Cuyahoga County Auditor Values Lakewood Hospital Property At $24,499,500

In the year 2015, the year that Lakewood’s mayor began lying to our citizens, telling them that our hospital had to be shut down, the Cuyahoga County Auditor placed the real estate value of Lakewood Hospital at $24,499,500! Now, the mayor talks as if it is only worth $5,000,000. And he wants to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to tear down this very valuable property. And then, he wants to give away the land for only $1 to a developer who is being sued by the City of Beachwood for over $80,000 of unpaid city income tax!

          Let’s think about that. The city now owns real estate worth $24,499,500.  The mayor wants to spend many millions of our hard-earned tax-payer’s dollars to tear down the building. And then, he wants to give away the land for $1! We have heard presidential candidates talk about voodoo economics. Then again, we have also heard ordinary citizens talk about plain old crooked government. One cannot help but wonder. Does Lakewood’s administration have the email address of Jimmy Dimora? Have they been getting coaching from within federal confined quarters?    

          The Plain Dealer has been writing about the questionable management of Cuyahoga County government. Although they may be short on help these days, perhaps they could still start paying attention to the questionable goings on in Lakewood government.

          In one of the mayor’s latest propaganda mailings to citizens, at city expense of course, we are told that, “After a nearly year-long process, Carnegie Management and Development Corporation was recommended as the most qualified and best partner to develop the nearly 6-acre site in the heart of Lakewood.”  Recommended?  Who “recommended” that company? I doubt they were recommended by the City of Beachwood who is trying to collect over $80,000 of unpaid income taxes. More likely, recommendations were from insiders anxious to engage in a feeding frenzy. 

          In that same mailing citizens were informed that “water rates will increase five percent” to “fund about $11.6 million in system repairs.”  Instead of wasting many millions of our tax dollars to tear down valuable real estate so the land can be given away for $1, wouldn’t it be better to use those many millions of dollars for repairs to our water and sewer systems and NOT raise our water bills?!!

          The mayor likes talk about the greater good. He says that “The greater good implies each of us gives up something to get something greater.”  Let’s see. The mayor wants us to give up $24,499,500 of real estate along with millions more to tear down buildings while we get a 5% increase in our water and sewer bills. Hmmm, lets think about that. We give up $24,499,500 of real estate plus millions more to tear down buildings while we get a 5% increase in our water and sewer bills. That doesn’t seem like we are getting something greater. In fact, its seems more like we are getting ripped off, again.

          What about the mayor’s developer friend? Is he giving up something to get something greater? Well, let’s see. The developer gives up $1 and he gets many millions of dollars of valuable land. Not only is the developer getting something greater, but he is getting something millions of times greater.

          The mayor’s idea about “giving up something to get something greater” certainly works for his friend the developer. However, as too often is the case, the opposite is the case for Lakewood’s citizens.

          By the way, would any of you be willing to pay $2 for the 6 acres of Lakewood land? Or maybe even $100? Lots of luck.   

          The mayor insisted, as one of the terms of the crooked rigged hospital fiasco, that an illegal restriction be placed on the use of the hospital property because he was concerned that the Clinic might not make enough money.

          Now he wants to waste many millions of tax dollars to tear down a perfectly good hospital building so he can give away that valuable land for $1. 

          He prefers to raise your water bills rather than use the tear-down money to update our water and sewer systems.   

          Wouldn’t it be nice if, for once, the mayor put the citizens first instead of insiders?

Edward Graham

Edward Graham is a Lakewood citizen and a former member of Lakewood City Council.

Edward Graham

Former Member Lakewood City Council

Volume 14, Issue 16, Posted 7:15 PM, 08.21.2018