Tremont Residents Retain Legal Council over issues surrounding the TWDC Annual Meeting- Election of Trustees- Board Appointments

Submitted by Henry Senyak on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 23:47.

As of today we have had 13 Tremont Residents 10 of which were in attendance at the TWDC Annual Meeting that paid into a retainer for the attached letters sent to the offices of TWDC and the local media.

We also have 5 Interested parties that have also contributed to the retainer that are not Tremont Residents but were in attendance also at the TWDC annual meeting.

Statement sent to local media covering the Story.

Please Review the attached letters.


Vince suggested that we have a legal right as general members of TWDC (Just like John Moss did with the housing code hit list committee) to form a Ad-Hoc Committee of the General membership of TWDC.

Press Release: 02-06-09

As of today we had 13 TWDC members, and 5 interested parties that have paid into the retainer for legal services to date from Vincent Gonzalez. We will ask them to join in the Ad-Hoc committee.

In 2008 TWDC member John Moss created such a Ad-Hoc committee to turn in people for housing code violations. It is now a permanent sub-committee under the auspices of the TWDC Housing Committee.

We are hoping to give everyone at least two weeks notice for the first official meeting.

The Official Ad-Hoc Committee of the General membership of TWDC will be the -  Annual Meeting and Election Review Committee.

Goal: To review the legalities surrounding lack of quorum at the TWDC 2009 Annual Meeting, and the subsequent actions at a Special TWDC Board meeting to appoint new trustees.

Committee members will be either General members of TWDC or Tremont Residents that are not currently members of TWDC.

Meeting Agenda when called:

A) Elect a Chairperson and Secretary of the committee.

B) Create ground rules and directives for the committee to follow.

C) Agree to continue a retainer with a attorney approved by the committee for further advise and action.

D) Legal Review of the By-laws of TWDC in relation to the committees goal.

E) Action Item: Have our attorney contact in writing all current Board members and the 2008 Board members- emeritus about the legal appointment of the 2009 TWDC board, and of potential legal challenges if it is to be found as a illegally constituted board and their actions throughout 2009.

F) Action Item: Have our attorney contact in writing all current Funder's of TWDC about the legal appointment of the 2009 TWDC board, and of potential legal challenges if it is to be found as a illegally constituted board and their actions throughout 2009.

G) Continue to inform the media outlets regarding our committees progress.
Thank you,

Spokesperson, in lieu of elected officer.

Henry Senyak

At this time until the committee officially meets, the other 17 legally retained will remain only known as 'Tremont Neighbors" or “Interested Parties”. Over the last 10 days several people that have spoken out about the actions of TWDC have been persecuted and defamed on Internet Blog sites, and in private emails sent to the majority of the TWDC membership.

Letter to Chris Garland TWDC 001.pdf396.74 KB
Letter to Sandy Smith TWDC 001.pdf385.84 KB
Letter to Tom Cook TWDC 001.pdf409.68 KB
IRS Memo Non-profits 001.pdf687.86 KB
( categories: )

Review all ya want, henry

you stood for election in that meeting.  and introduced new business. 

btw, it's my understanding your "legal counsel" has never won a case.  


No Tiny Tim, clearly new

No Tiny Tim, clearly new business could not happen. I participated in a discussion that would then be forwarded to Committee. This was the advise of your other new friend in Tremont Mr. Tim Jenkins. This will be taken into consideration at the new By-Law Comm.

I did not vote for the election process to continue. But this was done with a clear strategic purpose. Someone is pumping you with misinformation regarding Vince. I forwarded him this thread.

Which Board member is pumping you?

you stood for election, senyak

and your Gang of Four nominated, and seconded you.  that's participation.

Jerleen Justus February 6,

Jerleen Justus

February 6, 2009


Chris Garland, Executive Director

Tremont West Development Corp.

2406 Professor Avenue

Cleveland Ohio 44113

In Re: TWDC Annual Election/January 29, 2008

Board of Trustees/Membership

Dear Mr. Garland:

As I am a bona fide member of Tremont West Develpment Corp., please allow this letter to serve as my formal request for the following documents:

1. 2008/2009 Membership list

2. 2009 Annual Meeting Sign-In Sheets

3. 2008/2009 Nomination Report submitted to the Board of Trustees

4. 2008/2009 Nomination Committee Report submitted to the Board of Trustees

5. 2008/2009 Minutes from the Nominating Committee (including sign-in sheets)

6. Copy of Unofficial Minutes of February 5, 2009 Special Board Meeting

( adjournment and second Special Meeting called to order February 5, 2009)

7. Copy of Legal Opinion discussed on February 5, 2009

Thank you for your anticipate attention and cooperation herein.

Very truly yours,

Jerleen Justus

Member TWDC


cc: Tom Cook

Sandy Smith

Sandy Yambor

Vincent F. Gonzalez

Chuck Hoven

Ken Prendergast

The above is a letter I dropped off this morning at the office of TWDC. I also want Timmy Boy to know that if he had been paying attention he would have known that the reason I kept my mouth shut was that  Sandy Smith, Vice President, stated that only board members would be allowed to comment or debate.  Plus, I as well as my supporters were there to listen, as you well know you don't learn much when you're flapping your trap.

Since you're not in the know, our Ad Hoc committee has been in the works for some time,  you can only assume you know who the leader is, when in actuality, you don't have a clue. 

you nominated senyak

then you voted for him.  in the meeting you now claim was illegal.

it's about this point that a dog knows it's time to come in out of the rain.

throw it against the wall and see what sticks

In legal parlance, is called "Throw It Against the Wall and See What Sticks"

It can also be seen as cover all your bases, in layman's terms.

They say you should raise every conceivable issue in an appeal, otherwise you are an incompetent attorney.

The "Tremont Gang of Four Hundred" conducting themselves in accordance with an erroneously held election, does not imply they condoned the actions the President and Board took. It means the "Tremont Gang of Four Hundred" wisely prepared.


sorry to state the obvious, it was just starting to get on my nerves...........

TWDC Staff came up with the Membership at 933

Dbra go not forget that the staff of TWDC increased the membership number by over 200. They created their own hardship. 90% of the people in that room could not hear the debate. They came to vote, they had no idea the initial motion to vote without quorum was actually violating the quorum section of the TWDC By-laws.

Why did they increase the membership? Was it for funding purposes?

It is moot what happened after that point. Quorum was 187, they had a max after even waiting 30 minutes of 164.

Are we arguing that the outcome would be different with a legal election at a new special meeting called of the membership? No we are not.

We did not want to fight this battle, but TWDC has a budget of over $500,000.00 a year, if they are willing to bend and stretch the organizations By-laws to get a desired outcome.  What else is going on behind the doors without transparency?

More than likely the same people would win the Trustee seats. I had Jerleen nominate me to make a point and it brings in different issues into a potential lawsuit. If the meeting had quorum Tom Cook would have ran unopposed.

We are exposing how a non-profit will violate their own By-laws in at least seven or eight articles to get the outcome they are looking for.

I do not understand how Cleveland State would rubber stamp this with a legal opinion, stretching the use of vacancy clause clearly interpreted under State law to fill vacancies of “Un-expired Terms” not “Expired Terms” that under the by-laws SHALL be elected by the general membership at the annual meeting.

TWDC knows they have a problem, to just not allow a debate from the General Membership at your Special Board meeting was wrong. Since the leadership of TWDC disenfranchised the memberships rights to have a legal binding vote at an annual/special meeting. (Real inclusive)

I did not attend this special board meeting for two reasons. My mother had an appointment that could not get cancelled. I also did not want to add anymore drama to Mr. Russo’s disruption.

Lets not forget the TWDC Board decided to move up the regular board meeting from the 19th.


roswell UFO lands, takes over TWDC

you are on tape saying no business can be conducted without a quorum,  then you proceed to conduct business by standing for election,  voting in the election, seeking and getting recognition to speak which you claim no one heard, introduce some never ends.

you lost.  then you whine.  then you get a lawyer who doesn't ever win any cases.  then you claim the membership list got packed.  then you want it both ways.  then you want it three ways to sunday.  then you claim someone else is causing a disruption.  when do the aliens make an appearance?


TWDC set the quorum

  TWDC set the quorum.  The quorum determines the validity of the meeting.  The meeting should have adjourned immediately, but there was a matter of doing something to satisfy those members who did show up. 

From Mr. Russo's own video, it was apparent to all that it was just a show of hands, not an official proceeding.  TWDC has to acknowledge that the membership was inflated.  

Public relations 101

Laura you bring out the best point yet. Could you imagine the Public Relations nightmare if a meeting was adjourned?

If adjourned how many of these newer residents would come back? How many would maintain confidence?
Easy way out was to continue, and the only people that really understood that this was a violation were long-term residents. It much easier to disenfranchise 30-40 people versus the people that live in the high-end housing.
I did think about a motion, but I did not want to wear the pasta that was served. Under Roberts the meeting and yearly reports could continue. So it goes to the Vote and New Business. Also to Tom Cook's credit he handled the new business correctly. The proposal I made was so it could go to committee for review and action instead of waiting a complete year.

I will post in this thread what I proposed. The non-binding vote was not that big of a issue too.

What is the main point of contention is the Actions of the Board last Thursday. Before that only one by-law veil was pierced. After the Special Board meeting six or seven more were pierced versus calling for a Special Meeting of the Membership to have a valid election.


Proposal for consideration for New Business (Sent to Committee)

New Business 01-29-09 TWDC Annual Business Meeting.

Mr. Chairperson, I motion from the floor to add a personnel committee as a standing committee of the membership.

-Such committee will be structured within conformance of other TWDC standing committee’s of the membership.

-The committee will meet as necessary or required per calendar year. The committee shall meet at a minimum once a quarter.

-The committee shall be comprised of no more than 50% of current board members and 50% of volunteers from the general membership. TWDC’s Executive Director may be present for committee meetings, other staff by invite of the committee only.

Objectives and Goals: This committee will identify personnel matters relating to the objectives and goals in support of the mission of TWDC.

a) Develop job descriptions for all employees, excluding the executive director.

b) Make employees job descriptions available to the general membership.

c) Be in an advisory role to the Board of TWDC on employee’s job performances.

d) Be a liaison to constituent groups affiliated with TWDC regarding employee’s roles and to relate their individual job descriptions to the membership. (for public relations purposes)

e) Any further directives made by the general membership, Board of trustees, or members of the personnel committee at a later date once convened.

I will hand in for anyone’s review as exhibits the by-laws of OCNW and the OBCDC. Both by-laws have a personnel committee.

 As part of a general consensus to restore the public trust in this non-profit organization I again motion the floor, do we have a second.

Also, Henry, let's not leave

Also, Henry, let's not leave out the fact that for some time we've been asking TWDC to provide information regarding the membership list, and even as late as two weeks before the annual meeting they could  not or would not provide as simple a thing to how many active members actually belonged to TWDC. 

When you are a lay person sitting at the table - and most of the board members are highly educated professionals, which includes 2 attorneys (one who is not only a magristrate but also well versed in tax laws) an ex-banker, so-called scientist, among others, as well as the executive director (paid employee of TWDC) and they look at you and say that they don't know how many members they have - you sort of start wondering.

Now since the new candidates as well as the members were entitled to this info, it seemed kind of suspect that the answer they provide was that they would  tell you the number of members on the night of the election.

ORC 1702.15 Corporation to keep books and records of account and minutes or proceedings.

"Each corporation shall keep correct books and records of account, together  with minutes ot the proceedings of its incorporators, members, directors, and committees of the directors or members.  Subject to limitations prescribed in the articles or the regulations upon the right of members of a corporation to examine the books and records, all books and records of a corporation, including the membership records prescribed by section 1702.13 of the Revised Code, may be examined by any member or director or the agent or attorney of either, for any reasonable and proper purpose and at any reasonable time."

Now, as far as this "gang" of four goes, you're sort of off your mark.  We're rather be referred to as a team and there's a lot more than four.  Remember even residents in other areas are not so enamored with TWDC's plots and plans to move developers in and take over their territories and turn them into over-priced condo glamorized communities that they can't afford.  Now that our purposes and intentions are being publicized and the fact that we have legal representation more and more calls are coming in inquiring into joining our team.  One of the biggest questions that has been asked the past couple of days is about the amount of money that was in the TWDC budget last year?  Everybody wants to know - what was that money spent on since driving around Tremont, there is no evidence of any of it in view?

Data Scrub

Having worked with TWDC and other CDCs over the years, I have to say, when it comes to marketing and membership lists... they struggle like everyone else.

However, given the increasing political clout and democratic representation of these CDCs... MAINTAINING the membership and data list is more crucial than ever.

The count of 933 is probably "accurate" but not accounting for any "scrub" or update procedure in the last (I don't know) how many years?

There is no exit or opt out guidelines. So while they may be accurate on the incoming or sign up members, they are not accurate on the down side.

Exit and opt out can mean someone who was a member who wants to no longer be a member, or someone who was a member and left/moved/died and no one knows the wiser.

Managing data is a huge task and most don't know where to start. And that's not just a CDC... think postal service and magazine firms.  We all get spam mail (in our mail boxes) from folks who came and went well before us.

While we may all want to rail TWDC or any other fund distributing group on this point, we have to realize they probably don't understand the task at hand, because those that do this for a living don't get it right...

I've spent the better part of 25 years dealing with these data parameters.  If anyone wants input, I'd be glad to help.



I did not raise my hand to vote in either case... we had no quorum... it was publicly called... my hand stayed to my side... while the folks around me (except one attorney) said... "raise your hand!!!" No quorum.  I won't vote.

While we were voting in "hopes that we would get quorum by the end of the meeting to make all votes count" (and I and Barb and Kathy, did text people to get there for quorum because it was a big event and we'd rather see it roll forward and be official.)

We came close... but a few shy.

And, there was also never a call for abstention... which at that point I would have raised my hand for the officially unofficialy count...  isn't that one of the reasons it is there?  So I guess I technically didn't get my officially unofficial vote counted.

Currently sitting on the Liminis/Convergence-Continuum Board, if we don't have quorum?  Meeting adjorned.  Reconvene later... no matter the inconvenience.

Going to Cleveland Board of Housing and Standards?  No quorum? Meeting adjorned.  Reconvene later...  no matter the inconvenience.

Hmmmm...  unpopular?  maybe.

Parliamentary process and our civil/legal rights?   Absolutely yes!!!




The Authority of the General Membership

Des., we called five or six people too. If we had quorum at the meeting it would have legitimized the whole night. We as members saw so many positive changes that night. Election Monitors, Voter Instructions, The past years minutes, vote counts reviled, and discussion of new business topics.

As I said before, and you said it much better that I did. That there would be a chance to eventually reach quorum and the ballots would then be collected.

It was a bad night for all. If a new special meeting was called for the election by the TWDC Board it could have been a opportunity for the staff and volunteers to call the membership, get more involved etc.

By the 2008 Board creating a process for a Special Board meeting, and seeing seven resign, two get re-appointed, and then five get appointed takes it out of the membership that have the rights via the By-laws to elect the new Trustees.

Again I do feel not much would have changed, but the general membership had its absolute power removed from them, no due process, nor equal protection.

I shouldn't beat that drum after what the City and TWDC put you through. But no matter what happens here. We need to make sure that this cannot happen ever again.

Thanks for your articulate expression too.

In regard to Civil Rights. 

In regard to Civil Rights.  All those years ago, when the by-laws were written, I'm sure they were written for a reason as well as the Charter.  As you will note, TWDC doesn't even follow the Charter.  New people moved into this area, and they don't like  how things are done, what the organization stands for, how the by-laws are written, so, they figure, oh well, we're more educated, we have masters degrees, we know so much more than these old people, what do they know, if we want to vote, we're gonna vote, never mind the by-laws say we can't if we don't have quorum.  We're so smart, we'll figure a way around them. 

You just take one or two of these issues and you can say that some people just have an ax to grind but if you sit down and put it all together and look at the entire list a different picture begins to emerge.  That's the message they're sending out.  If no one can follow such simple rules as by-laws for a non-profit organizations which was created for the good of a community, what else can be bypassed?  What makes it so important that they push that election through even though they didn't have quorum that they didn't adjourn let the people go home and come back?  The weather was really bad for days before January 29,  why didn't they cancel the meeting all together and re-schedule, probably more people would have come out?

Then someone takes credit for something they didn't do really pisses you off.

We live in the Third World (Western Tremont Ward 14)

I attended the TWDC Safety Summit (01-24-09) upon the request of TWDC Board member, and Safety Committee Chair David Mehring, who I respect.

TWDC SII Director informed the gathering that he was going to also work on putting together Police Brevity reports as a information tool on the internet.

When I questioned that about 80% of the people in Ward 14 Tremont did not have computers. I was told they would have to go to the library or learn how to use a computer.

Then it was said that people over there need to stop living in the third world. So you must question why even we should bother with this type of statement.

(These old timers over here do not want to see a computer let alone try to use one. We must respect that, and figure out a way to get them informed about crime in the community.)

Another staff member talked about the Weed and Seed program and then described how it was used in Atlanta. That the goal was to get anyone with a criminal record out of that specific neighborhood and make them some other neighborhood trouble.

I think we can see what is happening here. This must be stopped.

the wEEd and sEEd program????

 the wEEd and sEEd program???? you're joking right??? jeezuz - this is gonna have me laughing my ass off all night...

and why shOUldnt granma and granpa be forced to become computer literate if they want a say in their neighborhood's future? 

Sarcasm aside, I think the blessed generation of entitled youth feels no shame.

Speaks volumes about who we

Speaks volumes about who we have running things around here.  I seriously don't know what they're smokin' but I do believe it ain't the sEEd.

Since when are you required to have a computer or know how to use one to live in a community or expect due process of law. 

Do they think that  grandma and grandpa never heard of parliamentary  law - who in the hell do they think wrote it?  And they didn't have a computer either.  These so called "entitled youth"  should be so lucky to know what grandmas and grandpas knew. 

new by-laws to favor those who carry the load

What if TWDC made new by-laws that gave all non-tax-abated property owners more votes than the tax-abated-property carpetbaggers, and all property owners overall more votes than renters?



753 BRAYTON AVE., CLEVELAND, OHIO 44113-4604 USA, V:216.861.7368, F:216.861.7368
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Plain Press letter to Editor 02/09

Tremont “political witch-hunt” needs to stop

To the editor: (Plain Press, February 2009) I think the message is coming forth more clearly now that Tremont residents are falling under the watchful eye of a political witch-hunt. Certainly this is evidenced by the recent demolition of Frank Giglio”s house on w. 14th street. Now it proceeds with threats of the same against Desiree Schmitt. Desiree is a hard working person who has been successfully operating a vital business in Tremont for several years, and she has been working hard to progressively repair and upgrade the properties mentioned in your article in the January 2009 edition.

I’d sure like to know what power or self-righteous position this select and elite committee led by John Moss has. What qualifications do they possess to accomplish their goals?
I find the recent conduct of these people and the way they seem to have power to influence city officials to act on their word disturbing.

It sounds like another political based agenda to free land for developers, two in particular whose names are suspect to me.

Tremonters need to stand up to this behavior and fight to show it will not be tolerated. I see a lot of properties owned by others in this neighborhood that seem to be immune to this but appear in as bad or worse condition.

The witch-hunt needs to stop or be stopped.

Bob Frederick


New Code Enforcement - BOHICA Time

Code enforcement is program's focus

Thursday, February 12, 2009
By Ken Prendergast kprendergast [at] sunnews [dot] com
West Side Sun News

Among the many components of the new Neighborhood Stabilization Program approved by City Council, one part that was welcomed most by city officials was funding for enforcement and oversight.

Specifically, the $25 million program to support rehabilitation of existing homes will include hiring building inspectors to discourage "flipping" of properties without proper repairs.

Funding will also be used for getting ownership control of properties where houses and structures are too decayed to be saved. Those structures will be demolished and the property cleared to encourage future development.

However, any structures that have materials like high-quality wood, stone or architectural features in good condition will be salvaged and recycled. Of the total NSP package, $15 million will be devoted to structural demolition and related programs.

The amount devoted to demolition wasn't a surprise to Council President Martin Sweeney.

"Each and every Cleveland neighborhood is affected by the problem of vacant and abandoned properties," he said. "The passage of the NSP legislation is the latest step in Cleveland City Council's ongoing efforts to combat foreclosure and to revive the Cleveland housing market."

More than $350,000 was allocated for demolition support by hiring new personnel at the Cleveland Building and Housing Department. Council authorized the hiring of two residential housing inspectors, a site inspector, a senior clerk to the Diligent Title Unit and a paralegal for the Diligent Title Unit.

Furthermore, the Cleveland Department of Community Development is slated to receive nearly $600,000 in NSP funds to hire additional personnel to administer aspects of the program as well.

More than $4 million of the NSP funds were allocated for creating rental housing for households with an income of 50 percent or less of the average median income. Another $2 million in loans, subsidies and grants was budgeted to encourage the rehabilitation of homes.

Almost $2.5 million was specified for a construction loan program to revive fragile housing markets in targeted areas of the city. In those areas, up to 40 percent of the cost of a single-family renovation would be lent by the city.

About $500,000 was set aside to find new uses for vacant land such as urban gardening, pocket parks, green energy generation plus environmentally sensitive storm water management.

"Cleveland has long been a leader in innovate uses for vacant land such as urban gardening," Sweeney added.

More than $650,000 in NSP funds will be used for Operation Prevent -- a database for current information on the ownership, code enforcement, utility service, real estate transaction, foreclosure, occupancy, cost recovery and public acquisition status of vacant, abandoned and at-risk properties.

The database "increases department to department communication aimed at combating the dumping of severely distressed properties into Cleveland's housing stock," Sweeney said.

Reposted Compliments of and the West Side Sun news

You definitely need an attorney not from CSU

As I've been investigating how the SIIs came to exist and what tools and people were used to develop the strategy I've found CSU being paid for many services, including legal support of the SIIs - I think CSU being the legal advisers at the meeting was a mistake... they had a conflict of interest - you need the ACLU

Every lawyer of any caliber looking to make a difference in this community should jump to help the causes being surfaced with all these Tremont problems...

Where does Frank Giglio stand on finding representation... can some of this legal fundraising help him too?

Disrupt IT

help on SII

Norm, what is this "SII," again?


Cleveland Foundation "Strategic Investment Initiative"

Meaning, for example, very little HUD Neighborhood Restabalization money will be used to do good things in your neighborhood, because the foundations don't think it is strategic to invest there.

Disrupt IT

 How about "Somebody's

 How about "Somebody's Idiotic Idea"

Norm, SOS, Do you know how

Norm, SOS, Do you know how to remove something that was posted by mistake?  I accidentally posted some e-mail addresses and have not been able to edit them off.  Need help to remove them.  Is it possible?

I was trying to post the TWDC committee schedules but it wouldn't do it without posting the e-mail addresses.  Also, it didn't include the dates -so I needed to clear it off.  Sorry about that.

RE: SOS problem with imported code.. how is this?

Sometimes when you post HTML content (like something you copy off a website, or rich text email) to realneo, the content you paste has embedded HTML and other code defining format, color, etc., and sometimes that code gets positioned in a way that conflicts with other format code on realneo - it doesn't mess up the overall site or database but effects how it is read by your internet browser and presented in the user interface - e.g. one set of code will inset a table into other code, making the entire posting the width of the embedded table.

If ever that happens, go into the posting that is causing the problem and copy the content causing the problem - e.g. text within a table - and paste the copy into text editor - that will strip out any bad code (it is a good idea to do this before posting anything with lots of formatting). You must also go into the original posting and remove any bad formatting - you may be able to do that by deleting what you see looks bad in the edit window, but sometimes this requires going into the source HTML (you do that by clicking "disable rich text" in the text edit box - if you can figure all that out, and know some HTML, no problem.

Or, you can post on realneo "SOS" and one of us with some site administration experience can take care of things for you.

Also, I believe we have a support email address - is it support [at] realneo [dot] us, Jeff?

Disrupt IT

A great big thanks.

A great big thanks.

REALNEO support

Yes, support [at] realneo [dot] us will work.

The Contact form has an option for Help and Support, too, which directs to the same address. Right now, though, I'm the only one that receives those emails, which is not good for me or the person in need. I'd love if other folks would like to be on that forwarding list.

Airing things out here on the site where all can help and learn is even better.

And when the forums are working properly, over there...

You can certainly add me to support

Always glad to clean up some code and answer questions.

But online is best, if there is a learning opportunity in the process.

Transparancy All The Way

New By-Laws Committee meets tonight - But who knows.

This morning I received a call inquiring if I was going to attend the TWDC By-Laws Committee tonight.  Of course, I said, "what meeting, there's no meeting scheduled tonight,"  So, I went to the Tremont West Development Corp. Homepage and pulled up the schedule and as I thought there was no By-Law Committee meeting scheduled tonight or any other night. 

Now, as I recall Tom Cook making a statement that they (TWDC) were being transparant.  Now how can the membership be expected to attend an important meeting if it is not on the schedule and no one knows it's going on except the insiders.  That's not transparancy.  That's just like the little secret meetings (that went on for months) spearheaded by John Moss and Ron O'Leary to step up housing code enforcement that nobody knew about ( but they were held under the auspices of TWDC) and all the members had a right to attend and participate. 

All of these meeting are open for the membership to attend and participate in as well as vote.  The By-Laws committee is a very important committee and by not putting it on the schedule excludes the membership from having knowledge of the date and time of this meeting.  Even those that receive a last minute call cannot always be expected to change their plans when posting the schedule would allowed interested members to make other arrangements.

This is just more of TWDC doing business as usual.  They tell the outside members what they want the outside members to know and then when decisions are made and questions arise, we're just being bullies.

Community Meetings

TWDC Board & Committees

TWDC Board - 2008 TWDC Special Board Meeting - Thursday, February 5, 6pm @ TWDC-Please note date change!---Meets the third Thursday of every month.

Executive Committee - Wed., February 11th @ TWDC, 7pm. Please note date and time change ! Meets the second Wednesday of every month. Chair: Tom Cook

Housing Development Committee - Thurs., February 12th @ TWDC, 6pm. Meets the second Thursday of every month. Chair: Tim Jenkins

Finance Committee - Meets Quarterly. Chair: Lynn Murray

Marketing and Fundraising Committee- - Wednesday, March 4th @ TWDC, 6pm. Meets first Wednesday of every month. Co-Chairs: Becca Riker & Sandy Smith

Safety Committee - Mon., February 9th @ TWDC, 7pm - Meets the second Monday of every month. Chair: David Mehring

Economic Development & Long Range Planning Friday, February 6th @ TWDC, 6pm - Please note date change!!!!! Meets first Thursday of every month. Chair -Sandy Smith and David Purpera

Nominating Committee - Sandy Yambor

Tremont Block Clubs and Civic Groups

Holmden-Buhrer-Rowley - Wed. March 4th @ The Clark Bar (1201 Clark), 6:30pm, Chair: Matt Grose

Mentor-Castle-Clark - Wed., March 4th @ The Clark Bar (1201 Clark), 6:30pm, Co-Chairs: Katie Dunton and Josh Zielaskiewicz

South of Jefferson- Tuesday, February 10th @ Post 58 Upstairs, 7pm - Meets the second Tuesday of every month. Chairs: Barb Sper and Michael DeNicola

Lincoln Heights - February 12th @ Zion Church (2716 W 14th), 6:30pm - Meets the second Thursday of every month. Co-Chairs: Nina Swerdlow and Roman Dowhaniuk, Secretary: Henry Senyak

Auburn Block Club - February 12th @ Grumpy's Cafe , 7pm - Meets the second Thursday of every month. Co-Chairs: Sarah Lundeen and Frank Tkacz

North of Literary - Tues., February 17th @ 806 Wine and Martini Bar, 6:30pm - Meets the third Tuesday of every month. Co-Chairs: and Sue Coy and Lorraine Thwaite

Central Tremont - - Tuesday, February 24th @ Jefferson Library @ 6:30pm. Usually meets 4th Tuesday of every month. Co-chairs: Jason Beudert and Jurleen Justus

Metro North - No Meeting in January - at MetroHealth, Room 101 - Meets the last Tuesday of the month. Chair: Christine Krosel

Old Tremont - - Wednesday, February 18th, 6:30pm @ Scranton Castle (2000 Castle) . Meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Co-chairs: Lena Jackson and Leah Adams

Duck Island - (TBA), 6pm at Abby Playground. Meets the first Tuesday of every month during the summer. Chair: Alicia Hudson

Twi-Fi Meetings - See for schedule

Re$tore Tremont - See for schedule or contact Patricia Ross

Friends of Clark Field - Chair: Bev Wurm

2nd District Police Community Relations - Tues., February 10th @ Applewood Center, 7pm - Meets second Tuesday of every month.

Tremont History Project - Tues., February 10th, 7pm at TWDC- Meets second Tuesday of every month. Chair: Eileen Sotak

Tremont Gardeners - Tues., February 17th, 6pm @ Visible Voice- Meets the third Tuesday of every month. Master Gardener: Sandy Smith

Historic St. Theodosius. Courtesy of Barabara Merrit Photography ©

Special Meeting Notices

Tremont Roundtable - No meeting scheduled.

Police to Take Over TWDC Offices in February

Tremont West has engaged an off-duty Cleveland Police Officer to hold 'office hours' for the benefit of neighborhood residents. The officer will be available from 5-7pm at the TWDC offices, 2406 Professor, on Tuesday evenings, please call to confirm, 216-575-0920.

Our new, blue friend will be on-hand for two hours each week to take complaints; file misdemeanor reports; offer advice--essentially to be a sounding board and resource for Tremont's residents. As he will be based in the office, he cannot take reports for certain crimes that occurred off-site at another time (these can be generally defined as anything that would require a detective's follow-up & involvement).

Why is this occurring? Because you asked for it!

Funding a community-based police officer in 2008 was identified as a necessity by participants attending TWDC's Safety Committee retreat, held in April at Merrick House. Initial monies for this program were seeded by a grant from ArcelorMittal Steel.

All Tremont residents are encouraged to come by on Tuesday evenings and say hello to our very own 'community-based officer.' The success and subsequent continuation of this program will be based upon neighborhood response--so be sure to take advantage of this new arrangement!

apparently I annoyed someone

apparently I annoyed someone (he said his name was Sammy Catania) by calling and asking when and where the By-Laws Committee meeting is:

Tonight; 6pm; TWDC office

I asked why it wasn't posted to the web site "I can't answer that question Miss, I don't know" and then he hung up on me.

By-Law Committee Added to Schedule - But No Date?

Follow up to the By-Law Committee not being posted on the scheduled meetings of the TWDC Homepage.  Well, I'm happy to inform you that the homepage has been up-dated to include the By-Law Committee and the  name of the chairpersons.  However, we still don't know when to attend.  Just says meets periodically.  When in the heck is periodically? 

I don't know if they know it or not but transparancy means commin' clean with everything not just the stuff you got caught hiddin.'

The little 5:30 pow wow headed up by John Moss which has gone on for months and should be open to the membership for participation, decision making and voting has never been put on the schedule and still is not on the schedule. 

The membership is the ultimate authority of Tremont West Development Corp. 

Transparency "Truth or Consequences" is Monte Hall still alive?

TWDC president paves way for increased community involvement
by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, April 2007) Sammy Catania, elected president of the Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC) at its January meeting, has wasted little time in setting a new agenda for the organization. At a March 8th meeting of the Lincoln Heights/Scranton-Starkweather Block Club Catania announced a new safety proposal for the neighborhood, promised to restore board committees,  and promised to meet four times a year with TWDC block club chairpersons to raise issues to be addressed by the board and staff of the organization.

Catania promised to reinstate the dormant TWDC board committees and to provide block club leaders with meeting dates and names of members of all the board’s standing committees: Executive Committee, Housing, Finance, Long Range Planning, Fundraising and Marketing, and Economic Development. Catania promised that the committees will keep minutes of their meetings and the minutes would be accessible. Catania asked that each block assign someone to sit in an ad hoc position on the TWDC Board of Trustees. Catania said he hoped to change the perception of TWDC in the neighborhood by providing residents with access to all its committees. He said he perceived that the organization was hated in some quarters of the community.

Catania said the Board of Trustees had formed a Safety Committee and asked the Lincoln Heights/Scranton-Starkweather Block Club to designate someone for that committee. Catania then outlined a proposal to create a network of security cameras in Tremont that would be linked together by a wi-fi network. He said he was counting on each block club to designate places in their service area “where there is the most trouble” so the cameras can be strategically placed to do the most good. Police will be informed of the locations of the cameras and digital recordings from the cameras will made available to police upon request when crimes are reported in the vicinity of one of the cameras.

Money raised over the past several years from the Tremont Trek has been designated for the security network. Catania said two Tremont residents with security expertise are finalists in bidding to set up the security network. Catania said he is visiting each block club to urge the block clubs to apply for grant monies for security cameras. He said TWDC would provide technical assistance with preparing grant proposals. Catania said Merrick House has already joined the security network and he is negotiating with the developers of the Valley View HOPE VI to create a wi-fi zone with security cameras. A side benefit of creating the camera security network, noted Catania,  would be that once the network was completed residents would be able to access the internet for free from anywhere in Tremont.

Catania also proposed that the Tremont neighborhood adopt one logo to identify the entire neighborhood. He suggested a logo, designed for the Metro North Block Club by neighborhood artist Julia Briggs, that  shows the word “tremont” positioned vertically on a sign with a tree growing out of the last “t” in the word. Catania suggested that each neighborhood could chose an individual color for the logo. He asked that the block club consider writing a letter of support for the idea.

Lincoln Heights/Scranton-Starkweather Block Club Co-Chair Henry Senyak praised Catania’s proposal to open the committee meetings and post the meetings’ minutes as efforts that he hoped would “open up and make TWDC more transparent.”

Editor’s Note: Links to the TWDC By-Laws, names of the Board members and staff and Board of Trustee Meeting minutes can be found on the TWDC website at

Guy Templeton Black

TWDC board candidate promises to “fight for the poor people”
by Jerleen Justus

(Plain Press, February 2009) Guy Templeton Black, slated candidate for the Board of Trustees of Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC) is no stranger to confrontation. With the January 29, 2009, annual election at hand and seven vacant seats at the director's table the sixty-seven year old life-long resident threw his hat in the ring for the third time and stepped up to the challenge of running the campaign race.


The office-seeker is not alone in his quest for the betterment of a neighborhood that has been his home for so many years. His beloved companion Yogi Bear, faithfully by his side, accompanies him as he loads up his stapled bios and heads off to each of the scheduled block club meetings, introduces himself and addresses the members as to why he is best suited to fill one of the empty chairs.

"I have a lot to offer the members of this organization," stated the contender. "For one thing, I will always fight for the poor people. Perhaps there is no better representation of the underprivileged than someone who has endured the walk from that side of life.

"Mother first moved us to Tremont into CMHA Housing on West 5th Street, about 1944, and we were poor people," states Mr. Black, and that was back when we had to stay inside because the steel dust was about an inch thick."

Given the aspirant's experience and knowledge of Tremont, his journey in overcoming his own trials and tribulations, and his dedication in going that extra mile to ascertain his objectives, Guy Templeton Black can certainly be considered a positive asset in the checks and balances of the Old South Side.

Guy doesn't have a college degree, but a two-sided six-page bio gives credence to Mr. Black's worthiness as an individual more than capable of performing duties required as a valued member of the TWDC board. As the election date draws near and the many issues surrounding the community organization go unresolved, Guy applies his own theory as a means to an end of the battle between the haves and the have-nots. "Anger comes from guilt and fear so when somebody like Tom Cook belittles me, I just sit back because those people will be the cause of their own self-destruction."

During his crusade, Guy and Yogi stopped in at the TWDC board meeting on January 13, 2009, and posed the question as to how many active members TWDC had on the books. He left the meeting under a cloud of confusion and doubt and no more the wiser, since the knowledgeable panel didn't know the lucky number, but was promised a tally on the evening of January 29, when everyone would meet for the annual election.  

Guy's says his misgivings reappeared a week later when "A tale of two Tremonts" appeared on the front page of the West Side Sun News and in perusing the story, his attention became focused on a quote by Chris Garland.  "There are 9,000 people in our service area."  

"There maybe 9,000 to 10,000 people in the Tremont area, but how many are members of TWDC is what not only the candidates, but also we as members, would like to know? This is a reasonable question and there is nothing in the by-laws that states that I can't look at the books,” says Black.

“Let me read this part of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) to you and I'm going to read it for Chris Garland too," says Black. There was a second from the floor as Yogi raised his head, let out a half growl and then put his head back down and closed his eyes.


Each corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of account, together with minutes of the proceedings of its incorporators, members, directors, and committees of the directors or members. Subject to limitations prescribed in the articles of the regulations upon the right of members of a corporation to examine the books and records, all books and records of a corporation, including the membership records prescribed by section 1702.13 of the Revised Code, may be examined by any member or director or the agent or attorney of either, for any reasonable and proper purpose and at any reasonable time."

This Tremonter is not only familiar with the ins and outs of this area but understands and utilizes the workings of the legal system as well.  Step on his rights as a citizen and he has no scruples when it comes to hauling you up in front of a judge. "They tried to stop me from putting signs on my house once," spoke the self-educated barrister, "I showed 'em how that was covered by the US Supreme Court. I worked the Arts and Cultural Festival held in the park for eight years and then one day I got a call from TWDC saying they voted at the Merrick House and I didn't play by the rules so I couldn't participate any more. I just threatened to file a lawsuit and it wasn't too long before they called and said I could come back."

"A lot of people know me and know that I can get things done. If you read all the letters I got from people saying thank you and acknowledging my help then you know I can get things done. I'm not afraid to ask, to pick up the telephone and make calls. I'm just not going to tell you what you want to hear."

The soft-spoken man ended the dialogue by saying "Me and Yogi spend a lot of time in the park. We sit there with our signs and I watch out for the people. Yogi is my handicap assistant. I try to do as much positive stuff as possible. I'll always keep trying to help somebody. Me and Yogi will keep on with our neighborhood watch as I grew up here and I've seen the best and the worst of Tremont, but I think I can help make it better if they'll give me a chance.”

The question running over...

...and over in the back of my mind... (and I'm no legal or process guru, but...)

I picked up my first copy of Roberts Rules of Order when I was in 8th grade and won by election the first of five consecutive seats on Student Council.

Fourteen years old and I spent the summer with that book... that dry... mundane... sometimes-over-my-head-I-have-no-interest-in-law-school black text... set in Times New Roman... on a piercing white background.  While my friends were playing, yes, I fell asleep two lines into every chapter, red each line five times in denial, and would rather have put needles under my lids... but it was important. And if I didn't know it, I knew someone would call me on it.

Since then, I've run across the "Cliffs Notes" version, Roberts Rules for Dummy's, countless cheat sheets on the internet, FAQs, etc.

While I see both arguments on both sides as to the "why" things happen with regard to the annual TWDC and what that means on a broader level..

Parliamentary procedure exists for a reason.  And after all things are said and done, after over 10 years of TWDC annual meetings (and yes, I did my term on the board, too) I was glad to see that this last meeting was the most structured proceeding I've seen in a long time.

And one of Henry's comments also rings in the back of my head, "New v. Old" membership. 

If I break out those opposing demographics - the new membership sports higher education and better financial positions.  So, certainly they hold more college degrees than not... and can afford access to a computer, the world of info at your fingertips.  (When College forced me to re-visit Robert's Rules?  Everyone else around me had my 8th grade experience!!  I smiled.  I've already paid my dues!!)

So, the new people have an economic and educational advantage regarding exposure to the concept of parliamentary procedure.  And the vast majority of the New Membership at the TWDC meeting left immediately following this officially, un-official vote, leaving the rest of us to tend to the rest of the offically, un-official business.

I'm perplexed and wondering if we are scratching at a new generational, educational, or socio-econimic divide in our democratic evolution...??? Or has that happened and we are now reaching a baby-boomer bubble?  And if so, maybe the tough economic times will become the ultimate generational equalizer between war-time grandparents and the next up-and-coming adults who have to inherit this mess..  and all of us caught in-between?

a stubborn streak for refusing logic...

or is it simply a stubborn streak for refusing logic when it doesn't go your way (some call this simply being "spoiled").

Why can't we accept the rules we ourselves lay out?



or, do we use different approaches to facilitation?

Perhaps Robert's Rules of Order is not a good fit any more. See

for a discussion of Robert's Rules contrasted with two other means of running meetings: consensus process and dynamic facilitation.

We have found with venues like MeetTheBloggers and the I-Open ventures that when the point is to let the truth or candor emerge as much as possible, manipulation, steering, and hidebound adherence to rules give less attractive outcomes. The ultimate meeting would be one in which all divergent opinions and screeching polarities moderate, come together in that big tent in the middle, and go home after a rousing rendition of Kumbaya.


Is The SII Program a New Form of Mofia Connection

I have come to the decision the TWDC must be part of a new form of mofia that has taken over under the this so called SII Program.  Because no matter where you turn or who you turn to they are "connected."  All the main players working at TWDC "connected" to SII program.  Everybody that provides assistance to TWDC "connected" to SII program.  Most of the funding "connected" to SII Program.  The only thing that matters in this  neighborhood - SII Program.  Go to any meetings, SII Program.  Everybody is afraid to upset the plans for the SII Program. 

If they don't like the rules, they finagle a way to go around them and if that don't work, hell they just make up new ones.  Ask the wrong questions and you get crucified by the unknown, but the message is clear.  It has been made clear that they plan to weed out those not up to their standards and  those who from an older generation or just not up to the task of modern technology are considered a third world country. 

What's next, can't own a used car? Who knows?

Try to get through to any anybody about the impoverished and the long-time homeowners and - they don't fit in the SII Program.  Read throught the SII Program and they even talk about Tremont's population being more than 50% at or below poverty level - but you won't see anything about making changes to rectify that situation.   We are being ruled and under the thumb of the SII Program and it seems that NPI due to the funding "owns" TWDC and those on the staff.  If that's the case we don't have a community organization NPI has an organization.  Who was the rat (rats) that sold us out?

Read the preamble

I can't make it any simpler than this - and I make some proposals on what to change, how, and some initiatives that will be better.

Add positive proposals and perspectives to that and we can replace SII with CII - Citizens Investment Initiative - which requires we CSI CSU and everyone else behnd SII.

Get investigating, and documenting

Disrupt IT

and google

brings this up, realneo everywhere. 

all we can do is keep connecting the dots....

and maybe the FBI will look into this at somepoint and do some dot connecting of their own.



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