Code enforcement? Not so fast. Complicated situation.

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 12/16/2014 - 18:51.


 Near Shaker Square - on the City of Cleveland side of Shaker Square (Shaker Square is on the border line between the City of Shaker Heights and City of Cleveland) runs East 130th Street.   On each side of East 130 are  4 story apartment buildings - about 1/2of the buildings are vacant.    No lights on, no trash out on the curb on pick up day. That means the place is empty of tenants.  

Go into Dave's Supermarket from their rear parking lot - at night.   You'll see.

Mark Naymik, reporting on NEOMG (on line version of the Dirty Dealer) suggests that the owners of apartment building's in the Shaker Square area need to get their properties into shape. Mark appears to advocate a HEAVY HAND - landlords need to respond NOW to the Authorities.  Code Enforcement!

This is a very complex, multi-faceted, interconnected issue.    

I don't believe the HEAVY HAND is the solution.    In fact, it is the wrong move....


I can't imagine being a landlord at the Shaker Square nexus.   Tough. Broke.  dangerous. Old buildings.   Throw the code at me?   

Who's goina pay the rent timely, Mark? Real estate taxes in Cuyahoga County are crazy?   

Mark, have you ever interviewed prospective tenants?   Questions about references, job, weekly income, bank, blah, blah, blah....


so if you go after the owner of the apartment in a heavy handed manner, what is that limply responding owner gonna do?  Gunna bail like the other landlords on E 130.   None of these buildings have any value.  ZERO.   

Go look Mark.   If there are a bunch of empty apts on 130th, what leverage does anynone have over owners/landlords on East Moreland?

So how is the City of Cleveland and the City of Shaker Heights going to resolve this vacant, worthless apartment issue?   

SAY JOBS.    Not enought local well paying jobs.   

The landlord didn't cause the problem.  

The problem is bigger than OHIO. 

What's the answer, folks?

Not shoot the landlord....



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Buster- Not getting your defense of Shakertown

I think that the comments to this article and an earlier post by Naymik are revealing:







dallafatoria15 hours ago



These kinds of building along with single and double homes exist all over the city.


As stated in this article, these problem properties did not come about over night.  They are part of the decline that has occurred from neglect; neglect by a city government that is incompetent and incapable of doing the job of governing. 


We should note that those who were once part of the broken, dysfunctional government now head agencies that mange the crisis.  Jim Rokakis, former councilperson, heads The Thriving Community nonprofit; Jay Westbrook, former councilperson, world for Rokakis; Ray Pianka, former councilperson is now a housing court judge; Ed Rybca, former councilperson, is in the housing department.  Gus Frangos, former councilperson and often accused of being a slum lord, is now Mr. Land Bank thanks to Rokakis.  

And we wonder why slum lords can flourish.  

And we should wonder why Mark Naymik these bad guys when he has been more than supportive of the political party, the political system that has contributed greatly to the demise of places like Shaker Square.   








dallafatoriaNov 22, 2014


Look at the names.  Former councilperson Jay Westbrook now works for Thriving Communities which is the non-profit created by former councilperson Jim Rokakis.  Ed Rybka, former city councilperson, now city bureaucrat.


Housing Court judge is former councilperson Ray Pianka...


What does one expect.  Slum lords flourish when one has a single party system of government that is fueled by cronies and party stalwarts.  


And how about the double dipping councilperson whose ward includes this neighborhood...Councilperson Johnson.  


As long as we choose from the same shallow pool we cannot expect great change.  

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Laura McShaneNov 23, 2014



@dallafatoria "The city did haul Shakertown into Cleveland Housing Court in March on the charge of "failure to remove a nuisance" related to the South Moreland property. But the case was dropped in May. Court records don't say why."  


So, what is Housing Court doing and why are their records such a mess?  Does the NEOMG care to look into why these slumlords got away for YEARS on not paying taxes while glorified "Thieving Communities" Rokakis was county treasurer??  


No, that would require real investigative journalism and that is not going to happen.  It takes citizens like Bob Render who is tireless and heroic to make something happen. 



Also - the game of not-paying taxes has been taken to a whole other level in Shaker Heights- do you know these people ? 

Shakertown Apartment LTD, a partnership of Daniel and Deborah Inks and Gerald and Carol Reagan

Here is an earlier post with video showing how the land bank is "working" in Shaker Heights:

SO I have to majorly disagree w/your contention that the City of Cleveland/SH should go easy on THESE landlords (investor-scum).  What's the deal, Jeff?  I pay my taxes - isn't it time we go after this loophole?  Check ANY street in Cuyahoga County (not just CLE) - I can guarantee you will find someone who has not paid taxes for YEARS - and yet they were not sold to Plymouth Park Tax Services or more recently Woods Cove.  Doesn't it suggest a payola scheme w/kickbacks, too?


Speaking in Code - Building Code?

 I heard back from Mark Naymik and Laura - so I took this issue even more seriously.  

 I went to the location on East 129th, the street with the US Post Office near Buckeye, following the kaisen management get a better understanding and feel...I will go back again at another time of day...and then report back here on Realneo...

Very difficult issue...but a global/national issue.   In Detroit, in NYC, in everytown...

But...there is a condition which controls the code response...and that condition is whether the real estate values are increasing or decreasing.

On E 129 Street in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the real estate values are decreasing.

This may seem irrellevant to building code enforcement...but I suggest it is THE critical factor in determining the appropriate code enforcement style. 



Code Enforcement -Building and Housing - rotten Denmark

Jeff - (and thank you Mark Naymik for trolling) you may be interested in knowing as I just found out yesterday that the former Deputy Director of Cleveland's Building and Housing Department was found dead over a month ago - of a death ruled "suicide" - (he hung himself).  While this may just be a sad case of a sad man losing it all - I think that it warranted at least a note in the local media, given David Cooper's position as Deputy Director and his sudden and apparent crash-and-burn: