NOTE: This letter was 28 pages ( with documentation ) and 5208 words ( hopefully not too many typos) I have decided to divide into three parts on this blog due to its length. The letter was sent to the Lorain Civil Service Commission, and various people within and without the city and county of Lorain.
Basically this is my reasoning, based upon the documentation obtained through public records requests and events that I believe are detrimental to the taxpayers of the City of Lorain and Lorain County, as to why Mr. Max Upton should not be appointed to the permanent position of Director of Building Housing and Planning.
Lorain Civil Service Commission: November 29 2021
For the attention of Rosemary Maffei
Dear Commission President Victor Takacs and fellow Commissioners,
REF: Appointment of Mr. Maximillian Upton to the position of Director of the Building Housing and Planning
By way of introduction, for those members who do not know me, my name is Loraine Ritchey. I have, been very involved, one way or another with this City of Lorain for over 50 years. I started this journey after coming to Lorain from London England, with the Lorain Place Civic Center Committee to save the Lorain Palace Theatre. My advocacy, to try to make a difference in Lorain started with Mayor Zahorec’s Administration in 1978 and has continued through all administrations until the present day.
During that time I was the co – founder of Charleston Village Society Inc, 1989 a neighborhood preservation district encompassing the quality of life issues and history of this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood , becoming a nonprofit (all volunteer) since 1993.
We were instrumental in removing the ore piles, saving Veterans Park, the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery, supporting various sister organizations , one of the founding Board members (1995) of the original Mainstreetlorain ( Now Lorain Growth Corp).
We have written in support for various city projects, such as grants for the Lorain Utilities Dept. under Mr. Timko, the historic tax credits for the Ariel Hotel and other historic buildings. Saving what is known at Victory Park , Lorain Port and Finance Authority and Lorain County grants ( those items are available)
My organization also has worked to enhance this neighborhood by partnering with the City of Lorain through 3 administrations to put in Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk , Admiral King Tribute Site. We spearheaded the 2007 Lorain Bicentennial. To say I have been involved is somewhat of an understatement. I do not belong to any political party I am and have been an Independent for my voting life and I have never been employed for the City of Lorain / Lorain County or any business in Lorain.
I have never written to the Civil Service Commission until now. I do so because after all my years of dealing with the political and business side of the City of Lorain I am very concerned as to the appointment of Maximillian Upton to the permanent position of Director of Building Planning and Housing. This position demands capability, honesty, non-selective enforcement, integrity, inter -departmental communication and a knowledge of how to lead without intimidation or manipulation.
I will be presenting documentation in this letter to support those concerns. Please note all documentation has been gathered through public records requests through the City of Lorain Law Dept., and Law Director Pat Riley
I will be covering three main areas of concern with regard to Mr. Upton’s employment since January 2020 as Safety Service Director appointed by Mayor Bradley and then his subsequent appointment to Acting Director of Building Housing and Planning.
- Kellie Glenn, Lorain Civil Service Commission, and daily logs in Upton’s capacity of the Safety Service Director
- Acting Director of Building and Planning and St. Joseph’s Hospital demolition
- DeLuca’s Half Way house Zoning / Giardini and Lucas Developers
I do not know Mr. Upton personally, but I do know him.
In 2017 , when Mr. Upton was employed by Lorain County, I was asked by Mr. Romancak the then Director of Lorain County Community Development , to participate in the planning process of a grant.
“Lorain County was awarded a planning grant through the USEPA to look to the redevelopment of the Broadway/E 28th corridor. Based upon your knowledge, history of engagement and contacts, our consultant team will be reaching out to you next week Don Romancak January 27th 2017
It was during this time I was asked to liaise with Max Upton. He left for other employment half way through the process but I was not impressed with Mr. Upton in that short time. I personally found him somewhat condescending and arrogant.
“Kellie Glenn, Lorain Civil Service Commission, and daily logs in Upton’s capacity of the Safety Service Director”
February 18th 2020: Lorain Civil Service Commission Meeting:
Please refer to the minutes of that more than contentious meeting which started at 5:00 pm (that is important).To refresh your memory. Mr. Upton had been trying for days previously to have Mr. Steve Campbell hired into the Lorain Building Dept.
NOTE: I do have all the emails, due to my public records request, between Commission members and Administration with regard to the hiring of Mr. Campbell. Mr. Upton knew Ms. Kellie Glenn was not in favor of the hiring of Mr. Campbell.
“I take Director Glenn’s guidance with a grain of salt “
Ms. Glenn, was a person with whom Mr. Upton had only worked with for less than 6 weeks and he was already making disparaging remarks ( for the record) during your February 18th meeting as to her capabilities. Mr. Upton, had apparently already been manipulating the ousting of Ms. Glenn, he had made this decision with regard to Ms. Glenn and the outcome of her employment and began the manipulation before taking his office officially.
I will take you back before that meeting and to what I conclude, after looking at the paper trail, was unacceptable manipulative , vindictive and predisposed behavior by not only Mr. Upton but two of the employees ( recent hiring) in the Building Housing and Planning Dept. Ms. Glenn’s department. Those individuals were Drew Crawford and Joel Jacovetti, both of whom played a secretive and undermining role at Mr. Upton’s bidding as you will see by the documentation.
Mr. Drew Crawford (Neighborhood Specialist and now Planning and Zoning Administrator – this is important to remember), started keeping a log on Ms. Glenn from the very first day of his employment in her department. OCTOBER 28/2019 ending his log January 31.2020 to two and a half weeks before the Civil Service Meeting February 18th 2020
I have, for the sake of Ms. Glenn who, as you know is no longer with the City of Lorain taken out the remarks made by Ms. Glenn. The logs, in my opinion, are petty, whiney, spiteful, and gossipy allegations and her words taken out of context and deliberately made to undermine Ms. Glenn. The behavior of these employees was less than professional.
Log from Joel Jacovetti
To support my thoughts on this extremely underhanded, petty and game playing by not only Mr. Crawford and Mr. Jacovetti I submit their emails to Mr. Upton
Drew Crawford February 7th 2020 copied to Jack Bradley
Joel Jacovetti email sent February 6th 2020
Upton NOTE “dates these are submitted, the timing on all these things is very important as I believe it shows a concerted effort to discredit Ms. Glenn. If nothing else this sort of direction would certainly be cause for a toxic workplace. And this under the direction of Mr. Upton. I FIRMLY believe this is NOT the sort of leadership role Building, Housing and Planning deserves.
This sort of underhanded behavior alone would cause me to , if I was sitting on this board, to deny his appointment. But there is more, unfortunately.
The next morning after the meeting by 10 o’clock on February 19th 2020 Mr. Upton was contacting Lisa Zamiska PHR for an insubordination letter for going against his wishes. (See your meeting minutes)
Note: I have taken off Ms. Glenn’s person information from the template letter
Ms. Glenn was put on paid suspension, ultimately settled with the city and the rest is history and Max Upton stepped into her position.
Changes coming to Lorain city administration | Chronicle Telegram “Bradley said he spoke to Upton after the agreement was reached. “So when Kellie resigned, I said to Max, I think that you need to be in a position where I think your talents are best served, because he knows this stuff like — I don’t know, he eats, sleeps and drinks this community development stuff,” he said.
Under former Mayor Chase Ritenauer, Upton had applied for a position in the city’s Building, Housing and Planning department, but he was not hired at the time.”
And Upton certainly just based on this first part of the letter be hired now. However we aren’t finished yet.
Bear with me, because I am going back to your meeting of February 18th. Which started at 5:00 pm.
I know you are all aware of the insulting text sent by Mr. Upton to then Chief of Staff Melissa Barnhart with regard to YOU , the Civil Service Commissioners I will now put that in context for you . As Ms. Glenn was speaking about Mr. Campbell not being qualified for the position in Building Housing and Planning it was at 5:34 the text was sent.
This text is a disgrace, it threatens a sitting board of the City of Lorain , it also states by implication that “steve O will have “her job” again the long game being played ( in my considered opinion) and the description of the commissioners is worrying as to his professionalism .
This was not the only text sent from that meeting with implications as to the integrity of the Board Members of the Civil Service Commission. It seems, you, the board could have been under the “influence of Mr. Dan Given when denying Mr. Campbell’s appointment , that same meeting , text Melissa Barnhart, Max Upton and Jack Bradley
to be continued
Pingback: Letter to Lorain Civil Service Commission Pt 3 | OH Her Again!
Pingback: Letter to Lorain Civil Service Commission Pt.2 | OH Her Again!