A Tawdry Tale – A Saint (Joe’s) and the Politicians Pt 2

Part One : https://oheragain.wordpress.com/2021/10/02/a-tawdry-tale-a-saint-joes-and-the-politicians/

NOTE: as this tawdry  tale of wheeling dealing, political  and legalese speak continues, we have a problem. Unlike this blog  links to  press coverage found in the posts on That Woman Blog , covered  at the times of the dealings, they  disappear from the net. Changes in operation, servers etc and those stories disappear. To  delve further into  the press coverage  will take more work than clicking on the link.  You  will have to  trust me that I  covered it factually as you  wont be able to link  back.

We left off in Part one of the Tawdry  Tale with  Money  Money  Money

”  “South Shore took ownership of the St. Joseph facility in 1997 after St. Joseph Hospital merged with Lorain Community Hospital to create Community Health Partners. An $800,000 federal grant was used to get the building ready for its new tenants. Additional grants and loans were secured The state had $1.4 million in loans invested in the community center, while the county and the city each have $700,000 in loans tied to the center.”

Fast Forward : a few years and the money  has  dried up and according  to  Mr. Cordes ( Board of South  Shore Development ) in March  of 2009  and my  That Woman Blog

St. Joseph’s Hospital- another re -invention?

“Hopefully, we’ll find some solutions before things come to the critical mass point,”

https://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2009/03/14/news/mj750123.txt   ( link is broken)

Interesting enough two  of the comments from that post :

Renee Dore , Historian  and Co  Chair Of Charleston Village Society


“The elevator (lobby) in the Drs. office building across the street still has the sulphur odor of the spring- there used to be a sign posted as to what the source of the odor. “

St. Joe’s Community Center – Let’s get fiscal/ physical – Let’s get REAL

In that post of getting real… broken links but some of the time line:

March of 2009 the article in the Morning Journal
St. Joseph center in crisis: Lack of tenants, operating capital could cause eventual closure
had the then President of the South Shore Development Board ( In 1997 St. Joseph Community Center was created by the South Shore Development CDC ) – Jim Cordes ( Lorain County Administrator) as stating:

The center is running out of cash and faces about a $300,000 deficit this year, he said.


Between those two statements a lot of “planning, bells and whistles, handshaking and patting on the back has happened .

Lorain City Council in 2010 approved money to operate St. Joe’s while Krasienko’s administration looked for ways to keep it open.


The agreement also calls for the current South Shore board, which has been largely defunct since the city took control of St. Joe’s at the beginning of the year, to be replaced with a new ninemember board. Five of the board’s members will be handpicked by IRG, which gives the company a controlling number of seats. Three members will be selected by the city. The county commissioners will pick the final board member.

In fact just last June 2011 another deal was brokered with great hoopla and artwork

“Definitely good news,” said Mayor Tony Krasienko. “Obviously, we’ve put a lot of time and resources into making sure the St. Joseph Community Center is a success.

However, there was concern from some on Lorain City Council as to the “way forward” and in July 18 2011 an update on the situation at St. Joe’s was requested. You can find the minutes of that meeting in the following PDF file
council meeting minutes

note CLICK ON   those council minutes link . Questions were asked BUT ..the political and legal speak won out….



It seems that number ($300,000) continues to be a problem because according the Chronicle nearly three years later :http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2012/02/08/developer-warns-about-fiscal-physical-problems-at-st-joes/

As of Dec. 21, Hipp wrote, South Shore had past due bills totaling $287,892. Hipp also wrote that his company projected that St. Joe’s would be running deficits of $25,000 per month as 2012 got under way, and there was no plan in place to absorb those costs.

Between those two statements a lot of “planning, bells and whistles, handshaking and patting on the back has happened .

Lorain City Council in 2010 approved money to operate St. Joe’s while Krasienko’s administration looked for ways to keep it open.

So what happened that just about 5 months after that meeting crisis hits?? and the Ohio Realty Advisors managing the property sends a letter

states in his letter ( emphasis mine) :

NOTE: AND THIS LETTER HAS MIRACULOUSLY  DISAPPEARD INTO  THE MISTS OF TIME …HMMMMMMMM I  would have to  contact Lorain City  Hall for that letter it should be entered into  the record.

However Moving on!!! excerpts from that letter


Hipp also wrote that his company projected that St. Joe’s would be running deficits of $25,000 per month as 2012 got under way, and there was no plan in place to absorb those costs.

“From the onset South Shore was operating in a deficit with no long -term plan to fund shortfalls,” Hipp wrote.

How things seem to have changed in 5 months

Did this whole project rely on one group purchasing the 5th floor and therefore injecting $300,000 cash plus build out into the project.

Is that the “business plan”???????

This is a bit like saying –

Oh! I am waiting for my Aunt Lilo Lil to die as I am in her will and then I can pay my mortgage and utilities and remodel – but Old Lil runs off with another suitor or writes you out of the will – and your creditors get stuck with the bill


Not a good business plan it seems at least to this “lowly surface dweller”. I am always amazed at the thinking ( which is more often than not) on basing financial decisions on a “projected income”- but then there is that old “well of the taxpayer” if things don’t come off as planned.

My concerns are these :

Why didn’t the South Shore Development Board and Ohio Realty Advisors in July express their concerns before Lorain City Council when Given ( pun intended) the opportunity. Since I was told yesterday the “letter” that was dated January 5th 2012 was to get the attention of the new administration Why not ask for a meeting , a phone call might have served their purpose a little better because NOW – well they are getting attention NOW aren’t they?


Given asked: How much do you think you need to have rented to cover all your costs and after that the pressure is off.

Berger:I have that in my performa and I do not have that with me but it will be presented to our Board during the next Board meeting- that will then be presented to council-

My understanding is that no information was received by council members– who was the follow through person? NOTE: Joel Arredondo-Lorain City Council President also serves on the South Shore Development Board

Also in Hipp’s letter he states

“The situation within the Administration of the City of Lorain over the past 10 months has also negatively impacted the progress of the project

Question since this was the Krasienko Administration ( who brokered the deal ) and just 6 months previously had the “celebration of St. Joes- and Robert Gilchrist was being praised…. what situation????? And why weren’t council informed there was a “administration” problem 5 months ago when they had the chance ?

And now my thoughts –

I think cool, clinical accounting heads need to be in the mix – a “BUSINESS PLAN” based upon actual funding– not IF- not stop-gap budgeting – needs to be in place – because even with “new tenants” there are always expenses that come with being the landlord.

All costs should be itemized- all assets- actual income and actual costs not projected with whatever rosy coloured forecasts of ifs and maybe and hope ( hope like plan is a four letter word )….

And speaking of tenants
There are partnerships and groups within the space providing a valuable service to the community . Those tenants have provided income and a tax revenue to the City of Lorain . I would hate to see the loss to them and to us should the building close. They are also experiencing “physical problems” as per their letter found here:

NOTE: the Pdf file is working for this link Well worth  the read due to  the concerns of those tenants , cleanliness, security  , maintenance … 

Jan 31 St. Joe’s tenants meeting letter to Southshore Board (1)

And lets us have some “real discussion” not the “congratulatory wishy-washy claptrap” as evidenced at the South Shore Development Board Meeting on Febrary 9th-2012
Scant answers provided at St. Joe’s board meeting – by Brad Dicken ( who first broke the story of “the letter”)
Morning Journal – Rick Payerchin

The meeting lasted about 40 minutes, but shed little light on conditions at the St. Joe Center. The board did not have a quorum and could not vote on any proposals

ED NOTE: That was definitely the understatement of the year imho

TO Be Continued……. Kraseinko  and Gilchrist were out in the next installment ( although we will revisit Gilchrist… and the  Ritenauer Administration  is in as the saga continues……..

To Be continued

About thatwoman

It is the principle of the thing! No agendas ( I think? at least I try) I write therefore I am
This entry was posted in City of Lorain, Documentation, How Lorain City Council works, Politics and St. Joes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Tawdry Tale – A Saint (Joe’s) and the Politicians Pt 2

  1. Pingback: Spies? The Players and City of Lorain Politics | OH Her Again!

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