Monday, November 25, 2013
Proposal for $120 million Capital Repairs/Improvements Browns Stadium & Legal Memo outlining City obligations
Sunday, November 24, 2013
See the previous post - Browns $120 million proposed capital improvements, Ordinance #1578-13: Join the conversation at the Civic Commons, for a description and explanation of my perspective of the proposal and the ordinance to be considered by Cleveland City Council commencing at 9:30 am tomorrow, Monday, November 25, 2013.
To review the copy of the lease as well as summary information about the cost of construction and revenue and expense information, see the post from January 18, 2013 - Cleveland Browns Stadium gets new name as old sin tax expires in 2015.
For those interested in following the Council proceedings, the morning Committee meeting will be streamed live on-line beginning at 9:30 am - on the City's TV20.
The meeting at 7:00 pm will not be streamed. Both the morning Committee and evening Council Meeting are public meetings and all are invited to join us. No public comment can be made at either meeting, although the Chair of the committee meeting in the morning, can agree to allow public comment if scheduled and arranged before hand.
It is expected that Council leadership will call for a vote on the Ordinance under an Emergency vote at 7:00 pm, during the regularly scheduled Monday evening meeting in Council Chambers. That vote, if sought, will require a two-thirds majority, or 12-votes (It is anticipated that one members - Reed- will be absent), conversely it will take 7-votes to block the vote for the emergency measure, which would thereby postpone a vote on the Ordinance.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Browns $120 million proposed capital improvements, Ordinance #1578-13: Join the conversation at the Civic Commons
First off, given the information I have, if voted on today, I would vote no.
Although the underlying lease agreement between the City and the Browns is hugely, no grossly lopsided, we are nonetheless obligated under the law to abide by it. Although I have some confidence in the Mayor's Administration in terms of the stated negotiations with the Browns, I've not received sufficient information to be confident this is the best deal we can get.
NOTE: The Ordinance and Lease Agreement can be reviewed at the link posted here.
The underlying lease and therefore this deal are very complicated. Here is an attempt to explain the deal and its implications.
And, people seem to forget or not mention in these reports that the City still owes some $134 million in principal and interest on the initial $202 million in municipal bonds that were issued to pay for the $330 million stadium.
PS: in light of the request of the Browns to replace their JumboTRON with two new JumboTRONS at a cost of $20 million and the control room and kick-ass state-of-the-art stadium sound system, here is a picture of my family's 16-year television that still works and delivers excellent picture and sound of Monday Night Football and PBS NewsHour. Some of our neighbors have asked me to put dibs in for the used Browns JumboTRON for movie nights in my Ward. Maybe I can work that out with the Browns as part of a side-deal on Monday. Stay tuned...
Cummins family's 16-year old TV
still in operations delivering a high
quality entertainment experience.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Cleveland would enter into a collaboration agreement with the County and Port Authority. Cleveland is being asked to contribute $8 million to the deal, plus a non-school Tax Incremental Finance deal for the project. This would be a publicly owned hotel, owned by the County and run by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
Presentation by County:
Other resource information:
Sunday, August 11, 2013
An opening event is planned for September to explain the program's details and eligibility requirements. Conference registration opens tomorrow, August 12th and a press conference will be held on Tuesday August 13th.
The Cleveland CityLIFT Event at the Cleveland Convention Center
- Thursday, September 12, 2013: 10:00am to 7:00pm
- Friday, September 13, 2013: 10:00am to 7:00pm
Registration opens on August 12th, 9:00am at www.nhscleveland.org
- Registration opens August 12 at 9:00am
- Press conference August 13, 10:00am
CityLIFT is a Down Payment Assistance program funded by a Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Foundation in partnership with NeighborWorks® America. CityLIFT provides $15,000 in down payment assistance to eligible homebuyers who are purchasing a home within the city limits of Cleveland. The CityLIFT down payment assistance funds will be disbursed at closing.
These funds will be in the form of a secured mortgage written by NHS of Greater Cleveland. CityLIFT is a 0% interest mortgage and if its conditions are satisfied it will be forgiven at 20% each year for five years. The mortgage will cease and the prorated balance will become due, payable upon demand, if the property is sold, refinanced, transfer of title, foreclosure or other default occurs within the first 5 years.
In order to be eligible for CityLIFT down payment assistance, the homebuyer(s) must:
- Have a household income not to exceed 120% of the Area Median Income for Cleveland when the first mortgage is a conventional loan, or
- Have a household income not to exceed 115% of the Area Median Income for Cleveland when the first mortgage is an FHA loan.
- Completed an 8 hour NHSGC Homebuyer Education Course.
- Purchase a home within the city limits of Cleveland.
- Agree to maintain the home as a primary owner occupant residence for the five year period.
- Obtain a first mortgage loan from an approved CityLIFT lender, DOES NOT HAVE TO BE WELLS FARGO.,
NOTE: For residents living in neighborhoods served by Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins, Please contact the local development corporation that serves your neighborhood for help in qualifying for this program and identifying a home for purchase:
- Stockyard, Clark Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office (SCFB)
3167 Fulton Road, Suite 303, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, 216-961-9073 xtn. 207. For event and community news and information see: SCFB web page, SCFBC Calendar, facebook page, and send an email to sign-up for their bi-weekly e-newsletter.
- Tremont West Development Corporation
2406 Professor Ave Cleveland, OH 44113, 216-575-0920, For event and community news and information visit: tremontwest.org, facebook page.
Remediation Plans for W.C. Reed Park
Monday, August 26th, 2013 at 6:30 pm
St. Barbara's Church Hall
1505 Denison Avenue, Cleveland OH 44109
W.C. Reed Park was closed to the public in November of 2012 after the City began preliminary work on a $350,000 parks improvement project. There was an emergency meeting held last December and since that time, the City has been working with the Ohio EPA to develop an environmental remediation plan.
Much of W. C. Reed park is situated on a landfill and former ravine - see previous post for photos. The closure and required environmental remediation is due to soil tests done in preparations for park improvements. The City has not yet released to the public the environmental study documents. There have been reports of funding approval by Ohio EPA for as much as $2.5 million in clean-up funds. There have also been reports of the much of the site needing to be re-capped with a protective barrier and as much as two-feet of top soil to be placed on the site. Residents have also been informed that there is concern for as many as 60-trees that are endanger of being removed, although recent reports have indicated that the City will be working to save and maintain as many trees on the site as possible.
This scheduled meeting will be important to inform the public, and give people an opportunity to ask questions concerning the remediation and future plans for W.C. Reed Park. Some questions posed by residents so far include:
- How will the remediation plan for this park affect me?
- If living along the park, is my yard part of the old land fill?
- Is there any danger from these contaminants when the soil is excavated, will these contaminants become airborne?
- How will the construction affect this community?
- How will the beautiful and healthy trees of this park be protected?
- Are my safety and legal rights being protected?
- What is the timing and phasing for the remediation efforts and then for the park improvements?
- How much is this all expected to cost and what funds are being used?
Resources and links to media reports:
- Friends of W.C. Reed Field and Cleveland Parks
- Toxins at W.C. Reed Playfield trouble neighborhood residents
By Pat Galbincea, The Plain Dealer, December 17, 2012
- Cleveland playfield closed after slightly elevated levels of contamination foundBy Dave Davis, The Plain Dealer, December 13, 2012
- WC Reed Park (Brooklyn Centre) closed for environmental remediation and renovation
Brian Cummins, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
A live performance is scheduled for Monday August 9th - see the flyer below.
Come to My City - Published on Dec 5, 2012 - This is 5 of 5 music videos from the Cleveland Girls Rock DVD - a summer arts project (2012 Summer of Sisterhood) at West Side Community House. All songs written and performed by 2011 Summer of Sisterhood participants
Waste Management Solutions
- 2013: ADVANCED & RENEWABLE ENERGY
- Sustainable CLE: Advanced & Renewable Energy
Started on Feb 04, 2013 by Jason Russell
- CREG CENTER, YouTube Video, Jan 9, 2012
The Cleveland Recycling and Energy Generation Center (CREG) will increase recycling, reduce the City of Cleveland's carbon footprint, save the City money and generate energy by recapturing materials that would otherwise go to the landfill.
- Cleveland Public Power's Virtural Corner - CREG CENTER
- Cleveland Public Power's Virtural Corner - GASIFICATION
- City seeks public input on the Cleveland Recycling & Energy Generation Center
Started on Jan 17, 2012 by City of Cleveland, on the Civic Commons
- Cleveland's waste-to-energy proposal is faulty; new source of pollution, risk of emerging technology; flawed process and doesn't seek to use best practices for waste management, 2.23.12
- U.S. EPA states Cleveland waste-to-energy project must be regulated as a major source of pollution; City of Cleveland submits revised plans in attempt to be regulated as minor source of pollution, 2.23.12
- U.S. EPA asserts Ohio EPA issued Draft Air Permit in violation of Clean Air Act
- Sources of Information regarding the City of Cleveland CREG Center, 1.18,.2012
- CPP Announces meeting on gasification facility, provides no meaningful data on emissions, 1.18.12
- White Paper on Waste Processing Technologies - highlights of risks associated with GASIFICATION as an emerging technology, 1.18.12
Friday, July 19, 2013
Ohio's job loss and lackluster recovery persists, tracking poor jobs and economic performance from 1996 through 2013
But this week our neighbor, Detroit's bankruptcy filing overshadows Ohio's jobs reports. I hate it when George put's out his updates!
George reports that once Ohio broke the negative streak in June 2010, we then saw an 11-month positive streak, a year of erratic performance and now - I hope you're sitting down - WE'RE BACK at the negatives WITH A NEW 11-MONTH SUB-PAR STREAK.
George Zeller goes on to say that with the lethargic current job growth rates, it would take Ohio another 17-years to recover the jobs lost over the last 17-years. And, in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, we're taking the brunt of the pain -
" In Cleveland the recession has been horribly catastrophic, with Cuyahoga County losing a staggering 16.5% of all its jobs, a job loss of 132,712 jobs...Current data show that the Ohio labor market never recovered from the 2000s recession, which has been over since 2002 in the USA, but which lingers in Ohio to this day, and which has been made much worse by the 2007-2010 United States national recession.
In addition to George Zeller's reports, others report on similar issues. The following is from Kyle Fee, a Senior Research Analyst at the Cleveland Federal Reserve the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
"To see how Ohio’s business cycle compares to those of other states and the nation, we examine the state coincident indexes published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. These indexes combine nonfarm employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and real wages and salaries into a composite measure of economic activity.
Several patterns stand out when comparing Ohio’s coincident index and the national index. First, Ohio’s index declined during the five national recessionary periods that have occurred since the late 1970s, including the current recession. Second, Ohio’s index falls more sharply and for a longer period of time during recessionary periods than the national index. This likely reflects the fact that Ohio has a larger share of cyclically sensitive industries, such as manufacturing, compared to the nation as a whole. Third, while the coincident index for Ohio generally tracks the national index between the early 1980s and the early part of this decade, the indexes diverge in the recovery cycle after the 2001 recession. Ohio’s economy has clearly underperformed the national economy, as Ohio generated particularly weak employment growth over this period."
REF: Economic Trends - Ohio’s Business Cycle, 1.7.2009
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
See below for a full listing of blog posts regarding this issue.
The Indians enter the All-Star break on fire, sweeping Kansas City in Progressive Field, a ballpark built with taxes on smokers and drinkers. Was the 'sin tax,' passed to build the ballpark and an arena for the Cavaliers and extended to build a stadium for the Browns, a good deal? We'll talk about that Tuesday morning at 9:00 on The Sound of Ideas, and we'll consider a new plan to seek a sin-tax extension beyond 2015 to keep these sports places in good shape.
- Jay Miller, reporter, Crain’s Cleveland Business
- Marty McGann, VP, state and local advocacy, Greater Cleveland Partnership
- Victor A. Matheson, economics professor, College of the Holy Cross
- Brian Cummins, Cleveland City Councilman
Other related WCPN News Story:
Should Cuyahoga County Voters Renew a Sin Tax to Pay for Cleveland Stadiums?
Tuesday, July 16, 2013, by Nick Castele
- Joe Roman, the head of the Greater Cleveland Partnership
- Brian Cummins, Cleveland City Councilman
- Andrew Zimbalist, Smith College Professor
- Financing Professional Sports Facilities by Victor A Matheson and Robert Baade
- Cleveland Browns Stadium gets new name as old sin tax expires in 2015
Call for increased private investment by sports teams to balance large public subsidies that will need to continue through 2028. 1.18.2013. NOTE: includes embedded copy of the Browns Stadium lease dated 4-26-96.
- What to do when the sin tax for the sports facilities ends in 2015?, 1.26.2013
- Pro Sports Player Salaries & Anticipated NFL TV/Media Revenue come 2014, 1.26.2013
Other Recent Media Coverage:
- Cuyahoga County residents could renew 'sin tax'
By Brandon Blackwell, The Plain Dealer, 7.3.2013
- A Smorgsbord of Taxes [Accounting of all sin-taxes collected from 2000 - 2010]
Taxes add up for a night on the town in Cleveland, by Laura Johnston, The Plain Dealer, 4.18.2011. Sources: City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio Department of Taxation.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
"The association promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in any prior decisions."
— William O. Douglas
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
— Groucho Marx
"There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship."
— Ralph Nader
“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one “less traveled by”—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”
— Rachel Carson
“The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.”
—Susan B. Anthony
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Response regarding concerns of passage of legislation increasing number of Cleveland traffic cameras
|Cleveland traffic red-light and speed cameras camera locationsSource: Cleveland Plain Dealer|
- W. 25th Street & Clark - 77 accidents in the three year period (2007-2009), ranked 18th by frequency (19th composite ranking), with 20 resulting injuries;
- Pearl & Denison- 58 accidents in the three year period (2007-2009), ranked 36th by frequency (31st composite ranking), with 22 resulting injuries;
For arguments I support regarding the use of traffic cameras, please the article regarding the use of cameras in Washington D.C. (April 2013), provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
See also the NOACA 2009 Accident Study (PDF) that shows that 82% of pedestrian injuries due to car accidents happen within Cuyahoga County (73% bike accidents as well) and specifically in high density urban areas such as neighborhoods in and around W. 25th Street Pearl Road. Interesting to note that over 46 % of these crashes occurred between 3:00 - 9:00 pm.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Each year Council members are asked to honor a senior from their wards as part of this celebration and we want to thank the the local development corporations and local block clubs and our faith community and other institutions we work with in always assisting us in the process of making that selection.
We also want to recognize the great work of Jane Fumich and her staff at the City's Department of Aging and Mayor Fank G. Jackson for his support of this special day and for spending time and honoring the seniors.
Marilyn Wieczorekw, who hails from the Jones Home Historic District in Brooklyn Centre, was one of 19 individuals recognized today at the Seniors Day event held at the Cleveland Public Hall.
These honorees represent the thousands of local seniors who continue to devote their time and efforts to make Cleveland the great place that it is. They have enriched our communities with their service and today is the day that we recognize them and all seniors as playing a vital role in our City. Congratulations Marilyn and thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our community!
Marilyn is now retired. She worked for the Plain Dealer in the cafeteria and was also employed in the food service industry for many years working in a variety of restaurants.
Currently, she is very active in the community. Ms. Wieczorek has coordinated the Daisy Avenue Street Sale for over 30-years. The Daisy Avenue Street Sale is held the first Saturday and Sunday in August. Ms. Wieczorek cares about the safety of residents in her community. She belongs to her local community block club and the 2nd District Community Relations Committee. She passes out literature to residents on how to maintain and promote their safety.
Ms. Wieczorek is committed to keeping the neighborhood nice and participates in community clean-ups. She successfully reached out for support from various community organizations and started a community garden.
In addition to gardening, Marilyn enjoys cooking; her specialties are stuffed-peppers, spaghetti and breaded veal with mushrooms. She is a parishoner of Mary Queen of Peace Church and is certainly an active Ward 14 senior.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Fund to benefit Berry, Knight and DeJesus launches web site and drop-off and spiritual reflection location
The Cleveland Courage Fund announced a new web site and their partnership with the Family Ministry Center as a drop-off and spiritual reflection location where cards, letters, well wishes and donations of goods can be made. Family Ministry Center is located at:
The new drop-off location opens beginning Monday, May 13th through to June 22nd. Donations will be accepted at the south entrance of the church Monday through Fridays from 8:30-4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00 am -12:00 pm.
Up until this announcement, supporters of Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and her daughter we being dropped of at the 1st and 2nd District Police Stations.
The Fund is asking for volunteers to assist in receiving donations, please email your availability to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
We are working to announce the establishment of a bank, account and a mechanism to allow for tax exempt donations to benefit these women.
Also, we'll be posting tomorrow a phone number for in-kind donations.
We would like to thank the Tremont West Development Corporation's Safety Committee, the Second District Community Relations Committee, Guardian Angels, Stockyard, Clark Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Organization and all of the volunteers that are helping the community deal with this ongoing investigation.
WHEN: 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 9th, 2013
WHERE: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2928 Scranton Road, Cleveland, OH 44113
Being planned in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, City of Cleveland Administration, Cleveland City Council, City of Cleveland Community Relations Board, Cleveland Division of Police, FBI, US Marshalls, Tremont West Development Corporation and Stockyard, Clark Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office, Near West Side Interfaith Community
[intersection of Scranton and Seymour Avenue]
Complete agenda to follow.
“Although the community is relieved and overjoyed that after so many years these three young women and child have been found alive, it is clear that the some of the most difficult work begins today. As we celebrate their return, investigations into what they have endured in the past decade will begin until all the information is found to convict those who are responsible.
My heart goes out to the families of these victims and I offer any assistance needed to help them begin a new chapter in their lives. Cleveland City Council will continue to support the Mayor’s Office and law enforcement agencies in their investigation and disseminating information related to this case.”
– Brian Cummins, Cleveland City Council, Ward 14
"After 10 long years I am overjoyed for Amanda and her family that she is finally free. Amanda's family and the community have kept this issue in the forefront, never giving up on the hope that Amanda would some day be found. Thank God this story has a happy ending. I wish the best to Amanda and her daughter as they begin their new lives."
“I cannot express the joy I feel for the DeJesus family. Gina’s disappearance shook my community, but we never gave up on her. I cannot recall the countless times I’ve met with her family to console, to support or to rally. Gina’s parents, Feliz DeJesus and Nancy Ruiz, never accepted the fact that their daughter was gone and this is a testament to their love and faith. To know that not only Gina, but two other women, have been found alive is a Godsend. It is a testament to the strength of these women, these families and of many across Cleveland.”
– Matt Zone, Cleveland City Council, Ward 15
If anyone has information about this case or about the suspects Ariel, Onil and Pedro Castro, please contact the Cleveland FBI Tips Line at (216) 522-1400
REF: Cleveland City Council
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Click on the maps to see the enlarged files.