Follow the Money in the Corruption Probe

Submitted by Henry Senyak on Thu, 03/12/2009 - 00:57.

Channel 19 was following the money trail of J. Kevin Kelley, Bill Mason, and others involved in deals with the City of Parma. Channel 19 targeted the Campaign Finace report of J. Kevin Kelley over the years. It had pointed out expenses of over $4000.00 spent at Lockkeepers. I have also been told by friends in the media that both Frank Russo and Jimmy Dimora had frequented this establishment. I wonder if they expense this out also on Campaign Financing? Or perhaps could it be tax money fitting the bill? Millions of Cuyahoga County residents want to know?

Well perhaps is this the influence playing a part in the owner and landlord of a proposed new dining spot in Tremont being able to start construction without attaining the proper change of use and expansion of use permit applications with the City of Cleveland?  All while Storefront Renovation signs are mounted on the constuction site showing its partners. (See picture below compliments of Jerleen Justus)

Which top officials at the City of Cleveland Building and Housing Department can explain why commercial construction can occur without permits in Tremont? But  inspectors outside of Ward 13 force compliance and do not look the other way, or get a phone call from some politico type.

327.02     Enforcement; Permits and Certificates of Occupancy

(a) This Zoning Code shall be enforced by the Division of Building and Division of Housing under the direction of the Commissioner of Building and the Commissioner of Housing.

(b) No building shall be erected, altered or enlarged until a permit for such erection, alteration or enlargement has been issued by the Commissioner of Building.

(c) There shall be no change or substitution in the use of any existing building or premises and no extension of any existing use, nor shall any premises be occupied for any new use, until a certificate of occupancy has been issued.

(d) Before any permit or certificate of occupancy is issued, the Commissioner of Building or the Commissioner of Housing shall examine or cause to be examined the application therefor, and any plans and plot plan accompanying such application, to ascertain whether the proposed work and use will conform to the provisions of this Zoning Code. No permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless the proposed work and use conform to the provisions of this Zoning Code.

It was clear that yesterday the Plain Dealer reported two City of Cleveland Building and Housing inspectors working in another part of Ward 13 took bribes, and are also tied to the County Corruption probe.

We all must ask just one question. WHY?

(Edit - I added the Community Guide that was supposed to be on the TWDC website in January, this document was approved by TWDC Ed/LRP)

Community resource guide.pdf96.88 KB
( categories: )


  You are wrong here Henry.  Some people may try to circumvent the City of Cleveland at all's almost a given, because of the corruption--but the owner of the bank buildings is not connected with any of the county politicos and you are going too far here based on what--ethnicity?

Yes, this is a neighorhood class struggle and a tipping point--one restaurant is getting the kind of scrutiny other restaurants got a pass GO on.  But, please focus on TWDC's machinations, focus on the demolitions...and misuse of police power in your neighborhood and ask why the inspectors who received the bribes in the PD story link above are STILL employed?

The inspectors, both employed by the Cleveland Building and Housing Department, are not named in court papers. One inspected electrical work and the other examined structural work.

lmcshane I can't seem to get


I can't seem to get photos to post on NEO, but I sent them th Henry - I think he might be able to clear up a thing or two.  As far as other restaurants go, it just so happens, no body looked until now.  I began my research into the parking schemes several months ago when I was on my way to a meeting at TWDC and could find no place to park. 

There were about three spaces open across the street from TWDC offices and so I pulled in, a little gal came out and told me that she would call the cops on me if I remained in that space.  Having experienced many other problems with the retail overflow of parking in our neighborhood, I decided it was time to check it out and that it would make a good news analysis piece for the Press.  And so it has - more than I eve expected. 

Jerleen1's Tremont bank renovation photos

jerleen1 Tremont bank renovation


Hello Jerleen1,   I took the liberty of downloading your 3 photos attached to Henry's post and putting them into one file - posted above.   (please let me know if you don't approve) The original files were too large, and the image pixel size too tall/wide, to make it into realneo.   I plan to have a Realneo session towards the end of the month to help anyone who wants more info on inserting images to the site.  I will announce the date in the event calendar when I figure it out.   You can also find instructions on how to post an image to Realneo in Martha's directions here.


Thank You

Thanks Jeff, Yes I would be interested to attend such a event.


Jeff, now why would I

Jeff, now why would I disapprove such a wonderful idea?  I have been trying to figure out how to do this myself, but I'm just not as computer literate as most. 

And you so did such a good job!!

I thank you so very much.

Anytime you see photos with my name linked to them, feel free to put 'em up front and center.

Jerleen 1

more for the gone pile

well maybe the church isn't yet, but I hear its on its way...soon Tremont will be a sterile suburb.

please identify


What are these photos of? Are these buildings gone? Where are they were they? If they are gone, why?


on the left is the bank building they are discussing. it would be nice if it's exterior is kept intact. i used to love that building, it reminded me of a small town bank - the kind you don't see anymore. the photo was taken about 8 years ago.

in the middle is a home on the corner of brayton and professor. the guy who lived there was a tad bit odd. he grew the best cherry tomatoes. we would pick a handful and snack on them whenever we walked by. the home was purchased and rehabbed and rented. its nice. its clean. it has no where near the charm it used to. but its clean.

the last is Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church at the corner of College and W7th. rumor is it is slated for close and sale, but that is only rumor. rumor is sammy catania purchased the property just west of it and between the church and desiree's property, but that is only rumor. rumor is that would explain why they condemned and tried to demo desiree's backhouse (it does sit where a convenient egress would be were that other lot turned into a parking lot or something....) but that is only rumor. It is the site where they want to park cars for the new restaurant, Dante's.

debra, That is exactly what


That is exactly what I belileve is up.  When I went around taking pictures of the construction going on behind the bank building and of the church parking lot, Des' house is sitting right in the middle of a direct route.  All of this stepped up housing code enforcement is not for naught.  There's a scheme behind every step they take and I find Sammy Catania right behind the wheel.  

He is a developer who got himself hired into the CDC which I truly believe is a major conflict in the first place - and he's trying to run the entire organization. 

I have begun to think that maybe it's time that somebody to step up and force the non-profit organization to file "for profit application" status with the state.  They are clearly in the profit making business and do not have the best interest of the people at heart.


Do you think there are organized crime connections?

This is looking more and more like organized. Do you know of obvious connections between these people and organized crime leaders here and elsewhere, ever. Does anyone have a good map of organized crime in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio? Wouldn't expect that of the PD... married to the mob?

Few other groups of people would be so overtly vicious, criminal, anti-diversity and petty. This would also explain people dieing, houses being burned down, councilmen selling out (and looking like they aged 20 years in two), developers building illegally, and random acts of gunfire and violence - both to drive down property values and silence and drive away troublemakers. Modus operandi would certainly include bribery, graft, coercion and all the other strong armed tactics that seem the law in Tremont. I believe you have been taken over.

I suspect some of your lives are in danger, and you should be talking to the highest authorities at the Federal level and ask them to investigate.

Disrupt IT

When is enough.. enough?

Reading this strain makes my stomach turn.. 


Compliance for all


I want to add something to what I said previously. 

It is unfortunate that the bank building and new restaurant proposal just happened to be the "fly in the soup" so to speak.  But things have gone along too long with everybody turning a blind eye because this guy is a good guy and that guy is a good guy, on and on.

The poor long time homeowners in this neighborhood have been pulled up to muster under the housing code violations,  being told they must abide by "The Code,"  the code being the City of Cleveland Codified Ordinances.  The same Codified Ordinances (laws) that business owners and those getting by without proper permits should be called up to muster on as well. 

Are you saying that there should be two sets of laws?  Investigating the parking issues led me to other issues and so on.  There is so much non-compliance in this whole mess and it has been covered up way too long.  There's no time like the present to put it all right.  It's a simple matter.  In researching records at City Hall, as of Monday, at Building and Housing, no application for change of use from a bank to a restaurant had been filed.  The pictures that I sent Henry to post were taken In December and as you can tell, due to the stage of construction, work had been going on for some time.  No permits?

At our last block club meeting, Dante revealed in his proposal that there would also be basement facilities with additional bar services.  We must start requiring enforcement of  compliance from all of the establishments in order to maintain equal and fairness for all.

hmmmm maybe

 it is true things happen in Tremont rather strange.

I saw a 4bedroom, attached garage new build pop up on a 30' frontage -technically a non-buildable lot. According to county records they purchased the property in June '08 and broke ground August '08... so somehow they obtained variance in that short time. I might mention that when they dug the foundation they left it wide open for anyone to fall into and they never posted a single permit.

I think it is a legitimate question - how is it that some people get the "system" to shake them out a deal in no time flat, when for others its an ongoing burden? Desiree - maybe you could expound on part two of that....

Corruption - on multiple levels of system

These efforts to clean house are quite interesting - on multiple levels of system.  We've already seen and known quite intimately the FBI investigation of County officials and efforts - and just recently there has been some interesting breaking news involvng the FBI and Obama's Chief Technology Officer, Vivek Kundra and his offices.  This should be interesting to watch.

Cleaning house?

Two standards...

  No, Jerleen, there shouldn't be two sets of law...but please don't take out years of code abuse on one person.  I suspect that your situation with the parking will pan itself out, but please don't get so bogged down with the restaurant, especially since Giancarlo Calicchia has a track record of saving and restoring buildings, not demolishing them (and he is also one of your neighbors).  Stay focused on the SII/TWDC machinations underway.  And, please, continue writing for the Plain Press.  I really enjoyed your coverage of the Tremont elections in the March issue.  I see a career blossoming here. 

(GC will get in touch with you and Henry to discuss the permits...the permits have been filed...)



SII - Storefront Renovation - Partnerships

All of this is interwoven. TWDC is involved in the construction site.

One tool to be used in the TWDC SII plan approved in 2008 is the utilization of the City of Cleveland Storefront Renovation program. (Which is funded with Tax Dollars). I have been involved with other heated issues with Storefront contracts. I can tell you they are strict, and have close to 30-40 clauses within the contract for continue compliance of the contract. One is pulling of proper and neccisary permits. (See TWDC website for SII plan)

Here is part of the problem the Storefront Renovation program is administered within the Department of Community Development, not the Building and Housing Department.

I am not making statements in the lead thread, I am asking serious questions to why proper protocal with necissary permits have not been pulled, and who is advising this group about the permitting processes at Cleveland B&H.  I have asked Sammy Catania (TWDC SII Development Director), who is providing technical assistance on the project at least four times in the last 90 days on why no change of use and permits were attained. Sammy told me the Site Plans were in the design process and would be turned in to B&H. These questions started in November at the TWDC Economic Development / Long Range Planning Committee meeting. I again Asked in December. In January I could not attend due to TWDC changing the meeting date in which just two committee members along with Mr. Catania were present. At this meeting just two members voted to support the project from a TWDC perspective (mind you without asking for community support from the local block club - Central Tremont, which has been agreed apon as being a proceedure to follow, and which is a well taken proceedure requested in the past by the Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals). See TWDC committee minutes/notes via their website. I have continually asked WHY. At the March Committee meeting I asked again, and I was then told that TWDC cannot interfere with people that want ot operate local businesses because its against federal law. (But TWDC has shown support, you cannot have it both ways, especially when TWDC is funded to have code compliance officers on staff paid with out tax dollars. - And the same organization that is providing strict code enforcement against poor home owners, clearly behind the Giglio Demolition, and will not enforce the law when it comes to Commercial Code Compliance. This is not kosher, all while been pushed by John Moss a top official in the Local Democratic Party. Who Runs the local Democratic party? You know who Jimmy Dimora)

What is wrong with this picture, this is clearly a public safety issue to attain permits, building inspections, and fire inspections. I do not care what rubber stamping was happening in the past. I am a sitting member of this committee to boot.

Is anyone familiar with the "Station" in Rhode Island, visit Google at this link.

This is not fair to operators that had to navigate proper protocal to attain permits, and finnally a Certificate of Occupancy.

May I also point out the list of partners on the sign in the window for Storefront Renovation.


Due diligence

  Henry I respect your due diligence and hope that your efforts force more tranparency in this process, especially as it pertains to public health, safety and welfare.  I will butt out of this conversation, now, because at least REALNEO affords you the opportunity to air these concerns, and, hopefully, through direct conversation with Giancarlo, resolve any of your concerns.  Peace to you :)

(  Edit away!!! ) Henry, by paying attention to the details and watching, constantly watching, you protect your community. 

Small Edit


 "In January I could not attend due to TWDC changing the meeting date in which just two committee members along with Mr. Catania were present."

I must correct this, It was the February 2009 meeting instead of January.

Review the TWDC ED/LRP Committe minutes.



Saving and restoring buildings has absolutely nothing to do with parking and non-compliance.  I am focused and do have a copy of the SII Plan right on my desk.  As a matter of fact, it is referred to and quoted from in the next article.  That is why it is called an investigation - you never know where the next lead will take you or in what direction?

Mr. Calicchia may save hundreds of buildings but if he is doing such great things then why is he avoiding the building and housing department?  As I said before, many of these establishments have gone on too long without anybody asking any questions - now they are. 

Here's my focus, it is in the interest of public safety that proper inspections, i.e., sprinklers, fire alarms, etc.,  per pulled permits, be done. 

Also, Henry is being so kind and will be posting the photos for the backyard that Union Gospel Press destroyed later, I was unable to do so.



Code violations and politics

Jerleen1, I've had this discussion with Laura on REALNEO before - my interest here is with lead poisoning. Where there is good code enforcement and building inspection, from annual/periodic inspections to point of sale, building permit, etc., there is good building stock, and less lead poisoning.

Where such practices are poor - worse, corrupt - there are significant dangers and costs to society, like high lead poisoning in Cleveland and East Cleveland.  Follow the sick kids and you see where the leadership of communities are most failing.

Cleveland is a disaster because Cleveland leadership has failed to be professional and competent about inspections - I suspect because after white flight much of the significant property in Cleveland was owned by people who did not live in Cleveland and who did not care about their property, or the people living in or around it, and so who made sure city hall did not enforce proper property ownership responsibility. The disinvestment in the community came with incentives from government, leading to demolition by neglect, all part of a cycle of demolition by corruption being played out most fully in the Cleveland Foundation SII and Jackson NSP abuse in play in Cleveland city government today.

I answer the question, is organized crime involved, saying how much more organized does crime get than this?!?!

Now, Clevelanders are all screwed, because nearly all the property is in violation and owners have not been encouraged and enforced to maintain their property to code - not even close - so any time a corrupt inspector or boss wants to nail a Cleveland property owner, all they need to do is enforce the law, for once.


Disrupt IT

Democratic Party Fundraiser - This is a FBI alert


You just got to love sleazy politics in Cuyahoga County. The posts are a great way to exercise one's freedom of Speech!!

One Crooked City of Cleveland Councilman Down, hopefully more ?

No Responsibility

In adding to Henry's post, everybody is up in arms, got their kickers all in a twist because the "crap" is hitting the fan.  I don't want to get too deep into the details due to the Plain Press article but my research goes back nearly ten years and the way it plays out, and I did ask this question,  how do these high end restaurant/bars help the community?  Profit seekers come in, take advantage of storefront renovation programs, tax abatements, business loan programs, manage to get letters of support from committees/block clubs in the community to obtain permits, parking variances, (yet they fail to pull proper permits for inspections such as sprinklers, fire alarms, etc.), most don't even live in this area and at the end of the, they take their loot bags and go home.  Leaving the residents with the after math of cleaning up the left over trash, beer bottles, whiskey bottles, sidewalk puke, the smell of urine on tree lawns and fence posts, flowers, ets., and to top it all off, TWDC feels it necessary to buy a 10,000  mud hole labled for parking.   

Now wouldn't it make more sense, that these businesses be giving something back to the neighborhood, like buying  a spot and paving their own parking lot?  Somehow, they have this horse running backwards - the residents, long time homeowners, elderly, impoverished are being bullied into just backing up whenever and where ever one of these establishments needs more space.

The way it is working now, TWDC is buying business owners to move in and make money to take somewhere else. 

follow the money by henry senyak

I'm honestly surprise to read the shallow insinuation that you posted on your follow the money post.

so, now, because dimora went to lockkepers to dine when my husband was the chef that puts him under federal investigation as well???? or makes him a mafia associate??????
do you know anything about  my husband career? did you ever hear of him being investigate or stuff like that??? check his website at

we moved to cleveland two years ago to open Dante in valley view not to associate ourselves with some kind of mafioso to get favours here and there. and no, we are not creating a restaurant in tremont with the help of any non legitimate source. You have a big ego apparently, a wanna be reporter of the hour, speculating and insinuating...... not so well done, sir.

Am i coming across angry? oh yes i am. I'm sick and tired of people like you, talking just because they have a mouth but no real brain.

This city is in  terrible shape, maybe instead of trying to bury another chef that is going to bring culture and good food to a town that really needs culture and good food you should try to get to know us. maybe by working together we will make everybody happy. What are you afraid of? That your rough neighborhood is going to improve a little??

Monica Ferrari




To respond to your post. Please tell me in what part of the initial blog entry (top posting) where I incinuated in anyway anybody was in the Mafia?

That intitial post is broken down into sub-topics and sup-paragraphs. If it was all on paragraph, you may have a reason to stomp. If others on this blog referred to organized crime, then you need to take it up with them.

In my first paragraph I am linking channel 19 story which linked J. Kevin Kelley spending over $4000.00 of his campaign contributions at the real property of the business know as Lockkeepers. At that point it is well known that Russo and Dimora have also  frequented the same establihment. I have just asked a question did they use campaign money or tax money to pay the bill? This is a legit question directed at them, not the establishment. I did not say that they spent money with the prior operators or with you.

Second paragraph is asking a very hard question, over the years in Tremont political influence has always been applied no matter if its a councilman, or another politician. It is simple I have been asking TWDC staff for over four months what the status is of your change of use permit. Your husband attended the Central Tremont Block Club in February. He differred answering questions and stated his landlord was handling all the affairs. Then after the meeting the landlord approaches on of the Co-Chairs of the block club stating he wanted Sammy Catania from TWDC to go and deal with this at the block club. I will again ask the question why have you not applied to the City of Cleveland Building & Housing Department for a Change of Use from a bank to a restuarant? I went to City Hall on Tuesday, and had them print out a history of the permits on the property since the bank closed.

When you put up that Storefront Renovation Sign, it means the construction process is utilizing our tax dollars. I have a right to make sure if tax dollars are involved that all i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Meaning proper permits.

No matter what people at TWDC may be telling you, the issue is you have long-time residents that need their questions answered legitimately. This is your burden to provide answers to them not Sammy Catania.

I am asking you to please consider going to the City of Cleveland Building & Housing Department and make application to change the use. More than likey you will be denied and have to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Your website states that you are going to open in May. It will take several weeks just to get it thru B&H. Then the BOZa process is 4-6 weeks. At that time you can get regular permits and inspections. May I also add your sites refer to live entertainment on Thurday nights, you need a zoning variance for this also in Cleveland. This also effects the parking for entertainment.

I would have a willingness to sitdown with your husband and do my best to assist him in making the correct applications. I am afraid that you will be up against your May opening and find out you have a serious issue with permits. Just because you have a lease agreement for parking with a third party does not meet City Zoning Code. The parking would have to be on your premise, and yes I understand their is a lot consolidation for the parking lot two parcels south. But you will need more than what is there. So your application would be denied and you would have to request at least two separate variances one to meet the minimum off-street parking requirements, and another for live entertainment. If you do not believe me contact Richard Riccardi, Zoning Administrator or Jan Huber, Zoning Secretary with the City of Cleveland. But the whole process must start with filling out a change of use permit application in room 505 at City Hall.

The other problem that same parking area two parcels to the south was leased to Lolita for their expansion of use for the second floor, which needed a zoning variance, and this lease was provided as a legal document to get the said variance.  I understand this lease has expired but this starts a cascading problem for other businesses.

I am not trying to stop you from running a succesful business, all I want you to do is follow the ordinanaces of the City of Cleveland. I actually wish you well and success. It is obvious that you have a issue with the leased parking at the church with the residents that live in that proximity that needs to be rectified.

I understand what a bad neighborhood is, I lived in Tremont all my life, 25-30 years ago it would be common that you would get hit with a baseball bat when you walked around the neighborhood. Its 1000% better that it was so please give us the residents credit for this, yes our legit business parnters helped but they showed up only about 10-12 years ago.

Monica, Welcome to


Welcome to Tremont.  Please keep in mind that these folks do not speak for the rest of us.  Dante's website is great- his food looks innovative and fresh. 


-don't let yourself get caught up in all this b.s.  - it's like poking an angry bear.     

Cleveland Building Code

Dante's Inferno Test - Impurity, Sin... and Damnation

Dante's Inferno Test - Impurity, Sin... and Damnation

Through me the way into the suffering city,
Through me the way to the eternal pain,
Through me the way that runs among the lost.
Justice urged on my high artificer;
My maker was divine authority,
The highest wisdom, and the primal love.
Before me nothing but eternal things were made,
And I endure eternally.
Abandon every hope, ye who enter here."
753 BRAYTON AVE., CLEVELAND, OHIO 44113-4604 USA, V:216.861.7368, F:216.861.7368
faith based non-profit corporation no. 389646, 501(c)(3), SINCE 1965,
(CLICK) questministries [at] netzero [dot] net&return=">  TRUTH  -  EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL



  Any one who has met Dante, knows that he is a great, warm person. 

Monica, we have met and I made the same point you have made here. 

I think that this is all a terrible misunderstanding and that you will find that Henry is also a good person.  Unfortunately, your family is walking into a situation of mistrust that has evolved after years of bad blood between TWDC and the long standing residents of the Southside/Tremont neighborhood, and it may take some face-to-face interaction to overcome some of this initial suspicion.

This may not be the most welcome to REALNEO, Monica, but your reaction is a needed part of dialogue and I personally thank you for deciding to invest in's not all bitterness here.  Also, this is as good a time as any to remind everyone that we need investment in my neighborhood.  But, Brooklyn Centre, be forewarned...from this Tremont experience, we should know to be careful for what we wish for, because parking sure can be one ugly affair.

You're Invited

lmcshane, Monica

I would like to invite both of you to join us at the March 24th Central Tremont Block Club meeting, at the Jefferson Branch Library.  A few of us can go around and around on NEO with our personal opinions but you should sit in and listen to the experiences and discussions of the other residents before you decide that we're just out for blood.

These are some serious issues -  and residents have some serious and valid concerns - and as members of this community we have every right to question the happenings in our neighborhood - whether they be good or bad. 

I do hope that the two of you will seriously consider attending the meeting as it would be our pleasure to have you as a guest.


I HATE Meetings!

  Jerleen, thank you for the gracious invite.  I would love to give your meeting a shot, but I have an excuse--I am working that night.  (And, I actually HATE MEETINGS!)

(I find it funny to see that NBC is actually basing a whole series called Parks and Recreation on boring community meetings...If they ever need material for their me). 

I know that your block club looks out for the neighborhood and I wish that I had a block club in my neighborhood.  I just don't have the time or the patience.  Please don't resent me for having this attitude about meetings.  But, I think that I speak for a lot of folks, when I say I would prefer any resolution to an issue that would eliminate meetings. 

That said, I will be on the steps of City Hall tonight to protest the gerrymandering of Ward 15.  I hope that residents all from any neighborhood in Cuyahoga County show up tonight, because your neighborhood could be next. 

Jerleen, you and Henry are heroes in my book for protecting your neighborhood.  We don't have enough of you folks in this world, because you ask the difficult questions. Everyone wants the path of least resistance.  Keep up the fight.  Its takes time and patience and you do have your neighborhood's bests interest at heart.  I just wish it didn't involve a meeting...

Also, it is important to note that with sites like REALNEO we can hash out some of our differences towards a resolution.  Keep these underlying attitudes in mind (this is from the CPL Director book recommendation, Getting to Yes :Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher):

  • Separate the people from the problem
  • Focus on interests not positions
  • Invent options for mutual gains
  • Insist on using objective criteria

Lets keep talking....

(I really do work until 8 p.m. next Tuesday :(


Dante and Monica


Good for you and I applaud your position! All the best to you guys and much success!

Long Time Resident

First of all, I think Henry is getting a bad rap here.  I was the one who started one of the rounds into the parking investigations due to my own bad experiences as a result of the parking overflow from the retail district.  Second, I don't know what all of the todo is about?  Asking questions is not a crime.  You know the dumbest question is the one  never ask. 

Next, researching public records can be an eye opening experience, especially at city hall you never know what you might find.  There's an old saying, "don't get caught with your pants down."  The parking machinations will be exposed. 

Now, as far as it being bad around here,  I'm just about tired of these new people coming in here and trying to tell us how bad is is,  Hell, we know how bad it was, we survived it.  Try living here 40 years.

Back to the Bank building, I don't get it, all the hoopla about nothing, go get the permits, and figure out some other parking arrangements other than the church lot in this residential area and you'll be ok.  The church parking lot is just plain out of the question.  Headlights, doors slamming, loud voices, people running up and down the street until all hours of the night just can't be.  We got enough problems.

Everybody is already complaining about their cars getting broken into around here.  Parking that many vehicles in the church lot will only invite more crime - I can see it now, glass broken all over the church yard., not to mention the left over garbage, beer bottles, urine smell and puke all over the sidewalks that we have to clean up after these high society folks that come here from other neighborhoods to patronize these high end establishments.  We've been putting up with that for years and to add more on top of that as well as the safety factor, no way.

Gonna be one big mess,  folks trying to sleep will be calling the police two or three times a week for loud disturbances and you know that after the third call, it's $100.00 a roll.   A mess, just a mess.

Tremont West signs off and endorses these business opportunists with a smile and the promise of what is needed to be compliant- in a now you see it now you don't deal- without validating any of the information, the letters of suppport gains the permits/parking variances and then when there's no compliance and questions are ask, the hair stands up on everybody's head and all at TWDC starts to yell, "not our business, not  our business."  Well, who in the hell's business is it?

Tremont does have a double set of standards.  If you're a poor working stiff barely hanging by a thread trying to pay the mortgage, with peeling paint on your beat up old house, the Moss and O'Leary  team will have your nose to the ground and have you saying "uncle" in a split second - while a new business seeker comes in looking for a renovated storefront, tax abatement, low interest business loan program and wide profit margin deal gets the deluxe package, all permits overlooked, the gustapo paid to go south for the winter while the shop keeper hangs his flag and uses "The Code" as a combination for the loot safe and "Buffer Catania" sits up at the big house acting like some kind of wizzard in charge.

I have no doube that Dante and his family are wonderful people.  When he came to the block club, I got the impression that he was super nice young man and would definitely be an asset to the community but there must be accountability and that is done by obtaining the proper permits.

Everyone screams make Tremont safe, proper permits equals proper inspections and proper inspection prevents disasters like fires that kill.  It only takes one fire - one oversite- to take the lives of many.  No matter how good your food is - if somebody should die who cares how good your food is?

Also, you talk about working together to make everybody happy, if working together to make everybody happy means rubber stamping, then I guess everybody ain't gonna be happy.  Central Tremont will no longer be rubber stamping.




Zoning compliance is required in every city I know

I believe Mr. Senyak and Jerleen1 are very reasonable in emphasizing that any new business use must obtain a change of use permit - and other required building and parking permits - before the new business begins operation.

Recently on Realneo there was a discussion about the application, before  the City of Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals, for a new crematorium .    That BOZA process - which ultimately denied the crematoria variance - is quite similar to the process which every business in every Town (with zoning regulations) in America, Canada, Europe and elsewhere has to go through. 

Is this permitting process a burden on the time, wallet, and entrepreneurial  focus of the would-be new business?   Sure.  But it is also necessary in order to protect the public safety and the neighborhood from undesirable impacts of a new business.  The permitting process also benefits the business, because once successfully throught the process, the business, by complying with its use permit,can protect itself from overly crabby, complaining neighbors or from a lessor who tries to use a zoning violation claim to terminate a lease.

And, of course, the process by which the government exercises its ordinances must be open and visibly equitable.   One property owner / occupant  shouldn’t receive  treatment which is distinctly more lenient or more harsh that the treatment of another property owner.  

For example, long time Cleveland resident Frank Giglio shouldn’t have his house demolished through the obviously selective Gestapo-like “enforcement” by TWDC and the City of Cleveland for purported building code “violations”,  while another person/business merrily proceeds to establish a new business use without the necessary and required City building permits, change of use permits, and parking permits.   

People have the right to expect to be treated fairly, and according to the law.   In Cleveland - as elsewhere-  people aren't always certain whether everyone in their community is being treated fairly and according to the law.   I believe this open discussion on Realneo is a manifestation of a healthy community effort to find the answer.