Open Government

Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 05/03/2019 - 10:06.

Sam Allard penned the Worst of Cleveland editorial on Cleveland City Council:
https://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/the-worst-of-cleveland-cleveland-city-council/Content?oid=30361817

Outsiders are kept at bay by the strategic appointment of successors, and the public is kept at bay by "emergency" legislating, in which ordinances are passed on an accelerated schedule with no public comment and limited review.

I commend him for recognizing what many residents have already known for years.  But, he needs to expand his reporting to the amount of money each council person controls and then provide a full accounting of that mother lode controlled by Kelley.  Kelley is a stand out, because he controls the Council Leadership Fund PAC, set up by Forest City during the Mike White era.

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BUSINESSES CHIP IN TO KEEP MAJORITY OF CITY COUNCIL

Plain Dealer, The (Cleveland, OH) - Friday, September 17, 1993
Author: BENJAMIN MARRISON and CATHERINE L. KISSLING PLAIN DEALER REPORTERS
Big Business is PAC-ing in the money for Cleveland City Council. 
 

PACs, or political action committees, account for nearly one-third of the money raised by a newly formed "Council Leadership Fund," which has collected $135,563 to retain a majority of council members who face re-election this year, according to documents filed yesterday with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. 

Political action committees representing area law firms, businesses and developers, many of which represent interests that do business with the city, contributed $42,800 to the fund. 

The fund is controlled by Council President Jay Westbrook. Mayor Michael R. White and businessman Sam Miller have pledged to help Westbrook raise $300,000

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Because of this fund - all council persons line up and vote in unity with the president of Cleveland City Council.  That council person also gets a tax paid bodyguard/chauffeur and a special assistant who works closely with the Clerk of City Council - Pat Britt.  http://www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/about-city-council/staff

 

Steven Rys

Special Assistant to Council

(216) 664-3877

srys [at] clevelandcitycouncil [dot] org

 

Council also has legal counsel:

Legal Counsel

Jennifer Heinert O'Leary**

Special Counsel

(216) 664-6436

jheinertoleary [at] clevelandcitycouncil [dot] org
Rachel Nigro Scalish

Special Counsel

(216) 664-6437

rscalish [at] clevelandcitycouncil [dot] org

**YES - this is Housing Court Judge Ron O'Leary's wife.  Cleveland Housing Court was created by Jim Rokakis as his former website for treasurer attests:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110205012848/http://www.rokakis.com/jim.html

 
Jim worked tirelessly to improve the region and is known for his leadership that helped redevelop Cleveland’s downtown.  He was instrumental in key projects like the Gateway Sports Complex (home to the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers) and crafted the compromise that allowed construction of the internationally known Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  Jim created the City’s Gun Buy-Back Program, wrote the Chop-Shop Law that reduced car thefts, and authored the In-Door Clean Air Act.  He was also responsible for the creation of Cleveland’s Housing Court.  Jim’s commitment was widely recognized by his peers and he was appointed Chairman of the City’s influential Finance Committee for his last seven years on Council.

 

( categories: )

Worst of Cleveland City Council

  Cimperman, the altar boy, is no longer the standard bearer for criminal conduct in office (Sweeney was actually much worse - and somehow escaped prosecution during Dimora/Russo purge).

Mark Naymik and Sam Allard keep pointing fingers at Ken Johnson, but they conveniently ignore Kelley and Brancatelli ... the worst of the worst.  Why?

It is well-known that Kevin Kelley controls the purse strings at Cleveland City Council.  I am asking Sam Allard to investigate and publish the monies spent by each council person for 2018-2019. Each council person controls somewhere in the range of 2.5 million dollars/ward.   I have that amount in my mind from when Brian Cummins broke that cardinal rule of council upon his first election - he published his total ward allocations.  That amount is probably much higher now that casino funds are part of that equation and 75K for senior services and 75K for capital improvements in each ward.  Blaine Griffin is telling seniors, threatened by the Cleveland Clinic "Opportunity Zone,"  that he has no idea what they are talking about when they ask - it is a reference to this article:

https://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/2019/03/cleveland-city-council-gives-...

City Council began reviewing the mayor’s proposal, going nearly line by line through the plan, at budget hearings several weeks ago. Ultimately, the council made a handful of additions to the mayor’s plan. They included:

  • $75,000 for each of the city’s 17 wards (a total of $1.275 million) to pay for emergency home repairs for senior citizens.
  • $75,000 per ward for small capital-improvement projects such as minor park improvements or street projects done at the discretion of members of council.
  • About $400,000 to bolster the budget for summer grass cutting on abandoned property. The total should allow for an additional cutting (a fourth) citywide.

The budget includes about $11.5 million for street paving work. Additional money is expected to be included for side streets in the city’s capital improvement budget, lifting the total street budget to more than $14 million.

Back to Kelley - his close relationship to Tony Brancatelli bears journalistic scrutiny.  Kelley's Old Brooklyn ward 13 is adjacent to Brancatelli's grotesquely gerrymandered eastside Slavic Village/westside Old Brooklyn  Ward 12.  They are frequently partnered on committee decisions. 

 

AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE Authorizing the Director of Community
Development to apply for and accept a grant from the Cleveland
Foundation and other grants from any public and private entity to conduct a
research study on the City’s real property tax policies and tax abatement
programs and to assess the results; and authorizing the director to enter
into one or more contracts for professional consultants to implement this
ordinance.
476-2019
Sponsors: Anthony Brancatelli, Kevin Kelley and By Departmental Reques
t

 

Kelley's special assistant Steven Rys - acquired two properties in Slavic Village from Slavic Village Development Corporation - http://realneo.us/content/7131-park-ave-slavic-village

Folks will recall that prior to his appointment to Cleveland City Council by now Chief of Regional Development Ed Rybka, "Tony B" or "Brancula" as he is known in the 'hood - ran Slavic Village Development Corporation.  He still contributes to block clubs and notably to Canalway Partners Tim Donovan, who sits on Board of Zoning Appeals, through his COUNCIL EXPENSE ACCOUNT using his tonyb [at] slavicvillage [dot] org email account.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030211122851/http://www.slavicvillage.org/A...

Tony's dad and Ed's dad were both realtors - so there is a long history of project development and flipping that started and eventually resulted in what has been called the epicenter of the subprime mortgage crisis-Slavic Village. 

 

The Slavic Village origin story (branding) goes back to Dennis Kucinich - and his council relationship w/Rokakis and Frangos.  Kucinich, after serving as mayor, served time again on Cleveland City Council in 1983, representing Slavic Village.  With assistance from Forest City, these councilmen--Rokakis, Frangos and Kucinich-- went into overdrive with the allocation of federal monies towards NGOs in the eighties - which led to community development corporations and the Cleveland Housing Network in 1981, now rebranded to CHN Housing Partners.  Neighborhood Housing Services, the lending arm of the low-income housing scheme also began around the same time 1980. 


As a chartered member of NeighborWorks® America, one of nearly 245 organizations working in nearly 4,400 urban, suburbs and rural communities nationwide, NHSGC is certified to meet a high standard of fiscal integrity and service to help residents in developing leadership, improving their neighborhoods, and securing decent housing that is affordable. Our link to this powerful and unique nationwide network of community development organizations adds great value to what we do here locally in Northeast Ohio.


The "charity ecosystem" of federal and county monies has been a windfall for so many charlatans, pretending to care about poor people -that the media will not touch them. Dimora and Russo cultivated Kucinich as their federal go-to and believed the protection racket extended to their control of Cuyahoga County.  That didn't work out, but Forest City continued to protect the real estate racket led by Rokakis-Frangos, while they controlled the county treasurer's office - and expanded that activity to the lucrative demolition contracts they hand out through the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp aka "land bank," which they "created.  (NOTE: Frangos test drove this concept with the first city "land bank" in Tremont).

No one in the media seems especially interested in the fate of Michael Cosgrove - disgraced head of Neighborhood Housing Services and former director of Building and Housing at the City of Cleveland (controlling demolitions through the City of Cleveland).  Why? 

Because, he has a lot of secrets to reveal.  Brancatelli is the dirty common denominator.  As chair of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and head of Cleveland City Council's powerful finance committee, Tony Brancatelli controls a lot of $$$ that Kevin Kelley reins as Cleveland City Council president.  The monies also include funds distributed to the NGOs through Cuyahoga County - and "fun money" like the $30M allocation recently made to the Cuyahgoa County Land Bank through Cuyahoga Countyto Rokakis-Frangos, by their former Cleveland City Council loyalist buddies,  Dan Brady and Dale Miller. 

There is much to unravel.  I think that the media is up to it.  If not, the story will eventually be told.  Hopefully, at the Arco indictments of Christine Beynon and George Michael Riley.

Tony Z dead

 
Tony B - cashing in.  Make donations to Kevin Kelley for Mayor - Brancatelli for Council President  slush fund out to ZajacReforesting Slavic Village Fund, c/o Slavic Village De-velopment, 5620 Broadway Ave., Cleveland, OH 44127

http://www.theneighborhoodnews.com/pdfpages/04-06-11.pdf