Committee Chair Mr. Hoefle opened the meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Evers, Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins and Mr. Hoefle. Present from Council were Ms. DePledge, Ms. Vaughn and Council President D’Ambrosio. Mr. Licht was absent and excused.
In attendance from the Administration were Law Director Klammer and CBO Menn. Mayor Morley was absent and excused.
Also in attendance were members of the public.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS:
ALWAYS DAPPER, LLC dba MITCHELL’S TRADITIONAL BARBER SHOP, 34650 MELINZ PKWY, EASTLAKE
Mr. Hoefle: This is the permit we approved to move forward at the last Council meeting while waiting for this meeting. Everything is signed and good. Is the Committee okay with this permit request?
There were no objections or questions. Upon review, the Committee agreed to move this matter forward to the next regular Council meeting.
SNEAKEE Pete’s Bar & GrillE, Inc. DBA TS MACKLIN EVENT CENTER, 35700 Lakeland Blvd., Eastlake
Mr. Hoefle: There are issues pending with this request, specifically with Fire, Building and Tax. I recommend we hold this in Committee until the issues are resolved.
Mr. Menn: I have had no communications with them at all.
Mr. Evers: Why did it come before us if it was not ready – should it have stayed with Planning Commission?
Mr. D’Ambrosio: The Planning Commission moved it forward with stipulations. Some were taken care of but I spoke with Chief Whittington and CBO Menn today to see if they had done inspections. They have not even contacted those Departments. I agree that we should hold this for now.
Ms. DePledge: This is the first I have seen this. I am a little surprised at what they are going to be doing – an event center. But, it says some events are private and are not posted and require a password. I don’t know what that means.
Mr. Menn: I think some of that information is what someone pulled up on the internet. They said they are going to work as a restaurant – as they previously were. But, someone I believe found some of that information that they possibly have started advertising. No one has told me directly that they may be running businesses out of there on the weekends. I have not seen anything – not that I go by it every day but I have not seen any activity.
Ms. DePledge: A wedding would be a private event – but to not post it and require a password?
Mr. Menn: We have had no move communication with them.
Ms. Vaughn: The application to the Planning Commission indicated Sneakee Pete’s Bar & Grille will be under new management and the business will be the same operation as before including the same liquor license. With all these other things it is not the same business as it was before.
Mr. Menn: I think what happened was one of their intentions was to do what you just brought up but they reversed it and said it was strictly going to be the same business as previous – a restaurant business.
Ms. Vaughn: I know it is not approved by the Tax Department – and Fire hasn’t.
Ms. DePledge: I am looking at – annual Father’s Day concert and dinner show. That is not a restaurant.
Mr. Klammer: I do not know what the status on tax issue – it was originally approved but there were some other issues.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: I think they may have resolved some of the issues with the Tax Department – we are waiting to get the inspections done. Mr. Menn, once we get contacted by a business how long does it usually take us to get in there – within the same week?
Mr. Menn: We will accommodate them within 24 hours - within the next day for sure of if they come in early enough the same day. We want businesses here and jump on it as quickly as possible.
Mr. Klammer: The business with the password – we need to know what is going on.
Ms. DePledge: That is a red flag.
Ms. Vaughn: We want to encourage economic development but we want the right kind.
Mr. Evers: I know there are some legal issues with Sneakee Pete’s. Have those been resolved?
Mr. Klammer: The lawsuit is pending.
Mr. Evers: They are saying it is the same business. If it is the same business it has the same legal issues.
Mr. Klammer: It is not the same business. That business has had three different versions within the last 10 years. I don’t know what same business they were talking about. What they are trying to tell you is it is the same business so they do not have to transfer the liquor license. But, the lawsuit regarding the strip club is pending. We will continue to move through that. There will be a proposal and we will try to resolve that. I don’t like to see anything in there about a password when six months ago they were here talking about a strip club. You have the right to ask them what is going on here. Someone should let them know there needs to be answers to these questions.
Mr. Menn: I will do my best to get in contact with them.
Upon review, the Committee agreed to hold this matter in Committee pending resolution of outstanding issues.
There were no further questions or comments.
A CARING EMBRACE, LLC, 34099 MELINZ PKWY., EASTLAKE
Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Menn?
Mr. Menn: They will be located off of Melinz Pkwy. They went through all the other procedures and basically it is going to be for adults that may have some challenges. They do workshops with them and give them little jobs. They organize with companies that provide very basic things to accomplish. They head people have been very good with us – both Building and Fire. They have their State approvals. We do not see any issues.
Upon review, the Committee agreed to move this matter forward to the next regular Council meeting.
There was no further Miscellaneous.
RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC
Mrs. Sandy Liddington, 1066 East 348th Street
Mrs. Liddington: #1- I have a house that is right next door. The people have gone for two years – they lost the house. It now has black mold in it. It has been empty for two years. The house could not be understood – it has been empty for four years. Nobody in it. Why in the heck would you leave a house empty and not put signs up so people can know it is for sale? Our neighborhood is changing. I don’t like it. Nothing I can do – right? Why does the government or whatever it is – why don’t they have a certain time that a house and be empty and turn it over to a realtor. I called the mortgage company. I called the damn bank. I get the run around.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: You said you were at 1066 East 348th Street?
Mrs. Liddington: Yes. For over 54 years.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: Mr. Menn, can you check out the homes? I don’t know what it takes but if it is a thing with mold maybe the Health Department should be called?
Mr. Menn: We would call the Health Department.
Mrs. Liddington: The problem is my husband and I have lived there 54 years and raised four kids. The house next door looks like shit.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: Let’s watch the language please because this is on record. Thank you very much. I throw a few out myself every now and then.
Mrs. Liddington: Tell me somebody that don’t.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: I have to be reminded too.
Mr. Menn: Whenever you have any concerns call the Building Department.
Mrs. Liddington: This just happened Friday at Longfellow. Turkey vultures dragged something killed on the road over to the sidewalk by the school. My husband walks the dog every day. He said there were four of them and when they get done doing whatever on eating this dead animal they flew up and were shitting on this guy’s roof.
Mr. Menn: On the house you are complaining about?
Mrs. Liddington: No, a different house. What if these doggone turkey things go after little kids or dogs? Or go after people?
Mr. Klammer: I am not sure that is the Building Department.
Mr. Menn: I will be happy to try to look into it.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: If you see a dead animal you can call the Service Department and if it is in the right-of-way they will come and get it. Also, with those houses you mentioned I agree with you 100% but sometimes – once you notice – this is the first I am hearing about these homes. Once we hear about them the Building Department usually starts a process. I know you are aggravated. I would be too. Next time if you see another one let us know a little bit sooner and we will get people looking at it and try to take the necessary steps to get it cleaned up. We did not know about this.
Mrs. Liddington: Don’t you think after a certain amount of time.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: It is the banks.
Mrs. Liddington: It is Chase.
Mr. Menn: That is our frustration too. These houses can sit for two, three, four years in foreclosure. I understand.
Mrs. Liddington: Would you like to have that piece of crap next door to you?
Mr. Menn: I understand – I agree.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: We all agree. Mr. Menn, how many houses were torn down this year?
Mr. Menn: We will have a total of eleven and have nine or ten right now
Mrs. Liddington: That is all?
Mr. D’Ambrosio: It is a long process but we are moving – we are getting there.
Mrs. Liddington: I live over by North High and for 54 years we took shortcuts to get to WalMart. There are houses on that street that look like crap.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: I agree. Thank you very much for your comments. We appreciate it. If you can give Mr. Menn your phone number so he can contact you to let you know what we come up with. We will not let this hang. We address these when we find out about them.
Mrs. Liddington: For 54 years – my husband will be 80 in January. I will be 70 whatever.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: Thank you very much.
Mr. Hoefle: Meet with Mr. Menn and give him your phone number and he can follow up,
Mrs. Liddington: I have another matter. The houses on Glen. I know a couple of people who live on Glen.
Ms. Vaughn: I live on Glen so when you talk about Glen I know Glen.
Ms. DePledge: Which side?
Mrs. Liddington: The houses going toward S.R. 91. It is right on the corner. I have a friend that lives a couple doors down.
Ms. Vaughn: The one on the corner with the for sale sign?
Mrs. Liddington: Do you know that some of the houses on there have gotten flooded five times?
Ms. Vaughn: Yes, and on Iris too. I talk to the people all the time.
Mrs. Liddington: That is a bunch of bull crap.
Ms. Vaughn: I agree with you totally but we don’t have a solution for it. A lot of the people have put in back flow preventers and a lot have put in sump pumps. I talk to them all the time. They call me whenever it rains. I know which houses. You are talking about the lady who lives on Glen and used to work for the school. I have talked with them and I know what the problem is and they flood from S.R. 91 down to about East 343rd Street mostly on the north side. The City has looked at the sewers and people’s houses and checked to make sure there are no blockages. It is too much rain coming down and the sewers cannot handle it. Last year we put cloth material over the catch basins and stopped it a little bit. It did not do it this year. That was one thing we tried because we tried a bunch of solutions and we cannot come up with any answers yet.
Mrs. Liddington: I have another beef. Why at Christmas time when Willoughby and other cities look nice you drive down Eastlake and it looks like crap? They don’t have nothing. They used to have lights which looked nice in the trees. What happened to that idea?
Mr. D’Ambrosio: A lot of it may have to do with the finances. We had to change everything.
Mrs. Liddington: Why?
Ms. Vaughn: We have no money.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: We don’t have the money to pay for a lot of that stuff.
Ms. DePledge: We are facing an $800,000 deficit.
Mrs. Liddington: I don’t care could not be understood you guys could not be understood I don’t.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: The churches put the nativity scene out in front of City Hall every year – they pay for it. Have you ever noticed the nativity scene at Christmas?
Mrs. Liddington: On Vine Street – you go from Willoughby to Lakeshore.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Don’t we have white lights on the trees anymore?
Mr. D’Ambrosio: No.
Ms. Vaughn: Some are hanging there but they were disconnected two years ago.
Mr. Hoefle: We don’t have the manpower or finances.
Mrs. Liddington: Mentor – I know they have high taxes and they got could not be understood but that has nothing to do with it. I know their taxes are high. To me that is the best town in Lake County.
Ms. DePledge: They have a tremendous amount of retail and business.
Mrs. Liddington: That is it.
Ms. DePledge: Geographically they are one of the largest communities in Lake County. So, they are going to generate more money and are going to have a larger budget and be able to have more spendable income or rainy day fund. We have none of that.
Mrs. Liddington: Whose fault is that – the Mayor, right?
Mr. Evers: No. Eastlake is 6.8 square miles and was built and designed as a cottage town. It was not built and designed to be a City. When it incorporated into a City it came into itself which brought on a whole list of problems. Yes, we have issues because of the stadium – it costs $800,000 a year out of our City budget.
Ms. DePledge: When we started it our budget was almost $20 million – we are now down to $9 million. That is how much money we have lost since 2004. We went from an operating budget of $20 million down to $9 million. There is not another community in Lake County that has made that significant amount of cuts.
Mrs. Liddington: What about Painesville?
Ms. DePledge: They are not facing the financial situation we are. Willowick and Wickliffe are just starting into it. Willoughby was in a financial situation where they could prepare themselves for it. They had a little more time for it. Mentor will be fine. But, Eastlake was the first one to feel the financial pinch of the State’s cuts to the Local Government Funds. We are the first community to really have to address that and move on it right away. And we did and managed to balance our budget but other communities are starting to feel that pinch because they are not getting that money year after year and they can’t save anything. We have not had a savings in a long time.
Mrs. Liddington: Why does Eastlake have to have a baseball thing?
Ms. DePledge: We can’t take the park out – it is kind of like we are stuck with it.
Mrs. Liddington: I am not saying take it out – that did not get voted in.
Ms. DePledge: Actually it was voted in.
Mrs. Liddington: By who?
Ms. DePledge: By all the people in the City of Eastlake.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: We did not get to vote of the stadium.
Ms. DePledge: There was a vote – I voted on it.
Mr. Evers: There was a straw vote – a poll.
Ms. DePledge: It was a ballot issue.
Mr. Evers: It was a straw poll taken by the Mayor.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: There was a big argument. They wanted it to be voted on and they would not let it be voted on.
Mrs. Liddington: I have been here 54 years and this place is crap. I am sorry.
Ms. DePledge: I have been here 51 years. The stadium is there and it is not going anywhere.
Mrs. Liddington: I am not worried about the stadium. Get these stores filled with businesses.
Ms. DePledge: We are doing our best and the Mayor is working harder than any Mayor.
Mrs. Liddington: I don’t know.
Ms. DePledge: I think so.
Mr. Evers: The Administration is working very hard.
Ms. Vaughn: She has my phone number. I am her Ward Councilman. She has never called me but she can – she is aware of that.
There was no one else who wished to speak.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:19 p.m.