Thursday, February 16, 2012

Budget Hearings 2012

STATUS - ROUGH DRAFT, last update 2/16/21 1:30 am

Some highlights from the second budget meeting...

Each dept head was called to take the "hot seat" to answer questions led by Mooney (the Finance chair) on Revenue Summary (if applicable), Staffing, Operations, and briefly Capital Requests.  Full details on revenue fees will be held at the March and April Finance Meetings. Discussions of the budget line structure were also made for better reporting along with comparisons to prior years. While Mooney led the questions, Russo and Meany occassionaly asked questions too.  Coucilman who were present occasionally asked questions.  Bell and Pelunis were probably there for most of it.  Kraus and Richmond were also present for some of it.  The Mayor sat next to the "hot seat" and was active at the meeting until called away to the Planning Commission.

Strong concerns were raised about health care costs increasing 15% per year.  The three biggest dept are $3M.  Something different must be done, not just bid, Russo said a mandatory wellness program where if you particpate you get lower health care contributions, if you don't you are hit with the full health care increase.

There was a lot of discussion about the recreation/community center/grantwood dept...

  • Silver Sneakers is a successful revenue generator.
  • Staffing reduced by 1 FT cleaning supervisor by privatizing the operation as other city buildings did.
  • Unfunded Mandates - Pools had to replace drains with new drains for govt mandated safety.  New ADA requirements will require a second handicapped entry at all pools, even the hot tub.
  • Programs for latch key kids are on a sharp rise, 65 kids, could get 125 if they had capacity.  Soccer way up, BB up, softball down, flag football down.
  • xx
  • xx
  • xx
Senior Center
  • xx

  • Adding a budget line for software rather than lumping everything together
  • Computer training credits used up in 1 yr rather than 2, staff will do training internally
  • Equipment Maintenance Plans were scrapped, they are now being reactivated so vendor will provide HW & SW service
  • VM Server setup will be at City Hall and Police Dept (presumably to back each other up, no discussion on config of VMs and DR setup)
  • Will be upgrading software to consistent levels, eg Office 2003-2010 currently installed causing frustration and confusion (Chief Shaw example),
  • Wireless Access improvements
  • Will review tablet use by city hall and council
  • Committee pleased that all new PC purchases go through IT dept and they will be doing a lifecycle replacement (this is a common practice in business that was just introduced to city hall)
  • In a few years IT may explore VDI to reduce desktop expense (also a common business practice)
  • Some added costs to new IP based phone system ranging from $250-$290K for compatibility and regional county dispatch PSAP
  • Cell repeaters will be installed in Senior Center and possibly the community center
  • Russo strongly objects to improving cell service at the community center, you are there to exercise, not use cell phones, called it "foolish".

  • Outside fees - $100K
  • 8 collective bargaining issues will need to be resolved this year (thanks to Issue 2)
Remaining Issues

  • Capital projects and Bond prepayment will be covered at special finance meeting (on camera) Tue Feb 21 at 5:30.
Public Records
The Finance Director mentioned this issue at the first hearing, specifically for his dept, but it is a city wide issue.

  • Need a Records Retention Plan
  • Deal with, eliminate old paper records
  • Reduce paper volume by scanning

Sunday, February 12, 2012

SolonPol is no more

My posting to the Cleveland Solon Forum has come to an abrupt end... I made many politically charged statements under the screen name of SolonPol and for that I received criticism, threats, post deletions, personal info released on the web, emails from city officials, etc When harassed I stood up and fought back calling people who wanted their privacy but were invading mine out for who they were... Apparently the Plain Dealer thought it better to get rid of one rabble rouser than all the people harassing him for speaking up on political issues. This is truly a democracy in action, the masses have voted and I lost. No good deed goes unpunished, we can see that today.

5156. SolonPol is no more
by bbrdres, 02/12/12 5:38 PM

Check it out, every single post and my ID are gone from the Solon Community Forum , just happened in the last hour. Probably this one (BBRdRes) too will be gone very soon... Good riddens, Joe and others stifled everything I said anyway.

But isn't it grand to live in a country that values free speech so much that it allows harassment and name calling for some and just completely silences others...

I'm not talking about deleting a few posts where I call my harassers names, I'm talking about EVERY SINGLE POST I'VE EVER MADE, even friendly posts, chit chat posts, etc. EVERYTHING!

NO WARNING, no notice, poof scorched Earth, posting one hour, ID AND ALL POSTS gone the next, on a Sunday no less.

God Bless America, because it sure needs it as fouled up as it is.

5155.2. He was killed
by bbrdres, 02/12/12 5:49 PM
Re: Where's McPol today? by lostlimber, 02/12/12 5:49 PM

off of this forum, for speaking his mind, for defending his rights, for being unpopular for both sticking up for and criticizing the current admin. He didn't joke, he didn't whine, he seriously wanted better for Solon, he didn't fit in.

His reward, banishment from the forum! That will teach anyone here to seriously talk of politics.

5156.1. What the ???
by SolonBiker, 02/12/12 5:48 PM
Re: SolonPol is no more by bbrdres, 02/12/12 5:48 PM

Wait, is bbrdres = SolonPol?? They disappeared SolonPol??? What in the world is going on here?? I would have to think this is a correctable error.

5156.1.1. No error - RETRIBUTION!
by bbrdres, 02/12/12 6:12 PM
Re: SolonPol is no more by bbrdres, 02/12/12 6:12 PM
FREE SPEECH isn't really free, never has been, never will be!

Yes its me, I have 2 IDs, BBRdRes which I haven't used much since the election and SolonPol which has been banished for pissing off the trolls and the city.

But using a new ID, right after being banished is a good way to get it deleted too. They've sent me a none to subtle message and I'm not as dumb as LL who continues to harass despite being asked to stop. This isn't the forum asking, this is them demanding.

It takes a lot to get a permanent ban and deletion, ask Joe, he's 3 for a reason, he used to be SolonJoe1. Seriously Joe, I'd like some advice on how it went down with you, did you get a blanket delete of everything or is that a new feature of this updated forum?

So Biker and Wally, I've enjoyed our chats, but I am officially persona non-grata here. You know my web site and my email solonpol at gmail dot com... But here on the Solon Community Forum, I've been run out of town...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Creepy isn't funny

5150. Creepy isn't funny
by SolonPol, 02/11/12 3:31 PM

not if you are the target of creepiness.

So Joe, back off Toni a bit, and Russo, please, that's just stomach turning.

The first 2-3 times LL asked that question at the exact same time something was going on at city hall that I was attending, some of it on TV. Could be a coincidence, but its nice if LL is actually being a couch potato politician rather than watching some even dumber reality show on TV.

When that didn't work surewoodi comes up with a threat out of the blue (hasn't posted anything for months) relating to my divorce case number, notdrucker, part of the original threat two years ago "piles on" (despite BSer denying it as if it wasn't a fact) after being non-existent since the election, clearly an alternate anonymous ID, just like the SolonPol ID was supposed to be. So these hypocrites can take "hit and run shots" and maintain their free speech and privacy WHILE DENYING MINE. These are the same people (surewoodi and notdrucker) who were complaining about Drucker posts and supporting Bob. This is why I accuse his supporters of being dirty, none of Druckers took any personal shots at Bob's supporters, only at Bob.

But what's the point. The creepiness factor went up when I bucked the trend here and argued successfully in some cases about Sally's firing. Everyone wants to criticize Drucker for firing this deadwood AWOL stunt maker and I argued against it. I was exercising MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH, AND WAS BEING PENALIZED FOR DOING SO. This happens when ever I start winning an unpopular argument. If I'm fighting for something pro-admin the creeps (that supported Bob) come out with my personal info, if I'm fighting for something against the admin the censors come out and take it off the site.



So seriously Joe, I stick up for your views that I don't always agree with, I repost them on my blog after the city deletes them because I believe in the principal of free speech, heck I even offer you your own vehicle to do the same since your name sake website doesn't do that anymore. The offer still stands, I don't have to know who you are, we can do it by email, I'll make it easy and teach you how to update it yourself.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Censorship at its absolute worst...

or what happened at City Hall the last two days

From 1:00 am to 3:30 am I posted this list of posts, by 8:30am they were all deleted...

5136. Wed at City Hall by SolonPol, 02/09/12 1:09 AM
1. FREEDOM!! by bystander75, 02/09/12 1:12 AM
1. Ala Braveheart? by SolonPol, 02/09/12 1:14 AM
2. Deer Killing by SolonPol, 02/09/12 1:14 AM
3. Public Records by SolonPol, 02/09/12 1:33 AM
4. Police Dept Bldg troubles by SolonPol, 02/09/12 1:46 AM
5. Historic Homes by SolonPol, 02/09/12 2:20 AM
6. Aurora Rd by SolonPol, 02/09/12 2:46 AM
7. Stop dodging me Eddie by SolonPol, 02/09/12 2:54 AM
8. Gimme a break by SolonPol, 02/09/12 3:27 AM

SO I responded with

5136.1. Censorship at its absolute worst...
by SolonPol, 02/09/12 10:30 AM
Re: Very sad... by bystander75, 02/09/12 10:30 AM

So this forum kept surewoodi's threat to intimidate me and violate the forum rules, but very swiftly deleted my commentary on city hall actions. This is a new record, usually it takes city hall at least 12 hours to respond, this time they not only responded in less than 5 hours, but did it before 9am. We have an early riser at city hall. I see they left surewoodi's threat but deleted my response to it.


Well BSer, I'm glad you read it and liked it. For the rest of you, well it will be reposted to my own blog far beyond the reach of local politicians to interfere with, and if you don't like, just talk to me about solving the issues I raised and I'll be happy to report that too. Thanks to this forums buggy nature I composed all the posts on Notepad++ and pasted the rough draft into this forum.

See for all the "in the Mayor's hip pocket" crap I get, I'm really just a balanced reporter who often has a differing view from the masses. But when I am critical of city hall, they notice and respond quickly.

Here's a summary of what I said... And Joe you are going to have to go to the URL that I'll post here soon to read it since I can't keep posting it here every few hours only to have it deleted. But take it from BSer, when he says its a must read, its gotta be true...

5136. Wed at City Hall

Here's a run down of what I learned at city hall today. Most of it from the Safety Meeting, some of it from conversations. Should I write this post or bow to intimidation of cowardly chickenshits who want to intimidate me?

5136.2 Deer Killing

The police chief said that only 3 shooters are active in Solon, so on any given day 20 of the sites aren't active. The Patch's list is slightly smaller than the older list on the SolonDeer sites because several kill sites were dropped.

The same guns and silencers are being used as White Buffalo used, but the Feds (USDA WS) are using standard ammo, White Buffalo used a hand packed lighter load ammo, just strong enough to bring down a deer, but with less power than standard ammo.

The part time semi retired Hromco is in charge of all notification issues. Supposedly all adjacent properties to a kill site are to be notified each time killing is done.

5136.3 Public Records

I noticed that the LPV site is no longer listed for archive videos, any meeting video before Sept 2011 is no longer available online. IF you know which video you want you can buy it from city hall for $3 per meeting. Previously 2 full years of video were online.

Meeting minutes used to be available from 2005, now there is only one year listed, with 2 years possible if you search for it. The search process has some inconsistency, its one of many new web site issues that I'll be reporting to the city.

This is hard to understand given that these records are already stored electronically and only use a modest amount of storage.

Yesterday at the financial budget meetings the director talked about our huge amount of paper records and associated storage costs. He will be proposing a more aggressive records retention schedule. He also discussed a major challenge in scanning city records, apparently there is a huge backlog in the process.

5136.4 Police Dept Bldg troubles

The 12 yo building has some major HVAC problems for some time now. Parts of the building can't be heated in the winter and drop to under 60 degrees. Another problem occurred with the air conditioning in the server room. The committee approved an RFQ for a consultant to analyze and recommend an HVAC solution.

At yesterdays Finance Meeting they announced police dispatch software is incompatible with the new phone system so $18K is being budgeted to replace it.

5136.5 Historic Homes

An architect reviewed the condition of the historic buildings on BB Rd, the Solon Historical Society, the Lynch House, and the Bull House. The Mayor reported safety violations in the Historical Society building that she corrected immediately since the building is open to the public. Other issues are awaiting action of the Safety and Public Properties Committee. It was mentioned that these costs were very large, one set of costs for safety was large, but the cost to open the buildings involved accessibility and current building code issues was even larger.

Kraus said that our long term plans should not include the city owning the Lynch and Bull houses. Russo pointed out that we have to weigh and justify the future usage of the homes with the cost. The Mayor pointed out that the previous Master Plan's idea to build an amphitheatre there is no longer. See

In similar news the red home at the Community Park is city owned and has water leaking and safety hazards. The committee approved the demolition of the building, it will be done by the city's service dept for considerably less money than a private contractor. The garage will remain for now. The Mayor mentioned the Master Plan, being the only citizen to attend all meetings (those appointed didn't), I don't recall any such discussion.

5136.6 Aurora Rd

An overview of the Aurora Rd intersection was given at the end of the meeting in a last minute revision of the agenda. It was discussed about 43 min in and will be fully presented next month.

This is a new traffic study which contradicts but doesn't supersede the unpublished (as yet after 1 year of requests) the Master Plan Traffic Study, adopted as Chapter 23, but most recently the online version has removed all chapter headings to make it more readable because of missing chapters (which still exist today after the committee has stopped regular meetings)
See or

The MasterPlan called Aurora Rd the most immediate problem. Now that Geauga Lake is closed, traffic is better, but that property will not remain undeveloped. The new traffic study recognizes that but doesn't seem to have a long term solution. Several ideas were discussed, intersection by intersection from SOM to the county line.

One big possibility is to take away the bike lanes used by bikes, pedestrians and mail trucks and restripe the road to three lanes, one in each direction and a left turn lane so traffic isn't impeded by those stopping to make left turns.

5136.7 Stop dodging me Eddie

Geez, three days in a row. I told you I've got stuff on my mind, you're my councilman, and we need to talk. Is this avoidance technique what got Joe started? Funny after you dodged me yesterday your former opponent called to discuss these items... And you couldn't remember who he was? Didn't you see his sign on my front yard or that we were talking Monday night?

Come on Eddie, if you're going to be Mayor ya need to start paying attention to the squeaky wheels in the city. Call me or email me...

5136.8 Give Me a Break

Horse Crossing
Didn't write this item that night

Postscript / Updates

Called Eddie at lunch, we had a nice conversation about opportunities to improve Solon Govt, we agreed that the city web site/transparent govt and the MasterPlan were two specific areas in need of large improvements.

More too come...


More too come...

Status: Rough Draft, updated 12:52

It's about fair fighting...

I think BSer is a little sensitive, just mentioning him shouldn't garner that level of name calling, but I can just chalk that one up. I get more irritated at the ID guessing game, and I'm sure that you Joe can appreciate just how important being anonymous is. If city hall ever discovers who you really are, well, you probably have to move out of the city, if not the county.

But consider this, while you all remember my defense of this administration, I've been critical here too, despite city hall knowing who SolonPol is. I know this because I've been contacted by various people in govt, within 24 hours of a critical post.

I started posting as BBRdRes and everyone knew who I was. When I wanted to branch to other topics I posted under another ID to be anonymous, a luxury you all enjoy. But after being extremely critical, people here couldn't help themselves but to VIOLATE the forum rules and try to determine my IRL ID. BSer chides me even today, years later, by tying my public BB Rd work to my current ID. We had lots of fights about this, and to your credit Joe, you still stand up for what is right, despite some strong disagreements we've had.

But knowing who someone is IRL is one thing, talking about it here is another. Asking where I am when they see me on TV at city hall is edging toward creepy. But doing background checks on me, citing court cases, traffic tickets, etc, telling me when my bike is parked outside my home or not is JUST TOO FAR, ITS BEYOND CREEPY, ITS GETTING TO BE STALKING...

AND STILL IT DOES NOT END THERE... When I'm making a strong argument, especially if I'm winning it, OUT COMES THE PERSONAL INFO, a not very veiled attempt to STIFLE MY FREE SPEECH, TO INTIMIDATE, TO HARASS.



NOTE:  this is the uncensored version that couldn't be posted...