A special thanks to our new contributor, “Average American”, for this article on the proposed Hispanic Center in Painesville. We will be taking notice of Mr. John Rogers’ conduct regarding this building in Painesville.
Perennial politician, John Rogers is the Ohio State Representative representing the 60th District, which includes Eastlake, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, Lakeline, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, Timberlake, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willowick, in addition to parts of Mentor and Painesville Township.
Although the State Representative job is considered part-time, the salary is $60,000 per year. He is also the Executive Director of the Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation, better known as the Land Bank, and by contract is paid $60.00 per hour for a maximum 1,200 hours ($72,000) per year. Forget about applying for those part-time jobs, you must be firmly entrenched in party politics to be even considered. This is known as the establishment or “deep state” of Lake County.
In 2016, Mr. Rogers proposed donating a building located at 265 North State Street in Painesville to a Hispanic group known as HOLA [Spanish for “Hello”], controlled by a Ms. Veronica Dahlberg. Initially, the building was going to be an “incubator kitchen” for EVERYONE in the community to use to make food that could be sold at local markets to help pay for the operating expenses of the center.
A Federal USDA grant in the amount of $132,745.00 was awarded to purchase equipment for an incubator kitchen. Additionally, HOLA received a $2,500.00 grant from the Ohio Commission on Hispanic Latino Affairs (OCHLA) for the cost of the design and blueprints.
In 2016, Director/Rep. Rogers spent approximately $10,000 to have the building gutted on the inside, so that it is a “clean slate”. Also, he approved installing a new roof at a cost of $80,000 of the people’s money, but it has not been done yet.
In the 131st General Assembly Ohio House Bill 547, there was an amendment introduced for $500,000.00, as a business assistance to HOLA Ohio. Fortunately, it was denied.
In 2018 and 2019, HOLA applied for $250,000.00 in Lake County Community Development Block Grant funds for a Hispanic Community Center/Commercial Kitchen Business Incubator. Happy to report both were denied.
The talk about an “incubator kitchen” has now morphed into the real reason for HOLA’s interest in the building – creating a HOLA Community Center. They aggressively lobby our politicians about illegal aliens, and complain about the Federal Homeland Security’s Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) doing their job in Lake County.
The property known as 265 N State Street had an EPA issue which has been resolved, and yet the property is still not listed on the Lake County Land Reutilization Corp as an available property for others to consider purchasing.
Will Mr. Rogers continue to support HOLA, and by extension Illegal aliens; then spend $80,000 to repair the roof, and donate this building to the HOLA group?