Henry Senyak's Editorial Letter to PD

Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 07:24.

 I have been asked to post Henry Senyak's letter to the Plain Dealer editors - some of you may recall that Henry Senyak actually tipped WOIO Channel 19 off to the hijinks of Russo and Dimora -well BEFORE the PD even began to unravel the obvious story:


Letter to Editor: Ward 14 needs a leadership change


This letter is primarily in response to the shear arrogance portrayed by Councilman Cummins at the Ward 14 Plain Dealer Endorsement Interview on 10/23/13. I was told that Brian Cummins expressed "supporters of Brian Kazy do not live in the Ward and are out of touch". Well I live currently in Ward 14, and I am not out of touch. Councilman Cummins you should be ashamed of yourself, you represent me, if I am uniformed it is because you are not doing your job. Your predecessors sent out newsletters several times a year, you choose to deal with a small group of people, generally people that want political favors. 

Why did you take the time to personally attack your former rivals at the interview Mr. Cummins? Why did you say Nelson Cintorn drives a peanut truck? Why did you critique Janet Garcia for her lifestyle choices? Not everyone has a photo-shop family like you. Did you not contact them right after the election for their support? 

As a lifelong (50 year) City of Cleveland resident who has lived in Ward 14 for the past 20 years, until this past April with the finalizing of redistricting. I am now back in Ward 3 with the areas I grew up as a kid in Tremont. Some of you know me as a community activist, some of you know me as the past President and Board officer with a vibrant local Community Development Corporation. I have been involved in safety initiatives all over the westside of Cleveland and also am a active member of the Second District Community Relations Committee. I have donated thousands of hours over the past ten years in making our streets safer by getting close to ten thousand street lights repaired, painting over graffiti, worked with Court Community Service crews to clean streets and highway overpasses, getting surveillance cameras installed by the City of Cleveland, helped close trouble nightclubs where shootings were common all over Ward 14, worked with council leaders to rewrite quality of life ordinances, helped the police and many other public officials solve complaints. 

Yes, some may ask with that resume, why I did not run for City Council myself. Trust me I seriously thought about especially after being shamed by the current Ward 14 City Councilman Brian Cummins at a Zoning Hearing earlier this year. But the answer was no, several issues hit home, my health, and the health of my mother whom which I care give. The biggest reason was Councilman Cummins made sure all valid candidates against him were outside the new drawn boundaries by one or two streets. 

Councilman Cummins has a track record, the average constituent may not have a firm understanding of his platform and his history in the past four years in Ward 14, and the prior four years in Ward 15.

Councilman Cummins speaks volumes about his experiences as a Executive Director of a Community Development Corporation. The question is why now is that CDC defunct? Why has different parts of Brooklyn Center been serviced by different CDC's? Cummins forced a merger that brought less services and Economic Development to Brooklyn Center once he became the Councilman serving then in Ward 15. 

Councilman Cummins was AWOL this year from his duties representing Ward 14. While consultants sliced and diced up neighborhoods that will now be made into the new Ward 14, Councilman Cummins was jet- setting to China, India, and Sri Lanka. Do you think he cared about the butchering of Tremont, Brooklyn Center, and the Stockyards community's? Especially after the consultants made them whole? Cummins gave his blessing to the consultants to split these neighborhoods so he could gain favor within the Hispanic Leadership that do not even live in Cleveland. The question is Why? Well its votes and his ego! Lets ask Councilman Cummins who paid for these trips and expenses? Was it us the taxpayers? 

But why did 69% of the votes cast in the primary election for Ward 14 go to the three challengers who technically live out of the Ward? Because people really look at the caliber of the individual and people were smart enough to see that Cummins was using this topic as a wedge. 69% voted against the incumbent Cummins. This is a non-issue and should not be held against Brian Kazy. 

If you go on Councilman Cummins Facebook pages you will find he has more photo opportunities with residents of foreign countries than he has of his Ward constituents. Councilman Cummins also spent significant time at public square supporting Occupy Cleveland, which including the fringe group of the five felons convicted of trying to blow up a bridge in Brecksville. How many of you know that Councilman Cummins was working with this group? How many of you know that Councilman Cummins assisted this group to acquire warehouse space to promote felonious activities out of Ward 14 at 3619 Walton Ave? 

Lets now focus on all the days and nights he spent on Seymour Ave. Weeks of time? He is a legislator, but he now is as famous as Charles Ramsey with all the airtime on CNN. Did you here him speak so negatively about the Cleveland Police on CNN? Did you here him say the area surrounding Seymour was full of prostitution and drug dealing? This man is supposed to represent the entire ward, not grandstand on Seymour to benefit his re-election bid. What happened to the women on Seymour was beyond comprehension, and was appalling but what did our Councilman do to help other crime victims in his Ward? Councilman Cummins cannot put pictures of police officers on literature and be hypocritical that they should have found these women long ago. Now Brian Cummins is holding a get out the vote rally on Seymour just prior to election. Is it a party or politics, or just discriminative green party politics? 

Councilman Cummins sometimes will listen to community leaders and block clubs. He makes a showing that he will object to liquor permits that have documented citations food stamp fraud, drug paraphernalia, or have promoted breaking the law. On most occasions after the heat is off, he will withdraw his objections for renewals and not inform the community. Some of these locations have his re-election signs in front of their places of business right now. 

Councilman Cummins boasts about how he brought millions in development into Ward 14. Let me tell you if you think one person can make this happen you are kidding yourselves. Metro Hospital expansion and growth, and LJ Minor expansion was going to happen with him or without him. So why put this on electioneering pieces? Why did he not fight to keep LJ Minor in the new Ward, the second largest employer in Ward 14? Does the Plain Dealer know he allowed this to happen? He is also taking credit for all the millions in street repairs from the Jackson Administration, the County or ODOT. Maybe this is why Mayor Jackson has endorsed Brian Kazy as a team player. 

The true facts is the Councilman Cummins under his watch the last four years has allowed more takeout liquor licence's to be permitted on West 25th St. and Clark Ave. than his predecessor who was "bar friendly". His willingness to not address problem nightclubs and strip clubs on West 25th is a major concern. Community leaders in Tremont questioned him on this issue. His response was that he cannot afford to have any more vacant buildings on West 25th than he has now. But on his campaign he promotes West 25th as a bastion of Economic Development.

Lets look, Councilman Cummins supports legal nonconforming and illegal non-conforming businesses in Ward 14, These businesses that which some operate outside of City Zoning and Licensing restrictions have carte blanche from Councilman Cummins. Do we as residents want to see a vibrant West 25th Street and Clark Ave.? We all do. How can we get their when we have Strip clubs, nightclubs, urban stores, phone and pager stores, auto repair and auto body shops, convenient store after convenient store all with liquor permits. Who wants to move into this environment? The answer is more of the same.

Councilman Cummins recently supported a property owner for a variance on West 25th that actually owed eight years of back property tax on. $43,000.00, Great sweetheart deal. They were requesting to move an existing illegal tire shop from a building just several land parcels to the south. I alone stood up to Councilman Cummins at the board of Zoning Appeals. He and his surrogate from the local CDO office pushed and pushed for this man to get the variance to a point of embarrassing themselves. This building is full of graffiti tagging and the weeds are now trees on the property. Our tax dollars are paying to routinely clean this mess up. The BOZA board requested postponement and to have a proper community meeting, This did happen, not a one of the 25 people in attendance was supportive of the venture. So is this the Community engagement and transparency promised by Councilman Cummins?

In the past month or so a similar matter, Councilman Cummins supports a Rally's drive thru on Clark and Fulton. He expressed no zoning variances were needed and it was going to happen. Well the City stated they need a variance, and the hearing was set for October 21st. No Community meetings were scheduled prior to this hearing. Again another free pass from Councilman Cummins, I sent some emails and guess what? another postponement. How many of you want to see a commercial building torn down and a 24/7 Rally's with outdoor seating on that Corner? Do you think Councilman Cummins could do better? Do you think the Economic Development Staff at SCFBC could do better? Now as of today there has been no communications for a Community meeting and the Zoning hearing is rescheduled for Monday November 11th., what a coincidence the first hearing after election day!!!!

How many of you know that Aldi's is closing its Brooklyn Center grocery store in Mid-November? This store serves the Ward 14 constituents. What could our absentee councilman do when he is in China or sitting at a protest on Public Square?

In closing please do not believe everything you read on anyone's electioneering pieces, Councilman Cummins has been a significant disappointment. He has a habit of being a lone wolf, he claims it to be a independent voice. We need a new leader that will be able to work with all of his colleagues and the mayor and not alienate himself and Ward 14 to loose important tax dollars needed for reinvestment. 

I support Brian Kazy for Ward 14 City Council, Councilman Cummins literature attacks Mr. Kazy on two points, He does not live in the Ward, and he has no experience. Well we all know why he lives 200ft north of Ward 14 don't we? As to his experience, he has gained the endorsements of Nelson Cintron and Janet Garcia both Hispanic Candidates in the primary election, Rick Nagin, Mayor Frank Jackson, the Democratic Party, Councilman Cimperman, Westbrook, and Kelley, and many community leaders that actually can vote for him. I have known Brian Kazy for many years, he will not be timid on closing illegal businesses and going after businesses that deter the quality of life for you the resident. How can anyone support a incumbent with a track record of being timid and supporting any kind of development especially on West 25th, home to another new cell phone store that opened this month. 

Why is it the Brian Cummins does not have elected officials endorsing him? He only has out of touch groups that have little bearing on moving Ward 14 forward in partnership. A vote for Brian Kazy will start the long process of cleaning up the garbage on West 25th that Brian Cummins has let fester in his last term. 

As a disclaimer, again I am now part of Ward 3, I shop, eat, and volunteer in Ward 14 on a daily basis, I love this area, it is in significant need of new leadership. please take the time to make a informed decision and remember not all in print on electioneering pieces are 100% true, in fact they are very deceiving. I have watched this election in Ward 14 since the beginning of the year, I believe I have the experience and inside knowledge to state the Brian Kazy would be the better choice in moving Ward 14 forward in the next four years. Brian Kazy will represent you well and serve everyone in Ward 14. 

Please forward or you my permission to republish this letter to the editor in whole. 

Respectfully Submitted. 

Henry P. Senyak

Current Ward 14 Resident and Community Advocate

Related Links and information:

Board of Zoning Appeal: Agenda 11-11-13

10:30 Ward 14 Brian Cummins 

Calendar No. 13-214:

3506 Clark Avenue Brian Cummins

Serrat Enterprises, owner, and Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, prospective tenant, appeal to construct a

drive-through restaurant with a dining patio on a 134.33’ x 179.78’ parcel in a C2 General Retail Business

District; subject to the provisions of Section 343.18(c) in the Cleveland Codified Ordnances a driveway

must be at least 15 feet from property lines. (Filed 9-23-13; no testimony taken.)

First postponement requested by the Councilman for time to convene a community meeting about the project




Who is really hiding behind this mask voters of Ward 14 want to know?


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Please read Henry's Letter-Vote Kazy

 See above - if you care anything about historic preservation - also know that Brian Cummins offered up the historic South Carnegie branch library on Clark as a perfect historic tax credit incentive and suggested to CPL board that this is what would be great to help launch his "Hispanic Village" concept for Clark/W. 25th.

The November Plain Press has an article by Jerleen Justus - that indicates that CPL Board and Director awarded a contract to Sterling Professional Group (General Contractors) - for repairs at cost of $328,800.  The Library Board has not made a decision whether or not to reopen the Carnegie South Branch Library - but I personally recommend that you make your opinion known by writing a letter to the Cleveland Public Library Director and Board members:

Board/Director Felton Thomas
c/o Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland OH 44114


Brian Cummins indicated that the best use of the building would be to let it be privately developed to enhance the prospect of an "Hispanic Village."

Do you agree?  If not, VOTE Kazy and make this nightmare of back room real estate deals go away!