More Nonsense, I'm Afraid.

Who elected the Cedar-Lee SID as the Voice Of The People, anyways?


I attended the Cedar-Lee Streetscape "Public Open House" this evening.

It was very demoralizing. Essentially, the Cedar-Lee Special Improvement District (business organization) is calling all the shots.

It's just an elective project that will or won't take place based on how much public funding can be found. Whatever the SID prioritized is what will be in "Phase I". And Phase II. And phase III. And...

Even the "Comments" card gets returned to the SID. A couple council members were there, and the Planning Director. But it was clear that The SID, and maybe just the head of that group, had the consultants' ears.

They're going to do something with no foresight, and they'll do it on the cheap. No coordination with any other civic groups or private citizens, and just the bare minimum with entities like the sewer district and the utilities.

It will be lipstick on a pig, intended solely to draw more people into the grocery store and restaurants. No consideration for anyone else.

Well, that's my opinion. What's your's?

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Mike Gaynier November 16, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I attended the same meeting last night as Mr. Kanter, and am bewildered by his assertions that the Cedar-Lee Special Improvement District has lacked “foresight” and “coordination” with civic groups and private citizens. There have been numerous public meetings on this project, with much welcome and ongoing input and suggestions from concerned citizens and civic groups, that has been incorporated into this much needed streetscape improvement plan. The Cedar-Lee SID has worked very hard to bring this plan to point where funding looks promising to begin improving this important business corridor and neighborhood, and I complement them for their collaborative effort and community commitment.
michaelschwartz November 16, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Mike Gaynier, what is wrong with you? I mean really, when you ran for council you are so far out of touch with the death spiral this city and schools are in I wonder if you really live here. Garry is right, while you libs run around gushing about diversity and green city hall parking lots and the like, the city gets more and more unsafe and the schools become more and more unusable. I think you and your ilk need a reality check as to why homes transfer for $5,000 in Cleveland Heights and will soon be unsalable if the the city's decline goes on for another few years. Go back to the Heights Observer crowd where like minded fools write stories about a make believe city and public schools where all is well despite folks leaving in droves. With people like you making excuses there will be no turn around in Cleveland Heights. Food for thought.
Garry Kanter November 16, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Mr. Gainer, I have not been involved in the process that you describe. I'm glad you have been, and can attest to the "outreach". But I don't see it. As far as I can tell, this is a SID project. Perios. I couldn't identify much actual input to decision making from anybody but John Zagara. Not from the city, certainly. I got a clue about that when Mr. Zagara introduced CH Planning Director Richard Wong as the CH City Manager. Because it's a SID project, there is none of the required transparency that one would expect (hope for?) from the city. In fact, because the library room assignment sign said the meeting ran from 5:30 to 8:30, I attempted to enter the room early, at 6:45. Mr Zagara dismissed me, and invited me to come back at 7:00. Except *all* the same players were conducting the annual SID business meeting. Which is supposed to be open to the public, and notice given that it is taking place. Transparency failures. continued...
Garry Kanter November 16, 2012 at 03:50 PM
continued... No, the SID put up $50,000 I guess, as part of the fees for the consultants. And it seems to me they feel that investment makes the street, the project, and the funding "theirs" to manage. No. Mr. Zagara is *not* an elected official. 100 or so merchants do not have greater claim to what happens in CH than the other 45,000 residents, and all the other stakeholders in our community. It's hard enough to encourage our *real* elected representatives to do the right thing. It's next to impossible when those elected officials let a narrow-interest special interest group run things. And that project will *never* advance beyond Phase I. Don't be fooled.
Garry Kanter November 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I'm curious as to the structure of this project group. Besides Mr. Zagara, who had votes? Who decided that this should be $2 million project? Where can I go on the internet to answer these and other project-related questions, and see project-related documents? Who were the roll-up-your-sleeves workers reaching out to the nearby landlords with the flooded basements, or to the utilities to discuss burying wires, or a hundred other interested stakeholders? I'm guessing any real "work" was done by the consultants. And they have a meter running, so they do what's necessary, but not a whole lot more. This caliber of "work" isn't good enough any more. It's actually a distraction for better things being accomplished. It would be nice if city hall were to take a leading role in shaping the future of our city.


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