian cities?  Seems like this is a complaint to direct at Action Jackson and the City Hall Gang.
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NHS of Greater Cleveland
There is a huge pipeline of homes that are not recoverable, but can't we start holding responsible those that foreclose on the homes, leave them vacant and take no responsibility for their assets? Here's a bond that should be in place; a bond that is placed with the city by those doing the foreclosure. Foreclose on your asset and it is YOUR responsibility to maintain and/or demo, not the tax payer (can't make it retroactive, so the $50MM is needed, but let's stop us funding it there)
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@NHS of Greater Cleveland NOT RECOVERABLE?  Are there ANY banks in America that went out of business I have not heard about?
 
We bail them out and NOW we have to forgive this debt too?
 
The hell with that idea.  I am sick of being screwed by crooks.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Amen. 
Hold the banks and the Wall Street carpetbaggers responsible for annihilating our neighborhoods. They made millions playing us for suckers. 
Dettelbach, Kasich (a Lehman Brothers lackey), the next county executive and Jackson need to file suit against these cold-blooded predators. Their political complacency just shifts the burden to taxpayers.
 
It is an election year.
Demand candidates -- such as Renacci, Joyce, Gibbs and DeWine -- take legal and legislative action to put the suits in prison and pony up the money they stole.
 
 
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @Madeline @NHS of Greater Cleveland As if DeWine -- who is terrific -- has any hope of forcing a settlement after OBAMA's DOJ has given these banks immunity for their crimes.
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juliana sadock savino
@Madeline NHS is holding the lenders responsible.  I think you misread his comment.
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NEOSoothSayer
NEOSoothSayer1 day ago
Demos should be the last resort. We need more visionaries like Nicole Curtis the Rehab Addict. A lot of these homes can be saved.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@NEOSoothSayer 99% of the abandoned housing stock is unremarkable stick housing that is of no significant historical value.  
 
This city's "abandoned but still architecturally valuable" structures are predominately commercial, not residential.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@NEOSoothSayer Demo is the last resort. We are not talking about carpet-bombing neighborhoods. We are talking about strategic demo that saves the properties that can be saved. No one will buy a rehab across the street from a blighted residence.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @NEOSoothSayerWHY NOT?  There are streets you will not find even one occupied house, unless you count squatters.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Madeline @Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @NEOSoothSayer Please, let me know where those streets are. 
 
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
THIS again?  A bond issue is just another tax -- it is a debt this county's taxpayer will have to pay, with tax revenues, in the future.
 
WHy is taxing county residents even considered NOW when there has been ABSOLUTELY no effort to sue to collect the costs these abandoned homes create -- sue the banks who scammed us!
 
I think this is Fitzgerald's WORST idea, and that is sure saying something.
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john D.
john D.1 day ago
I work on the near west side.  I've said for 40 years, "What will become of these old dumps in time?"  Finally, my prediction of blight has finally come to pass.  Whole blocks need to be torn down, old streets removed, old streets need to be removed and LET'S START SECTIONS OVER, blocks and neighbors at a time.  It's the only way to renew CLEVELAND proper.  
 
Most of the houses go back to around 1910-1930.  What once was, is gone.  The 40' wide lots need to go and the county needs to help redevelop old neighborhoods.  There will never be 1 million people in Cleveland proper anymore.  Let's look at what Cleveland will look like in 2040 and beyond.
 
It's time to start over! 
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@john D. Well said. I live on the near West Side, and the success of Tremont, Ohio City, Gordon Square as well as East 4th Street and Euclid Avenue between Public Square and PlayhouseSquare is the result of redevelopment and re-imaging of what once was.
 
We need to embrace a fresh, progressive vision. One that will transform the city, block by block, without losing its character.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @john D. Well, I agree with you there.  This city also needs a Depave Program, and any area demolished should NEVER reuse a concrete or asphalt street surface on a side street.
 
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Hold On 90125
Hold On 901251 day ago
Hope and Change!
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Joel Skinner's Stop Sign
Why are all of these properties abandoned? Because people demand lower tax rates in other counties. The more this county borrows, the higher the tax rate will climb.
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BPGuy
BPGuy1 day ago
Chris, what is the interest rate on these bonds?   i do agree with many of the comments below, the way this county admin is spending money is concerning as is the way they county HHS is blowing thru dollars as well.  
 
Thus, very skeptical on anything the county has its hands in. 
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@BPGuy I don't know what the interest rate is. I do know that it is a concern -- as it should be -- of council members. They are also worried about long-term financial commitments to MetroHealth and the Justice Center.
 
You are right to be skeptical. But I believe -- once council has done its due diligence -- that it will agree that the $50 million bond is a wise investment in helping to stabilize neighborhoods and property values, and ensuring a positive future for the county.  
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @BPGuy WHAT DUE DILIGENCE?  How can you say that?  Did they just look to see if this bond issue COULD be floated?
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Madeline @Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @BPGuy  Damn, you're more cynical than I am.
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NRWM
NRWM1 day ago
How much of the ten grand estimate is actual labor and how much is 'administration' cost? I have seen a lot of city houses get wrecked. A few dump trucks with drivers and an excavator with operator get the job done in less than a day. The county has many employees totally capable to perform the work for far less than the ten thousand dollar estimate. Even if they had to hire a few people, the savings would be well worth it.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
It's a very profitable business, to be sure, and that $50 MILLION will be spent wisely with Friends and Family.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter Again, what is the source of your allegations? Do you have documentation of cronyism? 
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @Garry Kanter DiMora's name rings any bells, Chris?
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
Mr. Evans, you and I already had this phone conversation. Your allegiances are quite apparent.
You and your paper are knowingly ignoring documented activity with various people and organizations. 
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter Uh, you never provided any documentation, Garry. 
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
Schools with construction programs could learn a good deal and cut down on some of the costs.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Retired-Army That is another puzzler.  Cleveland has a shrinking population and many school buildings are being closed -- but yet it also has a school building initiative of some 10's of Millions of Dollars!
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
I apologize for commenting on this so much but, I get really worked up when the answer is always to throw money at it.
 
As I said previously, charged the land owner for the costs.  Use the gov't money to do some job skills training for some of those "able-bodied" welfare recipients.  Put them to work, teach them some skills, recycle some of the materials, and improve the local communities.
 
I strongly agree that fixing or demo'ng these blighted buildings will improve neighborhoods and increase property values but, there are so many other ways to do it....without just throwing money at it.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Retired-Army I think the idea of requiring the companies that demolish to use poor, minority workers is excellent.
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dallafatoria
dallafatoria1 day ago
@Madeline @Retired-Army ...if we could get these folks to show up and actually work would be the first challenge.  
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@dallafatoria @Madeline @Retired-Army Yanno, the unemployment rate for black young men in poverty in urban areas is 75%?  
 
To be included, a person has to be considered  "seeking employment now".  Not incarcerated, drawing an SSI check, etc. but actively looking.
 
I do not think anyone who has never lived in a ghetto has any idea how hard it is to get out., and I don't blame the average voter as the Democrats never tell the truth about what the Great Society's programs (welfare, etc.) have done to urban poor in this country.
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greygran
greygran1 day ago
I think the city would save money if they bought the demo equipment themselves and hired people on the city payroll to demolish the houses. How can it cost 30k to tear down a simple wooden house?  
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LeggoMyEggoYo
LeggoMyEggoYo1 day ago
@greygran it doesn't cost 30 it cost 10 (at least it should). 
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
@greygran Meanwhile, we are paying people to sit around and watch it all.  People that could use some skills and training.
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LeggoMyEggoYo
LeggoMyEggoYo1 day ago
@Retired-Army @greygran put the criminals to work.  Hard labor....
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
@LeggoMyEggoYo @Retired-Army @greygran Not all are criminals but, either way, my money being used for both welfare and the costs of demo
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LeggoMyEggoYo
LeggoMyEggoYo1 day ago
@Retired-Army Why can't they use criminals like they do to pick up trash on the side of the road?  I'm sure they would rather do some work then sit inside a cell, right? 
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
@LeggoMyEggoYo @Retired-Army Good point.  I've suggested that at my local village council meetings but the village lawyer expressed concerns about liability issues.  So, it was turned down.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@greygran NO.  The last thing this county government needs is to try and carry out a private, for-profit business function. They are INEPT at even the most basic government functions.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@greygran I like the idea of using prisoner labor; just not buying the heavy equipment.
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
Could "Habit for Humanity," or other such groups come in and remove anything re-usable?
 
Here, in Morgan County, we have a "United Ministries" that has a salvage facility.  It's a recycling center of sorts.  Building materials are offered at a minimal cost.  Many people cannot afford to go new so, this center makes affordable materials (windows, doors, bathtubs, sinks, tile, etc) available.  Revenues generated go into the United Ministries food bank, clothing closet, and other programs.
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greygran
greygran1 day ago
@Retired-Army The city of cleveland never figured out how to stop house strippers. they call it a victimless crime and super low priority.  pipes, ripped out, walls smashed for pipes or wires behind the plaster, on and on.  Habitat for humanity has a store full of junk on the west side. there are a few other places that have pulled wood flooring out of some houses. 
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@greygran @Retired-Army The way to stop this kind of despicable fraud is to VOTE REPUBLICAN.
 
Jack Schron, GOP, for County Executive.
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
This $50 MILLION is all part of the Land Bank, Jim Rokakis, Gus Frangos and The Thriving Communities Institute grabbing for out tax $ and properties
The Land Bank was supposed to be self sustaining - profit making, even.
Any such "analysis" is self serving and suspect.
These are not people with a track record of promises becoming reality.
They must be stopped in their tracks. Now. 
------------
There are 24,164 zombie properties currently festering throughout the county, according to number-cruncher Frank Ford, senior policy adviser at the nonprofit Thriving Communities Institute.
These vacant and abandoned residences are tax vampires, sucking $70.5 million out of local and county coffers, Ford estimated.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter What evidence do you have that the $50 million bond is a money grab? Council has yet to approve it. There are members who are skeptical. There will be public hearings. There is ample documentation of the need for strategic demolition. 
 
What do you think the county should do with its zombie properties?
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @Garry KanterBecause the $50 Million is owed to this county and you keep just insisting that having to go to Texas or wherever to collect it (if that would even be necessary) is "too much trouble".
 
 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
Mr. Evans, you and I already had this phone conversation. Your allegiances are quite apparent.
You and your paper are knowingly ignoring documented activity with various people and organizations.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Garry Kanter What documented activity? You have never provided any evidence to support your allegations.
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dallafatoria
dallafatoria1 day ago
@Garry Kanter   Right on!  Frangos and Rokakis are former Cleveland city councilmen.  They and their cronies were running the city during the grand exodus and the abandonment of houses and whole neighborhoods.  Now these guys are back in business with the Thriving Communities nonprofit continuing to fill their pockets.  
The reason that demolition is so costly is that several layers of government and the nonprofits will skim from the top of the pot.  
 
And don't talk about restoration or development for our still shrinking population.  Plant grass and trees.  Give the land back to nature.  Cleveland could have hundreds of acres of green space.  Small farms could be created in many parts of the city.  
 
 
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
Can't they add the cost of demolition to the property tax of said property?  After a year or so, property would go into default and be sold off at auction for unpaid taxes.  I agree this needs to be done to improve these communities but, why must the taxpayers always pay the freight?
 
I remember when Ft. Ord (Cal) wanted a bunch of barracks and other buildings removed, they put it out for bid.  The highest bidder would then be responsible for tearing down the building and removing the materials.  If it wasn't completed within specified time frame, the winning bidder was responsible was completion of the tasks, as it was his building.  Buildings not bid on were used for training military and local civilian fire fighters.  Win-win.
 
Why is "throwing money at it" always the answer?
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Retired-Army These properties have no value. They are vacant, they are abandoned, they are gutted, they are crimes scenes waiting to happen.
Strategic demolition isn't "throwing money at it." It is a smart tactic to revitalize comatose neighborhoods and cratered property values.
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @Retired-Army I agree.  My thing is that there are better ways of getting the job done.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Retired-Army @Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group Let your voice be heard.  Attend council meetings and speak out. Your ideas matter.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @Retired-ArmyTheir "value" or not is relevant; the BANKS still owe taxes and all the other fees just as they would if they stopped paying taxes on the Chase Bank Building downtown.
 
This is either deliberate "hide the pea" nonsense or else you have absolutely no idea how the law of real property works.
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@Madeline @Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @Retired-Army I'm totally in favor of the county forming a SWAT team that arrests all the bank executives and their lapdog lawyers who profited from the foreclosure crisis.
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NRWM
NRWM1 day ago
We pass a Health and Human Services levy and Metro Hospital hands out raises like water and goes on a building spree. The casino tax money is used for college scholarships for kindergarten kids and chandeliers. Now another levy so we can pay $10,000 each to demo a bunch of cracker boxes. This new county government is going to suck every last dollar out of us that they can. Taxin' Tim and Jimmy D look better every day.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@NRWM VOTE FOR JACK SCHRON FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
He's the Republican candidate -- wonderful man.  Turned a brownfield no one thought could ever be used into a thriving industrial area here, and he's a 28 year Army vet.
 
I know it's scarey, but this county has to GIVE up the "all Democrat, all the  time" nonsense or we are going to look like London after the litz.
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OHGuy
OHGuy1 day ago
The property is owned by someone, they are the ones that should be paying the $$$$$ to tear down..... 
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Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group
@OHGuy Excellent point. Problem is the owners of record are either banks that walked away from the property and consider Housing Court fines something the little people pay, or they are predatory, out-of-state flippers who hide behind shell companies. 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
Or the owners are the property tax foreclosure lien company that the county sells past due accounts to, or they are the chums of the land bank and various CDCs that have been given free and clear properties.
The PD, and Mr. Evans himself, are quite aware of these activities.
I'm not surprised to find out that Mr. Evans wrote this editorial, he recently spoke at a Thriving Communities "Institute"-sponsored event, moderated by Jim Rokakis, creator of the land bank and the property tax lien foreclosure sales.
Were you compensated for your participation, Mr. Evans?
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weezel
weezel1 day ago
@Garry Kanter yes , they are owned by someone. I am trying to get a vacant lot next to my property and it is being held by someone who does nothing with it. taxe still have not been paid to the county. scam.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@weezel @Garry Kanter Why is it not sold at a tax sale, weezel?
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Retired-Army
Retired-Army1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @OHGuy It's always easier to find excuses for NOT doing something, than to do something.
 
With all of the smart, successful people in the greater Cleveland area, surely a little brain storming could come up with something better than just throwing money at it.
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juliana sadock savino
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group How can a bank "walk away" from a property?  Once they've foreclosed, should it not be "you foreclosed it, you bought it?"  It seems to me, banks should be billed, and followed up on assiduously. 
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Garry Kanter
Garry Kanter1 day ago
Ms. Savino, we talked about this regarding the Sedlack property on Larchemere.
The land bank, Aeon - the tax lien foreclosures, Safeguard properties, and a whole bunch of CDCs (that prominently includes Slavik Village) pick and choose which properties have value after foreclosure.
They cherry-pick the best ones with no other liens, and allocate the spoils.
It's documented. It's still going on. Evans and the PD are being disingenuous.
The NAACP's LDF has asked the county to stop the tax lien sales.
There are other organizations - certainly not local law enforcement, legislators, or regulators, that are doing all they can to bring this to the public's attention.
Instead, we get Evans cheer leading this thing, as always, for Rokakis and friends.
Very sad.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @OHGuy WHY is that a problem?  Do you think a debt becomes invalid if the lender and the borrower are in two different states?
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@Christopher Evans, Northeast Ohio Media Group @OHGuy What on earth makes you believe a bank in this country can just walk away, and the county cannot collect that debt?  Banks are not some very special kind of debtor that the county cannot sue.
 
I just think this is preposterous.
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greygran
greygran1 day ago
@OHGuy These properties sit, and rack up the unpaid taxes and lawn mowing fees into the thousands of dollars, then sometimes, the property sells suddenly for a few hundred dollars w/o the taxes being paid, and the new owner, with a miraculously clean slate, also starts to rack up the taxes and lawn mowing fees. sometimes the houses sell in groups, like grab bags, a few hundred each, and untraceable buyers either hold on, racking up the taxes, or buy and sell within their group of pals playing the property game, or , they get a loan on all this fabulous cleveland property, which further encumbers and dooms the property.  Even the housing department is an unwitting (?) player in the game, giving out permits for work that will never be done, but the papers are hung on the houses just in time to forestall the demolition, then the house continues to sit, rot, rack up taxes, erase unpaid taxes, on and on.  Drive around, pick a house that looks like it should be torn down, try to figure out who and where the owner is. 
 
All this is happens after the houses are completely stripped.
 
The city through some process is now able to become the owner of the property.
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Madeline
Madeline1 day ago
@greygran No one is denying that, but this is due PRIMARILY to Cyahoga County area governments' unwillingness to enforce their own tax liens, etc.

 

 

Chris Evans is paid HACK - vote out this Cuyahoga Council

For those with a short memory - the Plain Dealer also endorsed Russo-Dimora and is now essentially endorsing Rokakis-Frangos to "PRUDENTLY" use 50 million dollars of your money.  

The push is on because there is the possibility that this current slate of rubber stamping Cuyahoga County Council reps will be voted out. 

Please make third-party tax lien sales and this bond issue a deciding factor in your vote.  

Tell your Cuyahoga County Council rep to vote NO on this bond issue and to put a stop to third-party tax liens.  Read the entirety of this PAID editorial endorsement by Northeast Ohio Media Group editor Chris Evans (who I believe is Canadian and not eligible to vote in Cuyahoga County).

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/09/pass_50_million_demo_bond_to_save_our_neighborhoods_editorial.html

County Council email addresses -credit to Dale Miller

Cut and paste and email Cuyahoga County Council - VOTE NO against issuing $50 million dollar bond THAT is paid off by TAXPAYERS:

ceconnally [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, dgreenspan [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, cgermana [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, 

jschron [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, pjones [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, ssimon [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, dbrady [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, 

damiller [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, mjgallagher [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, yconwell [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us, ahairston [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us

 

As a taxpayer, who lives and works in Cleveland, OH, I am asking everyone of you to respond to this email request.  Please let me know how you plan to vote on the request by County Executive Edward FitzGerald to issue bonds for the "Land Bank."  
 
I am staunchly opposed to the "Land Bank" - and feel it is morally irresponsible to continue to feed public monies to a quasi-governmental entity that has no taxpayer oversight.  
 
I am also dismayed that Cuyahoga County continues to allow the sale of third party tax liens to outfits like Aeon Financial - investigated by the Washington Post and by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Third party tax lien sales have resulted in the bulk of so-called "zombie" properties.
 
Please contact me for additional evidence to assist you in your decision on this major vote.
 
Sincerely,
 
Laura McShane
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I sent out above request this Sunday 9/7/2014 and received a reply on the same day - not happy with his response, but credit for his prompt reply.
 
 

Dear Ms. McShane,

 

I do not expect the demolition program to be run by the Land Bank.

We will accept applications for funding from the municipalities, who will carry out their demolition program, as presented in their applications and approved by Council.

I do expect that some municipalities will choose to obtain assistance from the  Land Bank in running their programs.

 

I do feel it fair that I should  say that I do not share your negative view of the Land  Bank.

While their quasi-governmental structure means that there should be additional oversight,  which I believe there will be, I think they have done good work.

 

Sincerely,

Dale Miller

County Council

Brian Cummins pimps the Land Bank

 BrianCummins

 

 

 

 

 


22 minutes ago

 
 


 

Coming in late to the conversation I can offer our Ward 14 Cleveland experience of the last seven years or so since the crisis hit and it helps to explain why these funds are so badly needed.  

We inventoried over 600 vacant and abandoned properties in 2010. In a four year period we tracked the worse condition properties and demolished over 320 structures.  At the same time we tracked structures in decent shape and were able to save more than 80 that were sold to vetted investors and more recently (last 2-3 years), we've been able to increase sales for those that own and occupy.

In the recent year after doing ongoing work on inventories, we have on record some 400 structures of which 70% or so will need to be demolished.  We continue to work on identifying properties for sale and rehab to include historic structures where we try to market to and attract people who are interested in historic rehabs - a rehab loan from the Cleveland Restoration Society can be had for as little as 1.4% for a 12 year term loan. 

In summary our work within one ward required $2.3 million in demolition funding ( a little higher than average due to a few costly commercial structure demolitions.* The 85 or so sale/rehabs represent a $3.7 million investment into the neighborhoods with an average purchase price of $7k purchase and $37k rehab investment.  To project our ward needs, based on our inventory we would require an additional $2 million and the funding issue is complicated by the cost of maintaining vacant lots, many of which can be sold for low cost amounts for yard-expansions but many that should be inventoried and planned for new construction once the market can support such re-investment.

Vacant abandoned structures have had a terrible impact on housing values.  Although much more should of and can be done to save and rehab homes, there is no question that there is still a great need for demolition funding.  Over the last 5 years the problems has continued to spread and impact the region's suburbs

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Here's one of those costly commercial demos he talks about above: 

http://realneo.us/content/brian-stark-stark-group-real-estate-radio-show-does-not-pay-property-taxes-gus-frangos-appea