Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Little Old Ladies Got Thrown Under the Bus in Maple Heights

We were going to resume commenting on national politics, when the following came across our desk ...

According to the Plain Dealer, on October 17th, 2007, because of a plea by Councilman Paul Priebe to dedicate money from the Northfolk Southern Railway Company, to people who directly abut the railroad  [for "other problems" created by the railroad], money was placed in a special fund for those special people. Please read the story here. [click on the word "here"]

Many of those special people have grown quite some years older waiting for that money so they could repair their homes, some may even have moved or since passed away.

Well, we guess, council decided that they giveth (even though no one ever received it), so they can take it away, and we're sure the law director probably gave his blessing on that. Sources tell us that the council president  (at the mayor's request?) asked various members of council to help author a resolution (which is then drafted by the law director)  that would allow council (or the finance director) to take that money in the special fund and throw it into the general fund to spend it however the finance director "needed" to spend it [and council, the mayor, and finance director (?)  agree they really needed it].

Well, those various members of council, did in fact, help (?) author such a resolution (which, we were told, was really the mayor's resolution) which would only give 20% of that special fund (which is now worth around $818,000) to those special people; and, it appears they also put in a little extra wording which basically says that any further monies going to the city from railroad fees,  would not go to those special people , but would go directly into the general fund (?).  Some (or more than some) of these special people are little old ladies, (many of whom are African American by the way).

Now this resolution was discussed for (what?) a few months, before ... the final vote, which would take place on Wednesday, March 7th. 

Now, ... from what we hear, ... the newly appointed council person for district 5 (African American, Charles Crews Jr. who represents some of those who directly abut the railroad, which includes those little old ladies), came up with a proposal to give the special people an additional 10% of that special fund money (again, money that was set aside for them for "other problems created by the railroad"). Cefaratti (?) (who represents district 3, the other people who directly abut the railroad) was agreeable with that idea. Sources told us that Cefaratti (?) asked the finance director about that extra 10% , and the finance director concurred with Cefaratti.

Here's what appears happened though ....

The mayor (we hear) did not fight for the extra 10%  proposed  by Crews, or even suggest he would give back some of his own salary, or suggest that council agree to give those special people (many of them - remember - little old African American ladies) more from future fees from the railroad.  No, this mayor, who said he was one of the founding sponsors "of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.", who said he was a "Wall of Tolerance Honoree in Montgomery, AL with recognition from Rosa Parks", who used a picture with President Obama and Mrs. Obama on his campaign literature ... NO, inside sources said he ("threatened (?)") further layoffs of government employees (something, we guess, he felt he would have to do to help pay the bills) to get those "yes" votes on council's resolution, ... to get a "yes" vote from a  man who was appointed by council, with the law director's blessing, that disenfranchised   his constituents/employers in district 5, who are also some of the law director's (and council, and the mayor's ) employers.  

By the way, one of those little old ladies in district 5 ... She collected signatures for the petition for a special election, and spoke up at council meeting for her right to elect her own council person.  The mayor derided her and another resident in district 5 for expressing their right to a special election.  Was this payback? 

Was the mayor right to do what he did (if in fact that's what he did)? You judge.

So did the newly appointed councilman for district 5 stand fast to get more money for his little old ladies who directly abut the railroad?   Nope, ... he along with every other voting member of council except for Anthony Cefaratti (who represents those special people in district 3), and Richard Trojanski (district 6 ) voted to throw those little old ladies "under the bus" with what we feel is a raw, raw deal. We applaud Trojanski and Cefaratti.

You do some real digging into this matter and see if you agree with us.  Oh yeah, while you're digging, ask those little old ladies (and the others) that are entitled to that special fund money, if they think 20% was fair, and enough to compensate them for the horrible noise and damage to their homes caused by the railroad.

Big question ... Why is it that Maple Heights has no problem giving millions of dollars to a whole bunch of folks who don't live in Maple Heights, and a whole bunch of businesses that are not Maple Heights based and the owners don't live in Maple Heights?  Yet, a bunch of little old ladies get a measly .. what (?) $5,000 to $8,000 to fix up their homes damaged by the railroad.  Bull!!!

[To be further edited, with corrections made if necessary]

Update:  What's up with these brand new police cars? ... And now that this railroad money is in the general fund, how is that money being spent?

Check this out:
City officials had to know about Kasich cuts back in June 2011 and the devaluation of homes (going back to 2007), etc ... right? So why is everyone surprised? 

The kicker, ... The vast majority of protective service public employees live outside the city and seem to be doing alright financially, while those little old lady who live in the city, seem to be getting the shaft. Our guess: City officials were gearing up to take these ladies money way before the November election in 2011.


Anonymous said...

I have had the fortune (or misfortune) of being thrown under the bus by this same arrogant, self-satisfied excuse for a politician, with no substantiation whatsoever. I wish I could let you know who I am and my particular connection with the city. But I don't want to get fired. All I can say is, when you spread s#it, s#it will eventually find its way to you. And I am hoping that s#it finds its way to this guy sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if someone is going to be bought off, or intimidated into shutting up?