Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Day, Another News-Herald Piece Aimed at Raising Taxes: Kevin Malecek is going to go after more of your money

It is clear the that the News-Herald has become not much more than a public relations firm for Lake County Governments, appointed boards (e.g. Laketran), and local charities.

A good example is today's article that sings the blues for Laketran: "One Year Later, Laketran riders Adjusting."

Fresh off Willoughby Hills City Council's latest stab at raising taxes, WH Council President Kevin Malecek, also President of Laketran's Board of Directors, should know now is not the time to go after some sort of tax increase to support Laketran's operations.

I mean c'mon Councilman Malecek, you haven't even gotten your tax increase in WH, yet!  Some say you did not even properly consult the Willoughby Hills City Council Finance Committee before doing a first reading of the "...proposed amendment to the City Charter to provide additional funds for safety forces...."  Read the proposed legislation from the special council meeting on 6/24/2010.

Anyhow...back to Laketran.

The article tugs at the heart strings of the few readers the News-Herald has by telling the story of one rider who claims his job was lost because of inconsistent transportation to and from a job.  We certainly empathize with this man, there is nothing funny about his suffering.

However, Malecek and his friends on Laketran's Board can not expect the residents to keep opening up their wallets...wait a minute, he does.

A handful of cash walked down a dark Downtown Cleveland street at night is properly safer than your paycheck is from thugs like Kevin Malecek, appointed Board Members, local School Boards, and the like.  See Malecek et al. use codified, legislative, and craftily concocted levy request to mug you every-time you get paid, or every time you buy a non-food item, or when you pay your property taxes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Mayor Weger's own words....

" to you about the proposed income tax increase we are asking residents to vote on in Willoughby Hills."

The title of the News-Herald article "WH Looking at Tax Hike," the use of "income tax increase" by Mayor Weger, and WH City Council's own legislation can only lead us to call this an income tax increase.

Mayor Weger remarks that this "income tax increase" would be "revenue neutral for most resident working out of the City," leaves us wondering how many residents will get walloped...and disappointed about the increased tax burden shifted onto the shoulders of hard working folks.

The deeper question is how does Councilman-at-Large Dave Fiebig feel about what Mayor Weger calls an "income tax increase?"  Where does Councilman Fiebig stand?  Is he for the "income tax increase," or against the "income tax increase?"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Taxes are Coming: Lakeland Levy, Township "Safety" Levy, and a Willoughby Hills Income Tax __________ (fill in the blank).

The hands getting ready to reach into your pockets are getting numerous in Lake County.

Let's see, to start we have the Lakeland levy that will increase by 400%, Taxn' Trustee Chris Galloway's (& Trustee Chuck Klco's and Trustee Jeanette Crislip's) "safety" levy, and...that's right...the Willoughby Hills income tax increase--no wait credit--no wait tax legislation reform--income tax decrease for some, but not others....

Here's what we will do for now.  When we talk about the Willoughby Hills income tax increase--no wait credit--no wait tax legislation reform--income tax decrease for some, but not others, we will refer to as

the Willoughby Hills Income Tax _______.

Lakeland wants to "replace" the $11 per $100, 000 of valuation they get with...get this...a $44 per $100, 000 levy.  Taxn' Trustee Chris Galloway, Trustee Chuck Klco and Trustee Crislip are trying to get Lake County Township residents to pay more for something they are legally entitled too: protection from The County Sherriff.

Last but not least, our friends in Willoughby Hills are at it again!  After swinging and missing this past spring/winter the Willoughby Hills City Council and Mayor have started their campaign for a Willoughby Hills Income Tax ________.

At least this time Mayor Weger and Willoughby Hills City Council heeded our advice: work with the News-Herald...get the News-Herald to do stories on how you cut everything you could...then go after the money!  Mayor Weger has not seen a tax increase he does not like.   Weger has supported every tax increase that could affect Willoughby Hills.

Will Weger and City Council get their Willoughby Hills Income Tax ________ this time?

So sad.

Here's something funny: on June 23rd we tried to get Candidate Dave Fiebig to realize that he needs to pound Liberal Lorraine Fende on taxes...then comes June 24th...a Willoughby Hills Income Tax ______ being considered.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Poker Club Coming to Eastlake?

Yesterday we mused that the empty store fronts in the area could be converted to low rent fronts for barely legal gambling operations...then we remembered the June 15th, 2010 article over at speculating on this very notion.

It seems a No Limit Texas Hold 'em Poker club has been chased form Berea...possibly to Canton or the Crown Jewel, Eastlake!

The Plain Dealer mentioned that the City of Eastlake even had zoning hearing scheduled!

A similar business model is proposed for the planned Northeast Players Club in Eastlake. Antonio Steinbrecher of the moving company Mr. Mover hopes to put his club with a mix of billiards, darts and Texas Hold-Em poker on Lakeshore Boulevard.
The city will have a hearing June 22 as it considers his request for a zoning permit but also must wait for the city law director to rule whether the operation is legal.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Options for All The Closed Store Fronts

There are a lot of stores, restaurants and other businesses suffering the consequences of tax increases in our community.  Let's be clear: The income tax increase heaped on us by Ted Strickland, Lorraine Fende and Mark Scheider do the same damage as your local City Council raising income taxes, fees, etc.---and, that dastardly school board sneaking a levy though---and/or, that MR/DD type board sneaking a levy by us.

So, what can move in to some of those empty store fronts?  How about "legal" gambling at "internet cafes," or "sweep stakes cafes?"

Let's not forget that former Attorney General Marc Dann and Taxn' Ted Strickland brought us this blight on our community; disgraced former Attorney General Marc Dann tried to settle a law suit with a company looking to expand its gambling business into Ohio.  Other electronic gaming machine makers took this settlement as sign that Ohio was open for business.  Many think that Marc Dann did this because of the many donations he took from gambling interests.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The $8 Billion Mess: Lake County State Rep. Candidates Need to Pound Fende and Schneider for Tax and Fee Increases

Last week the Cleveland Plain Dealer reminded us that the State of Ohio is staring at an $8 billion projected hole in the next budget.  Click here to see the Plain Dealer's reminder.  The budget shortfall is by no means new news.  In fact, the article reminds us that eleven months ago a bi-partisan commission was appointed to recommend possible remedies to the budget maladies caused by democrats in the Ohio House and the democrat Governor Ted Strickland.  That's right!  Elebudgven months of in action by the Ohio Budget and Planning Commission created by the House Democrats.  Eleven meetings.  A meeting is finally scheduled for June 29th, 2010.

How did we get in this mess?  Well, well.  The House Democrats proposed a budget, House Bill 1, with a paltry 1.7% cut to the budget.  Unfortunately, Senate President Bill Harris and a couple Senate Republicans went along with the tiny budget cut.  House Bill 1 was a doozy as we have pointed out earlier in the year.  Among the many many many fees increases Ohio residents have been subjected to increased professional licensure, increased automobile registration fees, ..., and the band marches on.

All these fee increases and we were still $8 billion short--Obama to the rescue!  $4 billion in one time stimulus money was used in combination with raids on the tobacco settlement money, Ohio Library Commission fund, and State School Facilities Commission fund AND---AND--GET THIS: a TAX INCREASE!  That's right.  In the wee hours of December 18th 2009 House Democrats conspired with five Ohio Sentate Republican traitors to raise $851 million by raising the State Income Tax.  This crime against Ohio residents was passed as House Bill 318.

Let's recap: $ 4 billion in Obama funny money + $ 4 billion stolen from State Funds +$851 million in income tax increases to plug the State Budget hole.

Yep, Both Liberal Lorraine Fende (D, OH-62) and Mark Schneider (D, OH-63) voted for the State Budget, House Bill 1, and the income tax increase passed last December 2009.

So, how does this $8 billion mess get cleaned up?  Is there going to be $ 8 billion in cuts to the 2012-2013 State Budget?

Message to Councilman-at-Large Dave Fiebig (Candidate for OH-62): pound Lorraine Fende hard on her tax and fee increasing ways, and come up with a sound plan to plug the budget hole without raising taxes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Trust our Local Government and their Appointees? Former Brooklyn Mayor Ken Patton's Saga is a Case Study Teaching us to Remain Skeptical.

Over the past year the Plain Dealer has covered allegations that Brooklyn, Ohio Mayor Ken Patton was accused of being drunk at City Hall.  Further allegations surfaced that Mayor Patton sexually/physically assaulted an aide at City Hall until other workers intervened.

One of the reasons we continue to press local elected officials, their appointed boards, etc. is the lies, coverups, arrogance, and wagon circling evident from the Ken Patton--"surprise leave of absence due to stress" -- turned "leave of absence due to alcohol problems" --turned resignation due to allegations of assault.

On February 9th, 2009 we first learned of Ken Patton's "surprise leave of absence."  In this article Brooklyn Law Director Tom Sharper lied to Brookyln residents about Ken Patton's situation.  Moving along...on September 18th, 2009 we learn that in the midst of recall effort Ken Patton was accused of assault and sexual harassment.  Ken Patton resigned in short order.

The funny part about Patton's decision to resign is that the next Law Director, Scott Clausen, said

"Once Patton realized he was eligible for full retirement, ..., he decided to leave."
Ha Ha Ha Ha.

That says it all, does't it?!  

Now, we see that a City Law Director lied about Ken Patton's original decision to take leave...Ken Patton only left office when he found out he would get a pension and benefits...and last but not least, Patton got two years probation.

Local elected officials and their appointees want us to trust them? Ha.

Avoided News?

Today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reported on its website that a man named Daniel Serge, Captain in the Mayfield Heights, Ohio Fire Department was arrested for

"...secretly filming teenage boys who worked and camped at his Chardon farm and of placing a hidden camera in the Munson Township YMCA."

Earlier this week Cleveland's WOIO reported on its "19 Action News" that State Rep. Lorraine Fende (D, Willowick) was granted a dissolution of marriage in 1992 from a man named Daniel Serge.

Click here to see a video of the WOIO "19 Action News" report.  The video is on the right-hand side of the website.  A few seconds into the report WOIO reporter Scott Taylor mentions that State Rep. Lorraine Fende seem to have been married to the man accused of placing hidden cameras in the Chardon YMCA and at the home at his farm.

The video on WOIO's website is 1:35 in length.  At 0:54 Scott Taylor establishes that he checked Lake County Clerk of Court's website and found that a Lorraine Fende was at one time married to Daniel Serge.  At 1:27 in the video Scott Taylor says he tried to contact Rep. Lorraine Fende several times, but has not gotten comment from her.


Take a look at the court records obtained from the Lake County Clerk of Courts Website.  Clearly, in 1992 a woman named Lorraine Serge was represented by Ted Klammer, ESQ in seeking a dissolution of marriage and restoration of her maiden name to Lorraine Fende.

Lorraine Fende-Dainel Serge Divorce

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Problem with these Small(er) Airports

The Plain Dealer, or Raw Dealer, covers a story about the firefighting needs at Cuyahoga County Airport (CCA).

It seems that the CCA dropped its FAA certification--some think in order to get around the budgetary constraint of having to employ a fire fighting force.

So, who has to take over--that's right!  Our friends in Willoughby Hills, Highland Heights, and Richmond Heights.

These three cities should NOT, and we repeat should NOT have to pay the bills for CCA.

Willoughby Hills has been having its share of budgetary issues lately--and so has Richmond Heights.

Therefore, CCA and Cuyahoga County should NOT burden these cities and make them responsible for being first responders.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Willoughby Hills Officials Going to Meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

It looks like the City of Willoughby Hills is sending some officials to Washington D.C. to meet with the FAA.  This meeting, according to the News-Herald, is in regard to a planned airport expansion of Cuyahoga County Airport that is not planned to take place for 10 - 15 years.


We are wondering how engaged Willoughby Hills Officials are in the ongoing discussion regarding Jim Brown's private Lost Nation Airport (LNA) in Willoughby.

Let's not forget that LNA is in Lake County, like Willoughby Hills.  Side note: sure the Cuyahoga County Airport is adjacent to Willoughby Hills, some of which is in Willoughby Hills.  So, that "Not in my back yard" mentality is strong.

Anyhow, in about six years the City of Willoughby can close LNA...or, can keep it open.  Some speculate that Lake County will use the Lake County Port Authority to buy LNA.  This means the citizens of Lake County will have to finance this purchase, and the operating deficit of LNA.

Shouldn't this issue also concern Willoughby Hills?

Wait a minute!  Classic Lexus and Classic BMW are in Willoughby Hills.  Jim Brown's office is at Classic Lexus.  Hmmmmmmm.  Will Willoughby Hills Officials stick their necks out and oppose Jim Brown on Lost Nation Airport?

Not in my back yard!!!

Closing thought:  Willoughby Hills Officials are rightly concerned with the happenings at Cuyahoga County's right in their back yard!  However, a large business owner in Willoughby Hills is trying to USE Lake County to pay for his own private airport.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Townships Consider Levies with Eye on Lake County Sheriff’s Road Patrols: TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES SETTING STAGE FOR TAX INCREASE

Townships consider levies with eye on Lake County Sheriff’s road patrols 


Read the article.

The important part to pay attention to is that the Lake County Township Association (no website) met and has discussed the idea of a "safety levy."  The article then goes on to point out that Leroy Township Trustee Chuck Klo is pondering a 0.8 mil worth $24.50 per $100, 000 of valuation.

Ding Ding Ding!

The Trustees of Lake County Townships must have discussed how much money they think they need.

The Lake County Township Association and the News-Herald are clearly setting the stage for a well orchestrated "play" for more of your money.

It's interesting to see who else was quoted in this article.

Concord Township Trustee Chris Galloway said,

"We don't want our residents to pay to maintain or increase their current level of protection, ...and then have the County cut the protection we already have by the same amount."

WHAT TRUSTEE GALLOWAY DID NOT SAY IS EVEN MORE TELLING.  Trustee Galloway did not defend the taxpayers from the standpoint of being over taxed already and entitled to a basic level of protection under law.  Trustee Galloway also did NOT take a stand against new taxes for Lake County Townships.  Instead, he worried about what would happen to services in light of an increase in taxes via a safety services levy.

Looks like Trustee Galloway and Trustee Klo are working on a new tax levy for residents of Lake County Townships.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Truth Usually is NOT Popular

An interesting, unsurprising article caught our attention yesterday.  According to the Hill's Technology Blog, Hillicon, a collation of thirty groups wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the agency to aggressively monitor speech on broadcast airwaves, cable, and the internet.

Click here to see the Hillicon's article and link to the six page letter.

According to the Hillicon

The groups argue the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news.
"The Internet gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than ever before. Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye."
That's exactly right! Ding Ding Ding!  The internet allows people to quickly publish and disseminate their views in fashion that makes the expression of one's views possible in a manner that our Founding Father's did.

Here's a great article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation 

Many people don't want the things they say online to be connected with their offline identities. They may be concerned about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives. Whistleblowers report news that companies and governments would prefer to suppress; human rights workers struggle against repressive governments; parents try to create a safe way for children to explore; victims of domestic violence attempt to rebuild their lives where abusers cannot follow.
Instead of using their true names to communicate, these people choose to speak using pseudonyms (assumed names) or anonymously (no name at all). For these individuals and the organizations that support them, secure anonymity is critical. It may literally save lives.
Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius," and "the Federal Farmer" spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.
The right to anonymous speech is also protected well beyond the printed page. Thus, in 2002, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring proselytizers to register their true names with the Mayor's office before going door-to-door.
These long-standing rights to anonymity and the protections it affords are critically important for the Internet. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Internet offers a new and powerful democratic forum in which anyone can become a "pamphleteer" or "a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been involved in the fight to protect the rights of anonymous speakers online. As one court observed, in a case handled by EFF along with the ACLU of Washington, "[T]he free exchange of ideas on the Internet is driven in large part by the ability of Internet users to communicate anonymously."
We've challenged many efforts to impede anonymous communication, both in the courts or the legislatures. We also previously provided financial support to the developers of Tor, an anonymous Internet communications system. By combining legal and policy work with technical tools, we hope to maintain the Internet's ability to serve as a vehicle for free expression.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Keep an Eye on Them!

The past two years news in North East Ohio has been packed with stories about investigations, indictments, criminal information filings, and guilty pleas from elected officials, their appointees, civil servants, and private contractros doing business with them.

A particularly despicable case was covered today: Former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul appeared in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to be arraigned on two felony counts of theft in office and one misdemeanor ethics charge.

The article states that McFaul will plead guilty this week.

This story and SEVERAL more we will discuss here this week should serve as a potent reminder to watch EVERY elected official, political appointee, and civil servant carefully.

Don't be fooled into thinking the problems we have read about in Cuyahoga County are endemic to that County.

Where ever people,  money and power can be found a suspicious eye must look.