Demos for developers (and friends of county officials)

Truly Appreciative.....for an attempted insult by James Rokakis

It amazes me how Mr. James Rokakis dares to have room to attempt to insult the citizens that demand transparency at 3am in the morning....because they "have no life" in his opinion....How truly disrespectful, contemptuous, and transparent of his indignant status as a public representative over the last 40 years.... Are you really trying to tell me that he has been an innocent participant in a corrupt regime over the last 40 years???? 


Look, he just had the foresight to lobby to initiate the LANDBANK STATUTES in the State of Ohio in preparation for his 2nd career as a Not For Profit Administrator reinventing the entire wheel of the REAL ESTATE INVESTING INDUSTRY with huge government kickbacks, grants, and gravy contracts in the Land Bank. He is far from stupid....he used the entire real estate market, housing industry, and political position to put himself into a huge power position in collaboration with all those 2020 Master Plans for the City and County......


Hey Mr. Rokakis-----the crazy citizens of northeast Ohio with "no life" have EVERY RIGHT to challenge your plans, your execution, and your are a public servant---even now in the NFP/NGO world... Your paycheck comes from taxpayer dollars----DO NOT FORGET THAT!!!! They have EVERY RIGHT under the constitution to challenge your COLLUSIVE, CONDENSCENDING, CORRUPT actions that violate their lives. Every decision you have made has not been on the up and up---and every decision has not resulted in a better community---so don't dare stand on your pedastal and think you are BETTER THAN ANYONE.... You are a jerk who used the citizens of this community to your own benefit. Why weren't you standing up against the other indicted folks through all those years of abusive practices? Huh????? Dahhhhhh????? Do you think the public is that ignorant and undeserving of questioning your behind in forums, in blogs, and or directly? 


Your actions at large contributed to the ultimate demise of our neighborhoods, of our communities, and of our city; and then our county. You are a joke who pretends to be squeeky clean while your cohorts took all the citizens of NEO for a ride on their gravy train of inflated appraisals, inflated fiscal budgets, and inflated egos..... You are no different than anyone. Most significantly---your demeanor in this forum is the ultimate reflection of your abusive attitude towards the people who gave you all that power!!! 


I hope you found time at 3am to read this blog you weasel. May God Bless You with the same wrath you portrayed upon your constituents.... and may you find that your lack of humility, lack of humble respect, and your genuinely rude nature are all reflections of your own ugliness.... You are just too lucky that your connections are up there in that Federal District Court and that your connections are helping to protect your sorry ass from the same prosecution as the rest of your "Buddies!" are NO BETTER THAN RUSSO & DIMORA and the rest of the mother flower corrupt folks who are being filtered out of our local government. Go home and retire and live a long life reflecting on your tragic existence! Drive through the neighborhoods you helped annihilate and tell the families of the people you helped abuse just how sorry you are for failing them. Your work has been implosive to our community....and to think you are now trying to be acclaimed nationally for this "Land Bank" idea?????? 



Seriously???? You helped devour industries! You helped to drive away jobs! You helped to drive out small businesses. You helped to violate citizens with the entire community development block grant industry and cdc's. You played all these years and you drove the City Housing court Industry... now you are driving the Land Bank industry and when people question the unethical practices of overpaid administrators to include yourself---you attempt to insult them and RETALIATE with your powers that be?????? Seriously??? 







Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"


Cummins saved house across from his house-not commercial prop

Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 18:59.(originally published date)

Thank you Councilman (Brian) Cummins for saving the house across the street from your home from senseless destruction.  Thank you for reacting when you saw the bulldozer and crane pull up to tear down a PERFECTLY sound home (no violations) slated for demolition (without a condemnation).

Thank you for what ever you did to pry the property out of the Land Bank--it's a shame that it was already stripped by the demolition crew given the contract to demo the place (it was NOT on the City of Cleveland demo list).  But, thank you--for lining up a decent family-owned CLE based company to restore and rent/sell the home in our neighborhood.

Don't you think it is time you blew the whistle on the "Land Bank?"  How many homes can you run out and save?  We know that Chestnutdale and Delmar are slated for, what's the "PLAN"?

(You can dress up the mob...but it is still the MOB)


More of the cover up by the PD here:

The land bank, which is funded largely by federal grants and by penalties and interest on unpaid real estate taxes, receives about 110 properties a month. It has demolished more than 1,400 houses since its inception and expects to raze 1,000 more this year, thanks to an $8 million infusion from a nationwide settlement with mortgage lenders, earmarked for demolition in the aftermath of the foreclosure epidemic.

See earlier story


4.5 Billion dollars and counting...into the pocket of mobsters...


The report is available here... 
(very large pdf) 
In the "Sourcing Documents" at the end it lists the Cuyahoga Land Bank Budget Resolution which is available here... 
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. 
); padding: 0px 0px 4px 21px; background-position: 0px 4px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">OverTaxedUnderPaid likes this.
· Reply ·  · Flag



What a load of crap that "special report" has put out. $75 a day per house per day -- to do what? “The report’s $4.5 billion projection is based on the city’s estimate that sustaining a vacant house costs an average of $75 a day. That amounts to about $27,000 a year and $540,000 over two decades per house.” I think we should look more closely at how much we paid for that report. Talk about "new math." I would choose a different four letter word for it! 


If the Cleveland police would start protecting houses from the local vandals, then property owners wouldn't have to start renovation projects 2 and 3 times having had their materials stolen and the interior of the houses destroyed. What really happens is that a buyer purchases a nice little house that needs a bunch of work but not so much that doing that work would make it totally unprofitable for her. After all, would YOU want to take your hard earned money and dump it down some sinkhole all in an effort to provide a nice, newly renovated home for a Cleveland family? Heck no! Well neither do investors, most of whom are fellow Ohioans and Cleveland residents themselves. But with theft and huge taxes it becomes impossible and unfeasible to repair that house without losing lots of money. You try anyway, but eventually you have been beaten up too much and you’re FORCED to walk away from your dream of creating a new home for someone, something you can be proud of. Then city officials come along and as always they try to dump the blame on the mysterious out of state Evil Investor (which are in the minority) for causing this problem. Don't be fooled: Here's what has been causing the problem: Your taxes are too darn high and your crime is high and your leadership has been weak for decades -- that's why you've got these problems! Threatening to put people in jail is the dumbest idea I've ever heard and will never solve your problem, "judge" Pianta. And painting investors as evil avoids who is really to blame, thus never solving the problem.  

By hiking the numbers on this consultant’s report, you give local and state officials a pass for fixing the problem. Can you imagine that it costs you $540,000 over two decades to take care of your own house? Then why should you think it takes that much money for these other houses? Stop and use your mind, reporter! Ask questions – that’s what you’re there for. And get real, Cleveland. You need someone like Rudy Giuliani who came in and cleaned up New York City (a much bigger mess at the time than you have) not by making things harder and chasing well-meaning investors away, but by working with everyone involved to get the job done. That should be your goal. Doing the same things again and again don’t work – they’re the sign of an insane city run amok.  

Ohioans should be smarter than this! 


I guess Councilman Cummins is willing the challenge the Land Bank when it threatens the house across from his own home - but not so much - when it threatens to derail demos for developers....


Update today - 3114 Chestnutdale ...on my way to work three males were using a pry bar to enter the house - and there was an unmarked white van parked on the street.  I called the police and reported.  On way home during lunch, I asked a senior resident what was going on - he said police did come by and determined that the men were "legitimately" fumigating the house.  I called Councilman Cummins and he said that he believed the house was slated for demo.  The workers were at the house from 10-4 and removed several bags marked Hazmat - loaded into van with license PHY1500 - I received this information from a resident on the street on my way home from work.  So the question that comes to mind - who is paying for this and will it be reflected on existing tax lien:

General Information Transfer History Certified Values Land Record Residential Building Taxes Search Options
PRIMARY OWNER Navarro, Raul H.  
SECONDARY OWNER Navarro, Beatriz
PROPERTY ADDRESS 3114 Chestnutdale AVE, Cleveland, OH 44109

2012 (pay in 2013) TAXBILL SUMMARY

PARCEL NUMBER 015-20-118 TAXSET    Cleveland TAX YEAR     
2002 (pay in 2003)
2003 (pay in 2004)
2004 (pay in 2005)
2005 (pay in 2006)
2006 (pay in 2007)
2007 (pay in 2008)
2008 (pay in 2009)
2009 (pay in 2010)
2010 (pay in 2011)
2011 (pay in 2012)
2012 (pay in 2013)
2013 (pay in 2014)
LAND VALUE 2,910.00     LAND VALUE 8,300.00     2.5% RED.    N
TOTAL VALUE 10,790.00     TOTAL VALUE 30,800.00     FORECLOSURE    Y
        CERT. SOLD    N
GROSS TAX 634.45     FULL RATE 117.6    
LESS 920 RED 151.99     920 RED. RATE .239555    
SUB TOTAL 482.46     EFFECTIVE RATE 89.428386 ESCROW  
10% RED. AMOUNT 48.25         ESCROW    N
2.5% RED. AMOUNT 0.00         PMT. AMOUNT 0.00
TOTAL ASSESSMENTS 238.36            
HALF YEAR NET TAXES 672.57            
TAX BALANCE SUMMARY: 6,780.75 0.00 6,780.75  
2012 (pay in 2013) CHARGE AND PAYMENT DETAIL Tax Information is up to the hour - tell me more.
Cleveland Prior year penalty - 2011 129.89 0.00 129.89
  Prior year penalty - 2009 128.65 0.00 128.65
  Prior year penalty - 2010 129.67 0.00 129.67
  Prior year August interest - 2012 216.37 0.00 216.37
  Prior year penalty - 2008 44.39 0.00 44.39
  Prior year interest - 2011 111.03 0.00 111.03
  Prior year interest - 2010 172.41 0.00 172.41
  Prior year tax - 2009 830.02 0.00 830.02
  Prior year tax - 2010 836.58 0.00 836.58
  December interest - 2012 155.58 0.00 155.58
  Prior year tax - 2011 838.02 0.00 838.02
  Prior year tax - 2008 443.89 0.00 443.89
  Prior year interest - 2009 8.14 0.00 8.14
  DELQ BALANCE 4,044.64 0.00 4,044.64
  1st half penalty 43.42 0.00 43.42
  1st half tax 434.21 0.00 434.21
  1ST HALF BALANCE 477.63 0.00 477.63
  2nd half penalty 91.18 0.00 91.18
  2nd half tax 434.21 0.00 434.21
  2ND HALF BALANCE 525.39 0.00 525.39
M221020H-BOARD UP 1st half penalty 23.60 0.00 23.60
  1st half SPA fee penalty 0.24 0.00 0.24
  1st half SPA fee 2.36 0.00 2.36
  1st half tax 236.00 0.00 236.00
  1ST HALF BALANCE 262.20 0.00 262.20
  2nd half penalty 49.56 0.00 49.56
  2nd half SPA fee penalty 0.50 0.00 0.50
  2nd half SPA fee 2.36 0.00 2.36
  2nd half tax 236.00 0.00 236.00
  2ND HALF BALANCE 288.42 0.00 288.42
M221020G-BOARD UP Prior year penalty - 2011 58.44 0.00 58.44
  Prior year SPA fee - 2011 3.78 0.00 3.78
  December SPA fee interest - 2012 0.17 0.00 0.17
  December interest - 2012 17.42 0.00 17.42
  Prior year tax - 2011 377.00 0.00 377.00
  Prior year SPA fee penalty - 2011 0.59 0.00 0.59
  DELQ BALANCE 457.40 0.00 457.40
M119348C-GRASS CUTTING Prior year penalty - 2008 8.68 0.00 8.68
  Prior year SPA fee - 2008 0.87 0.00 0.87
  Prior year SPA fee interest - 2009 0.01 0.00 0.01
  Prior year SPA fee interest - 2010 0.02 0.00 0.02
  Prior year SPA fee interest - 2011 0.01 0.00 0.01
  Prior year SPA fee penalty - 2008 0.09 0.00 0.09
  December SPA fee interest - 2012 0.03 0.00 0.03
  Prior year August interest - 2012 9.21 0.00 9.21
  Prior year Aug SPA fee int - 2012 0.08 0.00 0.08
  Prior year interest - 2010 13.25 0.00 13.25
  Prior year interest - 2009 1.59 0.00 1.59
  Prior year interest - 2011 4.85 0.00 4.85
  Prior year tax - 2008 86.80 0.00 86.80
  December interest - 2012 4.97 0.00 4.97
  DELQ BALANCE 130.46 0.00 130.46
C170100B-NEORSD Prior year penalty - 2008 39.98 0.00 39.98
  Prior year August interest - 2012 42.36 0.00 42.36
  Prior year interest - 2011 22.00 0.00 22.00
  Prior year interest - 2010 60.33 0.00 60.33
  Prior year interest - 2009 7.33 0.00 7.33
  Prior year tax - 2008 399.75 0.00 399.75
  December interest - 2012 22.86 0.00 22.86
  DELQ BALANCE 594.61 0.00 594.61
TOTAL BALANCE   6,780.75 0.00 6,780.75



Also note property adjacent to 3114 is in the City of Cleveland Land Reutilization Bank - earlier this year property at 3132 Chestnutdale was demo'd - with balance that on auditors site that does not reflect the demo of 8,907.87

PROPERTY ADDRESS 3132 Chestnutdale AVE, Cleveland, OH 44109



Leila Atassi, The Plain Dealer

Thank you for your comment, rovingbroker. Your instincts are correct. City officials are now saying that the $4.5 billion figure includes costs such as lost tax revenue -- even though the published report specifically excludes those costs from its calculation. I'm working on a follow-up story right now. Look for it in tomorrow's Plain Dealer and online.  



I have SMELLED the future


The Collinwood digester can accept human waste and could be expanded to process solid food. But Forest City chose to start with food-related liquids, on a closed-loop system designed to prevent odors and outrage in a city neighborhood.

Update: Women candidates attack CLE cronyism


Thank you Scene author Sam Allard for this coverage:

Taking On the Man 

Four Women Vying for Seats on a Male-Dominated Cleveland City Council

Comments posted:

Shalira Taylor who is running for Ward 12 in Cleveland got snubbed again.

Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 10/25/2017 at 4:54 PM

Thank you Joe for mentioning Shalira Taylor. She is running against incumbent Anthony Brancatelli, who should be under investigation for this connection to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. Thank you, Scene - for highlighting these great women. It is also worth noting that Mariah Crenshaw, Therese Poherence and other women, like me disgusted with the status quo - are spearheading the effort to term limit these machine politicians like Frank Jackson , Matt Zone and Kevin Kelley. Every incumbent in Cleveland deserves to be retired at this point. Residents are fed up.

Posted by lmcshane on 10/25/2017 at 7:45 PM

Posted by Lynn on 10/25/2017 at 8:14 PM

So you're saying The Scene didn't reach out to her as they noted in the story? And you know this for a fact how ? I'm just curious

Posted by lmcshane on 10/26/2017 at 9:06 AM
I would think that the Scene author Sam Allard would have noted an attempt to connect with Shalira Taylor, if the effort was made by the Scene. He is usually thorough about things like that. I frankly think that a lot of our local media give anyone associated with the Land Bank a free pass. It is the most corrupt outfit in town, run by Gus Frangos (and shadow player Jim Rokakis) - two guys who should be locked up for what they have down to destroy community in this town - first by selling tax liens that disproportionately left African-American families homeless, then playing fast and loose with tax appraisals and looking the other way on the so-called "Dirty Dozen" and more special friends w/tax delinquencies over 100K, now witing out debt and demo'ing strategic areas of the city like East Cleveland to be stockpiled. NOTE: Scene magazine was one of the only publications to call out the Cuyahoga County Land Bank for their involvement w/the toxic Noble Rd dump in East Cleveland. Joe Pagonakis recently covered a story on the illegal dumping by City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County along Big Creek in the Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood. The mob connections to these demolition contractors have everyone looking the other way - but this racket has it's roots in the City Council days of Rokakis and Frangos, when Frangos discovered arson and demos were big money in Tremont and he legislated the first foray into "land banking," with the City of Cleveland's "land bank."

Eye on OHIO exposes racism and nepotism at Cuyahoga Land Bank


In Cuyahoga County, out of all properties behind on taxes in 2018, 2019, and/or 2020, a total of 2,793 went through government foreclosure or ended up in the land bank through gift or foreclosure (counting combined parcels together) through September 2021. 

Those land bank properties owed a median 79.0% of lot value, coming in way above the median for all tax delinquent properties, at 3.3%. They owed an average of $22,327, far higher than the $9,774 average for all delinquent properties. 

Yet officials didn’t just pick the most decrepit to remediate. Of the top 2,793 properties by amount and percentage of taxes owed, few ended up in the land bank. 

Whole categories were excluded, including trailers, even though trailers were one of the top residences behind on property taxes.

In absolute numbers, parcels going to the land bank in African-American neighborhoods far outnumbered those in school districts where most students are white: just 72 properties in majority-white school districts, compared to 2,721 in districts of color. 



Happened to catch a few minutes of this before I had to turn it off...

WEWS-- don't add to the camouflage...real solution?!

See below:





and make them open to the public for purchase and rehab.....revitalize the real estate investors community of Greater Cleveland and stop abusing the public at large with this mass land grab and abusive practices with not for profit funding allocations that only pay for old guard politicians....

put these properties back on the shopping block for public participation at large!!!!



Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

Some astute media folk realize that this has been the rise of a Winner take all mentality--land bank legislation allows the richest of the rich to write off debt:

Moyers & Company 101: On Winner Take All Politics from on Vimeo.

The first episode of "Moyers & Company", originally broadcast on Friday, January 13, 2012. Bill Moyers explores how America's vast inequality didn't just happen, it's been politically engineered

And, of course, not pay taxes.

CABOR only NOW gets it...?

The Cleveland Area Board of Realtors (CABOR) is in support of House Bill 390, which will help protect vacant homes in communities across Cuyahoga County and the entire State of Ohio.

If signed into law, H.B. 390 would prohibit scrap metal dealers from purchasing or receiving copper plumbing pipe from any person other than a licensed plumber.

Rubin and Panzica = Villa Hispana $$$

See how these "developers" use public monies--your $$$-- to make money...

University Circle Inc. is giving the companies a year to secure tenants and funding. Rubin said the developers will contribute $30 million to the deal, while seeking out public and private financing. It's likely that Intesa would require tax-increment financing, an arrangement that uses anticipated growth in property-tax revenues from a project to pay for construction.


Brooklyn Centre has seen its share of this "development" funded by Tax Incremental Financing...

Metrohealth figures into the equation taxpayers < developers.


The_Puppeteer March 06, 2012 at 10:48AM


Here is key passage to understand why this might happen:

"University Circle Inc. is giving the companies a year to secure tenants and funding. Rubin said the developers will contribute $30 million to the deal, while seeking out public and private financing. It's likely that Intesa would require tax-increment financing, an arrangement that uses anticipated growth in property-tax revenues from a project to pay for construction.

Of course, read between the lines and you see that it is the taxpayer that is primarily on the hook for the risk of this development. Public financing is the responsibility of taxpayer and "tax increment financing" is another way to say that the building will pay no property tax and use to the money to pay the debt that will be used to build. Seems like the developers will have around $30 million of their capital at risk and no doubt have the least risk of all as they will get paid first and everyone else behind them.

As to costs, public must pay for another RTA station in a city with declining population.

This is another Field of Dreams develoopment: build it and they will come. Where exactly are all these new jobs and people going to come from? Most likely from other parts of the city. Cleveland/Ohio are not attractive places to start a business.

This is great news as long as the public is not the one taking the majority of the risk. This being Cleveland, you can bet that the public IS the one taking all the risks while developer takes minimal risk. This is the Cleveland way: build and they WILL NOT COME. See Gateway, Browns stadium, soon to be complete Covention Center, etc."





Updated from Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 20:11.

MEANWHILE-Coral Group's Peter Rubin claims hardship on the condition of Brooklyn Plaza - a project that was brokered....drum roll... by the councilman at the time, Jim Rokakis... meanwhile, current councilman is using the same playbook to set up a deal with Stark Enterprises for the fake "Villa Hispana" proposed to go in Ariel Castro's neck of the woods.  Why???!!!

Here's letter sent by Rubin to a local resident dismayed over the conditions at Rubin Coral Group Plaza -cue violins:

there are circumstances beyond our control that prevent us from completing all of the improvements to brooklyn centre that we would like to. we have no choice but to operate in a market that changes with national economic conditions and local market forces. from the recession, to the opening of competition, to the compression of rents throughout the industry, we have suffered a loss in value of at brooklyn centre of over 50%. we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of brooklyn centre and, despite the investment, we’re challenged to attract quality retailers willing to pay rents sufficient to cover our operating costs. we recognize that this is not an attractive story, however, we continue to pursue opportunites to improve conditions. 

we’re making every effort we can to address the needs of brooklyn centre and parking lot repairs are currently underway. we’re aware of the community’s worries about brooklyn centre and, of course, you’re welcome to undertake a petition drive. but a petition drive is not going to change the financial and market conditions we battle every day. 

not sure what your comment about shaker square is intended to suggest. we commit the same effort, passion, and investment to all of our properties. 

if you or others in the community would like to meet or talk with us about brooklyn centre, we’re happy and available to do so. 

peter rubin 

peter rubin 

the coral company 

13219 shaker square 

cleveland ohio 44120 

216.932.8822 x222 

plr [at] thecoralcompany [dot] com 

DEMOS, ALEC and Land Bank legislation

The question is why the deliberate crafting of legislation to keep the Land Banks in Ohio from being under the control of voters? "A CLRC is created pursuant to the provisions of R.C. 1724 and is, in effect, a different class of Community Improvement Corporation (CIC); the legal status and rules that govern CLRCs and CICs are largely the same. The CLRC functions as a typical non-profit corporation and is organized as an independent legal entity separate and apart from the local government. The CLRC is also subject to the requirements of R.C. 1701, the chapter that governs non-profits." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Wow--no surprise.  Land Bank legislation was introduced by ALEC-Senator William Seitz.  See the Bill Moyers special.


Some astute media folk realize that this has been the rise of a Winner take all mentality--
Land bank legislation allows the richest of the rich to write off debt:


Moyers & Company 101: On Winner Take All Politics from on Vimeo.

The first episode of "Moyers & Company", originally broadcast on Friday, January 13, 2012. Bill Moyers explores how America's vast inequality didn't just happen, it's been politically engineered


And, this,  of course, means NOT paying taxes.

Update 2/2014 - from Lily Miller: I spoke to a demolition contractor who was demolishing a property on Lorain Avenue a couple months ago. He told me the average demolition price charged by demo companies was $7,000. This demo company has ties to the Frangos family, so his company gets lots of contracts. I am positive his company will get a nice chunk of the 83 MILLION. Why does the county use the $10,000 figure????

Feb 11, 2014
Council to open Community Development Block Grant hearings with presentation on the impact demolition has on Cleveland neighborhoods

Study finds demolition leads to reduced foreclosures, stabilizes real estate values, and lessens tax delinquencies; recommends state and county bonds to meet funding need for demolitions

Cleveland (Feb. 11, 2014) – Cleveland needs $83 million to demolish 8,300 identified distressed properties in an effort to stabilize neighborhood real estate values and reduce the number of foreclosures still plaguing the city.

Estimating the Effect of Demolishing Distressed Structures in Cleveland, Ohio 2009-2013, a report prepared by Griswald Consulting Group, will be the focus of the opening presentation of the 2014 Cleveland City Council Community Development Block Grant Hearings on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 9 a.m.

The study, which analyzes demolition data from 2009-2013, presents three beneficial community outcomes of demolition of vacant and distressed properties – and the need for additional funding. The study finds a policy of demolition:
• Stabilizes and increases real estate values for surrounding properties and neighborhoods
• Decreases the rate of foreclosures in neighborhoods
• Lessens tax delinquencies

To date, the city of Cleveland has spent $58 million combating the vast number of vacant and distressed properties across the city. 

“We’ve identified 8,300 distressed structures in Cleveland to come down at a price tag of $83 million,” said Cleveland City Councilman Tony Brancatelli. “We believe the study is important in demonstrating the positive impacts of a large demolition investment in the city. And the time is now to secure funding and bring these properties down before further financial damages impact our neighborhoods.”

The study, originally prepared for the U.S. Treasury in seeking use of HHF dollars for demolition, will generate $15 million in support, but comes with limitations. The entity must have title and the dollars can only be used by the County Land Bank. The city needs immediate funding so it can address the vast properties listed for demolition.

While the $15 million from the U.S. Treasury will help, much more funding is needed to take down distressed properties, and raises the question of the State of Ohio and/or Cuyahoga County issuing bonds to cover the estimated $83 million cost in a timely manner to aid Cleveland in its economic recovery.

“The time is now to secure funding so we can stabilize our communities,” said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. “We must strategically work to demolish those properties which pose a threat to our community and rehab others to retain our diverse and historic housing stock. By doing so, we can improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and attract new residents to Cleveland.”

The study and its findings will be presented to Cleveland City Council by Jim Rokakis, executive director, Thriving Communities Institute; Nigel Griswald, Griswald Consulting Group; Gus Frangos, president and general counsel, Cuyahoga Land Bank; Michael Schramm, director of IT and research, Cuyahoga Land Bank; and Frank Ford, senior policy advisor, Thriving Communities Institute. The presenters will discuss the need for demolition, the context for the study, and outline potential funding sources to aid the city in removing the 8,300 identified structures in distress.



Does the FBI care about these violations?

Ongoing saga...reported repetitively and found to be destructive to our community at large.


Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

East Cleveland A-bomb c /oRokakis Frangos

More sick propaganda out of WKYC (the folks who sold voters on school levy)- this time priming "black" voters to support Jim Rokakis in his bid for County Executive as some savior of the inner city.  Disgusting:


The fraud that is the Land Bank - has to be exposed. Folks- Frank Jackson is a puppet and the CLE council under Martin Sweeney - continues to exploit federal monies where ever and when ever they can. The center can not hold and the way tax dollars are exploited is undermining suburbs too -

); background-position: 50% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;" />
Cuyahoga County Land Bank President Gus Frangos CON ARTIST falsifies documents to obtain a 2nd...

Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis wants the county's budget director fired for producing an analysis that shows Rokakis' land bank initiative could cost county taxpayers millions of dollars
  • Laura McShane Does the Sweeney slush fund figure into who gets their liens passed over??? Why is Gentile targeted and not Sam Khaleq??
  • Laura McShane Don't forget Frank Jackson's last mayoral campaign manager was Sabra Scott Pierce and the Forlani Tax Incremental Financing package on the VA headquarters whose manager was recently indicted

    Last week, a federal grand jury indicted William Montague, 61, of Brecksville on...See More
  • Laura McShane I hope Eric Jonathan Brewer plans a story as evidently Land Bank has transferred a number of East Cleveland properties to a non-taxable charity....for holding purposes...kind of like the YMCA property here in old Brooklyn Township....

    At the Southwest Citizens Area Council of Ward 3, residents asked questions of t...See More
  • Lily Miller The land bank wipes out delinquent property taxes for all property in the land bank. The new owner will get a 'fresh' new deed with no delinquent property taxes owed. For example, parcel # 11112025 Delinquent taxes owed $ 10,719.77. Transferred to the county land bank for a thorough tax cleaning and then transferred to Cleveland Land Bank. Taxes owed now $0

    All taxes wiped out. The land bank pays no taxes on the property in which they hoard. The land bank's president pays no property taxes on his shell property- although his six figure salary is paid by the collection of delinquent property taxes. There is a major loss of property tax revenue by forgiving the delinquent property taxes and then hoarding the property while paying no property taxes. The land bank is funded by delinquent property taxes and they are destroying the tax base for Cuyahoga.
  • Lily Miller Cleveland Bricks LLC - the top beneficiary of land bank property - Tax WIPE OUT. parcel # 01623175. Delinquent property taxes owed $6446.85. Transferred to land bank for a thorough tax cleaning. Taxes owed $0. Transferred to Detroit Shoreway. Sold to Cleveland Bricks for $1000.
  • Lily Miller Laura McShane Land Bank ' title cleansing ' Another important feature of the new law is that it provides a “title cleaning” mechanism for all properties that a CLRC acquires. For instance, the Land Bank Bill adds a title-clearing mechanism to tax foreclosures.57 It also changes the procedures for transferring title to properties when the taxes owed exceed the property’s fair market value.




    *double post

    CLE the "next Brooklyn" campaign...FC Safeguard Land Bank ALEC

    How can ANYONE not see the need for massive federal investigation?


    It's pretty obvious why Frangos and Rokakis get a pass...and liberal New Yorker even works the spin for Forest City's Master Plan:

    President Obama should stress the necessity of shared sacrifice, and push the state of Michigan to take on more of the city’s fiscal responsibilities, perhaps by offering it more federal aid. Once all the parties come to an agreement, the federal government could also help with the tasks of downsizing and of rebuilding roads and schools, and taking other measures to attract businesses and families. Congressional Republicans will almost certainly refuse to coöperate, in which case the Administration could pursue means to use existing budget sources, the way it—and the Bush Administration—used tarp funds to finance the auto bailout.

    That's right - ask for more federal money!!! Accelerate poverty for more poverty and more debt ! Profiteering using Other People's Money (your money - suckers=taxpayers)


    Cleveland Schools - are part of the predation - public monies are fair game for this mentality of "Winner Take All" : 


    Teach for America is backed by right-wing interests that have bankrolled the conservative push to privatize and dismantle public education in America. The Walton Family Foundation has been involved in promoting the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC's) education agenda, and it sponsored one of the ALEC Annual Conferences that GOP legislators attend. Teach for America also receives funding from the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, which also funds the Kipp Foundation, a massive charter school network. (PR Watch)


    School board will decide on revised master plan and bond renewal
    Eleven more school cluster hearings will be held in city neighborhoods, with the last one scheduled for June 19th. District official Zohn says all the public input will be considered and the administration will then present the revised master plan to the school board at its June 24th meeting.

    “And as a resolution asking the board to pass a new master plan, and if the board does do that they’ll also be asked to place on the November ballot a renewal of the current construction bond.”

    Zohn says to make the November election, the bond renewal must be put on the ballot by July 7th. The original bond was approved in 2001, and has generated about $1 billion in local funding and state matching funds for school construction.

    Hough - 50 years later..

    If you watch or listen to this whole nauseating performance on NPR- you will hear Christopher Alvarado refer to the Slavic Village partnership with Forest City and Robert Klein ( he obviously doesn't want to mention Safeguard).  

    Rokakis has a vested interest in CDCs - these so-called community development corporations make it possible for the "Land Bank" to transfer properties to preferred friends.  

    In this video - around 5:10 Rokakis comes on and it is apparent that they also need a CDC for TJ Dow's part of town - how else can they get rid of all of the land w/o it becoming obvious that WRLC and the Land Bank are an investor scheme?

    See Mark Naymik's article on TJ Dow's CDC:


    TJ learned from the best!!

     There are currently 28 pages of 80 listings/each page for the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp aka Land Bank on the Cuyahoga County Auditor rolls.  That is over 2,240 properties that have had all back taxes magically wited out for developers to acquire - often for little to no money down.  When does this media outlet recognize the scam known as the Land Bank - is a laundering operation meant to benefit select investors (most likely affiliated with fake land trust known as Western Reserve Land Conservancy)??????????????


    TJ Down just recently paid up on his back taxes owed. Obviously, he and other politically connected folks (Tim Donovan ) understand the hold'em property game in CLE (and it doesn't include paying taxes).


    Today the PD media outlet is touting Hough 50 years later - you can't really comment - because the PD doesn't want you to connect the dots.  Expect Western Reserve Land Conservancy to pick up because TJ Dow can't create a CDC ( Hough Development Corp)  -fast enough to process the properties that will be tax cleansed and handed off to developers (you have to camouflage the transaction through a middle man -see Slavic Village-Safeguard-Forest City).

     SEE also:









    FactcheckerApr 14, 2016



    62 elected officials did not turn in campaign finance reports within 38 days after the general election last year, not just Dow.  There's no such thing as "late" filing under Title 3517.10 and 3517.11(d) of the Ohio Revised Code, Mark.  Read the statutes.  If a candidate fails to turn in a report within 38 days after the general election, he or she forfeits the office.  3517.11(d) restricts the candidate from entering the office they were elected to serve if they don't turn in the report.  That means, Mark, my boy, that 62 elected officials, including Dow, "entered" the offices illegally and are "discharging" duties and receiving funds for which they have no authority.  Every single decision they make, Mark, is "void ab initio."  


    Imagine, Mark, that Ed Fitzgerald didn't turn in his campaign finance reports when he ran for Lakewood mayor and wasn't allowed to enter that office.  He then campaigned for county executive, Mark, and won; and failed to deliver a campaign finance report for 10 months after he was sworn in.  It's 38 days, Mark.  There's no such thing as late unless the report is substantially accurate and completed before the term of office begins.  If the report is not delivered to the board before the term begins, the candidate cannot enter the office.  If you'd written that story in 2011, Mark, he should have been prosecuted; not a candidate for governor.


    Now imagine the impact of a judge who entered office the same way as TJ, and who for 6 years presided over trials for which they had no authority. Every case would have to be overturned.  There are 9 members of council who've not turned in campaign finance reports in 38 days, not just TJ, Mark.  Think of their vote on the hotel project.  All of their votes are voided, including TJ's.


    This is what I mean by selective reporting and bottom feeding.  You've spent so much time focusing on TJ, primarily because you think the only bad politicians are black, that you've missed the much larger story.  Jim Trakas has the same problem in Independence that TJ has in Cleveland.  Trakas is holding office illegally and yet he's not referenced anywhere in your "hit piece."


    If you were able to elevate your thinking beyond this personal garbage, you'd be using your skills to elevate the thinking of your readers to empower them and this community.  In just these few paragraphs, and because my knowledge of poltiics is much more vast than yours, I've provided the same readers that you've focused on only one errant politician with information to help those who want accountability in their communities to identify 61 others. The same list you "picked" TJ's name off includes the rest of the violators.  


    If there are 62 people holding office illegally just in Cuyahoga County, what about the other 88?  Did you think to ask Secretary of State Jon Husted why he isn't enforcing election laws?  If a judge overturned the election board's decision on the East Cleveland annexation petitions, did you think to ask the county prosecutor if he's going to prosecute elections board director Pat McDonald for not enforcing Title 35 like he's supposed to do?  He can't because he'd have to prosecute his chief of staff, Jane Platten, for doing the same thing when she had the job.  This isn't just about TJ, Mark.  There are 62 individuals Tim McGinty should be prosecuting for violating ORC 3517.10 and 3517.11(d).


    What I've just demonstrated, Mark, in these few paragraphs, is why I don't waste my time reading this publication or your commentary.  You don't know politics and you're petty. The story that got you this job is the one my friend, the editor of the Free Times, assigned you to write after I gave her a very elaborate tip.  You really ought to say thanks because all you did was work from the public records I gave you. 


    I thought your career would have been more elevated.  Too bad you were tutored by Brent Larkin.  You've picked up his same nasty ways.  Have a nice day, Mark.  I won't bother with a call.  What could we possibly have to discuss?  If the PD really wanted a higher quality political writer, it would be my face and not yours on this site. 







    Some one needs to get TJ to stay in office - at all costs - even if it means defaming honorable Hough residents who tried to recall TJ Dow:



    ideastream deleting ideas in Cleveland, Ohio


    Born Again Cummins - has some shady operations on W. 25th

      Before his last campaign, which he ran as a Green Party candidate (and narrowly won by 19 votes) - Brian Cummins touted the following projects:

    Elk and Elk now stands across from Metrohealth with no noticeable activity, the Aragon is clad in bad siding and stands with no noticeable activity, Ganley Auto group closed shortly after Mr. Cummins touted achievement and WAS DEMO'D yesterday, and, finally, the Masonic Temple, owned by one August Garfoli and Jon McCartney  - are not paying their property taxes.

    We also have the unresolved status of our park, WC Reed Field - and some underhanded efforts by Cummin's fake CDC -SCFBC - to transfer the former YMCA building to the Cleveland Housing Network.

    And, NOW ! Cummins has been born again - as a DEMOCRAT! Let the money roll in !

    NAYMIK -MARY ANNE SHARKEY this is for you!

    Thank you JOE PAGONAKIS -real journalist:


    According to city records, the house is owned Pauline Urban,and is more than $19,000 behind in property taxes.

    News 5 called Urban about her property, but our calls were not returned.

    Cleveland Housing Court Judge Ron O'Leary vowed to look into the case and told News 5 if housing code violations are not submitted to the prosecutors office, the owner can't be held accountable in court.


    I emailed the condition of this house to Joe Pagonakis on 3/21 and on 3/29 it was demolished. This problem has been reported to the City of Cleveland - City Hall for over 10 years. Jasmin Santana, Cleveland City Councilwoman Ward 14 you need to respond to residents calls and follow up with Building and Housing. Eric Jonathan Brewer - Ayonna Donald was the only CLE rep who responded to my email concerns after Joe aired the story.

    I can not believe that Housing Court and City of Cleveland have NOT sync'd their GIS maps w/County Auditor files. How hard is it to see where a property owner is delinquent on their taxes? Tom Horsman you are in planning - surely, there is a better way to root out these slum lords and scam artists. This Pauline Urban person who owns 3310 Virginia also goes by Pauline Leemars and owns a house at 5217 Northcliff in Kevin Kelley's ward by that name, in addition to properties under Pauline Urban.

    Also- why does Councilman Tony Brancatelli's friend Chester Cuiska get a free ride on all of his delinquent properties in Slavic Village?? Over $50K in back taxes Any thoughts? Why is the County Treasurer not submitting these properties to Prosecutor O'Malley for forfeiture?