A Replay of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Kirtland’s Mayor Potter…

Lobbyists for Citizens is a 501 (c) (4) Non-Profit. Our mission is to ensure honesty, transparency, and integrity in politics. We are not funded by any one individual, business, or firm. We are independent and passionately committed to bringing honor and integrity back to local politics. Political party affiliation is irrelevant to us. We will expose all that are “feathering their own nest”, and are not working in the best interests of the taxpayers in their community.

We posted an article written by the City of Kirtland’s Mayor Kevin Potter. Here is a link to the article: https://lobbyistsforcitizens.com/2020/09/20/kirtlands-mayor-potter-speaks-out-as-proud-and-resolute/

Here is a rebuttal to Mayor Potter’s article.

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23-Sept-20 Wire Release

Kirtland’s Mayor Issues Proud and Resolute Statement

Lets Fact-Check the Pot(ter) Hole!

Recently, Kirtland’s Mayor Kevin Potter posted a statement to the community regarding cut-backs in city personnel and commercial development within Kirtland. His statements have been examined closely by interviewing witnesses, examining public records, and conferring with licensed experts (engineers, consultants, and attorneys). Here is what was found.

Claim #1: “However the failure of past leaders to confront spending problems, while continuing to seek more revenue from the taxpayers, is no longer acceptable”.

Verdict: FALSE – BIG POT(TER) HOLE

There is no evidence to show, support, or even remotely suggest that previous honorable leaders and residents of Kirtland including former Mayors Doug Davidson, Mark Tyler, Edward Podijil, and/or prior Mayors AND their approving Councils reviewed, edited, and approved budgets which were problematic, excessive, reckless, fat, or un-reasonable. Worth noting, Kirtland City Council must approve any budgets or expenditures above $25,000 proposed by any sitting Mayor. Kevin Potter was Kirtland Council President from 2016-2020 and presided over said budgetary approvals. We welcome and encourage Mayor Potter to bring any evidence or “spending problems” to the community.

Claim #2: “Although cutting corners or doing an end run around legal requirements may expedite the issuance of an approval (for commercial development), it is the city and its residents that bear all of the risk of any such short cut”.

Verdict: FALSE – BIG POT(TER) HOLE

The city is ONLY responsible for those matters to which they grant authority. When a developer proposes an activity, the Planning and Zoning Commission has a right and duty to evaluate said proposal to ensure it meets or exceeds applicable city ordinances. In the event of an approval vote, the absolute liability resides with the developer to secure the necessary approvals from any and all other governing bodies at the county, state, and/or federal levels. In the event the developer fails to do so, it is the developer and only the developer who is liable for failing to secure the required consent of the associated regulatory agencies. The City enjoys no collateral liability for the failures of the involved developer. This is simply not true or accurate.

Claim #3: “Kirtland Hills and Willoughby are but two recent examples of municipalities suffering severe economic consequences when local developers engaged in illegal work in the Chagrin River.”. Inference noted: these two cities and the involved fact pattern is the same/nearly the same as currently confronting Kirtland and pending request by local developer to stabilize a failing hill slope and CEI Tower.

Verdict: FALSE – BIG POT(TER) HOLE

The Tall Oaks Complex is currently under development. It sits on 4 acres above the Kirtland valley with another 10 acres below. A small feeder stream has recently taken a sharp turn to the West and is most negatively affecting both the CEI Power Tower and hillside resulting in significant and most damaging erosion.

The developer, Christopher Family Enterprises, worked hand in hand with City Attorney Matt Lallo and City Engineer Doug Courtney for three (3) weeks in May to prepare a suitable and compliant hill stabilization plan. An agreement had been reached and a Planning and Zoning Meeting was scheduled to approve the associated stabilization plan.

One and a half hours before the meeting, Attorney Lallo and Engineer Courtney reversed position and threw out the stabilization plan. The developer was then encouraged to use the City Engineering Firm SME, and craft a far more extensive slope stabilization plan. Five months and $40,000 later, including but not limited, to drilling of core soil samples down 50’, lab analysis of slope and soil, engineering analysis of erosion, and preparation of associated report of findings and comprehensive slope stabilization plan is now complete. Ironically, this plan mirrors the original plan submitted in May.

SME Engineer (Alison Frye) and Kirtland SME Business Manager have received explicit instruction from Christopher Family Enterprises, “We play by the rules and ask you to design and do it right, no more and no less”.

Claim #4: “I want to make sure that everyone understands that I will not sit idly by while our faithful public servants are assailed by insidious attacks on their character, honesty, and integrity merely for representing the best interests of the city, protecting its resources and following the letter of the law”

Verdict: FALSE – BIG POT(TER) HOLE

The truth is for years Kirtland has a long and well established record of excessive over-reach, regulations, and violation of property owner rights. Kirtland DOES NOT have an architectural or historical review board. They simply have a Planning and Zoning Commission, who is charged with ensuring basic building regulations. Over the last 5 years, and especially under the Potter administration, Planning and Zoning has been empowered and acted far beyond their regulatory authority when conducting inquisitions about signage, lighting, building types, siding types and colors, drive thru’s, hours of operation, and even menu items!

The fact is these excessive over-reacting activities especially pronounced under the current Potter administration have created substantial, material, and alarming financial risks for the city and its citizens as this administration knowingly and willfully violated property owners rights.

WORTH NOTING: Kirtland finest are it’s public service workers. Recently, they voted for the first time in over 200+ years of existence, to have a Union represent and protect their interests.

“As a matter of course, whenever employees loose their trust in current leadership they bring in an outside body to ensure their collective interests”, reports Managing Partner of Nationally Recognized HR Consulting Firm. “It is the ultimate sign of a no-faith vote in current leadership and statistics show a 26%+ average increase in labor and benefit costs as a result”.

Claim#5 – “If elected, I will Repair Kirtland failing roads without asking its citizens for additional taxes”, KEVIN Potter 2019 Campaign Platform and Promise.

Verdict: UNDECIDED – questionable POT(TER) HOLE

The reality is Kirtland currently has a break-even budget. Kirtland’s outside engineering firm, SME, recently reported a $14-17 million price tag range to repair current road issues.

There are only two ways to fund the road issues:

(1) Attract tax generating development to fund such repairs.
(2) Significantly raise property taxes on all Kirtland residents.

Given Mayor Potter’s commitment to not raise taxes, responsible development appears to be his only answer. Unfortunately, the Mayor appears to have unjustly vilified those he needs so desperately.

As Mayor Potter proclaims in his “Proud and Resolute” pronouncement: “Quite frankly, I find it difficult to comprehend why anyone would think hurling insults and spewing invective is a winning strategy for accomplishing their goals”.

Mayor Potter, you could not have said it any better in your letter to your constituents!

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LFC Comments: “It’s a Wonderful Life” was one of our favorite pictures. Here is some dialogue from the movie:

“- Mr. Potter: Have you put any real pressure on these people of yours to pay those mortgages?
–  Pa Bailey: Times are bad, Mr. Potter. A lot of these people are out of work.
– Mr. Potter: Well, then, foreclose.
–  Pa Bailey: I can’t do that. These families have children.
– Mr. Potter: They’re not my children.”

Raising property taxes in these uncertain times seems to be a fool’s errand for Mayor Kevin Potter. All the more reason for the Fab Five to be more receptive to development within the community to help defray the costs of city services.

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Categories: Corruption, Free Speech Zone, Kirtland, Lake County Cities & Townships, Uncategorized

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