Giglio, Frank - content about the demolition of his house in Tremont
Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
TREMONT SOCIAL CAPITAL
Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 12/07/2008 - 17:54.
This morning two of my friends and I bumped into Frank Giglio in front of his home on West 14th Street, in Tremont (Cleveland), Ohio. Mr. Giglio pulled up along the sidewalk in his car while we were walking by (with Tucker, the dog). Mr. Giglio had a cup of hot coffee balanced in his lap below the steering wheel, and through the open car window I could see the steam rising up out of the half consumed coffee cup as we spoke. I felt kind of bad realizing that any conversation we had was going to result in that second half of the Sunday morning coffee being cold.
And for sure, after our hour long discussion and property view, the coffee was stone cold.
SO WHO IS AT FAULT HERE?
On first impression, it strikes me that the situation between Mr. Giglio and the City of Cleveland is as they say, a “failure to communicate.” The failure to communicate has been brooding between the 24 year Tremont resident and the City for at least 10 years. Neither side has been able to pull themselves – or their counterparty - onto high ground, and that is a real shame.
At 2244 West 14th Street we have a very public, very visual, and very emotionally and civically damaging public fight between an individual citizen and the municipality in which that citizen owns property. Having just recently been made aware of the conflict, I don’t know all the ancient history between the parties. I’d bet that neither the municipality nor the property owner are blameless, and both have much to lose if the situation isn’t salvaged very quickly.
However, the losses at 2288 West 14th won’t be borne only by the City and Mr. Giglio.
The Tremont community, and the entire Cleveland community at large has a huge stake in the fight – the public are watching the fight and feeling each cut – and if the situation isn’t soon resolved in a manner which protects and preserves Mr. Giglio’s humanity – and from speaking with Mr. Giglio and reading his neatly penned hand written notes about his experiences with the authorities over the last 10 years - I can vouch that Mr. Giglio has a real heart and deep feelings about what is transpiring - then the public will also lose. And lose Big.
It is that public loss which I believe we all have standing (as a legal term) to address – because I feel that if demolition of the property proceeds, then we have allowed one citizen – who has not done anything much differently that many who own vacant properties in Cleveland – to be pushed face down into the dirt. There is a giant societal cost when a citizen’s ego is broken, or when a municipality knowingly, or unknowingly, uses very heavy handed and physically aggressive steps to force “conformance”.
For one thing, if this property is destroyed, has anyone asked where Mr. Giglio will live?
DESTRUCTION OF VALUABLE SOCIAL CAPITAL
When there is an impasse between our government officials and a member of our community our public intervention is obligatory.
I have just now emailed Ward 13 Councilman Joe Cimperman with an urgent request to meet and discuss the situation. If anyone in the Realneo audience has other suggestions which would help preserve the vital social capital which Mr. Giglio represents in our community, please let me know, or better yet, speak up yourself.
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